Snowboard Boots - Winter Boots

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Fit, Flex, & Features – A Guide to Snowboard Boots


Snowboard Boots – Winter Boots. When it comes to getting ready for the snowboarding season, the most important thing is to ensure you have the correct boots for your needs. This preparation can really make or break your time on the slopes.


Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article you’ll learn:

  • How your boots should fit
  • The different type of boots available (flex and features)
  • How you should break into them

Get the right Fit!

Step 1

When choosing which snowboard boots to buy or rent, the correct fit is undoubtedly the most important factor. To achieve this, the first step is to put the boots on, do the laces up fully and stand up.   Your toes should touch the end of the liners, but not be jammed against them to the extent that you feel pain. They should be able to wriggle slightly but shouldn’t be able to move forward or backward.   The reason for this is that as you ride, the lining will pack out a bit, creating around half a size more of space.   If your toes do not touch the end of the liner, consider taking the insole out of your boot and placing your foot on it – this will help you to see if it is too big or not. Snowboard Boots – Winter Boots

Step 2

The next step is to lean forwards in your boots, bending your knees as if you were turning a snowboard. You should feel your toes move slightly back from the liner. However your heel should remain in place.

Step 3

Lastly, rock backwards and forwards as if you were turning the snowboard on its edges. If you feel your heel lifting out from the bottom of the boot by more than a centimetre, think about trying a smaller size.

Top Tips:
  • Whitelines Snowboarding recommends that if you’re snowboarding for an extensive period (e.g. 100+ days a winter), you might want to go down a half size. This is because heat mouldable liners will pack down a lot over the course of this period.
  • Make sure you buy your snowboard boots before you buy any other gear! That way you’ll be able to make sure you have compatibility throughout your board, boots and bindings. Nobody wants to have boots that hang too far over their board! Check out this table to find out what width board to get based on the snowboard boots you buy.

 Snowboard Width and Boot Size Chart 

Boot Size (US Men’s) <8 8 – 10 10 – 11.5 11.5+
Width (mm) <245 246 – 254 255 – 259 260+
Snowboard Width Narrow Regular Mid-Wide Wide

How much Flex?

Snowboard boots are designed with different levels of flex to cater for different types of riders. You can check out what type of rider you are here!   If, like me, you’re the type of rider who likes to ride fast and carve hard down the mountain, or if you’re a free-rider that spends most of the time in the backcountry, a stiff boot is for you. It offers a huge amount of control and responsiveness so that you can tear down the slopes. However, they are generally more expensive.   If you’re a beginner, a softer boot is what you’re after. These boots are generally cheaper, offer a more cosy feel and are easier to wear in, which is ideal for you when you’re starting out. The same applies for if you’re a jibber. The greater flexibility may help you to get away with a sketchy landing.

As you can see from the table below, snowboard websites and stores specify a given boot’s flex rating from 1-10. However, flex ratings are not necessary standardised from one manufacturer to the next (eg. a 3 for Burton may not be identical to a 3 for thirtytwo).
Features: Lacing System
Traditional Laces

Traditional laces give you the greatest ability to personalise your fit, and are easy to replace if you break them. However, they can be difficult to do up with gloves and often need to be done up again during the day.

Quick-Pull Lacing System

Quick-pull lacing systems offer greater convenience than traditional laces, as you can do them up more quickly and with gloves on. Many designs also offer zonal lacing, enabling you to tighten the forefoot independently from the ankle/lower leg. However, if the laces break they are more expensive to replace than traditional laces.

Boa® Lacing

Boa® Lacing systems offer the most rapid and easy method of adjusting the tightness of your boots. Two steel cables run throughout the boot, and they will tighten or loosen depending on which direction you twist the dial on the side of the boot. You can even do this while riding with gloves on! However, the Boa® system does normally cost more than the other two options.

How should I break in snowboard boots?

There are a number of things to bear in mind to help you get over the initial pain of wearing your new snowboard boots.   1. Wear Them! Wearing your snowboard boots around the house before you hit the slopes is a great way of ensuring they’re broken in by the time you put them on.   2. Heat Moulding If you’ve worn your new boots on the slopes for between a few days to a week, and are still finding them uncomfortable, it may be time to try heat moulding. But make sure to check first that you have heat-moldable liners!   There are multiple ways of doing this. Many snowboard shops have special heaters for this exact purpose. However, there are also more ‘home-made’ versions of doing it. Snowboard Boots – Winter Boots

  • Hairdryer treatment: 

Remove your liners and then hold a hairdryer on a low setting towards them. Make sure you don’t leave the hairdryer unattended! Once the liners are warm to touch, put the liners back in the boots and wear the boots around until the liners cool off.

Finally, if your problem still hasn’t been solved, think about buying an insole or heel wedge specifically for snowboarding boots. You can find these on!     We hope this guide will help you get the boots with the correct fit, flex and features for you, and that by following it you’ll have them broken in before you know it! Click hereto find out the best places to research your chosen snowboard boots, along with all your other snowboarding gear!