Snowboard boots are essential gear in snowboarding as they provide comfort, support, and board control as you ride in various snow conditions and terrain. The best snowboard boots can be worn all day and provide precision control when on the snow. Having the best boots means that you’ll have a safe time while snowboarding and they’ll last you for long.
It’s vital then, that you look for the right boots that’ll match your activity and ability on the snow. There’s a wide variety of snowboard boots available on the market today and finding the best pair can be quite the task. This review and buying guide of the best snowboard boots will help you prepare adequately for the winter season.
- Features to consider in Good Snowboard Boots
- The Best Snowboard Boots 2020
- 1. Burton Concord Boa Snowboard Boots
- 2. DC Judge ’18 Men’s Snowboard Boots
- 3. Thirty-Two STW BOA ’18 Men’s Snowboard Boot
- 4. K2 Maysis Men’s Snowboard Boots
- 5. DC Phase Lace Up Snowboard Boots
- 6. DC Lynx Snowboard Boots
- 7. Burton Moto Boa Snowboard Boot
- 8. Head Classic BOA Snowboard Boots
- 9. Burton Photon BOA Snowboard Boots
- 10. 5th Element ST-1 Snowboard Boots
- Guide to Buying the Best Snowboard Boots
- Bottom Line
Features to consider in Good Snowboard Boots
Snowboard boots are one of the most important snowboarding gears you’ll ever get. Boots are going to be the first thing you’ll buy when you get into snowboarding. By purchasing the boots first, you get to match them with the binding and board to give you the best fit, color, and style.
The best snowboard boots should be comfortable, durable, and above all provide maximum support as you snowboard. Besides, they should be able to keep your feet warm in the cold winter weather. Before purchasing a snowboard boot, be on the lookout for the following features:
It’s best to try on the boots you want to buy first so that you can find a size that’ll work for you. However, you’ll want to take a different approach when trying on snowboard boots, unlike other shoes. Your movement in a snowboard boot will be different from that in a walking shoe. You’re going to be leaning forward and back as you move with this shoe.
You can try this if you’re going to buy your shoes from the normal brick and mortar stores. This luxury won’t be there if you’re going to be shopping online. To help you get the right size for your snowboard boot, compare your standard shoe size with the seller’s sizing guidelines. The boots are sized in the standard US or European sizes and can vary depending on the brand you’re looking for. Other customer reviews can also help you determine the reference sizes of your snowboard boots.
Perhaps the top feature that you have to look for in the snowboard boot is the fit. A perfectly fitting snowboard boot will provide safety, comfort, and support when snowboarding. A poorly fitting boot will leave you vulnerable to injuries as you snowboard.
To help you get the right fit, try on your boots as if you’re getting on the board and tighten the inner and outer laces completely. If possible, you can try them on with the liners and bindings to get a feel of how they’ll all fit together. You can then check how your heel fits with the boots on.
The boot provides a perfect fit if your heel doesn’t lift when you lean forward or back. Besides, your toe should be pressed against the boot’s end so that the boot provides a perfect fit. However, you should take care that the boot isn’t too tight that your toes will be curled or crushed.
Snowboard boots are available in a wide variety of designs and color options to fit everyone’s style. The style of snowboard boot you select will largely depend on where and how you snowboard. Mountain snowboard boots will be perfect for snowboarders who spend their time on mountain slopes whereas freestyle snowboarding boots are perfect for those who stick to parks.
Pro-snowboarders and beginners will have to choose between hard and soft boots. Beginners and casual snowboarders will find soft and flexible snowboard boots ideals for them. Pro-snowboarders can still get the best out of the soft boots but they’ll find that harder flex boots are easier to use.
When riding expects the bindings to cover a large portion of the boots. However, when you’re not snowboarding, you’ll be putting these boots on around the mountain lodge. You should look for functionality and comfort in a snowboard boot before looking at its appearance. If you’re going to spend a fortune on a pair of snowboard boot, you might as well get one that gives you a cool look.
Just like standard shoes, snowboarding boots are made from different materials. A majority of snowboarding boots are made of durable synthetic materials that’ll last a snowboarder for long despite their level of skill. Snowboard boots made of leather are more durable but come at a higher cost.
