It’s easy to get caught up in your search for the perfect snowboard (and bindings to match), and all too easy to forget about your feet. Your snowboard boots deserve just as much (if not more) consideration than your board or bindings. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your boots, putting a lot of force through your feet with each turn, so it is vital that they fit comfortably, and provide the right amount of flex for your style of riding.
Snowboard boots vary in a great number of ways, so it’s important that you have an idea of what options are available before purchasing. Some features you might like to consider are boot flex, lacing system, materials, footbed, and boot liner.
Your snowboard boots need to be able to flex to allow you to comfortably transmit commands through to your board. Freestyle riders and beginners typically prefer a softer boot flex to help absorb heavy impact when landing tricks (or falling…). Advanced riders and racers will often lean toward a stiffer boot to help provide support at high speeds, allowing them to transmit the most subtle of commands into a turn.
Different brands have different ways of representing flex: some use a numbering system, 1 being the softest, 10 being the stiffest; other brands use words like soft and medium to give you an idea about the boot’s flex.
There are typically three ways a snowboard boot can be laced: with traditional laces; with quick-pull laces; or with a Boa lacing system.
Traditional laces are a simple, classic, stylish lacing system. Good for entry level boots and custom adjustment, however, they can be tricky to tie when your hands are so cold they want to fall off, and can loosen over time.
Quick-pull laces are a popular, affordable option. They are easy to adjust while wearing gloves because of the easy-grip handle: all you need to do is pull to tighten.
Boa lacing systems use a ratcheting dial to tighten and loosen your boot. The dial is big and easy to adjust wearing gloves, allowing for minor adjustments with each click.
The exterior of your new pair of boots will most likely be made from a combination of leather and synthetic material and hard plastic. The stiffer the boot, the stiffer the materials (i.e. plastic) used in the construction.
The footbed of your boot needs to mould to the shape of your foot over time. There is the option to use custom orthopaedic footbeds with your boots if you have had a professional boot fitting done.
Your boots liner is the soft insert that moulds to your foot over time. Most liners are made from a material called Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) which provides the cushioning and comfort you need all day on the mountain.
Now that you have a better idea of what to consider when buying a boot, it’s time to check out the full range of snowboard boots and snowboard gear available right here at our marketplace. Whether you are an experienced rider, or a first-time boarder, you’ll find gear for you level of ability from snowboards, to bindings, jackets, pants, goggles, gloves, and everything else you might need, alongside the perfect pair of boots.
And if you're looking more information, our Snowboard Buyer's Guide is a great introduction to snowboard gear.