Snowboard Boot Lacing Systems and Construction Explained
There are a few features included in snowboard boots that you might think have nothing to do with how they’re going to fit, but believe me – they make huge differences! The way a boot laces up, for example, correlates directly with how much pressure is put over your arch and around your ankle. The way a boot liner is attached or not attached to the outer-shell, can pre-determine how much ankle support and response you may get. It’s all very scientific stuff, but don’t worry, it’s also pretty straight forward!
Traditional Lacing Systems
There are three major ways to lace up a boot.
Traditional Lacing System: Tried and true. It’s been around the longest, allows for multiple different pressure points, and easily replaceable if something goes awry. If you’re time conscious, it does take a little longer to fasten and depending on your strength, it can be a little harder to get the boot as tight as you may want it. Have a look at The Adidas Samba boot
Speed Lacing Systems
Speed Lacing/Fast Track/Pully-System: Has been refined for a few years now. There are two pressure points, often with one for the top and one for the bottom of the boot. Incredibly easy to do up, and easy to get the laces tight. They do tend to fray and harder to replace if they snap. Have a look at the Salomon Dialogue.
BOA Lacing Systems
Boa Lacing System: First seen in boots in 2001, this dial system has progressed in leaps and bounds in functionality, practicality, and durability. Easy to get on and off, tighten to the perfect pressure, and can be seen in single zone or dual zone pressure points. Backed by a lifetime warranty, even if they do break, you’ll never be out of pocket. Depending on where you are situated though, buying an extra set of laces or dials is never a bad option. Have a look at the ThirtyTwo Binary Boa.
One of the biggest differences you’ll find between low end and high end boots are the liners. They make the biggest difference in how supportive and comfortable the boots will be. Good quality liners will respond well to heat, therefore being mouldable and more customizable. You will also find that they either include or have the ability to hold ‘J-Bars’, giving you more hold around your ankle. They may also include power straps at the top of your shin, giving you precise closure and hold.
Depending on the type of riding you’re going to be using the boots for, Snowboard boot soles differ dramatically. For boots which are designed mostly for freestyle or park terrain, lightweight mostly EVA foam based soles are usually used. This aides in cushioning for landing and weight dispersion. For your more heavy duty hiking and bootpacking expeditions, look for a boot with a heavy duty lugged rubber sole. Generally Vibram or even Pirelli rubbers are used.
Along with ankle hold having an appropriately supportive insole is a must-have. Snowboard boots inherently pronate arches, which can in-turn restrict blood flow to your toes. This is every rider’s nightmare! To give your feet every chance to make it through the day without becoming numb, having a supportive (not corrective) arch support is paramount. You can find top quality insoles in higher end boots, but if you find that you’re having trouble with cramping or numb toes, give us a call and we can run you through some option that may include a higher grade insole such as Bootdoc Trim-fit Insoles or Custom Footbeds made by our specialist bootfitters.
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