A decent snowboard boot is probably the most important thing to buy when getting into snowboarding. There is nothing worse than an uncomfortable or ill fitting foot when you are riding all day so we are going to go through exactly what you need to be thinking about when buying new boots.
Our feet are so many different shapes and sizes and there are so many different boots out there it seems an impossible task to get the perfect boot for you but if you follow this step by step guide you will be able to buy new boots that work for you.
The single most important thing about choosing a snowboard boot is to try it on and see how it feels. Forget about the brand, the colour or anything else and just get a boot that is comfortable and suits your needs. Nobody can tell you what boots will be comfortable or not you just have to try them on and see how it fits. We are going to go through what you should be thinking about when buying snowboard boots, how they should feel and what you should be looking for.
1. First choose the Flex of your snowboard boot
Next up is to decide what kind of boot you want in terms of its flex. The flex of a boot makes a huge difference to riding and how responsive your board will be. Like snowboards a lot of manufacturers have a rating system for the flex of their boots with 10 being the stiffest and 1 being the softest, this is very usefull however there are variances between manufacturers so try them out to be sure.
Soft Boots are great for beginners and park rats. If you are a beginner then soft bindings are good because they will make the snowboard more docile and forgiving for learning.
Stiffer boots are better for people who want to ride fast or hit big features like kickers and the half pipe. They allow a lot more precision and ankle support for those hard landings.
As I said it is really personal preference with boot flex but I hope this narrows down the options, if you have any questions just add a comment and we will do our best to help out.
2. Now its all about the fit
Now you have chosen a flex the only other thing that is really important is the fit of the boot, the boot is essentially what connects you to the board (with the help of some bindings of course!), So it is important that you get a boot that your feet fit snugly with no moving around.
The only way you will know this is to get yourself to a local snowboard shop and try loads on. Hopefully whoever is working there will be able to help you out but don’t be afraid to keep asking to try different boots on, after all you will be spending a lot of hours in them and its there job. So set a few hours aside and get your self down to a decent snowboard shop, After reading the rest of the guide of course!
The next steps are some tests you can do when trying boots on to help work out if it will fit well for riding.
First things first, get your feet measured properly, both length and width, all snowboard shops and shoe shops will be able to do this for you but it makes life much easier for you if you know your exact and feet size. Make sure to get both your feet measured as they could well be different.
Try out the insole
A great way to try a boot without all the hassle of actually putting it on is to try on the insole,after all the insole is the same size as the boot. Start by taking out the insole and laying it on the ground, put your heel at the back of the insole. Your toes shouldn’t be overhanging and neither should they be miles back from the end, if you foot fits pretty well on the insole then continue to the next steps, otherwise put it back and try another boot.
The Toe-tally awesome test
The next step is a really good test to see how your boot will fit when riding. Put the insole back in the boot and do it up the same as you would to go riding.
Hopefully your foot will be feeling snug but not uncomfortable, if there is a lot of movement in your foot for instance from side to side, then you will probably need a smaller or narrower boot. If there is any pressure points or the boot is feeling painfull just from having it on then you will probably need a wider or bigger boot.
So back to the test, if your boots are fitting nice then your toes should be just touching the end of the inner boot, not much but you should be able to feel its there when standing up straight. Now lean forward as if you were going into a toeside turn, pushing into your shins, your toes should come back from the end of the inner slightly as your heel is pushed into the back of the boot. What you don’t want is any heel lift when you do this so if you find your heel is moving around or lifting up loads then you probably need to try anew boot.
This is a great time to get a feel for the flex of the boot and whether it is right for you.
So that’s it, do this simple test and if it passes then you probably have a good boot on your hands, don’t be afraid to try more boots still however because you may just find another that is even better.
Price, Colour, Brand etc…
So far all I have talked about is getting the right flex snowboard boot and the right fit. The reason is that those are the only things that really matter when buying a snowboard boot. Its hard not to think about the price of a boot and the fact you really want those cool multicoloured boots that your mate had but focus on the fit of the boot and weather it suits your needs, thats what will make your snowboarding better.