The Waymaker Carbon 100 is Atomic's attempt at a high-end side-country boot. We think they are mediocre in most departments, from performance to durability. For a side-country styled boot, the Waymaker is quite heavy and the walk mode is just ok. We do think they are warm and comfortable. We predict that the updated version of the Tecnica Cochise Pro is a better option for side-country skiing.
Atomic Waymaker Carbon 100 - Women's Review
Cons: Heavy, expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
Updated for 2016
Atomic has confirmed a few small changes to the Waymaker boot for this year. Alongside some cosmetic changes, the manufacturer has done some remodeling! Keep reading for more details.Shown below is the new model on the left and the original we tested on the right.
Here's a summary of the key updates to the Waymaker Carbon 100:
- Frame — This boot is now built with a wire catcher frame. Atomic was hoping to reduce weight, but we haven't been able to test this claim yet to see if it had any negative effects on its construction.
- Lever shape — Atomic changed the shape of the grab lever to be more ergonomic.
- Buckle clearance — Another supposed benefit of the wire catcher frame is an increased clearance between the bottom cuff buckle and the shell buckle due to thinner material.
Hands-On Review of the 2015 Waymaker Carbon 100
We think the Atomic Waymaker is heavy for a side-country boot, it has a very roomy fit in the forefoot which contributes to a lack of ski performance, but adds to the warmth.
Comfort and Fit
A few of our testers noticed right away that these boots seem to be shorter than others in this review, though we tested Mondo size 24.5 in every model. Our toes hit the end of the boot when we put them on. We were nervous that this would make our feet sore or cold, but once we flexed into them and buckled them up, we no longer noticed it. We do notice however, that these boots have a very voluminous forefoot area. Those of us with medium last feet could not buckle this boot tight enough to feel like we had a snug fit or prevent heel lift. Because of the high volume fit they are quite comfortable, and the shell design with 3 buckles makes them easy to put on and take off.
Downhill Ski Performance
Although rumored to have a stiffer than rated feel, we do not think these boots excel at downhill performance. They definitely outperform the Full Tilt Soul Sister, but fell far short of our top performers, the Editors' choice winning Lange RX 110 - Women's. We had high hopes because of the Carbon selling point, but did not feel the advertised power transfer to our skis. They feel a bit sluggish during edge to edge transfer and just not as fun as other boots. They are just ok. This may have had something to do with the roominess of the fit that allowed our feet to move around in the boot. We were also surprised to find that this boot is not significantly lighter than the others. If we were to choose a boot that we wanted to ski tour and hike in, it would not be this one. There are many other better performing AND lighter boots on the market.
Only the Waymaker's spine is made from carbon, creating a stiffer backbone, but not really contributing to a lighter weight product, like you would expect of most carbon products. We think the walk mode on this boot is decent, providing more range of motion than a traditional alpine boot. We like the added rubber on the soles for better traction on uneven terrain. The Waymaker's soles are interchangeable with Touring Grip Pads that have industry standard tech inserts, but we could not find this product anywhere on Atomic's website. If you are planning on spending a lot of time backcountry touring, we would recommend spending the extra money and getting yourself a true touring boot such as the Dynafit TLT.
These boots seem relatively durable, although we did notice some large gashes on the toe that surprised us.
Because of the roomy fit, the Waymaker Carbon kept our feet very warm. The tried and true Thinsulate insulation seemed to do the trick.
These boots are designed for downhill skiing at the resort and short side-country tours and hikes. Ultimately, we think there are better options for this application.
We don't think the Waymaker is worth the $600 retail price. If we were going to choose a boot to hike out of bounds with, we would rather spend $500 on the Dalbello Kyra 95 ID for a boot that is slightly lighter, skis better, and has a similar walk mode. If you want a heavy alpine boot that you can switch the soles to be compatible with tech bindings, then this may be your choice, but if you want to use tech bindings, a dedicated backcountry boot will serve you better.
We weren't all that satisfied with the Haymaker Carbon. If you are looking for a high performance downhill ski boot, check out the Lange RX-110 - Women's. If you want a comfortable boot for cruising groomers, check out the Rossignol AllTrack Pro 110 - Women's. If you want a boot that is great for backcountry touring, buy a backcountry touring boot.
— Jessica Haist