Individual Review Atomic Hawx Ultra boots

Wendy

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I skied the 19/20 Hawx Ultra 115 S W this year. They are a very... very lively boot. On groomers and uncut snow they really let me drive the ski in a way I’ve never been able to do before. Really brought my skis to life. On the other hand in variable conditions, for me lively translated into feeling every inconsistency in the snow and getting bucked around ... a lot. Really had to stay on top of them. I ended going back to my old K2 Spyne’s which are way more damp. I’d say the difference between a sports car and SUV suspension. Just my two cents/
I ski this boot, and while I’d say it’s lightweight and has a nice, springy flex, I haven’t had difficulty in varying snow conditions. I ski it with a Nordica Doberman foam liner and Booster strap. It’s pretty much a boot that I put on and then forget about until I take them off at the end of the day, and that’s a good thing. Maybe my height/weight makes a difference in how I perceive them. It’s certainly the narrowest all mountain boot I’ve ever had, which is another good thing. :)
 

ted

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IIRC you were in ProMachines, can you share your thoughts on Pro Machine vs Hawx Ultra?
 

Wendy

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IIRC you were in ProMachines, can you share your thoughts on Pro Machine vs Hawx Ultra?
1) Cuff height is higher in Promachines. (At least in the women’s models).
2) Promachines are stiffer (both are 115j and more progressive in flex.
3) Hawx have a springier, livelier feel to the flex. It’s still a powerful boot.
4) Hawx are lighter, but Promachines aren’t heavy, either.
5) Hawx are narrower, overall, while Promachine has a narrow heel pocket and more room in the navicular area.
6) Promachine has a better liner. The tongue on the Hawx stock liner had a weird feel that pinched.
7) Adjustability seemed the same on both boots.
8) Promachine 115 comes with GripWalk and DIN soles, Hawx just a DIN sole, but it’s nice and grippy and I appreciate that when stepping off a gondola or going down stairs.
 

QueueCT

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I'll throw in my two cents on this revived thread. I've skied the Ultras for a full year so far and have found them to be very light and very comfortable. I also find them to be very soft, even at the 130 flex. I'm 190# and have been constantly bottoming out the boot when aggressively driving my skis. There are options to stiffen the boot that I'm looking into because the comfort and weight are a pleasure. If it doesn't work then I guess I'll have to go back to a heavier boot with a thicker plastic. I skied a Lange in a 120 flex prior to moving to the Hawx.
 

sullywhacker

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I might as well do the same. Last year, I skied the Ultras in a 120 after years in a Dalbello KR2 (w/ their Intuition liner) - can't say enough good things about the Ultras - pretty sure they improved my skiing - the difference in responsiveness was truly remarkable and they were significantly more comfortable to "boot" . . . I did not experience the "bottoming out" noted by Q but I'm 5'7" 140.
 

geepers

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I bought Atomic Hawx Ultra 120s in Australia August 2019. Only managed to fit in a couple of weeks on them during which I experienced quite a bit of pain on the inside ankle bone. The boot fitters at the retailer - who have done a good job for other folk I know - tried to fix this by stacking excess padding on the sock around the painful parts and then using the Atomic heat molding system. Did this twice in addition to the initial fit when purchasing. It reduced pain on each subsequent occasion but unfortunately didn't get enough skiing to fully assess the situation before last runs for 2019.

Resumed skiing Jan 2020 in Canada and after a couple of days was back to a full bone on plastic ankle grind agony. Not a lot of fun at the start of a two month ski trip so off to the recognised boot fitters in the nearby town. They decided to bulge the boot at the ankle rather than do the whole of boot remold. Also refitted the footpads. Those two changes did the trick and no more pain in the ankles. So far so good...

Whilst this was going on I noticed that the boots leak. Didn't notice in Oz but in Canada the boots are often covered in Okanagan finest champagne pow and I'd pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water out of each boot at night. Which also means taking the liners out every night to dry out. I do believe that one of the core competencies of a boot manufacturer should be to keep the snow out. Apparently some boot manufacturers don't necessarily agree - most of my ski buddies with Atomics reported something similar and suggested boot gloves. So soon after the morning booting up ritual included the placing of the boot gloves. Which to a large extent worked. Can't say I've ever had that leaking issue with other brands of boot including many seasons skiing on Nordicas.

Next problem I noticed was one of the foot boards had broken. The Hawx have these thin white bottom-of-shoe shaped plastic boards in each boot that sits on top of the ribbing that forms the structure of the boot. The break did not occur from ill-handling - it broke just from the pressure of skiing. If Atomic have a warranty it doesn't seem to be easy to access globally. Guess i'll have to take it up with the original Oz retailer if the season ever kicks off. Probably not an expensive part but I'd rather things didn't break under normal loading.

So then a short period of happy boot ownership - they are light weight and once the leak problem was solved they proved warm enough. Seemed to provide good support for skiing. Unfortunately bliss didn't last long. Not long into it the liner began to pack down, markedly. Bit by bit having to further tighten the buckles. The last boots, Nordicas took hundreds of days to need this sort of tightening. Toes and feet started having far too much room to move.

At which point the resort shut down due to covid and we all flew home.

Not sure what to do from this point. It will probably depend on how the retailer reacts and what can be done. All up the boots have had around 9 weeks skiing. Seems not much skiing for boots to be breaking parts and packing out.
 

Joby Graham

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I bought this year's Hawx Ultra 120s and they have a weatherstrip made of a silicone-like material on the overlap of the instep/toes. I only got to ski them for eight days in Steamboat in fairly cold conditions and didn't notice any water intrusion (I did notice a little water inside my previous Redster's shells, but didn't seem to penetrate the Zipfits in them). Thought I read somewhere that there's a weatherstrip retrofit available from Atomic.
I can't speak to the liners packing out prematurely - but if they do, I'll look at their new Mimic liners, or go back to the Zipfits.
 

geepers

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I bought this year's Hawx Ultra 120s and they have a weatherstrip made of a silicone-like material on the overlap of the instep/toes. I only got to ski them for eight days in Steamboat in fairly cold conditions and didn't notice any water intrusion (I did notice a little water inside my previous Redster's shells, but didn't seem to penetrate the Zipfits in them). Thought I read somewhere that there's a weatherstrip retrofit available from Atomic.
I can't speak to the liners packing out prematurely - but if they do, I'll look at their new Mimic liners, or go back to the Zipfits.
My boots have that silicone weatherstrip too. Not doing a lot of good.
 

Aquila

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I also have the Hawx Ultra 115 S W, 19/20. I do feel like it occasionally leaks at the toe clip, especially when I unclip them for breaks. It's not a big issue but I may try taping them, seeing it seems to be a common issue!

I got through the original liners in around 20-25 ski days and moved to zipfits for better heel retention. They were great for the first ten days or so though, and I do have difficult feet. I've had around 40 days on the boot shells so far and aside from them still being slightly too wide for me (zipfits with extra cork injection are helping to solve that though!) they seem like good boots. I don't find them excessively stiff, they feel just right for me.
 
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