Snowboarding Boots Buying Guide
Like choosing a functional pair of shoes , buying snowboarding boots is all about comfort and style. Remember that it's not just looks that count when considering style. Both the type of bindings you plan to use, as well as your riding style will be major factors to consider. This guide will discuss both of these issues as well as how to get the proper fit, and give you some recommendations so you won't be totally lost when purchasing. Whether you are just starting out with snowboarding or you need a new pair of boots, this guide can help to point you in the right direction.
Fit and Sizing
Getting the proper size is important so that you don't get injured or have any accidents.
- Fitting: You want to try on your boots late in the afternoon or after you have participated in some physical activity so that your feet are a bit bigger than normal. Swelling occurs naturally while boarding and it should be factored in when trying on your boots. Don't forget that the inner padding will naturally become compressed with use, so you will want to opt for the smallest size possible that still feels comfortable.
- Toe Movement: In soft boots, the fit will be slightly roomier than in hard boots, which should have minimal toe movement. Soft boots usually let you wiggle your toes, but in no case should your feet be able to slide around inside the boots.
- Heel Movement: When it comes to the heels, make sure that the boots are snug enough so once they are laced up, you are unable to rise onto your toes and lift your heels. If you can lift your heels while in the boots, then they are too big.
- Flex: When researching boots, you will come across this term a lot. Flex is determined by your snowboarding style. If you tend to freeride , which means you just ride up and down the mountain, boots will have a stiffer upper boot. For freestylers , or those who tend to do tricks on the mountain, lower cut and more flexible boots are key.
- Popular, but not as much as soft boots.
- Used with step-in bindings.
- Offer a happy medium between a strapless binding and the comfort of a soft boot.
- These match the step-in bindings, which makes them a good candidate for someone looking for the convenience of a strapless binding.
- Soft upper makes them as comfortable as a soft boot.
- Lacks in flexibility and control.
If after reading this guide you are still unsure about what boots to buy, here are some choices from top manufacturers that you may enjoy. Also, check out some specifically designed snowboarding socks .
Men's and Women's Boots
So, what exactly is the difference? Well, there are a few key points to consider.
- Calf Placement: Men's calves tend to be higher up than women's, so most female boots must be designed to accommodate more of the calf muscle.
- Alignment: The alignment of the foot varies between the sexes, so the arch and crux of the foot have different placements--this would be especially noticeable if women attempted to do physical activity in men's snowboarding boots.
- Board Structure: In a growing market of female snowboarders, there are boards being designed to suit the way a female snowboards and support specific areas that are different from men's styles of snowboarding. Therefore, different boots need to be designed to go with the varying boards.
- Shoe Size: Most women (not all) have a smaller, narrower foot size so it is much easier for them to find a proper fit in women's boots as opposed to men's.