The best snowboard boots feature either a light or heavy rubber sole. Light rubber soles make the lightest snowboard boots but aren’t as durable as boots with a heavy rubber sole. Snowboard boots with a thick, dense rubber are ideal for mountain snowboarding whereas those with a lighter sole are great for casual snowboarding.
Comfort is important since you’re going to be wearing your snowboard boots for long. Your performance is going to improve if you’re comfortable. Snowboard boots are designed to offer maximum comfort. Some brands incorporate specific techniques and materials to make their boots more comfortable. Most snowboard boots are made from light and flexible synthetic materials to improve the comfort they offer.
The flex of the material used will play a big part in how you’re going to snowboard. The boot flex one selects will depend on their level of skill. Beginners will find flexible boots ideal as they start snowboarding. As they get better and become more skilled, snowboarders will have to consider stiffer boots due to their durability.
A lot of power is required when snowboarding. Snowboard boots are designed to provide support to the feet and to secure them on the board. Most manufacturers use proprietary technology to create boots with features that support a specific area of your foot. Some boots contain an insole padding found around the heel and arch. These insoles provide support and balance as you move ensuring that you’re safe when jumping, sliding or climbing.
The Best Snowboard Boots 2020
The Burton Concord snowboard boots boast of a medium flex that makes them comfortable for intermediate and advanced riders. They provide a smooth experience for snowboarders on an all-mountain terrain. The medium flex of this boot gives it a more playful feel. It’s more forgiving if you make mistakes when leaning forward or backward, unlike stiffer boots. The snowboard boot comes with a Wishbone Upper Cuff that improves its power and freedom.
Comfort & Durability
The Concord has flex notches strategically placed to minimize shell distortion. This gives the boots a smoother and fluid heel and toe flex. This snowboard boot was designed with comfort in mind. The comfort construction provides a perfect fit straight out of the box. It also features a rubber GripLITE backstay to reduce the weight of the boots. The result is a boot with a snug interface between the high back heel and boot. This also makes the boot lighter.
To improve the boot’s durability and traction, Concord features an outsole with strategically placed rubber patches. Besides, the cushioning on the outsole has been designed specifically for snowboarding and significantly improves the boot’s comfort.
This snowboard boot features a DryRide Heat Cycle Lining that improves the boot’s comfort. To improve insulation, the Concord has interwoven carbon threads that ensure your feet remain warm by radiating and reflecting the heat of your body inwards. These thermally activated threads also help to wick away moisture, which keeps your feet warm and dry.
The Burton Concord snowboard boots feature a Dual Zone Closure system that allows one to quickly tighten or loosen the lacing by twisting the boa dial. It’s easier to do this even if you have your gloves on.
The DC Judge ’18 snowboard boot has been designed with comfort and durability in mind. It features a Vibram rubber outsole that provides support to the feet. This sole is durable to ensure that the boot will serve you for a long time. Besides, the outsole has been paired with DC’s Unilite making it lightweight enough. You don’t have to worry about the boots weighing you down as you snowboard.
The snowboard boot also features a 360-degree strap and lateral support beams that provide you with maximum support every time you put on these shoes. The J-bars of the DC Judge ’18 provides a snug fit by keeping your heel in place. The interior ankle harness also provides additional support to keep your feet securely in place.
The pro-performance Aerotech Ventilation of the DC Judge Snowboard Boot helps in regulating moisture and temperature in the multi-layer construction. This ensures that your feet will remain warm and dry as you snowboard away. It also features an Impact S Insole and moldable EVA lining that ensures the boot is soft and comfortable on the inside as well. The moldable EVA lining is also designed to give an unrivaled fit.
The DC Judge ’18 features a durable upper synthetic upper and a high flex rating (8/10) that makes it very stiff. The stiff nature of this pair of snowboard boot makes it ideal for intermediate and advanced snowboarders. The shoe is also available in a variety of color options and sizes. The sizes available include half sizes and women’s size 12.
This pair of boots comes with a dual boa lace system with an H3 Coiler Reel. 2 dials at the front and side of the shoe allows you to micro-adjust the laces at three points. This gives you the best fit and flex for your feet.
