Table of Contents
- 1 Get the Snowboard Boots You Need for Performance and Safety
- 2 The Best Snowboarding Boots for 2020: Reviews & Comparisons
- 3 DC Phase Snowboard Boots Men’s
- 4 K2 Men’s Maysis Boots
- 5 Burton Photon Boa Snowboard Boots
- 6 Burton Moto Snowboard Boots
- 7 DC Shoes Men’s Travis Rice Boa Snowboard Boots Adyo 100034
- 8 adidas Skateboarding Men’s Response ADV Snow Boot ‘18
- 9 DC Men’s Phase Lace Up Snowboard Boot
- 10 Burton Invader Snowboard Boots
- 11 thirtytwo STW Boa ’18 Snowboard Boots Men’s
- 12 DC Men’s Judge ‘18
- 13 thirtytwo Men’s Zephyr ’18 Snowboard Boots
- 14 Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Snowboard Boots for You
- 15 Flexibility
- 16 Riding Style and Topography
- 17 Lacing System
- 18 The Lining
- 19 Construction Materials
- 20 Footbed
- 21 Size Considerations
- 22 Boot Style/Appearance
- 23 Finding the Right Fit
- 24 Conclusion
Get the Snowboard Boots You Need for Performance and Safety
Planning to hit the slopes and carve up some fresh powder? You’ll need the right gear. A good snowboard is certainly essential, but you can’t neglect other vital types of gear. While many different things will play a role in your enjoyment, performance, and comfort, the rights snowboard boots are critical. If you’ve never purchased snowboard boots before, though, it can be tough to determine which pair is right for you. Even if you’re a veteran boarder, it can be hard to figure out which are the best snowboard boots. We’ve created a guide to help out. We’ll compare the top 11 snowboard boots head to head, and then run through snowboard boot reviews to help you understand what each pair offers. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a buying guide that touches on the features and functionality that you’ll need to know.
The Best Snowboarding Boots for 2020: Reviews & Comparisons
With the head-to-head comparison done, it’s time to move on to more detailed snowboard boot reviews to help you see just what each pair of boots on our list brings to the table. No matter your riding skill or experience level, or even your preferred style, you’ll find something on our list that suits you perfectly.
DC Phase Snowboard Boots Men’s
DC has long been a name to contend with in the skateboarding and snowboarding industries, and you’ll find several snowboard boots from the manufacturer on our list, including this, our number one pick. The DC Phase is an outstanding snowboard boot that offers comfort, a sure grip, and protection from both the cold and from obstacles you might encounter on your way down the slopes.
his DC snowboard boot is available in three different colors – black, “incense”, and grey. It also features a medium flex rating of 5 out of 10, and weighs very little. The traditional lacing system is simple and easy to use thanks to the intuitively designed overlays, and the Uni-Lite sole is sturdy yet lightweight. The Red liner is made from EVA memory foam for comfort and durability.
Note that these boots are not completely waterproof and use in rain rather than snow may lead to moisture entering the boot. These boots work with both older-style bindings and Flow bindings.
K2 Men’s Maysis Boots
For those seeking a stylish yet durable pair of snowboard boots, the K2 Maysis may fit the bill. It’s our number two pick and features an H3 Boa coiler system for ease of putting on the boots. The Boa Conda liner offers comfort, support, and durability, and the boot is designed for all-mountain versatile riding styles. The Endo construction ensures excellent durability for seasons of shredding, as well.
Note that the Conda liner actually works with the coiler for an improved fit and better security for your ankles by locking your heel in place. The Intuition Pro Foam 3D Liner offers comfort by molding to your foot. Note that these boots fit very close to actual shoe size, so the manufacturer recommends taking that into consideration when ordering. The Vibram sole is strong but light, and offers the flexibility you need while delivering stability, as well.
Burton Photon Boa Snowboard Boots
One of several Burton snowboard boots to make our list, the Photon is designed for use by men and women. The manufacturer offers a handy size conversion chart, as well, so you can easily determine what size to order. The boots feature a dual zone Boa coiler closure system and the lockdown technology ensures that you enjoy a tight fit at all times, even after cruising the slopes for hours.
These snowboard boots feature an Imprint 3 liner with a focus cuff, and the Vibram sole is lightweight and strong. The inclusion of sleeping bag reflective foil in the construction materials helps ensure safety and visibility. Note that these snowboard boots have a flexibility rating of 7 out of 10, with a 1:1 flex and response ratio.
