The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

Matt Manser, Atomic Ski Boots (Ep.63)

Blister Podcast, Blister Review

So how does a kid from a little town in New York end up becoming a global product manager for one of the largest ski and boot manufacturers in the world, and living in Austria? And why does he believe that his study of philosophy played a critical role in getting him there, and in carrying out his day-to-day responsibilities?

We talk to Matt Manser (Instagram: @onenerdykid) about his background, his studies in philosophy, bootfitting, and the design decisions behind the development of the Atomic Hawx Ultra and Hawx Ultra XTD boots.

Matt Manser, boot designer, Atomic Ski Boots on the blister podcast

Matt Manser, Product Manager, Atomic Ski Boots.


  • Where do you currently live, and what is your title at Atomic? (1:35)
  • Background: where did you grow up & when did you start skiing? (4:13)
  • College: discovering philosophy (9:03)
  • Why study philosophy & logic? (11:48)
  • Philosophy, bootfitting, and bootfitting for Doug Coombs and other athletes (23:40)
  • Matt’s job: taking a boot from concept to finished product (36:42)
  • What do you consider to be the three main aspects of making a great ski boot? (39:51)
  • Managing the different expectations of skiers in different parts of the world (44:26)
  • Trivia Question: Guess which company sells the most World Cup race boots? (47:23)
  • On the Atomic Hawx Ultra — developing a lightweight alpine boot (51:45)
  • Why it’s so difficult to build lightweight ski boots with a progressive flex (55:10)
  • Marcel Hirscher: what it’s like working with one of the greatest ski racers of all time (1:06:26)
  • On the different intentions behind the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 120 vs. XTD 130 (1:11:33)
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