The Thirty-Two STW BOA is an affordable and durable set of boots designed with features that’ll serve you for years to come. It’s a high-quality pair of boots with a soft flex that makes it ideal for casual snowboarding. The low flex rating of the 32 STW BOA makes it a great option for beginners and intermediate snowboarders looking to have fun at the park.
This pair of snowboard boots are designed with comfort in mind. The boots feature a Dual Density Intuition Foam liner that allows for moderate support and soft flex. The boot is also lined with micro-fleece for increased warmth and comfort. The liners provide a customized fit as they take the shape of your feet to provide enough support. It also features an STI Evolution Foam outsole and a molded footbed that provide more comfort.
Single Boa Closure System
The 32 STW boot is equipped with a single BOA lace system that allows you to loosen or tighten the laces at the turn of a dial. You can easily adjust the fit of your boot with gloved hands while out on the cold mountain slopes. Equipped with a Single Zone Precision fit, it’s easier to make a quick entry and release it into and out of the boot. However, the BOA lace system isn’t as accurate as traditional laces since you can’t tighten or loosen specific spots on the boot.
This pair of snowboard boots come at a reasonable price but still manages to offer the best support and comfort. They’re a high-quality pair that are available in a variety of color options and design. The standard colors include gray, black, brown, and navy blue. It’s also available in a wide range of men’s sizes from size 5 to 14.
The K2 Maysis snowboard boots are designed to provide the best quality, a snug fit and improved durability to experienced snowboarders. The high-quality boots will keep your heel in place and last you for a long time. These boots have a moderate flex rating that makes them neither too stiff or too soft. They’re firm enough and due to their high quality, the K2 Maysis comes at a premium price.
The K2 is available in either black or gray giving it a clean and basic look. Both designs come with a boa lace system controlled with the turn of a dial. You can easily adjust the fit of your snowboard boot with your gloves still on. This system also helps with the quick release. It also features tension laces that help to keep the shoe nice and neat when you’re not wearing them. The pair of boots are equipped with low friction guides that ensure the boot’s laces are evenly tightened to prevent the creation of an uncomfortable pressure point.
Liner & Soles
This pair of snowboard boots come with a medium and high-density Control Foam liner. It also features a 3D molded EVA insole and J-bars that provide a customized fit. The insole can be used both internally and externally to create a comfortable feel and provide great support. The boot also has a dial that can be used to adjust the liners without having to take the boots off. Besides these features that improve the boot’s comfort, the K2 is also lightweight thanks to its Vibram Pro Light Outsole.
Sizes & Warranty
The K2 is available in a wide range of men’s sizes that also include half sizes. This makes it easier for you to find the best fit of boots with greater accuracy. Moreover, this snowboard boot comes with a 1-year warranty in case you run into any manufacturing defects.
The DC Phase Lace Up features a traditional lace system that means you can tighten specific spots on the shoe. It also makes it easy to tighten the whole boot to give you a perfect fit. However, like all boots with traditional lacing, it’s going to be difficult to tie and untie with gloved hands. Tying up the shoe will also take longer compared to speed up laces. Overall, this type of lacing will give you a more custom fit.
It features a removable inner liner made from EVA Memory Foam to conform to the shape of your feet. This makes the boot even more comfortable when you put it on. The removable liner makes it easier to dry the boots once you come from the mountainside.
Style & Sizes
The DC Phase Lace-Up snowboard comes in a wide range of men’s sizes. This means that women will find that this pair of boots are wider and larger than they’d prefer. The snowboard boot is also available in a variety of color options and patterns that’ll make you look cooler as you walk around the mountain lodge. Some of the color options include insignia blue, a combination of dark shadow/black/lime, and black.
These boots have a flex rating of 5 which makes them neither too stiff or flexible. They’re firm enough for intermediate snowboarders. The shoes are also made of durable leather and nubuck that ensures they’ll last you for a long time to come.
