There is no recommended pair of snowboard boots for everyone, it depends on preference of lace system, boot flex, foot width and riding style. The right boots will improve comfort and riding ability so picking the right pair for you is important. With so many boots out in the market picking the right pair can seem overwhelming, but if you know a few of the things you prefer in a boot you can narrow it down.
There are three main types of lacing systems:
Many people who are a big fan of the traditional lacing system won’t even look at the others. As the title suggests the traditional lacing is just like how you would do your shoes up. Big laces which many people think give you more control of how your boot feels, for example if you prefer the lower part of your boot tight and the upper part a little looser. Down side is getting the boot as tight on your foot can take practice!
Most speed lacing systems are set up so one lace tightens the front of the boot and the other lace tightens the upper part this combined with how easy they are to do up the speed lace are a massive draw card for boots. The only downside is you have to make sure you have pull them back and locked the laces in correctly or the boots will loosen.
The Boa Lacing system can vary a little bit between boots, some have two boa systems for a more custom fit but others only have one. The Boa is an extremely simple system which makes tightening the boot very easy. On most boots it tightens the boot evenly making for a comfortable fit. One more benefit is you can tighten or loosen your boots with your gloves on. The downside is if your cable snaps it’s a little harder to replace then a traditional lace.
Boot Flex is personal preferences but in saying that softer more forgiving boots are often better for beginners, park riders generally prefer a softer boot also. Once you’ve put the boots on in store, do some lunges and bend your ankles, see if the boots feel comfortable in a range of movements. The 32 Exit (top picture) is a soft, flexible boot whereas the Burton Driver is a much firmer boot.
Your store assistant will be able to advise you on which boots are good for narrow or wider feet, but if you are unsure try a few different brands or boots to compare what they feel like.
If price is a major factor in which pair of boots you choose remember two things:
1. Your boots are probably worth investing the most in. You will notice an uncomfortable boot before you even get on your board. Boots are the most important thing in your set up.
2. Often when price goes up the technology and quality of materials will to but remember the technology in boots and snowboards in generally designed for advanced riders who are fine tuning their set up. If you are a beginner you probably won’t notice the small differences that advanced riders will.
Tip for making your boots even more comfortable
Once you have picked a pair of boots that suit you there are still a couple of things to do to make the boots more comfortable:
1. Socks - The right socks will go a long way to making your boots more comfortable. Your everyday socks don’t cut it in snowboard boots, invest in a warm, thin, quality pair of socks.
2. Innersoles – After a few rides on innersoles they will mould to your feet making your boots feel even more comfortable. They will better support your arch whether it be high or flat.
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