Snowboarding is something that everyone can get into. Maybe you enjoy a casual trip to the slopes or maybe you carve up mountains on a regular basis. No matter which camp you’re in, you’re going to need the best snowboard boots to meet your needs. Having the right boots means you can have a safe time and that they’ll last you years to come. Just like you would look for the best ski jacket, you’re going to want the best snowboard boots to prepare for the season.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to snowboard boots and not every one of them is as great as the last choice. That’s why we’re going to take a look at our snowboard boot reviews of some of the best choices out there this year.
How To Choose Snowboard Boots – Buying Guide
One of the best ways to find a size that works for you is to try them on just like any other shoe – try it on. When you’re trying a snowboard shoe on, you aren’t going to want to test it out the same way you might as another shoe. If you’re going to be walking a lot in a shoe, you probably walk across the room to see how the shoe feels. With snowboard boots, you’re going to want to lean forward and back to try them out because that’s how you’re going to move in them. We’ll take a deeper look at fit vs. sizing in a minute.
A consequence of online shopping, though, is that you don’t have the same opportunity to try items on before making a purchase. Luckily, it’s rather easy to convert your standard shoe size into the snowboard shoe size you should look for. The easiest way to do this is to look at the seller’s sizing guidelines. They usually compare the boot’s sizing to the standard US and/or European sizes. Since sizes can vary depending on the snowboard brands you’re working with, it can be a good idea to look at the reviews on boots in reference to sizes. We’ve laid this out in our review of the top-rated snowboard boots to save you time!
While the size of boots for snowboarding is important, the fit is probably the top aspect to watch out for. After all, if your feet don’t fit into your shoes correctly, you risk running into issues while you snowboard.
When you try a snowboard boot on, you want to make sure that you put it on as if you were about to get on your board. This means tightening the inner and outer laces completely. If you can, try the shoes on with your liners and bindings so you know how it’ll all fit together.
One of the biggest things you’ll want to look for in a snowboard boot fit is how your heel fits. If your heel lifts when you lean, the fit is wrong. If this is the fit, you’ll want to consider a smaller size. You’ll want to make sure that you are testing the heel fit after you’ve tied your laces tight.
When you test the fit of standard shoes, feeling for space between your toes and the toe of the shoes. With snowboard shoes, your toes should be pressed against the end of the boot. At the same time, your toes shouldn’t be curled or crushed.
Just like any other snowboarding product you would by, you’re going to want to consider different styles available to you. Where and how you snowboard is largely what will determine the style of snowboard boot you’ll wear. For instance, all mountain snowboard boots work well for snowboarders who prefer to, as the name suggests, spend their time on slopes.
By comparison, freestyle snowboard boots are great for snowboarders who stick to the parks rather than more intense slopes.
There is also the consideration of hard vs. soft boots. Soft, flexible snowboard boots are often the best choice for those looking for beginner snowboard boots. Professional and frequent snowboarders can still get plenty of use out of soft snowboard boots but they are also going to find it easier to use harder flex boots than casual and new snowboarders.
There are a few different lacing options on your snowboarding shoes as well. Each of them has its own drawbacks and benefits. The three main options are traditional lacing, quick pull lacings, and boa lacing.
Traditional lacing is the type of lacing you’d expect from any shoe. These allow you to control how tight the boot is at any point in the lacing system. This can help give you a unique and custom fit. The drawback is that these are hard to adjust in with gloves on. Even if you take off your gloves for the job, you’re going to struggle with your freezing fingers on the slopes.
Next, there are quick pull laces. These are laced by simply pulling them tight or loose and they’re easy to adjust with gloved hands.
Finally, boa laces are gaining a lot of attention lately. These are controlled with a dial on the front of the boot. Depending on which way you turn that dial, you can loosen or tighten your laces with ease. These dials are big enough to be easily gripped with gloved hands but not too large that they’re cumbersome to the design of the boots.
Footbed and Liner
Liners are made to offer comfort to the snowboarder by sitting on top of the footbed. It does this by offering the padding much like you’d expect from an insole in a regular shoe. That means it’s going to make your shoe more comfortable thanks to the extra padding. It also offers extra insulation which makes a world of a difference when you’re riding in the snow all day.
Once again like insoles, there are a few different types of liners to choose from. The most standard options are stock liners. These are one-size-fits-all stock liners that are factory-made for anyone to buy and use. The benefit of these liners is that they are one of the most inexpensive options and they’re easy to find and use. The downside is that they are one-size-fits-all which doesn’t account for everyone’s unique foot shape and the way they carry their weight.
The next step up is a moldable liner. These liners react to your body heat and conform to the shape of your feet. These liners make for slightly more comfortable snowboard boots since they take the unique shape of your feet into account.
A tier above that is heat moldable liners. These are going to give you the most customized fit when you’re choosing a liner. The lining itself is heated up and then you put your feet on them to let them conform to your feet. These work in much the same manner of a regular moldable liner but since they’re heated, they start to mold to your feet right away instead of slowly molding the longer you wear them.
Binding footbeds are crucial. These are the component that will make sure your feet stay on your snowboard. There are quite a few considerations to take into account when choosing bindings and many of them are close to the same criteria you consider when buying snowboard boots.