This pair of snowboard boots have a flex rating of 8 which makes it very stiff. Stiff snowboard boots are ideal for experienced and intermediate riders. They’re great for individuals looking for an all-mountain snowboard boot or just require a boot for casual snowboarding at the park. Besides, the DC Lynx snowboard boots feature ankle harnesses and lateral support beams that help in properly securing your feet.
The DC Lynx also features a traditional lace system that gives you a more personalized fit compared to a boa system. It’s easier to adjust your snowboard boots to give you a tight or loose fit. However, they’re going to be difficult to adjust with gloves on.
Comfort & Durability
The snowboard boot is designed with comfort in mind. It comes with Aerotech Ventilation that keeps that wicks away moisture to keep your feet warm and dry while out on the snow. It also features a liner made of a blend of EVA memory foam and heat-moldable EVA foam. This ensures that you get a more customized fit when you put these boots on.
The boots have a rubber outsole and Impact-S insole that improve the shoe’s arch support. They’re made from durable materials that ensure they’ll last you for years to come. If you encounter any manufacturing defect within the first year of buying the boots, DC has you covered with a warranty.
Construction & Flex
The Burton Moto snowboard boots have a low flex rating (3/10) that makes them very soft and flexible for beginners and intermediate riders. The boot features a durable DynoLITE outsole that ensures it’ll last you for years to come. The material used to make the outside of the boot makes the Moto Boa lighter than other snowboard shoes available on the market. This snowboard boot has an attractive design and comes in a variety of color options that include black, blue, gray/red, and cornflower blue.
This snowboard boot incorporates a sleeping bag reflective foil on the boot’s interior. This foil reflects heat to your feet to keep you warm and comfortable on the snowy mountain slopes. The boot also features an internal-gusset designed to be snow proof. This ensures that your boot won’t end up filled with snow once you’re done riding. To make it easier for you to get a tight lace, the Burton Moto features a boa lacing system. You can easily reach down and tighten or loosen the laces with gloves on your hands.
Liner & Footbed
The snowboard boot has a removable liner that makes it easy to dry after a day at the slopes. The heat-moldable liners can conform to the shape of your feet to give you a perfect fit the longer you wear them. The boots also have an EVA footbed that improves the boot’s comfortability. With all these high-quality features, you’d expect this shoe to break your bank. However, the Burton Moto comes at a very reasonable price.
The Head Classic Boa men’s snowboard boots come with a thermofit liner that conforms to your foot’s shape when you put it on. The liner is also made from pre-molded EVA foam that’ll give you a snug fit right out of the box. The EVA foam liner also makes the boots quite comfortable to wear. The injected L-pad heel cups are designed to secure your heels in place. Moreover, the highbacked cupped heel prevents abrasion and keeps you comfortable as you ride down the slopes.
This snowboard boot has a low flex rating (2/10) that makes it very soft and flexible for beginners and intermediate riders. Unlike stiffer boots with higher flex ratings, this flexibility of this boot makes it more forgiving if you make mistakes when leaning on the board.
The Head Classic boots feature a boa lace system that allows you to tighten or loosen the boots by simply turning a dial. You can tighten the forefront of this boot using the coiler of the boa lace system without having to change the rest of the laces. The eyelets of this snowboard boots feature a flexible pad that ensures the laces are evenly tied to prevent any pressure points.
Size & Warranty
The only limitation of this snowboard boot is that it only has limited sizes available. You also get limited options when it comes to color choice. The snowboard boot is only available in black and comes in a U.S. men’s size 13-½. Nonetheless, you’re backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty in case of any defects.
The Burton Photon Boa has a flex rating of 7, which makes it very stiff for an all-mountain snowboard experience. Advanced and intermediate will find the stiff boots up to their skill level as they maneuver through the snowy slopes. The stiffness makes these boots less than ideal for beginners trying to learn a few moves. Moreover, the Photon Boa is designed to offer more support and comfort through their cushioned and molded backstays. The boots offer more ankle support when making backside moves.
The snowboard boot features an Imprint 3 liner and B3 Gel cushioning that improves its comfortability. It comes with a Vibram EcoStep rubber outsole that provides arch support and comfort. The rubber soles are also durable and ensure you’ll remain with the boots for a long time to come. The boot’s interior is made of a sleeping bag foil that reflects heat to your feet to keep you warm.
