These boots were made for boardin’
22 Nov, 2011
One of the most important components to a good day on the mountain is what protects and cushions your feet. Determined by fit, a suitable snowboard boots gives you an amazing day on the mountain without knowing it. Of course quality and durability go hand in hand with the decision process. Since I won’t review multiple brands of snowboard boots, I asked my friends and readers to share how their boots have been holding up for quality, durability and overall thoughts on a variety of boots. Here’s six snowboarders sharing their boot stories complete with pictures.
Brian from Colorado
Brand/Model: Salomon F22s
Thoughts: Initially chosen because of the smaller footprint of the F22s (welded liner). I didn’t really like riding wide boards so picking a smaller boot was the natural choice (had a stint with risers as well). Despite having a narrow footbed that isn’t a natural fit for my feet, I’d still buy them again in a heartbeat. Perhaps I’d look into some custom orthotics to help with foot arch while riding but that’s about it.
Condition: Currently still in very functional shape. There’s wear across the front where the laces rub on the tongue but nothing that would worry me. The speed lace system hasn’t slipped yet. The sole of the boot looks very good still, which doesn’t surprise me as most walking is done on a snow surface. A few scuffs and wear spots on the sides of the boot where it rubs against bindings. I’d consider that to be pretty common wear and tear though. The hooks that the speed lace system runs through jut out a bit and will eat soft ankle straps within a season. It’s happened on 2 pairs of bindings already.
Martin from Washington
Brand/Model: 686 New Balance 580
Days: Almost 60 days
Thoughts: I got these boots late in the 09-10 season and have put them through the wringer since. Overall these boots have been EXCELLENT! They started as too skinny for my foot but after a few weeks of riding they got packed out and have been very comfortable since then.
Condition: The lace on my lead foot broke which struck me as weird since that is the foot that stays strapped in which I figured would equate to less wear and tear on the boot.. On both of the boots the tongue got discolored from the part that goes around the back of your shin. Also the part that goes around the back of the foot has started to wear down on both boots as you can see in the picture. There also seems to be some wear and tear from the grommets on the same parts of the boot. Lastly there was some minor wearing down on the toe of my back foot, probably from resting my board on it while on the chair.
Jill from California
Brand/Model: Thirty Two 86 FT
Days: 80 Days
Thoughts: “Like your favorite pair of Chucks for the hill.” Sole Tech hit it right on the money with this tag line. The first time I put on these boots I knew I wouldn’t need to put in any extra effort in breaking them, they have been the softest boot I have ever worn! Everything about this boot has been new to me, new brand, speedlacing, soft flex, lots of room -it was all pure comfort. What I liked most about this boot was the comfort. I used these boots for business and pleasure, I lived in them 8 hours a day and at least 4 days a week. I liked that I was able to walk around with ease and not have that ‘awkward walk’. But with such soft flex I noticed I had to put in more effort with my riding, soft boots aren’t the most responsive. The Fast Track speed lacing system was convenient, but there were times that the upper latch would come undone while riding so just be sure to latch those suckers tight. The liners are amazing, hands down the easiest boot liners I have ever had to take out and put in to let my boots breath. Overall they were good, comfortable boots to have. These boots would be great for a beginner or anyone working at a resort being on their feet all day.
Condition: Surprisingly, these boots have held up very well. The soles are solid with tread still in tac toe to heel. What I was most impressed by was how well the speed lacing laces – they never broke (although the latch did come loose). There is stitching on the right boot that is undone. The liners have foam that is worn down near the heel cuff. Other than that, they were a waterproofed boot.
Fes from Washington
Brand/Model: Vans POW Cirro
Days: Two seasons of 40+ days.
Thoughts: I won these after donating $20 to Protect Your Winters and have been my main riding boots for two seasons. My boots before this were a pair of Burton Ions which I only rode for one season. The Ions have been by far the stiffest boots I’ve ever ridden and my feet were definitely not happy doing resort riding with them. The Ions had a very thin stiff boot shell and an even thinner liner. For splitboarding, they’re fine, but regular resort riding, not so much. When I got the Vans Cirros, of course, there was a period of trying to find the sweet spot. Once I did, the ride was awesome and my legs were thanking me. Overall, the ride in these boots was solid for a freeride snowboarder like myself.
Condition: I got two seasons of 40+ days per season before the liners giving out and starting to pinch the shins quite a bit. The boot itself cosmetically didn’t get dinged at all. The liner though just got a more and more uncomfortable as the second season wore on. The negatives I found were:
1) Vans Cork insoles, just like any other default boot insoles, suck. It’s not a full cork insole, not even close. So I chucked the stock insoles and used Remind Insoles instead. The Reminds made the ride so much more cushy and enjoyable.
2) The huge strap on the back on the boot really interfered with getting the boot strapped in. The Burton C60s bindings I have really high highback.
Pat from California
Brand/Model: Burton Sabbath
Days: Two seasons of 70+ days (240 total).
Thoughts: The boots were awesome the first season and held up super well with out much break down of flex at all (minus the first 6 days or so of breaking them in). The second season they were alright in the beginning but the flex started to really break down as the season progressed. On top of the natural flex of the boot going the interior lace system was getting looser and looser as time went and didnt hold up for more than a few hours without needing to be re-tightened. Not to mention the ends of the laces frayed in the second season (I feel like this problem should have been solved by now, even my nike p.rods that had “carbon fiber” ends to them frayed… bummer). On a high note, the boots look super nice for having seen 2 seasons on them (bright white still). One thing that was nice about the boots is the aegon coating, even today the boots do not stink!
Condition: Kinda addressed all of this in the earlier question. But ya first season was great, after the second I had to move on and havent really found any boots i LOVE since (have rome and Celsius boots both 2011 but neither are epic). The toe box packed out a bit more than expected on the burtons too… I was coming off some salomon F22’s that have a super tight toe box.
Nate from Pennslyvania
Brand/Model: Thirty Two Sonic
Days: 50 Days.
Thoughts: I’ve been riding the 32 TM’s almost religiously for several seasons now… For some reason I wanted to try something just a little stiffer this year…. The Sonic is one solid “notch” stiffer than the TM 2’s. I really liked the added support (of a stiffer boot) and quicker (board) response. The fit is pretty much the same as the TM 2’s (close to perfect for my foot).
I was very skeptical of the fastrack lacing system, I’ve been riding traditional lace boots my since I started snowboarding in 1989 ! But, it quickly broke in and I found that I could quickly adjust lace tension as good (if not better) than traditional laces. Regarding wear, I spent January to March in these boots probably only 50 or so days actually on snow though and out of those most of em weren’t full days.
Condition: That being said, these things are the most bomb proof 32’s I’ve ever owned! Check the pics hardly a mark on em. The only thing that’s changed is that they’ve packed out a 1/4 size or so (to be expected). Even though these are great boots for me I recommend trying on several pairs of boots with a professional snowboard boot fitter. Everyone’s feet are different!