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  • How To Choose Snowboard Boots : Fitting and Buying Guide

    February 09, 2022 5 min read

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    How to Choose Snowboard Boots

    Finding the perfect pair of snowboard boots can be a challenge, especially when shopping online. For any snowboarder, snowboard boots are the most important part of your gear. It's hard to have fun when you have sore feet, and nothing ruins a good day faster than foot cramps. There can be a lot of trial and error when choosing snowboard boots, so we have put together this handy guide that will help make buying snowboard boots online easy. If you prefer to ski than snowboard, read our Guide to the Perfect Ski Boot Fit. 

    What Kind Of Snowboarder Are You?

    Snowboard boots are designed for different skill and ability levels. A great way to determine the boot you should buy is by working out what kind of snowboarder you are. Many riders have a preference on what boot they like to ride in, so this is just a loose guide.

    Beginner: Beginner snowboard boots are often soft and forgiving. The softness of the boot helps with learning how to turn while also being supportive of the ankles and calves. They are often less expensive than more advanced boots. In saying that, good boots are an investment in your snowboard ability and work out more cost-effective over time compared to renting.

    Intermediate: For intermediate riders, snowboard boots can be slightly stiffer and have extra features depending on the style of snowboarding. A more structured liner can provide more comfort and cushion for snowboarders that are riding in the terrain park.

    Advanced: Advanced snowboarders are very much in tune with the type of boot they want to ride in. Again, they are generally not as soft as beginner boots and will be more responsive and supportive.

    Handy Hint

    There are also different boots for riding in the terrain park, freestyle, and backcountry snowboarding. So be sure to mention that to your boot fitter or consider when purchasing online. The main differences between Snowboard Boots for Men and Snowboard Boots for Women is the style and size and the shorter cuff designed for womens legs. 

    How Should Snowboard Boots Fit?

    Snowboard boots should be snug when you first try them on, and at no point should they hurt your feet. Snowboard boots need up to 10 days of riding to break in the liner and get to their true size. Alternatively, a heat mold can also help speed up this process and takes 20 minutes in-store. Remember, when buying new snowboard boots, they can feel stiff and will not be as comfortable as sneakers.

    Handy Hint

    All snowboard boots will get bigger; they can't necessarily be made smaller.

    The Ultimate Snowboard Boot Fit

    In a well-fitted snowboard boot, your toes should lightly touch the end of the boot liner. If they are jammed up into the front of the boot, they are not the correct size. You want to be able to wiggle your toes while having a firm hold around the rest of your foot. Heel hold is also significant when finding the right size snowboard boot. The ankle area of your boot is where most of your control comes from. Your heel should remain in the heel cup when flexing your knees forward or if you try to stand on your toes. Ideally, you shouldn't feel your ankle, heel, or any part of your foot move around in the boot. Even if you are in comfy boots that fit snuggly, you may still experience heel lift which means you will need to try a different style boot or brand.

    Handy Hint

    Try your new boots with the same socks you would be wearing when snowboarding!

    What Size Snowboard Boot Should I Choose?

    Snowboard boot sizing is always in US shoe sizes, which are the same as Australian shoe sizes. However, most people wear shoes at least ½ a size too big! Although not super accurate, your sneaker size is a great place to start. Every snowboard boot will be slightly different from one another, so you might not get the right pair first try. Every brand makes boots in different widths and volumes to give you a better chance of getting the right fit. 

    When trying your new boots, lace or cinch your boots up as if you were to go riding. Spend a good 5-10 minutes walking around in the boots. Do some squats, pretend you are snowboarding, and note any pain, discomfort, tightness, or looseness. If you feel any of those things, you will need to adjust the size.

    Snowboard brands make a range of women's specific boots designed to fit female calves and feet. It can be tempting to move into the men's range of snowboard boots. However, women's calves sit lower on the leg than men's calves. Women's snowboard boots have a shorter cuff to alleviate calf and shin splints.

    Handy Hint

    When buying new snowboard boots, check your snowboard bindings' compatibility and board width.

    For help choosing the right snowboard, check out our in-depth guide on 'How To Choose The Right Snowboard'

    Handy Hint

    Pop into an Auski store and see our staff for a snowboard boot fitting. They are specialists in all things snowboards and boots and can help to find the perfect pair for you by measuring your feet and recommending a brand, style and size.

    Snowboard Boot Lacing Systems and Flex

    Choosing a lacing system and flex for your snowboard boots can impact the overall fit and feel. These factors can also affect the price of your boot, with Boa and Quick Pull lacing often being more expensive. Traditional laces are customizable and easy to use but can loosen throughout the day. Quick-pull is precisely as the name suggests and can make putting on your boots fast. You can even do it while wearing gloves. Boa systems are becoming very common on snowboard boots. Some snowboard boots feature 2 Boas to allow different adjustments on the calf and across the foot. If you wan’t to avoid lacing altogether, check out the Burton Step On range which helps to keep snowboarding simplified and fun. 

    Boot flex is related to the responsiveness of a snowboard boot. Most beginner and freestyle snowboarders will have a softer flex boot. In comparison, a stiffer boot is better for advanced, all-mountain riders. Boot flex is a personal preference and differs from brand to brand. Need help working out the best boot flex for you? Check out our Boot Flex Guide here!

    Picking snowboard boots shouldn't be hard. At Auski, we have highly experienced boot fitters to assist you in buying the right boots and achieving the correct fit. Whether you purchased your snowboard boots at Auski or another snowboard store, we can help you make any adjustments.


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