Boa Lace System
The Burton Photon snowboard shoe features a boa lace system that isn’t as adjustable as other lacing systems. The manufacturer overcomes this limitation through their Lockdown lacing system that targets 3 adjustable points. Your heel won’t lift when riding since this lacing system locks it into place.
This snowboard boot is available in half-sizes. This means that its easier to get a boot that’ll give you a perfect fit. Moreover, the boot comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer to protect you from any defects.
The 5th Element ST-1 snowboard boots have a low flex rating. They’re ideal for beginners looking to test their skills on the slopes since they’re more flexible. Beginners, intermediate, and advanced snowboarders will find that this boot is the perfect fit for an all-mountain freestyle experience. Unlike stiffer boots, the soft ST-1 is more forgiving when you make mistakes while leaning forward or back.
Comfort & Durability
The ST-1 snowboard boot features a durable synthetic upper shell that ensures you’ll have this boot for a long time. This shell also provides extra support to your feet. The boot features a removable EVA liner that improves the comfort of these boots. Since the liner is removable, you can leave it out to dry once you’re done with snowboarding.
Traditional Lace System
This snowboard boot comes with a traditional lace system that gives you a more personalized fit. You can tighten various spots on the boot unlike in a boa lace system. It allows you to fine-tune your fit for optimal riding all day long. However, it’s difficult to tighten or loosen laces if you have gloves on.
Guide to Buying the Best Snowboard Boots
There’s a wide variety of snowboard boots available on the market today. This makes finding the best pair very tricky. When looking for the best snowboard boot, you need to look for one that’ll fit your riding style and will give you maximum traction and support. Snowboarding is a difficult sport that requires one to be safe and comfortable. Therefore, you need to consider certain factors when looking for the best snowboard for yourself or your family.
Parts of a Snowboard Boot
Despite your skill level in snowboarding, you can greatly benefit from learning about the structure and various parts of a snowboard boot. Once you know how a snowboard boot is designed and how it works, you can easily find one that suits you or your family best. It’ll be easier to select a boot made with the best materials, technology, lacing, and other features required to make you a snowboard pro. Here are some of the common parts of a snowboard boot.
- Liner: This is found within the shell of the snowboard boot and is commonly made of a lightweight, moldable EVA material. It’s designed to provide comfort, cushioning, and insulation.
- Backstay: It’s designed to provide support and make the boot more responsive to movements. It also prevents the boot from collapsing.
- Tongue: This sits at the shin and is designed to provide driving power. The tongue also provides a cushion between the shin and lacing.
- Zonal Lacing: It’s a separate closure for the top and bottom half of the boot. It gives the boot an adjustable fit.
- Eyestay: This is a lacing feature on the snowboard boot that allows one to tighten the laces while fastening.
- Air Pocket: It’s found at the heel of the boot and is designed to absorb shock and impact.
- Internal Harness: This is a lace-up harness stitched to the outside of the liner. It helps to prevent movement by keeping the liner close to your foot.
- Articulating Cuff: This allows the upper and lower part of the boot to flex independently. It’s designed to support the forward motion, minimize shell distortion, and to improve heel hold/response.
- Outsole: This is the part of the boot that comes into contact with the board. Most outsoles are made from rubber and offer flexibility when snowboarding.
- Footbed: Also referred to as the insole, it’s found within the liner and is often removable.
- Toe box: This is the area of the boot that covers the toes or end of your foot.
- Shell: It’s the durable water-resistant outer portion of the boot that the liner slides into.
Snowboard shoes come with three main lacing options that include traditional lacing, quick pull lacings, and boa lacing. Each of these lacing options has its benefits and limitations. The traditional lace system can be found on any standard shoe. It gives a custom fit as it allows you to control how tight you want your snowboard boot. However, they can be quite difficult to adjust with the gloves on, or in the freezing winter temperatures.
Quick pull laces can be easily adjusted with gloved hands. All you have to do is pull them tight or loose. Boa laces are controlled with a dial found at the boot’s front. It’s easy to loosen or tighten the laces by turning this dial. You can easily grip these dials with a gloved hand because they’re large enough.
