Advice on Snowboarding Boots

Advice on Snowboarding Boots
While it may seem that impressive snowboards, high-tech bindings and stylish outerwear are the most important pieces of equipment for snowboarding, what's really important are boots. Snowboard boots may seem like a simple purchase, but in reality there's a lot to think about when shopping for the right boots. Boots need to fit correctly, have the proper stiffness and be the right type of boot for your style of riding. Anything less will severely hurt your snowboarding.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Reputable snowboard shop Knowledgeable sales rep $100 to $500
  • Reputable snowboard shop
  • Knowledgeable sales rep
  • $100 to $500
Step 1
Locate a reputable snowboard shop complete with a wide variety of brands and styles of boots, as well as helpful and knowledgeable sales people. Or better yet, bring a friend who is an experienced snowboarder. Friends won't try to persuade you into buying a more expensive brand if the cheaper one will do.
Step 2
Try on several boots to get an idea of how different brands and models fit your feet. Different feet require different fits, so don't be shy about trying on many different boots. Also, wear the socks you use for snowboarding to ensure an accurate fit.
Step 3
Talk to the sales staff! Tell them about yourself and your snowboarding. The more information they have about your riding, the better. So let them know where you ride, how long you've been riding and what type of riding you like to do.
Step 4
Find the right boot for you with the proper fit--a correct fit is essential. When looking at sizes, aim for a comfortable boot that is a about a half-size smaller than your street shoe. Lace the boots up tight, then stand up in your typical snowboarding stance. Snowboard boots should fit snugly, with your toes barely grazing the front of the boot. Bend your knees forward and "flex" back and forth in the boot to mimic the movement your knees make while snowboarding. When you flex, your heel should lift minimally if it lifts at all.
Step 5
Choose your favorite boot (based on fit and functionality--not color or style!) and buy. Pricing varies by brand and model. A decent entry-level boot can usually be found for around $100, and high-end boots are sold for anywhere from $250 to $500.

Tips & Warnings

With so many different kinds of snowboard boots available, it's hard to know what to look for. One of the most common (and important) differences is the stiffness of the boot. While it's mostly a matter of preference, generally more experienced riders need a stiffer boot than beginners. Stiffer boots provide more support and are typically better suited for more aggressive riding. However, a boot that's too stiff will hurt any level of snowboarder because it prohibits ankle flexion. Talk to the sales staff about your ability, then try on a few pairs of soft boots and a few pairs of stiff boots to determine your preference.

Article Written By Nicole Wolf

A Colorado native, Nicole Wolf is a freelance writer. She primarily writes health and fitness-related articles for online publications such as Wolf graduated from Whitman College in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology. Her education in this field has expanded the versatility and depth of her writing.

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