the best snowboard boots for men and women the best snowboard boots for men and women

5 Tips For Choosing the Right Snowboard Boots

Posted by Matt Gahman on Thursday, October 28, 2021

Whether you are just getting into snowboarding or are an experienced veteran, snowboard boots should be at the top of your gear list. The correct pair of snowboard boots can be the difference maker between a good day and a great day at the slopes, allowing you to make the most out of your experience without being hindered by discomfort. In this guide, we will provide five essential tips to choose the right snowboard boots for you and your snowboarding style.

Tip 1: Understanding the Correct Fit

When shopping for snowboard boots, the most important factor to consider is how it fits your foot. Ideally, snowboard boots should fit tightly, but not to the point of discomfort. A proper fit will resist slightly when moving, but will still allow for a normal range of motion.

When trying on a pair of snowboard boots, your toes should just barely touch the tip of the boot, making sure they don't curl or feel pressure when you stand in a fully laced boot. When you get into your snowboarding stance, your heel should remain stagnant and your toes will pull back slightly to result in a perfect fit.

It is important to note that snowboard boots generally take some time to become fully broken in. After a handful of sessions, your snowboard boots will “pack out” to be upwards of half a size bigger! You want to take this into consideration when trying on your boots for the first time and refrain from purchasing boots that leave room for comfort on day one.

Tip 2: Importance of Snowboard Socks

Socks may seem like an afterthought when shopping for snowboard gear, however, the right pair of socks is essential to the fit of your boots and your comfort while snowboarding. As opposed to regular cotton socks, snowboard socks are made of merino wool and/or synthetic materials, designed to keep your feet dry and warm during long sessions on the mountain. These socks are designed specifically to work with your feet and ankle’s natural range of movement while snowboarding, to reduce the likelihood of socks bunching up and causing discomfort.

Tip 3: Finding Boots to Perform No Matter Where & How You Snowboard

With such a wide variety of snowboard boots, it’s important to choose a pair that align with your personal preference and style. Each boot has a flex rating on a scale from 1-10 with 1 being the softest and 10 being the stiffest, however, these ratings are not exactly standardized and feelings may differ from boot to boot.

What Boot Flex is Right for Me?

A rider’s boot flex is largely up to personal preference, however, certain flexes are better suited for specific snowboarding styles.

  • Soft Boot Flex: Softer boots (1-4 flex rating) are generally preferred by freestyle, beginner and all-mountain riders. These boots are going to be more comfortable and forgiving, great for terrain parks, performing tricks and long sessions on the mountain.
  • Medium Boot Flex: Medium boots (about 4-6 flex rating) serve as a great balance between comfortability, support and control. More experienced, faster riders tend to prefer a stiffer boot for more control on the slopes.
  • Stiff Boot Flex: Stiff boots (6-10 flex rating) sacrifice comfortability for maximum support and control at high speeds and tough terrains. These boots are great for very experienced riders looking to race or traverse backcountry slopes.

Tip 4: Pros & Cons of Different Lacing Styles

There are three main styles you can use to lace your snowboard boots, each with its own list of pros and cons. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, and what is going to suit your style best.

Traditional Lacing

This lacing system is a bit self-explanatory: it's the standard lacing option, similar to any normal shoe.


    • Very customizable; it can easily be tightened to the rider's comfort and fit needs.
    • These laces are very easy to replace, either for function or aesthetic
    • Inexpensive and easy to understand


    • Difficult to lace or adjust with cold hands or gloves
    • These laces tend to loosen up throughout the day
    • The tightness of the laces can be restricted by the strength of the rider

    Quick-pull Lacing

    Also known as Zone or Speed laces, this lacing style offers a single-pull lacing system that allows you easily adjust the fit of your boots


    • Quick and convenient adjustments
    • Can easily be tightened while wearing gloves
    • Customizable fit in zonal lacing systems


    • Hard to replace/repair
    • Vulnerable to unintentional loosening throughout the day
    • The strength of the user can restrict the overall tightness of the laces

    Boa Lacing 

    Boa lacing systems use a dial connected to small cables that adjust the fit of the boot. These systems are offered in single, double or triple dials that affect how many zones can be adjusted


    • Fast and convenient adjustments
    • Easily done with gloves on and can often be adjusted with one hand
    • Very customizable fit with the ability to do micro adjustments


    • Difficult to replace or repair
    • Comes at an additional cost
    • One dial system can not be individually customized based on zones

    Tip 5: Understand Your Foot Characteristics to Look for Snowboard Boot Solutions

    If you are still experiencing trouble finding a snowboard boot that fits you, it may be time to consider alternative solutions to make your rides more comfortable! If you are someone who has skinny ankles and/or heels, you may find that your heels will lift on turns or the boots will feel loose around your ankles. This can be fixed with a good inner lacing system, specifically a zonal quick pull or a multi-zone Boa system. J-bars and inner harnesses are also common solutions to remedy heel lift by creating a more secure fit in the heel and ankle region.

    People that have high foot arches tend to have a hard time getting their foot into a pair of snowboard boots, as well as discomfort while wearing them. For this problem, you want to turn to snowboard boots with a full heat moldable liner or a custom footbed. Having a customized fit may cost a bit extra, however, the difference in control and mobility is unmatched!

    Get Geared Up For This Season at Buckman’s

    If you are looking for a perfect fit suited for long days on the mountain, check out our extensive selection of snowboard boots at Buckman’s. With snowboard boots manufactured by all the best brands such as Burton, DC and Vans you can count on Buckman’s to have exactly what you are looking for!

    Snowboarding and skiing season is just around the corner and Buckman’s is your one-stop-shop for all things winter sports. Contact us at Buckman’s today and let us help you find the perfect fit so that nothing slows you down this winter!

    Categories: Snowboard Equipment  |  Top Winter Brands

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