Buying the Best Snowboarding Boots

Safety First!

Buying the best snowboarding boots is very important to your boarding career. Boots that do not fit or work correctly are not only annoying, they are dangerous. Many snowboarding injuries have occurred due to improperly fitted boots. If you want your snowboarding career to be long and fulfilling, be sure to buy the right boots from the beginning.

There are three main types of snowboarding boots:

  • hard boots
  • soft boots
  • hybrid step-in boots.

Soft Boots

Soft boots are more popular with free-stylers as they are more flexible. Soft boots are also popular with frequent boarders as you can wear them off of the slopes and even drive while wearing them.

Hard Boots

Hard boots are stiffer, often with hinges and plastic clips as opposed to laces. Hard boots may be the best choice for you if you are a long-time skier, and are used to the feeling of the hard boots. These boots are also better for high-speeds, as they transfer even the slightest body movements directly to the board and help you to turn faster and with more accuracy.

Hybrid Boots

Hybrid boots are a favorite of Alpine snowboarders and some crossover skiers. They retain the stiffness of hard-boots in the soles, but have a soft upper half and are easier to slip in and out of.

Popular Snowboarding Boot Brands

Airwalk, Burton, Flow, Lamar, Salomon and Vans are popular snowboarding boot manufacturers. They manufacture men's, women's and kid's boots.

Finding the Right Size

Once you have decided on a boot style, you will need to find the right fit. This is very important as injury can result from boots that are too loose or tight. If you are trying on boots for the first time and do not know how the boots should feel on your feet, ask your sales-person for help. A good equipment store will allow you to strap onto a board for feel.

The size and fitting of both men's and women's snowboarding boots will change from manufacturer to manufacturer. Two important things to consider when buying snowboarding boots are:

  • Snowboarding Socks: Make sure you try your snowboard on while wearing snowboarding socks. They tend to be much thicker than regular socks.
  • Shoe Expansion: As you snowboard the pressure on the inner blade will cause it to compact, and thus shoes will get a bit looser after you have worn them in.

Boots may be your most important snowboarding purchase so do not go about your shopping lightly. If you can afford it, buy a pair of new boots and try on many different pairs. Speak with your salesperson about the fit and feel of the boot and make sure you walk away safe and satisfied.