Burton Moto Snowboard Boots
The second pair of Burton snowboard boots on our list, the Moto is also wearable by both men and women. Unlike the Photon boots above, the Moto features a speed lacing system that uses traditional laces rather than a Boa coiler. Lace locks are found at the upper end of both sides of the boot, allowing you to lock in your fit for all-day security while riding.
The Moto features a sole made with DynoLITE material, and the boot also includes sleeping bag reflective foil for visibility. Like the Photon, this boot offers a 1:1 flex and response ratio, but it is a softer, more flexible boot with a flex rating of 3 out of 10. Note that these boots fit true to size.
DC Shoes Men’s Travis Rice Boa Snowboard Boots Adyo 100034
Another entry from DC on our list, the DC Travis Rice Boa Snowboard Boots Adyo 100034 offers comfort, performance, safety, and security. With a modern Euro style, a mid-foot zippered cover, and an H3 Boa coiler closure system to lock your heel in place, it is one of the best snowboard boots on the market for beginners, intermediate riders, and advanced snowboarders.
The outsole features an asymmetrical design to help prevent drag, and the internal ankle harness ensures protection while on the slopes. Note that this boot features the company’s Black lining, rather than the Red lining found with the previous DC snowboard boots on our list. These boots are relatively stiff, and the footbed is slightly wider than other boots on the market.
adidas Skateboarding Men’s Response ADV Snow Boot ‘18
Designed to evoke the classic adidas soccer shoe, these snowboarding boots offer not just style, but also the comfort and protection that you need for hours of shredding. The sole is designed and made by Continental – the international tire company – for durability and performance.
These boots also feature a double H3 Boa coiler for ease of wearing plus security by locking your heel into the heel cup. The Ultralon liner is designed to mold to your foot perfectly, ensuring comfort and stability while on the slopes. Note that this is a medium-flexibility boot, with a rating of 6 out of 10, and they weigh just over 2.5 pounds per boot.
DC Men’s Phase Lace Up Snowboard Boot
DC’s third entry on our list is actually a slightly different version of our top-rated snowboarding boot. There are only a handful of differences between this model and the previous one, but the most visible is the black sole here, rather than the white one used on the other version of the Phase snowboarding boot.
This boot uses the same traditional lacing system, the same liner, the same upper material, and the same overall construction as the previous version. It includes the Red inner liner made from EVA memory foam, and also provides strategically designed lace overlays for a secure fit on your foot. Each boot weighs in at two pounds, and are sized true to fit.
Burton Invader Snowboard Boots
Burton has yet another entry to our list, and it shares some similarities with the other snowboard boots we’ve covered. One of those is that the Invader is also a unisex boot, with sizes available for both men and women. This boot also offers traditional laces with an Imprint 1 liner that integrates with the laces for a more secure fit and better performance. The liner is actually heat moldable, so it conforms to your foot through use and then stays perfectly shaped afterward.
The Burton Invader snowboard boot uses an outsole made of DynoLITE for durability and lighter weight, and the boot itself is backed by the Total Comfort system, which is proprietary to Burton. Note that this is a soft boot with lots of flex. It’s rated at 2 out of 10. The support within the boot is also soft.
thirtytwo STW Boa ’18 Snowboard Boots Men’s
A minimalist boot without a lot of frills, but with the features you need for performance, security, and safety, the thirtytwo STW features a Boa locking system to help ensure that your foot stays exactly where it should be at all times. The STI Evolution Foam outsole is lightweight, but durable enough to withstand anything the mountain might throw at you.
This snowboard boot is also imbued with a comfort fit liner featuring microfleece for warmth, as well as Intuition Foam to help you achieve a custom fit. The tongue is 3D molded as well, helping further secure your foot in the boot while supporting better flexing.
DC Men’s Judge ‘18
The DC Judge is a men’s snowboard boot designed to deliver uncompromising performance and support in real-world situations. It is made of 100% synthetic materials and features a Vibram outsole for lightweight durability and performance.
This is actually one of the most rigid boots on our list, with a flexibility rating of 8 out of 10. It’s also one of the heaviest pairs, with each boot weighing well over 2.5 pounds. The inner liner is made of EVA memory foam and conforms to your feet for comfort and support. You will also find that these snowboard boots feature lateral support beams and J-bars for improved heel hold and foot support.
thirtytwo Men’s Zephyr ’18 Snowboard Boots
The second pair of men’s snowboard boots from thirtytwo to make our list, the Zephyr offers some interesting features and benefits. Like several other boots on our list, these use traditional laces supported by anchor points along the upper. The Intuition Foam used for the liner helps ensure comfort and support, it is also heat moldable.
