How to choose your snowboard boots?
When you browse through the Glisshop selection you may feel a bit lost or outnumbered! In order to find the snowboard boots of your dreams, you need go through different steps. First, define your budget, it is often the most important criteria that will determine your purchase. Fortunately, on Glisshop, we have boots covering a large spectrum of prices, from cheap boots to high-end ones. Second, check out the flex of the boot you’re buying. The softer and more flexible, the better it suits freestylers and recreational riders. The stiffer and more responsive, the more freeride-oriented and performance-driven the boot is. The lacing system is also pretty important. From speed lacing to old-school traditional one, every rider has his own preference. Check out our men snowboard boots, women snowboard boots or our kids snowboard boots and make your selection amongst world-class brands such as Northwave, Burton, Nidecker and Flow!
How to chose your snowboard boots?
If snowboard boots are very different from ski boots, they still share two important criteria: flex and fitting. Your choice will mainly be made according to these two points.
Find the ideal flex:
- According to your level:
Beginner - Intermediate: You begin snowboarding, you are used to make technical mistakes and edge catches but you’re still having fun and you are progressing. You are an occasional rider and ride only on piste.
Advanced: You are a consistent rider, you ride with confidence and your technical skills allow you to handle any terrain the mountain has to offer. You don’t make many mistakes and stay in control even at high speed.
Expert: Perfect technique and control in all conditions. Snowboarding has no secrets for you.
Beginners and intermediates need comfortable and forgiving boots. Rather go for something flexible and mellow, it will allow you to ride all day and feel comfortable for a smoother learning. Advanced and expert riders will prefer something stiffer and more powerful. It will provide stronger support and faster energy transmissions.
- According to your style:
If you are into jumps, landings and tricks, if your boots help absorbing shocks all day and protect your feet against rail assaults, it means you are a freestyler. Freestylers will prefer soft and flexible boots because they allow a wider ranger of motion and are generally more comfortable. All-mountain riders will rather go for a boot with an intermediate flex. It offers more versatility and allows progression on soft snow as well as on groomers. Finally, even if they don’t use the same technique or style, freeriders and carvers generally want medium to stiff flex. It ensures a firm hold and delivers optimal energy transmissions.
Treat your feet, find the right fit:
Good boots are boots in which you feel comfortable. There are as many foot shapes as there are riders. Trying a boot before buying it is essential. Heatmoldable liners are the best choice because they adapt and contour your foot to provide optimal comfort. The size of the boot needs to be slightly bigger than your regular shoe size because you will often put thick socks when riding. But make sure your foot is held and doesn’t move inside. Note that the foam making the liner gets crushed with time and use. Make sure you don’t get something too big at the beginning or the boots won’t hold as much later.
The different lacing systems:
- the BOA system
Made of thin steel wires and a small reel, the BOA system allows a fast closure: slide the foot in the boot, spin the reel until you feel comfortably held and you’re done. First released in 1996, the system was used on snowboard boots then on golf shoes, bike shoes and you can even see it on running shoes now.
- The Focus BOA system:
Derived from the previous system, the Focus BOA is a dual BOA system. It allows precise adjusments of the upper and lower part of the boot.
- The hybrid lacing:
It is a BOA system combined with a traditional lacing. It offers more precision.
- The Speed Zone system:
There is a little handle outside the boot allowing a quick one-hand closure. Pull it to make the hold tighter. Just like on the Focus Boa, the Speed Zone can be separate and feature two handles. One to close the lower part, the other to close the upper part.
- The traditional system:
This is the ‘old-school’ way and it is not always easy as you may need to take off your gloves to close your boots. However, it remains a very precise closure system. You can adjust the hold according to your foot shape and make it tighter here or looser there. It may not be as quick and convenient but it’s more precise and more comfortable.
Unlike ski boots, snowboard boots allow riders to walk easily and their ‘trainers’ look does not lie: they deliver comfort and flexibility. Some models feature removable liners which is very convenient to make them dry after a long day in the snow.
Try your boots with winter specific socks, this will avoid bad surprises when you firts use them for real. When you try them, stand up: your big toe needs to touch the tip of the boot without being crushed against it. Then, bend your knees and lean forward (as if riding). Make sure your foot slightly slide backwards and your shin comes in contact on the boot cuff. You need to be held firmly. If your heel seems to move a lot, it probably means that your boots are too big. Our snowboard experts are available for you to help you choose your snowboard boots, feel free to contact them!