Footbed and Liner
Liners sit on top of the footbed to provide maximum comfort as you snowboard. They can be compared to insoles found in regular shoes. Liners contain extra-padding that makes them more comfortable and offers additional insulation. Similar to insoles, there are several liners to choose from.
The most common liners are stock liners that have a one-size-fits-all design. Stock liners are relatively cheap and can be easily found. However, because of their design, stock liners don’t account for the different foot shapes and the weight they carry. Moldable liners are designed to react to the body’s heat and take the foot’s shape. This type of liner is more comfortable because it conforms to the shape of an individual’s foot.
Heat moldable liners provide the most customized fit. You can get a liner with a unique shape of your foot by placing your foot on a heated lining. Unlike moldable liners that take time to conform to the shape of your feet, heat-moldable liners mold to your feet right away.
Binding footbeds are vital since they ensure that your feet will stay on the snowboard. When choosing binding you need to consider the flex, material, and straps used. Flex refers to how easy the binding moves and is measured on a scale of 1 (flexible) to 10 (stiffest). Lower flex rating is ideal for casual snowboarding while a higher rating is recommended for mountain snowboarding.
The flex rating is also affected by the choice of material used. Some materials used include urethane, polycarbonate, glass-enforced nylon, aluminum, and carbon. Urethane biding is the softest while aluminum provides the stiffest but lightweight binding. Carbon binding might be expensive, but it’s stiff, lightweight, and durable.
Traditional toe straps are designed to fit over the top of the toe on your boots. This type of strap is common in cheap bindings since it doesn’t push the heel back into the cup. Toe caps are designed to push the foot back into the heel cup whereas ankle straps secure the ankle. Overall, one-piece straps are designed to cover the toe and the ankle but are less adjustable.
The choice of socks can make a huge difference in a boot’s comfort and performance. Some socks have been specifically made for use with snowboard boots. These socks are made of synthetic materials or merino wool to keep your feet warm and to wick away sweat. Socks made from wool and polypropylene are excellent insulators and help to keep the feet warm and dry. Cotton socks aren’t great for snowboard boots since they don’t wick away moisture and can cause cold feet. It’s also not advisable to put on two socks or very thick socks as it reduces your feel for the snow.
Before purchasing a snowboard boot, you need to consider your preferred riding style. Mountain snowboarders should look for boots that have a stiff flex. A rigid boot will help generate edge power to slice lines across the snow with speed and accuracy. Casual snowboarders who love freestyling at the park will find that soft flexible boots are ideal for them. This type of boots will improve their maneuverability and responsiveness resulting in an unforgettable experience at the park.
Men’s vs. Women’s Snowboard Boots
There’s more to men’s and women’s boots than the difference in colors. Women’s boots tend to come in more pretty colors than men’s boots. The shape and size of boots are designed based on gender. There’s a big difference in the shape of men and women’s feet. Men tend to have a wider heel compared to women who have a narrower heel. The snowboard boot has to reflect this. A woman will end up with a boot that doesn’t provide a snug fit if they end up with a man’s snowboard boot. Moreover, the cuff found in women’s boots is lower to prevent the boot from cutting into their leg.
There is a wide variety of snowboard shoes available on the market today. Your personal preference will come to play when choosing the best snowboard boots. Besides looking at color and style when looking for a snowboard boot, you should also consider the boot’s lace system, comfort, flex rating, and overall support. You should also consider your riding style and factor in the size and shape of your feet.
The best snowboard boots will come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. Snowboard boots designed for men and women will differ in this aspect, as women have narrower feet and prefer brighter colors to men. Moreover, if you’re a beginner or advanced snowboarder, you have to look at the flex rating of the boot. This will allow you to choose a boot that gives you the best maneuverability for an all-mountain ride or just freestyle snowboarding.
While price shouldn’t be a big factor when choosing snowboard boots, it’s important to consider that not all expensive boots are great. There are affordable boots that’ll give you the same value and features as expensive ones. Overall, the best snowboard boot should be affordable, comfortable, provide maximum support, and give you a snug fit.