How to Buy Snowboard Boots

How to Buy Snowboard Boots
Snowboard boots might well be the most important snowboarding purchase you can make. Sure, buying your snowboard and bindings are more exciting, but boots are an integral piece of equipment and play the vital role of transferring your physical movement into effective snowboard control. If the boots are a little too big, you lose control and snowboarding becomes unwieldy and a bit dangerous. A little too small and your feet are hurting after two runs and snowboarding just isn't that fun. Getting the right boots is a crucial step.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

How to Buy Snowboard Boots

Step 1
Get an idea of what boots you're looking for. Some things to consider are the type of boots and type of lacing system. Except for rare disciplines such as alpine carving, you're going to be looking at a soft boot. Like boards and bindings, boots might be loosely categorized as freestyle or freeride. Freestyle will be a little more flexible, providing extra comfort and mobility for jumps and tricks, while freeride will be a bit stiffer, providing extra support. Consider what type of riding you spend your time doing. Many modern snowboard boots use a one-pull or BOA cable-lacing system in place of traditional laces to make lacing boots both quicker and tighter.
Step 2
Go to a snowboard shop and fit the boots in person. Fit is the most important part of picking out snowboard boots. If a boot doesn't fit right, it's not going to do you any good on the mountain. There's really no substitute for trying on boots. You need to be sure the boots fit snugly and comfortably. For the most accurate fit, wear the socks you would wear while snowboarding. Also, bring your bindings to make sure that the boots will fit.
Step 3
Start with your shoe size. It will correspond with your snowboard boot size, but again, you need to try the boots to be sure.
Step 4
Put both boots on and lace them up fully as if you were about to snowboard. Tighten down the inner liner, then fully tighten the laces. As you tie the boots, consider how easy they are to secure and the quality of the hardware.
Step 5
With both boots on and tied, bend your knees slightly and lean forward on your toes. Make sure your heels don't slide up in the boot. You want your heels secure without any lift.
Step 6
Walk around a bit. Make sure the boots are snug without any uncomfortable pressure on the toes or foot. You want your toes toward the front of each boot without being squeezed or curled up. Also, make sure the boots are comfortable and offer the stiffness or flexibility that you desire.
Step 7
Make sure the boot fits your bindings. Fit is a two-way street. The boots need to fit you and your bindings to be safe and effective. Try putting each boot into your binding and make sure the ankle strap and toe strap secure firmly on the boots. Also, make sure the straps fit comfortably with the boots and don't dig into your foot.
Step 8
Take off the boots. Consider how easy they are to get off. When you're ready to get into the hot tub, the last thing you want to be doing is jumping around trying to pry off a boot. Boots that allow you to easily loosen the laces and pull out your foot will save some time and effort after a long day of riding.

Tips & Warnings

 
Shop at a snowboard shop, where experienced staff can help you pick out the right boots. Try on a few pairs for comparison. When between sizes, opt for a smaller size as the boot will break in and allow a bit of extra room.
 
Shop at a snowboard shop, where experienced staff can help you pick out the right boots.
 
Try on a few pairs for comparison.
 
When between sizes, opt for a smaller size as the boot will break in and allow a bit of extra room.
 
Though tempting, don't buy your boots with "room to grow into" because this will hinder your performance and could be dangerous.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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