Atomic Hawx 100W (2011)

Testers loved the built-in forefoot flex of the Hawx. Relief cuts in the shell allow it to give when the ski is deeply flexed, improving balance and keeping your heel anchored. The flex also makes it easier to walk in. The thickly padded liner is smooth and seamless. It feels tight at first but quickly expands. There are warmer boots, but the Hawx is a good fit for good skiers.
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Atomic Hawx 100W

Rating: 0.00 / 5
Price: $579.00
Year: 2011
Level: N/A
Gender: Female

Toebox fit: 0.00 / 5
Forefoot fit: 0.00 / 5
Ankle fit: 0.00 / 5
Instep fit: 0.00 / 5
Adjustments: 0.00 / 5
Closure: 0.00 / 5
Response: 0.00 / 5
Support: 0.00 / 5
Flex: 0.00 / 5
Steering: 0.00 / 5
Comfort: 0.00 / 5
Average Score: 0.00 / 5

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Atomic Hawx 120

Atomic Hawx 120 (2011)

Midfoot flexibility is the hallmark of the Hawx. Relief cuts in the shell walls allow it—and the skier’s foot—to flex in a way that feels natural and improves balance. The fit is generous, yet sufficiently snug in the heel, and the stance is upright, ideal for centered skiing over modern sidecuts. Overall, it’s comfortable and connected to the snow and won’t fatigue your foot.

Atomic LF90W

Atomic LF90W (2011)

LF stands for Live Fit, one of this year’s more interesting innovations. Soft, flexible panels on the walls of the shell expand as needed for comfortable fit for the widest of feet without undue compromise in performance integrity. The upright stance reduces leg fatigue, and the two-buckle design is the ultimate in ease, providing just enough wrap for relaxed skiing.

Atomic 90W

Atomic 90W (2011)

The Hawx 90 is the same boot as the Hawx 100 (see previous), so it’s a matter of skier aggressiveness, ability and/or weight. It lacks some of the turn-finishing power of the 100, but more women probably belong here. Otherwise, the benefits are the same: flexible midsole for improved balance, snug heel retention, nice blend of comfort and performance.

Atomic Medusa 110

Atomic Medusa 110 (2011)

Of all the winners in the category, the Medusa tries least to be a race boot, but despite the plush suede liner and the grippy, easy-walk sole, it’s snug and stiff enough to keep a hard-charger happy. It has the edge-power and quickness of a race boot but is eager and comfortable for all-day adventure off-piste. Note: Sizes 22–23.5 are of a different design, and weren’t tested.

Vita sensor 80

Rossignol Vita Sensor 80 (2011)

Our women liked the Vita slightly more than the pricier Electra Sensor3 90 (see previous). Must be a comfort thing. The Vita is roomier than the Electra, but it’s equally well balanced, the liner is every bit as well designed, constructed and married to its shell, and the more relaxed flex is still enough to power a ski. As one tester put it: “a bedroom slipper with some zest.”

Lange RS 110 SC

Lange RS 110 SC (2011)

Testers loved the new Lange race shell. Performance is uncompromised, but now comes with less discomfort. Women will stand taller in the new shell—the better to edge on modern sidecuts, without the quad burn of more aggressive forward lean. But the biggest improvement is the liner: better designed and constructed, and better shaped to fit the shell.

2011 Salomon Instinct CS

Salomon Instinct CS (2011)

Up against stouter constructions in the category, the Instinct, with its compact fit, women-friendly cuff and 90 flex, held its own. Slender feet will find the 98-mm forefoot width plenty quick. For wider feet, the Custom Shell feature—expandable panels along the outside of the foot—allows the shop to add up to 6 mm more forefoot room. It’s a satisfyingly responsive performer.

Salomon RS8

Salomon Mission RS8 (2011)

The Mission offers generous volume and a thickly padded liner with just enough fit tension to keep an advanced intermediate happy. Its moisture wicking liner helps keep your foot dry and warm. The toe and heel pads are replaceable in case of wear. Heavier or more aggressive men with wide feet will be better served by the RS 12 ($565), with its 120 flex.