If you didn’t already know, having a good pair of snowboard boots can make or break your day on the slopes. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable boots should have no place in your snowboard set-up; you want boots that fit perfectly. Boots are something that you might want to splurge a little on, after all, you will be standing and boarding in them all day! The boots that you choose should match both your riding style and the snow conditions that you will be boarding in. So how do you find the best fit? Let’s take a look!
Generally, when looking to buy a pair of snowboard boots, you want to take into account these four variables:
- Boot flex and riding style
- Lacing systems
- Liners and footbeds
- Comfort and fit
Snowboard Boot Flex & Riding Style
Your goal here is to find a boot that is designed to match your riding style, and where you plan to board.
Boot flex is really a personal preference as snowboard boots range in flex from soft to stiff. Flex does align with the type of snowboarding that you aim to do as well.
Soft Flex: Great for long days on the mountain. Made of comfortable resilient materials.
Medium Flex Perfect for all-mountain performance. Provide balance and mobility.
Stiff Flex: These have a maximum level of support and are best suited for rough terrain and high speeds.
Depending on what kind of boarding you do, be it freestyle, all-mountain, backcountry, or freeride, you want a boot that will match.
All-mountain: Most riders gravitate towards more flexible boots. Fast riders use stiffer boots though.
Freeride: For untracked backcountry riding, stiffer boots are preferred.
Freestyle: For jumps, tricks, spins, rails, etc. a softer more flexible boot is recommended.
Related Reading: Start Training Now To Improve Your Snowboarding Skills
Snowboard Boot Lacing Systems
The lacing system on your snowboard boots is very important. Boots should be able to be laced tightly, but also be comfortable and not cause blisters. Your ankles and heels should remain securely in place when riding and walking.
There are three main types of lacing systems:
- Traditional: Tightness can be customized by hand and laces are inexpensive. They can be difficult to lace when your hands are cold or when wearing gloves though!
- Quick-pull: A single-pull corset-like lacing system. These are pretty fast and convenient to use, though some riders say that they aren’t able to exert enough pressure to get them as tight as they like, so keep that in mind!
- Boa: The Boa system consists of small-diameter cables that are attached to one or two wheels or dials that adjust the snugness of the fit. These kinds of laces can be pricey, so make sure to shop around!
Ultimately, the lacing system you choose really comes down to personal preference and costs.
Snowboard Boot Liners
The liner of a snowboard boot is often made from a moldable polymer that provides cushioning, insulation, and stability for your feet. ( Like a running shoe!) Some snowboard boots have removable liners that you can take out to wash and dry after a long day on the slopes.
Snowboard Boot Fit
Just like any pair of shoes, a good fit starts with the right size snowboard boot. Your snowboard boot will generally match standard footwear sizing.
Tip: Shop for boots later in the day, as feet swell to a larger size in the later hours of the day.
Common Errors To Avoid When Shopping For Snowboard Boots
- Buying boots that are not the right size. Make sure you have someone help you out if you are unsure.
- Buying the wrong boots for your riding style or skill level.
- Not investing in a good pair of boots. You spend your whole day on the slopes in your boots so choose wisely. (Your feet will thank you!)
- Buying boots because they are popular or look. Styles and trends come and go, look for a boot that fits your riding style!
- Not shopping around and taking too much advice. Ok, we get it, your buddy says he likes a certain brand, but that doesn’t mean that they will work for you!
- Bundling your feet in thick or heavy socks can be a disaster when trying on snowboard boots. Wear synthetic or merino wool snowboard socks during the try-on phase. Trust us, you’ll get a better fit this way!
Further Reading: Finding the Best Snowboard for You
Get Out In The Snow With 3 Rad Kids
While most people spend the most on their board and bindings, they forget how important it is to invest in a comfortable pair of snowboard boots that fit like a glove! Forgo the blisters, sore feet, and sloppy riding, and invest in a high-quality pair of snowboard boots like the Adidas Tactical ADV Snowboard Boots 2019 with our easy lease-to-own options at 3 Rad Kids! Get out in the snow and shred!
image courtesy of liveabout.com