Looks can be deceiving. Yes, the Hawx has four-buckle, overlap construction—it charges, and drives skis fatter than 100mm with ease—but it’s no conventional alpine boot. It sports 54 degrees of ankle articulation in walk mode, which felt accurate when we opened the buckles and loosened the liner. That combination of downhill and uphill prowess allowed our testers to tackle bigger objectives—like the Fourteeners Sunlight, Castle, and Quandary Peaks in Colorado—which require long approaches and nifty skiing.
The shell is the tallest in the test; our chargers loved the added power, but big-calved skiers felt pinched. Testers lauded the memory-fit liner, which is heat-moldable and machine-washable, for being comfy out of the box. The Hawx Ultra XTD is also available in more forgiving 120 and 100 flex options for men, and 90 for women (we didn’t test these models).
“I didn’t have time to mold the Hawx before a four-day trip in Colorado’s Chicago Basin,” one tester says. “My feet were fine, even after more than 25 total miles and roughly 10,000 feet of gain. Due to snowmelt, I even hiked 4 miles out in them. My feet were warm, but blister-free.”