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Snowboard Boots


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Snowboard Boots

Snowboard boots are mostly considered soft boots, though alpine snowboarding uses a harder boot similar to a ski boot. A boot's primary function is to transfer the rider's energy into the board, protect the rider with support, and keep the rider's feet warm. A snowboarder shopping for boots is usually looking for a good fit, flex, and looks. Boots can have different features such as lacing styles, heat molding liners, and gel padding. There are snowboard boots that are made for most bindings and some that are made for "step in" style bindings. Step in boots will need to be purchased in tandem with their corresponding bindings.
Popular Snowboard Boots (View all Snowboard Boots)
Burton rampant
$99.98 - 199.99

Fit
Perhaps one of snowboarding's greatest attractions over skiing is the boots. They are typically much easier to wear and walk around in than ski boots. However, many of the same principles to fitting a ski boot apply to fitting a snowboard boot.

Keep in mind that a good boot's job is to keep your foot from moving around too much (side to side, up and down, heel lift etc), so that every drop of energy you pour in to your boots gets translated into the board, and not your foot flopping around inside your boot. At the same time, don't go crazy and get something that crushes your feet into submission either (then you might as well as be wearing a ski boot).

You know that a snowboarding boot fits when your toes can touch the end of the boot (AFTER ITS COMPLETELY TIED UP, do not try to size a boot without tying it up first) when you are standing straight up, and when you crouch down (like you're actually boarding) your toes should release from the front end of the boot.

Lacing Systems
Basically, companies are discovering that riders are lazy and don't like to tie their shoes, so there are some cool designs out there that keep you from having to fiddle with laces.
Boa
The Boa system is a really handy and easy to use stainless steel cable ratcheting system built into the boot. It allows the rider to tighten the boot by simply twisting the knob. Since it's a ratcheting system, it never comes untied or loosens up.

There are two Boa systems on the market now, one is just the standard Boa, the other is the Boa Coiler. The difference (besides price) is that the Coiler automatically retracts the cable into the reel, whereas the standard version does not. So, the end result is that the Coiler is much faster to tighten up. Often the standard Boa takes a good amount of time to twist and take up enough slack to get the boot to tighten, whereas the Coiler takes up the slack automatically.

Burton
So Burton doesn't like to do anything that everyone else is doing, so they developed their own speed lacing system. Admittedly, it is not easy or intuitive your first time, but after you've figured it out it's pretty easy.

Just so you know, the secret is the pull tab in the middle of the laces on the upper cuff. You can pull the laces out from under the hook the picture below highlights. Then its easy to get on, otherwise, you're going to have a hard time getting the boot on your foot.

Once you get the boot on your foot and have the inner liner tightened up, take the lace and put it back under the hook. Then, grab the two big pulls on either side of the top cuff and pull them straight up, then directly back (which locks them in place). Then you can tuck them out of the way in the two pockets on the sides of the boot.

Flex
As a rule of thumb, beginner boots will have more flex than expert boots. This is because a stiffer pair of boots amplify all your movements, which is great if you know what you are doing, but not so great if you have no clue. Often boot manufacturers charge more for stiffer boots because it's harder to make a boot that's stiff, yet still lightweight.

This rule is broken primarily by some freestyle boots, which are often much softer than some of the other boots, but still can be considered advanced boots (i.e. jibbing on a rail isn't exactly a beginner pursuit).
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