Having a good pair of snowboarding boots can make or break a snowboarder. Your first purchase in your set up should always be your snowboard boots – skipping runs because your feet hurt is not the best way to end the day!
7 Things That Will Occur When your Snowboard Boots Don’t Fit
- Unwanted pressure points on your feet, shins and calves making it painful and unbearable to spend time on the slopes
- Heel lift and foot cramps trying to compensate for loose boots
- Having your feet slide around inside your boots. You’re not changing edges this way, you’re just wasting energy
- Muscle fatigue and feeling like snowboarding sucks
- Wasted money and precious time on the slopes trying to figure out why you can’t snowboard properly
- Having to buy a second pair of boots that fit you, and going through the hassle of trying to sell off the first pair!
- Spending exorbitant amounts of money to get insoles & heat moulding your boots to fit your feet
Common Mistakes When Picking Out A Pair Of Snowboarding Boots
- Boots that are too big or too small
- Choosing the cheapest pair of boots without consideration for fit and quality
- Buying boots not suitable for your riding style and skill level
- Buying boots online for looks or rushing for a promo, without knowing your size! Every snowboard boot brand has their own sizing chart, so you might be a US7 Burtons, but a US8 VANS
- Focusing too much on a snowboard and thinking a snowboard boot isn’t important
Hot Tip! We have opened Singapore’s first & only snowboard store and fitting studio, which means you can try on the boots before committing to a purchase (yay!). With the widest selection of snowboard boots and snowboard gear in South East Asia, you’ll be able to get fitted by our team, take advice and recommendations before deciding on your purchase.
So How Do You Find The Perfect Fit?
Here’s how to get the perfect fit for your first (or next) pair of snowboard boots:
The Perfect Fit
Unlike the fit for a regular pair of shoes where you’re looking for a bit of room in the toes, you want to find a snug fit for your snowboard boots. A perfect fit for a pair of boots should be a tight, stable fit over the top of your foot and around your upper ankle. You will feel a slight resistance when you lean forward into your snowboard boots, but still allow for a comfortable range of motion without the unwanted pressure points. Your toes should brush against the toe box (but not curled up!) and your heel should fit firmly into the heel cup of the boot.
7 Ways To Test If A Pair Of Snowboarding Boots Are The Perfect Fit
- Your toes will barely brush up against the end of the boot liner while standing up with the boot fully laced up.
- Your toes should not curl or feel any pressure on the tips of your toes, but rather just graze or be as close as possible to the end of the boot liner.
- As you bend your legs and crouch down into a half squat position, you should feel your toes pull back ever so slightly resulting in a proper fit.
- When flexing your ankles to go into a toe-edge position, there should not be any heel lift
- Walk around in the boots, you should NOT feel any pressure points or calf bite
- You should not feel your feet sliding around in your boots
- It is important to note that you should always wear a proper pair of snowboarding socks when trying on boots and while riding
Pro tip! Your snowboard boots will be the tightest the first time you try them on and on your first few runs. Over time, your boot liners will pack out, creating more room. You’ll experience this a lot more and a lot faster if you purchase a cheap pair of unknown boots. Always go for recommended, tried-and-tested brands who, you know, know their stuff.
Flex that fits your riding style & skill level
Finding snowboard boots with a flex rating that matches your riding style can make a big difference. Soft-flexing snowboard boots are suitable for first-timers and beginners who need a more forgiving pair of boots when trying out the sport for the first few times. Medium flex snowboard boots takes this up a notch by giving you a good balance between mobility and more support for higher all-mountain performance and comfort. Stiff flex snowboard boots are suitable for the seasoned riders looking for maximum energy translation, and support for edge power and control at high speeds and tough conditions.
Snowboard boots are designed for riding in specific conditions and are crafted to work with a rider’s specific skill set on a snowboard.
Here are the 3 main riding styles for snowboarding:
- All-mountain If you would like the flexibility to choose between terrains, a boot suitable for all-mountain riding will be your best bet. Choose between soft to medium flex boots to help you go from freestyle superstar to free riding maven with ease and freedom. Beginners should always choose softer boots to start with!
- Freeride & backcountry For those with a strong love for ungroomed tree runs and untouched pow stashes, you’ll want to place a premium on speed and precision in between tight tree runs and support in powder. Medium to stiff flex boots are preferred for this type of riding. The stiffness will help to generate the edge power and control you need to navigate deep pow and getting across uneven terrain.
- Freestyle Where you build your vocabulary of tricks in the freestyle terrain park. Fast response, flexibility and freedom are of the utmost importance in the park, so softer boots are usually what you have to look out for.
A Boot That Fits Your Snowboard’s Width
This is where it gets more technical. The length of your boot should be able to fit within the width of your snowboard. This prevents toe or heel drag, which in turn prevents you from unwittingly catching an edge and face planting. This is why you should buy a pair of boots, before making your board and bindings purchase!
Rule of thumb: comfort first, functionality second, looks last.
A Price Fit For Your Budget
Chances are, cost is also going to play a factor in your purchase. Investing in snowboard boots doesn’t mean always reaching for the most expensive pair. If you are a beginner, stay away from the top ranges! As price goes up, so do the quality of the materials and technologies, but they are often designed with advanced riders in mind.
If you’re newer to snowboarding or can only spare a few days a year on the slopes, it’s important to find a boot that’s designed for your ability, which often means looking at some of the more affordable options in any snowboard boot range. These are usually between the soft and medium flex ratings, which are usually in the bottom or middle range from a snowboard boot brand.
Go For A Fitting Session
The best thing you can do for your feet and your bank account.
The Ride Side is super excited to have opened the doors to Singapore and South East Asia’s first ever snowboard shop and fitting studio. This means you get to try on the boots, snowboards, bindings and accessories on our sunny island before committing to a purchase. We take our snowboarding seriously and we want you to feel the best you can to perform your best on the slopes. After all, we’ve only got a limited time on the slopes so makes sense to get the right equipment for maximum enjoyment.