Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur’s latest book Thirty Years in a White Haze tells Egan’s…
ATOMIC ALLROUND SKI BOOT HAWX PRIME XTD
ALL MOUNTAIN, ONE BOOT
Boot Review by JC
Firstly, boot reviews are mostly about the features, not the personal fit. A Ski boot needs to be right for your foot & an expert boot fitter can talk you through the process. Not all feet will fit in all boots, even with lots of work.
I’ve skid in many boots over the years & the Hawx Prime XTD is an interesting options for a few reasons;
- Skis like a normal Alpine boot – After all is is essentially the established Hawx boot with a walk mode, so don’t let put you off if you’re mostly a Piste skier.
- Based on an already working model, the Ultra XTD. So we know it works.
- Wider Fit than the Ultra means it will fit more foot types. 100mm last (Medium width)
- Can be fully customised to your foot with mouldable shell & liner.
- Comes in a range of Flex’s to suit different skier types.
As you go up the range you simply get lighter boots & more features, plus better liners. Check out our alert more boot tech details on the HAWX XTD 130
Who is the XTD for?
The XTD is essentially an Alpine Ski boot with a walk mode, which at the higher end gives you the ability to Ski Tour all day & ski down in an Alpine style boot. It’s not the best boot for out & out Ski touring, but well worth the small compromises on the up for the feel on the down. After all, we go up to come down, right? If not, this isn’t the touring boot for you. Atomic have their Backland range more suited to that.
At the lower end it provides a very comfortable walk mode that allows short ski tours or simply walking comfort to the lifts. Although I will stress this, Ski boots are for Skiing, not walking around town.
What’s the XTD like to Ski?
The 130 that I tested was fitted to me in Atomic’s test truck & I simply moved my custom insoles over. For me, it was a good comfortable fit & the shell heat moulding worked well for my usual areas of discomfort.
I immediately tried out the walk mode & the range of motion really was impressive, for what felt like a normal ski boot moments earlier. I decided to go for a short tour in them, popped some skins on my Skis & wandered off upwards along the side of the Piste for around 60 minutes until I reached my destination, a mountain Cafe for a quick re-charge!
I’m 5’8 & 70kg, so 130 is stiffer than my usual ski boot, but it was a warm(ish) day & I had just walked up in these boots & got a little used to them. I clipped the boots up as usual (the clips are really top quality on this boot) & clicked into ‘Ski mode’, which was quick & easy, and clicked into my skis.
The boots felt great. the edge to edge response was good. The flex was firm & responsive, which gave me confidence to push the speed more. I wouldn’t have known that these boots were the same ones I’d just walked up in, they felt like downhill boots, which really they are.
I skied in the Boots for another 3 hours of lift accessed skiing to give them more of an all mountain test with varied terrain & ski types.
Across the mountain they felt great. .They are surprisingly light, which I like as it means bump turns & sticky snow bother you less as you fell more nimble on your feet.
If you are looking for an Alpine Boot to start touring with or simply want an Alpine Boot with a walk mode, then the XTD across all the models in a great place to look. For advanced skiers the 130 is great & the flex really didn’t bother me as the new plastic works so well. Unless you want a pure Race, Touring or Freestyle boot, the HAWX Ultra XTD is a great all mountain boot to consider.
All information on the range can be found here ATOMIC BOOTS
Reviewed by JC – Editor & Lover of all things winter.