When buying snowboarding boots, they type of snowboarding you’ll be doing will be an important factor in making your choice. It won’t help if you pick a comfortable boot that’s the perfect size if it wasn’t designed for a different style of skiing than what you’ll be doing. A bit of smart shopping will help you buy the right boots for you.
Buying the right snowboarding boot comes down to a few, simple decisions
What Type of Boarding?
Determine what type of riding you will primarily be doing when you hit the slopes: freeride, freecarve, alpine/racing or technical freestyle. Based on the amount of turning, jumping, landing or twisting you will be doing, or the amount of speed and stability you’ll need, different boots will provide more of what you need to achieve your moves.
Choose Your Type
Match your style of snowboarding to the type of boot which best suits that style. Soft boots are the choice of boarders who ride technical freestyle, freestyle and freeride. These boots offer the combination of comfort and performance you need for making sharp turns and hard landings, and work well with either high-or low-back bindings. Hard boots look more like ski boots and are preferred by freecarve and racing boarders because of the extra ankle support they provide — and control this offers. Not as comfortable as soft boots, hard boots are better suited to short rides.
Because snowboard boots are similar to shoes, your shoe size will most often be the best determinant for what size to choose. Boots should be snug in the heel to prevent a loss of control when boarding; therefore, choose the smaller of two sizes if you are in-between sizes. Because different manufacturers may use slightly different sizings, it’s best to try boots on before you order them rather than purchasing them online or from a catalogue. Keep the boot on for several minutes, walk the room to see how they perform (as well as feel) and bend your knees as you will when you’re on the mountain.
If possible, try boots on after you have been on your feet for a while and active, when they will have more blood in them and possibly be more swollen, to simulate conditions you may experience will boarding.