A rookie mistake that way too many people make is to spend their money on buying an awesome snowboard while skimping on the boots.
You should choose your snowboarding boots very wisely, since they can make the difference between a great day on the mountain or a miserable one. It is essential that the boots that you buy fit correctly, comfortably and match the bindings well.
It is well worth it to take a little more time and money into choosing the perfect pair of snowboarding shoes. The the purpose of this article is to help you understand exactly what to look for and how to understand what the boots will be like once you are up on the mountain.
Lets start with the most basic factor, fit:
The Fit of Your Snowboard Boots
The fit is very important, and should not be shrugged off. Of course if you are buying online you can’t try the boots on before you buy them, so if you buy your boots online make sure that the company has a good return policy. Any serious online store will understand the importance of physically trying on your snowboarding boots before deciding to take them on the mountain.
When ordering your snowboard boots online remember that while most manufacturers use standardized sizes, you will probably need a slightly larger size than you use with normal shoes since you will be using much thicker socks than normal.
Make sure that the boots fit snuggly, but not too tight. Remember that after a couple of days on the mountain your boots will pack down and adjust to your foot, so if they are not very snug at first then you run the risk of them becoming too big. The trick is that they should be as snug as possible without causing pain.
Of course the socks that you wear while trying on the boot should be the ones that you will wear on the mountain.
When you try the boot on for fit ask yourself the following questions:
– Do your toes touch the toecap? (They should slightly contact it).
– Can you wiggle your toes? (You should be able to).
– Does your heel stay in its spot inside the boot when you thrust your knee forward? (It should).
Pick the Flex of Your Snowboard Boots
Boot flex is somewhat a question of personal preference, however, it is generally accepted that beginners should have a softer flex, while advanced riders should use a stiffer flex.
Most snowboard boot manufacturers use a similar rating for boot flexibility, the rating system usually uses the numbers from one to ten. The number one providing the softest flex and the number ten providing the hardest resistance.
If you are unfamiliar with the ratings and you plan on buying your snowboard boots online, you may want to try some different rated boots on in person in order to get a feel for the flex rating system.
Choose the Right Lacing System for Your Snowboard Boots
There are several types of lacing that are commonly used on snowboard boots. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Traditional lacing systems: as the name implies these are traditional boot laces, the same design that has been in use for centuries. The advantage is that you can customize the fit of your boot with much greater precision using this method. The downside is that if you have to adjust your boot, or put it on in the cold it can be very difficult with “frozen” fingers.
Quick Pull Laces: this option is much quicker and much easier. If you put your boots on in the cold or need to adjust them outdoors you can even do so with your gloves still on! The disadvantage would be that it offers less control, although some boots offer a little more control by using two independent sections.
If you take into consideration the above mentioned factors, you will avoid a lot of trouble! There is nothing worse than realizing that your boots aren’t right once you are up on the mountain or worse yet up in the air!