Why would you schlep all your products to a trade show when their natural home is in the mountains? That's the logic behind Vans' Snowboarding Days, now in its third year and for the first time in France, with shop monkeys and media types heading to Les Arcs to have a cheeky gander and try out of some of the big V's snowboard boots for winter 2017/18.
Amongst the mere mortals were a select few from the Vans Europe team: Lucas Baume, Arthur Longo, Victor de le Rue, Sparrow Knox, Marcus Keller, Kevin Trammer, Nils Arvidsson, Valerian Ducourtil... oh, and some guy called Jamie Lynn, some of them also getting their feet into the new kicks for the first time.
It's always surprising how confident Vans are with people trying out their boots considering how new footwear often gives you crippling foot pains, but even charging around low tide Les Arcs pistes the majority of the day's crew were feeling pretty comfortable, this author's 2017/18 Implants feeling almost perfect straight out the box.
Use the links below to see more 2017-2018 Snowboard Gear previews
Anon | Arbor | Bent Metal | Bonfire | Burton Hardware | Burton Outerwear | CAPiTA | Dainese | Deeluxe | Dragon | Drake | Dupraz | Dinosaurs Will Die | Fix | Flow | Giro | Gnu | Head | Holden | Jones | K2 | Karakoram | Korua | Lib Tech | Melon | Mizu | Neff | Nidecker | Nitro | Northwave | NOW | Oakley | Patagonia | Picture | POW | Protest | Ride | Rome | Roxy | Salomon | Sandbox | Saxx | Sessions | Smith | Thirty Two | Union | Vimana | West | YES
Next year the line looks to focus a lot on higher-end footwear compared to next year, with Pat Moore's signature Infuse boot taking in a tonne of tech, like the popular Hybrid BOA system, matching traditional laces with ankle-clamping wires, plus a power strap and next-level cushioning - more details to follow. He and Aimee Fuller both will be getting the star treatment, with their pro-colourways getting matching MTN-Edition trainers and slippers to boot. Ahem.
Danimals also gets the signature treatment on the alternative Infuse colourway, whilst Vans give HOWL SUPPLY a full-on collab - they will provide the boots whilst gloves and outerwear will come from the Minnesota mitt crew.
"Pat Moore and Aimee Fuller both will be getting the star treatment, with their pro-colourways getting matching MTN-Edition trainers and slippers"
Stylistically, the range as a whole is as far from in-your-face neons and block primaries as Theresa May is from staff at a factory visit - it's muted and subtle, with more than a few hark-backs to older Vans models. This is still their 50th anniversary year remember. One of the first pairs of Vans snowboard boots was proudly displayed in the headquarter's centre, paired of course with an old Cardiel pro model.
There's plenty of camo shades and even some burgundies - more of which you'll no doubt see in our 2017/18 gear guide this autumn - with the brightest colourway on show an iridescent take on the women's Encore all-mountain boot, still somehow managing to keep the vibes subtle.
As for the rest of the event, there was cheese, sun, slashes and of course beers, but you're here for the boots right? Check out the quick video recap from us on the ground below, and stay tuned for further news on the 2017/18 Vans snowboard boot range!