If you are building up your snowboard gear, the last thing you will want to do is go for a snowboard boot model just because your friend said it is great. These boots may be great for your friend but your feet are likely to be shaped differently and that ‘amazing’ boots may not suit you at all. People’s feet tend to differ in arch heights, different widths, different heel sizes and differently sized ankles. So, like with all your snowboard gear, deciding on the best boots for you should be a very individualized thing.
There is a range of factors to consider before investing in snowboard boots. Get then right and they will enhance your experience on the mountain in terms of comfort and performance. Here are a few important ones to keep in mind.
Don’t Go Cheap
Unless you want a slower progression and less enjoyment, cost shouldn’t be your priority. It is true that you won’t want to spend as much on boots as a beginner as you would if you were a more experienced rider, but if you focus only on the cheapest, you may end up with very uncomfortable boots that may also make it harder to ride.
One of the most important features to consider when choosing a beginner snowboard boot is flex. A stiff boot will have a re-enforced tongue and a firm backstay to provide improved support for aggressive riding and heavy landings as well as instant response. These boots are recommended for snowboarders looking to perform fast turns. A soft boot, on the other hand, will feature more pliable outer materials that make it much easier to flex. This is an advantage when you are just starting out because soft boots are more forgiving of poor technique and usually more comfortable to wear.
Make Sure It Fits Right
Although this is a very important factor, beginners often don’t spend enough time getting fit right. Poor fitting boots can lead to pressure points and create too much heel lift, affecting responsiveness. Boots that don’t fit snugly enough in the right areas of your foot tend to move around too much, and this movement can cause rubbing and some very sore feet at the end of the day. Boots that are too tight in the wrong points, can lead to pressure points which usually occurs on the ankles and on the top of the foot. So make sure you try your boots on or use the vendor sizing chat when buying your boot online to ensure you get just the right size boots.
Look for Shock Absorption Features
Boots that have shock absorption features will make your riding experience more comfortable and your feet, knees and hips will thank you for it. If you decide to get into free-riding later, you will want to ensure your boots have good traction, and for that, you may need to sacrifice a little bit of shock absorption ( you may need to upgrade before getting into free-riding anyway). While some people will say to you that shock absorption is something not to worry about, comfort is may reason to consider it.
There are three types of liners available: standard, moldable and heat-moldable. Standard liners will mould to your feet but they will take a lot longer to do it. This means you will need to wear them a fair bit before they really conform to the shape of your foot. Moldable liners, on the other hand, will mould to your feet quicker and use the heat of your body to conform to your foot shape. Heat-moldable heaters are heated up and then placed around your foot, conforming to your foot instantly. This can usually be done on the store you buy the boot, but there are also specific places that can get it done – you may need to do thine if you bought online.