This is a medium flex snowboard boot with a Team Harness power strip built into the liner for better lock on. The outsole is made from STI Evolution Foam for good padding and comfort, coupled with lightweight performance and durability.
As you can see, there’s something for everyone on our list of the best snowboard boots. Whether you prefer something rigid or flexible, like traditional laces or prefer a coiler system, you’ll find a snowboard boot that will help keep you warm, comfortable, and safe during your riding.
However, if you are new to snowboarding, or are looking to upgrade from a beginner’s boot to something a bit more advanced, it can be hard to determine which options are right for your needs. We will walk you through things to consider when shopping for snowboard boots in our buying guide.
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Snowboard Boots for You
Whether you’re buying a new pair of snowboard boots, or you’re picking up your first pair, it is important that you make an informed purchase decision. There are lots of variables to consider, and plenty of brands on the market from which to choose. Which are the best snowboard boots? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so you will need to know what the various features on offer are, as well as the key considerations to look for when choosing a pair of snowboard boots. We’ll address all of those topics and more in this buying guide.
There are lots of things to consider when buying a pair of snowboard boots, but flexibility is one of the most critical. Choosing the right amount of flex can be tough, as it hinges not just on personal preference, but also on your level of skill and experience.
Generally speaking newer riders should go with a more flexible snowboard boot. More experienced riders will go with a stiffer, more rigid boot. The reason for this difference is that flexible boots are little more forgiving on the slopes, while also being more comfortable to wear. Rigid boots, on the other hand, deliver better performance, particularly in turning and landing.
You will also find medium flex boots on the market. These are well-suited to a number of riding styles and experience levels. You’ll actually find that many all-mountain boots fit into the mid-flex category.
The boots on our list are graded on a flexibility scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the most rigid. So, the lower the number, the more flexible and forgiving the boot will be. The higher the number, the more performance-oriented the boot will be.
Riding Style and Topography
There are numerous different riding styles and preferred topographies. Some riders want broad, gentle slopes that let them get up to speed but are not technically challenging. Other riders want something as close to virgin powder as they can get, complete with ungroomed surfaces and lurking dangers. Your preferences here will affect the type of snowboard boots that you ultimately purchase.
For instance, if you’re interested in doing tricks, then freestyle boots are better suited for your needs. If you’re more interested in carving down mountain slopes, then you’ll want all-mountain snowboard boots. Many riders find that they need more than one style of boot to accommodate their riding preferences.
On our list of the best snowboarding boots, there were several different lacing systems highlighted. We’ll break them down for you here so you can better understand what each offers and how it might fit your needs.
Traditional – Traditional lacing systems are the simplest to understand, although you’ll find several variations, including strategically placed anchor points and lacing systems. While this might be the oldest lacing technology available, it’s generally the best for those who want a completely customized fit, because you can determine exactly how tight you want the various areas of the boot and adjust everything to your satisfaction easily. With that being said, they’re hard on your fingers, particularly when your laces are crusted in snow, and they’re pretty much impossible to manipulate with your gloves on.
Quick Pull – Quick pull systems are less popular than other options, but they do have their benefits. They’re similar to traditional laces, but you can tighten them quickly and easily with little more than a tug on the laces. That makes it easier to use these when your hands are frozen, or the laces are covered in ice. You also don’t have to take your gloves off to adjust the laces.
Boa – Many of the snowboarding boots on your list used some variation on a Boa coiling system. Basically, these systems use dials and minimal laces. To adjust the laces, you simply turn the dial one way or the other. The internal gearing then shortens or loosens the laces based on your direction.
Some boots offer single Boa systems, while others have two dials. They’re much simpler to use than either quick pull systems or traditional laces, and you do not need to remove your gloves. However, they do not offer the sheer adjustability found with traditional laces.
No matter how advanced a pair of snowboard boots might be, they’re no better than the lining they use. This is what is responsible for the comfort and support of your foot and ankle while you’re riding. The best snowboard boots use an integrated lining that works with the outer boot shell to deliver a better riding experience, but there are several different styles of lining on the market today.
Basic Liners – A basic liner is just that, a liner that offers insulation and protection, but little in the way of customization. These are not bad, they just do not necessarily conform to your ankles, heels, and the shape of your foot the way others do. Saying that, these liners will eventually conform to your feet and ankles to an extent through simple wear and tear.
