One of the biggest ways that you can make your skiing experience better is knowing how to dress for a day on the slopes. For beginners, it is important that you are properly prepared so that you can f [...]
How To Choose Snowboard Boots
Published: Dec 22, 2020
A well-fitting pair of snowboard boots that is also comfortable can make, or ruin your day on the mountain. That is why it is essential that you understand how snowboard boots should fit and perform, so that you can have a proper snowboard set-up.
The right snowboard boots for you should match with your riding style and the snow conditions that you frequently tackle. In other words, choose snowboard boots that are designed to perform where you frequently ride, and how you usually ride.
It can be a little frustrating to look for the right pair. That is why we've come up with this guide to help you find comfortable and well-fitting snowboard boots.
All-mountain: This pertains to any terrain that is suited to a snowboard, including the groomers, park-and-pipe, or even some untracked powder. Most snowboard riders are all-mountain riders, and the majority of all-mountain riders favors more flexible boots. Beginners should almost always choose softer boots. And for high-speed riding, choose stiffer boots.
Our top pick for the best all-mountain snowboard boots is the Burton Moto BOA, because they are versatile enough to suit beginners to advanced snowboard riders. These boots are comfortable and soft, with an easy forgiving flex. For riders with narrow waist boards, and riders who have big feet, or are in between sizes when it comes to boards and bindings, the Burton Moto BOA are a good choice. To see their price on Amazon, click here.
Freeride: This pertains to an off-piste or untracked backcountry terrain, and also some groomed runs, but not terrain parks. For freeriders who like speed and precision, stiffer boots are your best option, because their rigidness helps in generating edge power for turns across firm, icy snow.
The Burton Ion BOA are one of our top choices when it comes to the best freeride snowboard boots. They will not give you a long break-in period, they are light, and they will help you initiate turns well, while keeping you comfortable and secure. To check the Burton Ion BOA on Amazon, click here.
Freestyle: This pertains to fun-focused terrains, which include half-pipes, spins, jumps, rails, jibbing, and tricks. Therefore, it is necessary to have optimum maneuverability, feel, and quick responses to have a fun park experience. And to achieve this, you have to choose softer and more flexible boots.
Our top choice for best freestyle boots is the Thirty Two STW BOA, because they are incredibly easy to put on and off. Plus, they are comfortable and light, and absorb shocks adequately. The Thirty Two STW BOA are a good choice if you are looking to further your riding skills with a simple, yet effective pair of snowboard boots. You can check their price on Amazon.
You should be able to find the right pair of snowboard boots, with a flex that will match your riding style, because this can make a big difference. Snowboard boots can be labelled as soft, medium, or stiff. Although, a boot's flexibility is predominantly a subjective evaluation provided by each manufacturer. With that being said, not all soft-flexing boots, for instance, present the same degree of softness.
Soft flex: Soft-flexing snowboard boots are usually made of comfortable and resilient materials that are more pleasant to the feet for those long days on the mountain.
The Thirty Two Exit are a good choice for soft-flexing snowboard boots. They are comfortable, and suitable for beginners to intermediate riders. They have a traditional lacing system, and are constructed with comfortable tongues that are padded for extra comfort. Additionally, these boots do not need any break-in period. To check the Thirty Two Exit on Amazon, click here.
Medium flex: Snowboard boots that have a medium flex will provide optimum balance of mobility and support, that will provide all-mountain performance and comfort.
The DC Scout BOA are a good choice for medium-flex snowboard boots, and are suitable for beginners to advanced riders. These boots will allow you to have a mellow and pretty forgiving ride, while still having enough flex to lean into a turn. They are also an ultra-soft and easy-to-adjust boots. You can check their price on Amazon by clicking here.
Stiff flex: Boots with much stiffer flex can give you maximum support for edge power and control, even when you are riding at high-speed, and in tough snow conditions.
The DC Travis Rice BOA are a good choice for very stiff snowboard boots. They have an articulated construction, can regulate moisture and temperature, and provide fast and easy micro-adjustability, so you can find a perfect balance of flex and support. These boots are also best for the backcountry, and are most suited for advanced to expert riders. To check their price on Amazon, click here.
This lacing system is the tried-and-true choice for most riders. It is a user-friendly system that has a customizable fit, and the replacement laces can be easily acquired. However, these laces may be a bit difficult to manipulate while wearing gloves, and are vulnerable to loosening.
The System APX are a good value option, that come equipped with a traditional lacing system. These are some of the lightest boots compared to other snowboard boots within the same range. These boots can get you a good fit and optimal comfort. To check this model on Amazon, click here.
This pertains to a lacing system that looks like a corset, and has a single-pull for faster use and for accommodating zonal tightening. This means that you can customize the tightness of the forefoot lacing, independently from the boots' ankle and the lower leg. This lacing system is fast to use, and very convenient. Boots that use this system can be tightened while wearing gloves, and their lace-pull tuck away neatly. However, some eyelets of this system may create some pressure points, and other riders may not be able to tighten their boots as snugly as they like. This system is also fairly vulnerable to loosening and breakage.
A good choice for snowboard boots equipped with quick-pull or speed lace is the Burton Imperial, which feature the Speed Zone system for a lightning fast lacing control to allow you to customize the tension of the upper and lower zones in just a matter of seconds. To check their price, click here.
This may be the most preferred system nowadays. It consists of small-diameter cables that are usually small strands of stainless steel, and are affixed to one or two wheels or dials to adjust the snugness of the fit. Often, snowboard boots offer a double boa, where one dial is on the top of the boot's tongue, while another is near the ankle. The Boa system allows for a very precise fit around your foot and lower leg. It is an easy, fast, and convenient system, that usually just requires the use of one hand. However, the Boa lacing system is a bit expensive, and the points where the strands are attached may also cause pressure points.
There are a lot of quality snowboard boots with a Boa lacing system, and one of our top choices is the Vans Aura Pro. These are good all-mountain snowboard boots that are suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. These boots are constructed with an essential layer, so that it can keep heat in and cold out, for an all-day warmth and comfort. To check the Vans Aura Pro, click here.
These pertain to the whole inner boot of one snowboard boot. They are often constructed from ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) — a lightweight, moldable polymer that is close to foam rubber. This EVA foam provides ample cushioning, stability, and insulation for your feet. Most of these snowboard boots have removable liners that come in handy when you want to take them out for air drying. That being said, they dry faster than non-removable liners.
These non-moldable boot liners are less pliable than further options. They provide basic padding and stability for the feet. Over time, the pressure from your body weight will cause these liner's forefoot section to mold to your foot's shape.
This type of foam liners utilizes your foot's heat to attain a more custom fit. Thermoformable liners are easily broken into; in just after a day or so of riding.
Custom moldable liners make use of an artificial heat source to achieve a custom fit. This is best done at ski shops by professionals, but it is also possible to mold liners at home.
Footbeds, also called insoles, can be used for increasing your foot's comfort level in the snowboard boots. They have the ability to support the natural shape of your foot, and are a great upgrade to every pair of snowboard boots. Although they won't make up for a poorly fitting boot, they can make any boot more comfortable. That being said, it is always a good idea to see a bootfitter, so you can choose the proper footbed, that is comfortable for both your foot shape and boot.
Snowboard boots should always fit snugly, but not to the point where they cause pain and constrict your blood circulation. Over time, your boots will pack out, and form to their true size.
Always make certain that the fit in the rear of the snowboard boot is snug. Thus, in a good fitting boot, your toes should gently brush into the boot's toe cap, but you should still be able to wiggle them inside. Note that socks also contribute to the boot's fit, so it is best to have a thin to medium weight wool or synthetic sock.
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