One of our favorite women's boots over the years, the Hawx Prime W, went and took a risk a couple years back, changing its mold, changing her name and following in slender sister Ultra's tracks by slimming the shell wall and cuff construction for the sake of weight reduction. We thought she looked good before, but we have to hand it to her—the new Hawx W fits better, skis better and does both at a fraction of its former weight. This year Atomic brings a 115-flex version of the Hawx Prime W to the game with all those same design elements in place but with more horsepower and an all-new Mimic heat moldable liner, and our test team couldn't be happier for the performance step-up.
Testers (still) found a substantial amount of room in the toebox and the forefoot—a Hawx Prime hallmark, but (still) discovered teamed with an evenly snug fit in the heel pocket and ankles—even more so than in the past, they said. They liked this blend of warmth and comfort where needed up front combined with performance controls at the rearfoot for good skiing moves, though they mentioned that for a performance boot the liner feel is definitely on the plush side. Testers liked the way the boot top is flared enough for the bigger calf without a loss of fore-aft positioning, though testers concurred that the skinny legged needed to max the buckles. The stance is a touch upright—no quad burn here—but testers felt the fore-aft position was good. The Hawx Prime 115 S W's Mimic Platinum liner is slightly more dense than the 3D Gold liner found in the 105 flex version, so a slightly more snug, performance feel is noticed at initial try-on.
The new Hawx Prime 115 S W got highest marks for quickness, steering and agility—this is a light and responsive ride that favors an accurate sortie on the slope, not a bludgeoning onslaught. The flex feel is long and springy and the close fit through the ankle and heel allowed for powerful lateral edging movements. Heavy handed forward flexing by our most aggressive testers was met with new backbone that pushed back with authority--testers approved.
For women with wide forefoot and a bigger calf, the Hawx Prime W line-up deserves a close look—it fits generously in those spots to begin with and the Memory Fit shell-molding feature allows those areas to be expanded using just the skier's foot and leg in the boot to get the job done in a matter of minutes. The Power Shift feature (which accounts for the "S" in the model name) allows for adjustment of the forward lean and/or stiffness. The new Mimic liner utilizes a thin layer of heat moldable material close to the foot contact layer to provide a fine-tuned fit, post oven cooking.