First is flex. This is how easily the bindings move which is measured on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 is the most flexible and 10 is the stiffest. For casual snowboarding, a lower flex rating is fine but for more serious snowboarding such as all mountain snowboarding, a high flex rating is a better choice.
There is also the material choice which makes up part of the flex rating. Urethane is often the softest material with polycarbonate and glass-enforced nylon right behind it. Aluminum is used for a slightly stiffer but still lightweight binding. Carbon is the most expensive choice for a stiff, lightweight, and long-lasting choice.
You’ll also want to consider the straps of the bindings. Traditional toe straps fit simply over the top of the toe of your boots. They don’t push the heel back into the cup and are mostly found in less expensive or youth bindings.
A step up from that are toe caps. These fit at your toes as well but they help to push your foot back into the heel cup. Ankle straps help to keep your ankle secure and in place. Heavily padded options are available but thinner, more flexible options are going to offer higher quality.
A more all-encompassing option is to choose one-piece straps. They cover all the points that the other bindings we’ve looked at have but they do come at the cost of less adjustability. They are pretty handy because once you set it, you can pretty much leave the available adjustments the same.
There are a few different options to consider when you’re looking at snowboard boots. Most snowboard boots are made of synthetic materials which are durable enough to last any snowboarder quite a while no matter their skill level or frequency.
If you want something even more durable, you’re going to want to look around for leather snowboarding boots. Leather is incredibly durable but it is going to come at a higher cost than synthetic material.
The soles of your snowboard boots are going to be made of rubber. The distinction is between light and heavy rubbers. There is an obvious difference here – shoes with lighter rubbers are going to make for the lightest snowboard boots. Heavier rubbers are going to offer more durability. If you’re staying in a park, lightweight rubber soles are going to suit you just fine. If your preference is hiking up mountains for your snowboarding experience, you’re going to want to look for thicker, denser rubber.
The flex of the material in general is going to help different skill levels. The more flexible the shoe, the easier a time beginners will have using them. More skilled or frequent snowboarders might want to consider less flexible snowboarding boots due to their durability.
When we think of gendered products, we often assume that one product might be pink whereas another might be blue. When it comes to snowboard boots, though, the term also refers to the physical body they are made for. Of course, men aren’t limited to men’s shoes and women aren’t limited to women’s shoes. However, it’s going to be easier to find the right size and comfortable shape within the recommended genders the manufacturer has in mind when crafting their boots.
There are a few differentiations between genders of boots. For one, the cuff on women’s boots is usually lower to avoid the boot cutting into their leg. The shape of the boots for women are also made to conform to a narrower foot compared to the typically wider men’s foot size.
We mentioned earlier that the gender of shoes refers mostly to the shape and size of the boot. But, many manufacturers do pair that with more traditionally masculine or feminine designs. Almost all of them have unisex default options such as plain, standard black or gray.
Q: How tight should I make my snowboard boots?
A: The laces of your snowboard boots should be pretty tight. Not to the point that they’re uncomfortable but they should be incredibly secure. The last thing you want is to be halfway down the slope only to feel your feet start to slip in your shoe.
Generally, you should always have your snowboard boots as tight as you would ride with them. This means you should tie them how they feel the most secure when you’re riding your snowboard. That means you’ll want to tie them tight when you’re standing up with your knees slightly bent.
Once they’re on, the heel of your shoe against the ground. This will push your heel into the cup of the heel of the shoe. Also, when you roll the heel of your shoe, you shouldn’t feel your toes crush against the toe of the shoe or curl to fit. Then, you’ll want to tap your toes against the ground. If your heel slides at all, the laces aren’t tight enough.
All in all, you want your boots to fit tightly but, at the same time, it shouldn’t be too tight to be comfortable to wear the boots.
Q: Are speed laces as good as traditional laces?
A: Once upon a time, speed laces were rather second rate when compared to traditional laces. Today, on the other hand, the two have almost the same level of quality. Both options allow you the flexibility of making sure your boots fit your feet specifically. Even better, speed laces are easier to get undone when you’re transitioning from the slopes to other, non-snowboarding activities.
Q: How can I make my snowboard boots more comfortable?
A: There are a few ways to make your snowboard boots more comfortable. We already discussed different types of liners and those items – especially molded options – can help greatly in making your shoes more comfortable. You can also look for boots that have marginally bigger toe pockets. Don’t go too far and get a size too big for you though. If you do, you’re very likely to experience a lesser performance once you hit the slopes.
Just like any other shoe, there may also be a period of “breaking them in.” Softer, more flexible shoes are going to feel more comfortable to wear quicker. Stiffer boots, on the other hand, might take some time to wear until they feel like a comfortable fit. You can wear your boots around a bit to break them in a bit. Over time, you’re likely to start to feel more comfortable in them but liners, sizings, and fit are important to pay attention to initially for the greatest level of comfort.
Globo Surf Overview
Everyone should get to experience the snowy slopes at some point. To do this, you’ll need to have the right equipment and snowboarding boots are one of the first things on this list. They’ll help to keep your feet warm, dry, and protected. At first, it can seem intimidating to choose from a large market. With any of the choices in these snowboard boot reviews, you’re going to be able to focus on the fun of the slopes instead of worrying about the quality of your purchase.
- How to Convert Shoe Size to Snowboard Boot Size – Trails
- How to Choose Snowboard Bindings – Backcountry
Globo Surf Snowboard Boots Reviews