Every snowboarder knows the importance of a good pair of boots. They are essential for controlling your board as well as making you feel comfortable on the snow. You could say that, along with the bindings and the board itself, the boots are the most important part of snowboarding gear.
But how do you choose the right pair? In addition to size and fit, you should consider your skill level and riding style. Factors like flex and lacing system also play a big role here.
To help you pick the ideal pair, we’ve selected the best boots for snowboarding currently available and discussed their pros and cons in various snowboarding scenarios. On top of this, our buying guide will talk about everything there is to know about boots so you can easily figure out what you need.
How To Choose The Best Snowboard Boots – Buying Guide
Generally speaking, snowboard boots are sizes just like regular boots and it’s usually best to go with your standard size. This being said, most brands will provide size charts with dimensions. Since you won’t be able to try the boot when shopping online, we advise that you take your time, measure your foot, and compare with the size chart before ordering.
Related Post: Ski Boot Size Chart
Along with the size, the fit of your boots for snowboarding is the most important aspect to consider. A snowboard boot should fit more snug than a standard one, but not too tight to cause discomfort. The most important area to check is the heel – it should stay in place when you lean forward, otherwise you should go with a smaller size.
The style of your boot is largely determined by where and how you ride your snowboard. If you enjoy riding in the park, you should look for a freestyle boot with soft flex. On the other hand, if you like riding powder and deep snow, you should go with a stiff freeride boot. If you enjoy a little bit of everything but mostly ride on groomed tracks, you should take a look at the best all mountain snowboard boots with a medium boot flex.
There are three different lacing systems on your snowboarding shoes – traditional, quick pull, and BOA laces. As their name suggests, traditional laces are the same as on any other shoe and need to be tied. Quick pull laces come with a single tab that you pull to tighten, lock, and tuck away. The BOA system comes with one or several knobs that you turn to tighten or loosen the laces.
Footbed and Liner
The main tasks of liners and footbeds are to give you stability and make your foot comfortable. The footbeds are often made of a material that will give good support to the rider and absorb shock and vibrations. Liners, on the other hand, need to be fairly soft and have a snug fit around your foot. The best snowboard boot should have a heat-moldable liner, as you’ll be able to heat it and customize it so it fits perfectly around your foot.
The materials used in the construction determine both the performance and the durability of your boot. For example, uppers that are mostly made from nylon and polyester are used for the lightest boots. They are comfortable and have a softer flex, but can be damaged in harsh conditions. On the other hand, synthetic leather is a lot more long-lasting but might make your boot stiff.
When discussing gender, we aren’t talking about color differences. Men and women have different calf and foot shapes which should be taken into account when choosing. For example, women’s calf sits lower compared to men’s, which is why the cuff on the best women’s snowboard boots are lower. On the other hand, men have wider feet so the footbed in the best snowboard boots for men tends to be wider too.
Q: How Tight Should I Make My Boots?
The boots should be pretty tight – it needs to prevent your foot from moving inside and your heel from lifting. However, it shouldn’t be too tight to cause discomfort or pressure points when going down the slopes.
Q: Are Speed Laces As Good As Traditional Laces?
Speed laces are more convenient for tightening the boot and adjusting the fit, but they are more difficult to replace. On the other hand, traditional laces will take more time to tighten but you can replace them on your own (if needed). Quality-wise, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two.
Q: How Can I Make My Boots More Comfortable?
First and foremost, you should get a boot with the right size and fit as this is essential for initial comfort. Furthermore, it’s a plus if the boot comes with a heat-moldable liner that will adapt to the shape of your foot. Finally, you’ll need to ‘break-in’ the boot by wearing in (a stiffer pair of boots take longer to break in).
Related Post: Ski Boot Stretching
Q: Are Stiff Snowboard Boots Better?
This depends on where you’ll be using the boots (and board). If you prefer going off-track and riding in powder and deep snow (freeriding), the stiffest snowboard boots will improve the board's response and precision. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner or you mostly go to the park to perform tricks, you should go with a softer boot.
Q: Do You Need Special Snowboard Boots?
Yes, you do. Compared to regular snow boots, snowboard boots are designed differently to give your feet additional protection. Furthermore, their shape and size allow them to connect perfectly to the bindings. This, in turn, improves board control.
Globo Surf Overview
To properly experience the slopes on your board, you’ll need to have the right equipment. As we’ve pointed out, the best snowboard boot will keep your feet warm, dry, and protected, and improve the control over your board. Hopefully, our reviews and guide have pointed you in the right direction and made your choice easier.
More Snow Reviews:
- Ski Pants
- Heated Jacket
- Thermal Underwear
- Snowboard Goggles
- Snowboard Bindings
- Snowboard Jackets
- Snowboard Helmet
- Base Layer
- Ski Socks