The single most important piece of equipment for a snowboarder is their mens snowboard boots. If you don’t get your boots right, you won’t enjoy snowboarding.
It’s important to wear a pair of mens snowboard boots that are warm and comfortable but still provide the performance you’ll need to ride all day long without your feet getting sore.
After reading the Ultimate Mens Snowboard Boots Guide, you’ll understand the variety of performance features that can be found across different snowboard boot brands. You’ll know how to measure your foot in order to shop for the right size. I’ll share with you a tip to test the fit of your boots once you put them on. We’ll talk about footbeds and how they prevent fatigue and soreness in your feet.
The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Boot Guide
The first thing you’ll want to figure out for yourself is the size of boot you’re looking for. Luckily, figuring out your mens snowboard boots size is super simple. You need to know what the length of your foot is in centimeters (cm). The length of your foot will match with a corresponding boot size. Here is a helpful chart.
Here’s an easy math trick to know what your mens boot size should be. Whatever 2-digit number length your foot is in centimeters, add those two numbers together to get your mens snowboard boots size. For example, if your foot is 28cm long, you need a size 10 boot. Get it, you take 2 + 8 = 10. If your foot is 25cm than you need size 7 boots.
However, this math trick doesn’t work past 30cm. You’ll just have to do the old fashioned thing and memorize this sizing chart. Sorry to all the gents with big feet. 😛
Finding the Perfect Fit
It’s becoming more common to buy your snowboard boots online but I still like going to a store to do a fitting. If you visit your local snowboard shop the sales staff will be able to recommend you a few different products. Snowboard brands do manufacture there liners and snowboard boot shells just differently enough that you’ll find different brands will fit you differently.
Some snowboarding brands of boots will feel wider while others will feel more narrow. By going into a snowboard shop you’ll be able to try different pairs on and to perform the “flex test”. What’s the flex test you ask?
Mens Snowboard Boots Flex Test
Once you have a pair of mens snowboard boots on, if you try to stand with your knees straight you’ll notice your toes feel pushed up against the front of the boot. The reason for this is that snowboard boots are constructed with a degree of forward lean. The boots are designed to make you flex forward at your ankles. This causes you to bend your knees and lower your centre of gravity. This posture is called the Cowboy Stance because your feet are placed shoulder-width apart and your knees are slightly bent like you’re riding a horse.
To perform the flex test, you want to bend your knees and ankles so you get lower to the ground. You’ll notice when you do this your toes will feel like they fit much more comfortably. By performing the flex test you’ll get a feel for how flexible the boot is and how comfortable your feet will be when snowboarding.
Your feet should feel snug inside the boots. You’re looking for a fit where your foot feels completely wrapped by the liner as if there were no gapes or spaces. But it shouldn’t be so tight you feel like the fabric is pinching or causing pressure points on your foot while you flex.
Understanding Snowboard Boot Flexibility
Most boots are going to offer up a different level of flexibility based on how the boot’s shell and inner liner are constructed. They vary from soft to stiff and every snowboarding brand has its own snowboarding boot flex rating. You’ll want to try on different types of boots to see how they feel.
When shopping for mens snowboarding boots beginners are often advised to consider softer flexing boots. And this is good advice.
Softer boots are less exhaustive to wear. They are more forgiving and make it easier to learn snowboarding. However, something to be aware of is that softer flexing boots can wear out their support faster. Which means if you ride a lot in a season you’ll be buying new boots more frequently.
Stiffer snowboarding boots are usually purchased by more advanced level riders. Snowboarders who are looking for more performance and responsiveness tend to buy stiffer boots. Also, stiffer boots are generally more expensive.
Liners and Insoles
Much of how comfortable you’ll find your snowboarding boots will be based on the insole (sometimes called a footbed) and the liner. Here’s why?
Mens snowboarding boot liners are commonly made of a lightweight, moldable material called EVA. Which stands for ethylene vinyl acetate. The liner is what provides the cushioning, stability and insulation you need to ensure your feet are comfortable.
When shopping for snowboarding boots I like to pull out the liner from the boot to examine it.
Less expensive boots with basic liners provide support around the bottom of the boot near the ankle. The upper portion of the liner has less material making it more flexible. They also have a less form-fitting feel.
As snowboarding boots get more expensive, they have liners that have added material to add stiffness throughout the entire length of the boot. Expensive boots will have liners that feel very snug and form-fitted. They also have cushioning at the base to absorb pressure, impacts from jumping and chattering while snowboarding through rougher snow conditions.
Truth be told, most of the snowboarding brands don’t have the greatest insoles. They are usually made out of a rubbery-plastic material that doesn’t have much structure. The most expensive snowboarding boots will come with decent insoles, but if you can afford it, it is worth considering to purchase aftermarket snowboarding insoles. I recommend a company called Superfeet that makes these red insoles specifically for snowboarding.
Mens Snowboard Boots Lacing System
Snowboarding brands have come up with a lot of different lacing systems for mens snowboard boots over the years. Obviously, string laces were the original but brands have innovated through the years and we now have generally 3 distinct styles. My personal favourite are the traditional laces. As a good ol’ Canuck, I grew up with laces for my hockey skates so that carried over into my snowboarding preferences.
You’ll find a lacing system that fits your personal needs. Let’s cover the three lacing systems now.
It’s the tried and true lacing system. They take the longest to tie up but I believe you can get the best fit with this style of lacing. I’ve also found that after a day of riding, traditional laces do not lose their tightness as easily as some of the other lacing systems do.
Over the years speed laces have become more popular and common. They’re also considered to be the quickest to tie up. All you have to do is pull on 2 strings on either side of the boot. One string tightens the lower portion of the boot and the other string tightens the upper portion. Once tightened and locked you can tuck the strings into built-in pockets at the top of the boot.
BOA is a more recent lacing innovation. It uses a dial wheel that can be pushed down to engage, once you start turning the dial a crank will tighten your boots. Typically, there are two BOA dials. One dial tightens the liner and the second dial tightens the outer shell of the boot. To loosen the boot you just pop the dial wheel out of its socket. The crank dial is attached to a cable wived throughout the boot. The one thing about such a technical boot like this is that if the dial no longer tightens or the cable brakes your snowboarding is over for the day. You’ll need to have your BOA lacing replaced. Luckily just about every snowboarding brand offers lifetime warranty for the BOA system. It’s just a pain to take time to go into a snowboard shop to get repairs. Or order repair parts online and fix it yourself.
Mens Snowboard Boots for Wide Feet
Burton and Salomon are brands that make specific boots in their product line that accommodate people with wider feet. These boots generally provide more space on the sides and the top part of the foot.
Another thing you’ll have to take into consideration if you’ve got a boot size that is considered large (which size 11.5 and above) you may have to purchase a mens wide snowboard. These are special snowboard models that are designed wider than the rest of the boards in a brands product line.
Where to Buy Mens Snowboard Boots?
I always recommend going into a snowboard shop especially when purchasing boots. Because mens snowboarding boots are the most important equipment in all your snowboard gear, I think it’s best to physically try on different pairs. You can buy boots online and make your purchase based on online reviews. But I still think going into your local shop is the best buying experience.
If you shop somewhere with knowledgable snowboarding staff who have been trained with product knowledge you’ll get the best service. I like going to Corbett’s in Oakville. I use to work there for multiple seasons when I was younger so I know the staff are reliable.
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboards Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Bindings Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Goggles Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Helmet Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Jacket Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Pants Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Gloves Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Socks Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Base Layer Guide