How to Choose Snowboarding Boots
When buying snowboarding equipment, choosing the right pair of snowboarding boots is the first and most important step. Riders of all ages and skill levels build their equipment set from the top down and start with the boots.
With the right pair of boots, you will have an easier time selecting the right snowboard bindings and snowboard to make the perfect equipment set.
The boots you select will set the tone for the balance of comfort and control that your riding style demands, and they will help to dictate what type of bindings and snowboard you ultimately buy.
Here's a quick look at the basics:
- Synthetic foam material that helps stabilize your ankle, cushion your calf and keep your feet warm and dry
- Some liners compress over time, molding themselves to the precise foot size and shape of the wearer. This is commonly referred to as "the boot packing out."
- Some boots feature removable liners for air-drying
- Difference in rigidity: soft, medium or stiff
- Made from abrasion and slip-resistant rubber
- Provides a stable base for the rider's foot
- A more rugged outsole is preferred if you frequent icy conditions or rugged terrain
There are a variety of lacing systems to choose from, each tailored to specific boot brands. Here is some information on lacing systems:
- Micro, one-click adjustability
- Able to tighten both upper and lower portions of the boot with one click
- Spin-dial for optimal boot fit
- Same benefits as boa lacing system being able to adjust both portions of the boot with just one click
- Spin dial is spring-loaded to retract extra wiring
- Pull out wire placed inside boot to avoid extra coils/wires from getting in the way
- Two cords used to independently tighten either the upper or lower portions of the boot
- Locks on cords to keep consistent tightness on upper and lower parts of the boot
- Hideaway and tuck section on upper boot to store excess lacing
- Optimal lacing system for riders who prefer to twist their laces tight
- Self-locking system that saves the rider time by letting the rider tighten or loosen the fit without having to start over
- Boot exit is convenient—just pull the dial loop and the boot pops open.
- Normal lacing system much like normal boots and sneakers
- Allows rider to customize how tight they want both the lower and upper sections.
- Offers dual-zone comfort.
Proper fitting boots will enable you to gain and exert proper leverage and control while riding. Avoid boots that allow "heel lift"—a condition when the heel rises out of the back of the boot as you lean forward. When your heel lifts, it absorbs some of the force you exert, reducing your leverage and impeding your performance.
If possible, you should try on boots before making a purchase. Boot fitting may vary by brand and model, and ensuring you have maximum comfort and the correct size is recommended.