Moldable Liners – Moldable liners are becoming more and more popular with leading snowboard boot brands. These are usually made from EVA memory foam, but there are other types on the market that offer the same basic benefits. The heat from your feet and ankles permeates the liners, allowing them to conform to your body faster and with less wear and tear needed.
Heat Moldable Liners – These liners are similar to the ones above, but they are heat moldable. What this means is that you must remove them from the boots, heat them, then insert them back in the boots. Slide your feet and legs in, cinch up the boots, and let everything sit for a little while. In just a few minutes, the liners will have completely formed to your feet and ankles, and you’ll have a completely custom fit without having to do any breaking in at all.
You’ll find a wide range of materials in use by snowboard boot manufacturers. These include leather and synthetics. Both natural and synthetic materials have their place on snowboard boot construction, and they both bring different things to the table. For instance, leather is very strong and durable, but it stretches over time.
Synthetic materials for boot uppers are not as durable, but they are strong, and they do not suffer from stretching over time. Boot soles are usually made from rubber, but there are other composite materials on the market, such as Vibram and DynoLITE to name just two.
Heavier rubber formulations are best for those who want excellent durability, while lighter formulations are best for those who want ease of use and who are not likely to get off the beaten path.
As a note, you might want to make sure that your snowboard boots have a removable liner. This ensures that you can take the liner out when you’re done for the day and dry both it and the boot so you’re ready to go first thing tomorrow.
In most cases, the footbed will be integrated with the lining and will use the same type of technology and materials. For instance, a liner made with EVA memory foam will usually be mated to a footbed made from memory foam. A heat moldable lining will usually have a heat moldable footbed, and so on.
Like all other footwear, snowboard boots are not always true to size. Most manufacturers offer a size conversion chart to help ensure that you’re able to find the right size with a minimum of fuss and hassle, but it pays to read customer reviews to see what other customers have to say about the size and how well it fit them.
Not only do you need to consider the size of the shoe in terms of fit to your foot, but you also need to think about how it will impact your bindings. For instance, a boot that runs average to wide may not fit in small or standard bindings.
While we’ve included both men’s and unisex snowboard boots on our list, there are those out there sized specifically for women. These are usually the better option than a unisex boot, as they’re designed to provide support for women’s unique anatomical requirements.
The least important consideration when buying new snowboard boots is the style and appearance of the boots. Sure, you want them to look good, but fit, support, and functionality will always beat out style. Plus, you need to remember that a large portion of your boots will be hidden by snowboard bindings.
Saying that, style is an important element. We recommend that you consider fit first, support and safety second, and appearance third. You’ll find a wide range of styles out there, as evidenced by our list of the best snowboard boots. From retro to futuristic to minimalistic, there’s a snowboard boot style to fit just about every aesthetic imaginable.
Finding the Right Fit
Ultimately, you can have all the fancy, futuristic materials you could want, but if your snowboard boots don’t fit well, then they’re going to make you miserable. Fit is a challenging topic to address, particularly when you don’t actually have your feet in a pair of boots at the moment. In this section, we’ll address some of what you’ll need to know when choosing your fit, as well as tips for trying your boots on.
Don’t buy a boot that is the same size as the shoes that you wear. You want to buy slightly smaller. Yes, even though you’ll be wearing snowboarding socks. The reason for this is that once you get your boots broken in, they’ll be looser on your feet. A loose fit is dangerous on a board.
The best tip here is to study the manufacturer’s sizing chart and read customer reviews. If customers state that a boot is truly fitted and still gives them good support after being broken in, then go that route. However, in general, you’ll want to buy a half size to a full size smaller than what you usually wear.
You will also want to consider width in terms of sizing. Most snowboard boots are standard width. For instance, a boot sized 11D would be a men’s boot, size 11, medium width. Men’s widths are usually as follows: C – narrow, D – standard, E – wide. Double letters (EE, for instance) indicate extra wide or extra narrow. Women’s widths are usually A – narrow, B – standard, and C – wide.
Wider widths are sometimes available, but they are few and far between. Also, some manufacturers denote width in millimeters rather than standard letter formats. For instance, 245 and under is considered narrow, 246 to 254 is standard, 255 to 259 is medium wide, and 260 and up are wide.
When it comes to fitting tips, the best option is to put the boots on and simulate snowboarding. Wear the boots for several minutes to see how comfortable and supportive they are. Wiggle your toes and see if you can brush the ends of the boot. If so, they’re a good fit.
Ultimately, there is a pair of excellent snowboard boots out there for just about everyone. Strap up, and get on the slopes!