Buying Guide - Snowboard Boots
Snowboard boots should fit snugly, but not to the point where they cause pain. Most boots need several days of riding for them to pack out and form to their true size, and as a result should be fairly tight when brand new. In a good fitting boot your toes will gently graze the boot’s toecap and you should be able to wiggle your toes inside the boots. Heel hold is another important factor. When your knee is driven forward your heel should remain in place; this is important for board control in toeside turns. Remember that socks also play a part in boot fit - a single thin to medium weight wool or synthetic sock is all you need. There is a fine line between a boot that is too tight or uncomfortable and one that is too loose and gives heel lift. Give our support team a call if you have any questions.
Snowboard boots have different flex ratings, ranging from soft to stiff. Boot flex is a personal preference but generally a softer flex is chosen by park and beginner riders. For advanced, all mountain riders and freeriders, a stiffer flexing boot is often favored. Boot flex ratings are not necessarily standardized from one manufacturer to the next, so flex may vary from brand to brand. Many manufacturers will give a number rating. Flex ratings and feel may vary from boot to boot.
Dating back further than Ötzi the Iceman, traditional laces are the tried and true option for your prototypical rider. By tightening your boots by hand, traditional laces offer the most customizable fit among the different lacing styles. Although easy to use, traditional laces can be difficult on your hands in harsh winter weather and can often loosen during the day. Despite this, many snowboarders stick with this classic system for easy lace replacement and a tailor-made fit.
Faster than traditional lacing systems. Many quick-pull lacing systems allow the forefoot and ankle/lower leg to tighten independently from each other, this is called zonal lacing. This type of lacing system is fast, easy, and can be tightened while wearing gloves. There are many different types of quick-pull lacing systems that vary from company to company.
Boa® lacing systems offer fast and easy micro adjustability to your boot fit. Boa® systems use a ratcheting dial attached to a cable. The turning and locking can be done with one hand and also with gloves on. Boa® closures are often offered as a double or even triple system, with one dial controlling the forefoot tightness and one or two controlling the upper cuff tightness.
Hybrid Lacing Systems
Hybrid systems combine two of the three aforementioned systems into one boot, often with the combination of traditional or quick-pull lacing for the liner and Boa® for the exterior.
A liner is the inner boot within the snowboard boot and is most commonly made of a lightweight, moldable material called EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate). The liner is an important aspect of the boot construction because it provides the cushioning, stability and insulation you need to ensure comfortable feet on the mountain after long days of ripping. Some liners are removable, while others are permanently attached to the boot. Removable liners can be taken out for speed drying when they get wet.
Snowboard boots use traditional US/UK number sizing, but actual boot sizes can vary by manufacturer and even by model within a single manufacturer's line. For example, the outsole of manufacturer A's size 11 might be slightly longer than the outsole of manufacturer B's size 11. Similarly, there are some boots specifically built with a low profile. The shorter outsoles of a low profile boot allows a rider to use a narrower snowboard. Additionally, the ramp angle on snowboard bindings also partially determines how large of a boot you can put on a particular snowboard. When it comes to compatibility with your snowboard, the size of your boot is important to take into consideration. People with larger (11.5+) and smaller (7-) boot sizes should purchase wider and narrower boards respectively.
Snowboard Width and Boot Size Guide
Snowboard Width and Boot Size Guide
|Boot Size Men's UK||8 and Under||8 -9||10 - 11.5||11.5+|
|Snowboard Width (cm)||24 - 25||25||25 - 26||26+|
|Snowboard Width||Narrow - Regular||Regular||Regular - Wide||Wide|
- Buying boots that are too big.
- Taking advice from friends about boot fit/size. Friends may give you what they think is great advice about boots that work for them. While we aren’t saying you should call your friend a liar, you should take into account that their foot size and shape is probably different from yours. Boots that work great for them may not necessarily work for you.
- Snowboarders often spend the majority of their budget on the board and bindings while letting their boot considerations go to the wayside. Finding the right boot shouldn’t necessarily be about price, but instead should emphasize fit and comfort. Buying a boot because it is cheap is NOT a potential recipe for discomfort. You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive boot for a great fit, but making sure that the boot is a great fit should be your top consideration.
- Buying a boot based on looks alone and not fit.