Choosing the right size boots is crucial. Boots may be one of the most important, if not the most important, things you decide to add to your arsenal. First off, if you’re not comfortable out on the hill, you won’t have as much fun and that is unacceptable by any true snowboarder’s standards. Second of all, in extreme cases, the incorrect size boot can cause serious personal injury.
Snowboard boot sizing is very similar to street shoe sizing except it’s much more important to get right. Your feet should be comfortably snug within your boots without having any pinches or pokes that can cause poor circulation. Your toes should be able to wiggle slightly but not be able to move forward or backward. Buying boots that are a little snug is a good idea because boots tend to loosen with time and can open up some space after a while. Too much space, however, is a bad thing and will have negative effects on your heel hold.
One thing to watch out for is heel lift. If you lace up your boots, strap into your bindings and lean forward as if you were initiating a toe-edge turn and your heel comes off the bottom of your boot, you need a smaller or tighter boot. Heel lift is usually the result of an oversized boot and can cause major problems when trying to turn, land or jib. In extreme cases, a boot with significant heel lift could lack enough support to protect your feet and ankles from serious injury. You know what they say about people with big boots, right? Nothing! So make sure you stick to the size that fits correctly to avoid injury.
Snowboard Boot Sizing
Refer the sizing chart below to find a good starting point towards purchasing new snowboard boots. Remember that all manufacturers and boot models vary and each one has its own fit.
|Mondo (cm)||Men (US)||Women (US)||Europe||UK|
Junior Boot Sizing (approx.)
For the younger riders please use the following measurements as a loose guide in selecting the proper boot sizing.
|Foot Length||Boot Size|
As with all snowboard gear, boots should match your riding style. There are a variety of boots available with a range of flex to accommodate all riding styles and terrain choices. Below are some guidelines to choosing a boot with the proper flex for your riding habits.
A boot with a softer flex is ideal for freestyle riding. All-mountain riders can also benefit from the versatility of a softer boot. The softer flexing boots provide more forgiveness and maneuverability when stomping landings and add tweakability when buttering boxes or jibbing handrails.
A stiff boot is perfect for freeride snowboarders that like to tear apart the backcountry or even all-mountain riders looking for a super responsive boot with tons of support. The rigid design of these stiffer boots generates an extreme amount of edge power for destructive turns and completely accurate control.
Boot Lacing Systems
Lacing systems are also important in choosing a solid boot. You need to be comfortable yet secure and each lacing system achieves that goal differently. There are three main lacing systems that are used by the majority of riders today. The traditional lacing system, quick-pull systems, and the BOA design.
Traditional Lacing System
The tried and true, long-time veteran of the snowboard boot game, the traditional lacing system will live forever. People love the simplicity of standard laces because it is what they are comfortable and familiar with. Traditional lacing systems are also popular because the lack of fancy components that could possibly become worn or break. Just loop, swoop, and pull and you’re ready to ride. The laces for these boots are also very easily replaces as they are just normal boot laces.
Quick-Pull Lacing System
Quick-pull lacing systems are incorporated into many common boot designs. It’s just a quick tug on a couple of sets of strings and your laced-up and ready to ride. Most quick-pull designs also allow you to tighten the upper and lower sections of your boots separately to get a perfectly customized fit. Many companies offer a version of the quick-pull lacing system because it is super quick and convenient and can also be done with gloves on.
BOA Lacing System
Like a constricting snake squeezing its prey, the BOA lacing system tightens two steel cables woven throughout the boot to create a secure and snug fit around your foot. The BOA lacing system is so fast and easy, you will be on your board throwing together a line in the park in no time. With a simple twist of a dial, or sometimes two, you can be ready to ride all day in an instant. The BOA system can be adjusted at any time while riding and can even be done with gloves on. While this lacing system offers reliability and fine-tuning, the BOA system does tend to cost slightly more.
Something that most people think too little about is setup compatibility throughout your boots, bindings and board. If your boots don’t fit into your bindings, that’s not good. If your boots hang too far over your board, that is also not good. This is why some believe that buying the perfect boot should be done before purchasing any other new snowboard gear. You can then take the measurements of your boot into consideration when choosing the rest of your gear, ensuring a quality relationship between you, your boots, board and bindings.
What size snowboard boots do I need?
We hopefully answered this question already but make no mistake, boots might be the most important element of your shred setup. The right pair of boots can make all the difference, but what designates the right pair of boots can be different for everyone. A couple things to keep in mind when choosing a boot are fit and flex.
Finding a boot that fits and works well for you is not hard. Snowboard boots are sized in the same method as street shoes. While boot sizes can vary from brand to brand, using your street shoe size is a good place to start. A key thing to watch out for is heel-lift. If you’re laced up and lean forward, make sure your heel does not leave the bottom of your inner sole. Flexibility is another factor in finding the right boots. Stiffer boots are good for freeriding and softer boots are often used in freestyle riding.