Of all the snowboard equipment out there on the market, your snowboard boots are the one item whose performance will be most intimately linked to your own physical attributes: ie. how your plates of meat are shaped.
The swingtag on a pair of snowboard boots might reel off a list of features that sound perfect for your riding style, preferences and budget, but if they don’t fit the way your feet are built then, at best, they won’t perform as they should; at worst, your feet will hurt. It’s imperative that you actually take the time to try them on in a store and discuss things with their resident foot-fetishist.
“Seriously, take the time. Have no preconceptions of what looks ‘the hype’. Talk to a human. Listen to your body. Your feet will thank you for it”
At the tests we attend, it’s impossible to get a true feel of a boot’s performance – we stick with our own, in order to better test the boots and bindings. Even if we did, our feet are different to yours; our feet are even different to ours! For this purchase, dispense with the digital and really make the effort to head to your local store and get the staff’s advice when buying snowboard boots.
But there are some things you should consider before heading off the couch. A decent rule of thumb is that if you’re still getting to grips with snowboarding or just prefer to ride at slower speeds, you’ll appreciate the forgivingness of a softer flexing boot. Whereas if you plan on riding a bunch and like to send it, look to stiffer models that offer more response and support.
Make sure you try on several different manufacturers’ options, as each brand will fit differently. Talk it all through with the shop staff and go for the one that holds your foot most snugly and securely. To go deeper into this, point your browser at our guide to buying snowboard boots.
Seriously, take the time. Have no preconceptions of what looks ‘the hype’. Talk to a human. Listen to your body. Your feet will thank you for it. But to get warmed up, here’s a look at what’s good in 2016/17.
Scroll down to view all men’s boots, or skip to a particular brand using the links below.
All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi – click any image to enlarge
Production: Tom Copsey / Andrew Duthie / Tobias Grünwald / Sam Oetiker / Sami Tuoriniemi