The right snowboarding boots are as important as the snowboard itself, for they serve as the vital connection between your body and the board. Your snowboarding boots not only keep your feet warm and dry, but also support your body balance while you snowboard. Therefore, their importance is noteworthy for recreational as well as professional snowboarders.
A wide range of brands, with a diverse variety of styles, often make it difficult to decide which ones to buy. However, using the tools and steps below, you can determine the most appropriate snowboarding boots to enhance your snowboarding experience.
Step 1: Set your Budget
Snowboarding boots usually range from $80 to 120, so it is important for you to determine your personal budget and decide your priorities, considering factors like comfort and performance.
Step 2: Analyze your Need (Riding Style)
Analyze your need for the boots and keep in mind where you will be using them, as stiffer boots are used for mountainous snowboarding and softer boots are used for snowboarding in parks. Consider your riding style and skill level, as freestyle boots are stiffer and offer more support to the rider’s feet, whereas harder boots are the exact opposite (used by professionals).
Step 3: Determine the required Lace System
Snowboarding boots come in three basic lace systems, traditional, quick-pull and Boa, and your choice among these will primarily depend on your budget and personal choice. The foremost pros of traditional laces include easy replacement, relative cheapness and customized fitting. Their cons include risk of loosening up (while you snowboard), and difficulty in tying the knot if your hands are numb from cold. Quick-pull laces (corset-like laces) have pros like being fast, neat, handy and customized fitting, whereas cons involve possible creation of pressure points, risk of wearing out or breaking suddenly. The Boa system (cables connected to dials) includes pros of being fast, easy to use and adjust, especially useful in areas with a lot of grit and slop in the snow, while cons involve high cost and possibility of building pressure points.
Step 4: Where to Buy
To get the best boot fit, buy from a brick and mortar store, because they usually have trained and professional boot fitters who can help you make your choice. When you go to the store, see to it that you use the boot fitter’s advice and also take snowboarding socks and padding along so that you can try different options and decide effectively.
Step 5: How to Buy the Best Fit
Take your time for the final purchase decision, so that you can examine the pros and cons of the choices available. Prefer buying gender specific boots, as they take into account the different physical structure of males and females. Look for boots that fit comfortably in the calf and heel, but don’t squeeze your toes, causing problems in your blood circulation. Moreover, when you like a pair, try it on with socks and walk around the shop for about fifteen minutes, to assure that the boots don’t cause any pain in your foot. However, do keep in mind that initially the boots will seem a little tight, this is normal because they will adjust to you over time.