Deeluxe Formative 2022-2023 Snowboard Boots Review

Tested and selected for our top 100 snowboard products of the year: the Deeluxe Formative

  • Price: £330 / €350 / $350
  • Sizes: UK 5-12.5
  • Flex: 7/10
  • Lacing System: Hybrid

Why We Chose The Deeluxe Formative: An all-mountain boot that favours the bold, with a seal of approval from one of the greats.

Elias Elhardt is the owner of one of the finest styles – and one of the biggest smiles – in snowboarding. He’s pure stoke, and it’s great to see he’s had input into the new Deeluxe Formative.

“The Formative is stepping in the right direction, with no compromise to performance”

While the plan was to make an eco-friendly boot, both brand and rider have acknowledged that you can only push that side of things so far before you end up with a product that doesn’t last the distance (and is therefore soon landfill fodder – the polar opposite of sustainability). Still, the Formative is stepping in the right direction at least, with no compromise to performance.

Who Is The Deeluxe Formative For?

Deeluxe say that a pair of these can go anywhere and do anything – and we’re inclined to agree, with one caveat. If you mostly like cruising the resort, while occasionally getting the heart-rate up in the park or backcountry, move along. If you’re the other way round, these are for you.




Deeluxe shells all have a super nice finish, a tactile treat that doesn’t ever seem to tarnish much even after heavy use. The Formative’s foundation is the brand’s D-Tex membrane, which lets your feet breathe whilst keeping them warm and dry. The spine of the boot is pretty rigid to suit more aggressive riders, but a slight cutaway just above the instep lets you flex down through the ankle when you need to.

The tongue is surprisingly minimalist, perhaps overly so for freeride purists. However, a removable Flex Booster insert lets you stiffen up the tongue when you really want to send it. Conversely if you’re after a mellower feel (up to a point – this is still Elias’ boot, after all), you can just ease off the Powerstrap and the internal Boa closure, or run the classic lace a bit less tight.

Underneath it all is a sole which has targeted areas of extra grip that’ll come in handy when hiking a steep line, and extra cushioning in the heel to handle any tough landings. Instead of EVA foam, this features Rise foam by Bloom, a company that harvests algae to make an alternative material that’s better for the planet but just as kind to your feet.

“Rise’ foam by Bloom is an alternative to EVA that’s better for the planet but just as kind to your feet”


It should go without saying that Deeluxe has spared no expense on the Formative’s innards. The Stage 4 liner is fully heat-mouldable, and engineered to within an inch of its life in order to provide the best fit right out of the box.

While most liners feature a separate uber-comfy and breathable toe box these days, it’s rarer to see the same treatment for the heel – but you get both on this one. There’s also a ‘heel harness’ wrapped around the back of the liner that is secured with a speed-lace, and the option of an additional powerstrap at the top. To ensure your foot stays exactly where it’s supposed to, there’s a small strip on the heel harness that is designed to grip the outer shell.

“There’s a ‘heel harness’ wrapped around the back of the liner”


The fancy eco-foam is a very welcome development, but that’s just one of many features that make the Deeluxe Formative one of the most exciting snowboard boots on the market in 2022/23.

We’re also told that the only way is up, with the brand and Elias continuing to push the envelope on the R&D side. We’ll see what comes of that in due course, but one thing’s for sure; with the Formative, they’re off to a great start.


  • Durability is baked-in; if you’ve gone through boots quickly in the past, give these a spin
  • Your heels in particular will feel like VIPs in these


  • The bar for entry is pretty high; beginners and intermediates definitely need not apply


Tester’s Verdict

Mike Brindley – Videographer, Whitelines

“Beyond aesthetics, snowboard boots aren’t always the easiest things to get excited about, they’re kind of the goalkeeper of the snowboarding kit list – if they’re bad you really know about it, but all too often they go without really getting the respect they’re due.

In a sea of similar boots, it’s great therefore to see Elias and Deeluxe teaming up to make inroads into new areas with the Formative. Eco snowboard boots seem to be a greatly under-explored avenue, even among a torrent of greenwashed gear across the board, and the bio-based foam replacement in these definitely adds to their appeal.

Materials aside, these felt like a proper premium pair of boots from the get go. They’re stiff but not overpowering, offer the full tasting menu of tightening techniques (lace+boa+powerstrap), have very comfy top tier liners, and come wrapped in a super clean bit of design that’s distinctive but won’t look out of place with almost any setup. They definitely felt up there in the stiffer end of the all-rounder flex spectrum, but they’ll happily turn their hand to whatever style of riding you fancy on a given day too. So unless you’re a planet-hating soft-boot savant, you’ve really got no excuse…”

Trade Secrets

Florian Heim- Marketing Manager, Deeluxe

“We’ve worked on a streamlined design for the Formative that requires less resources. Together with Elias we aim to continually evolve the Formative, using it as a means to pioneer fresh technology that reduces our impact on the environment. Although we’re super happy with this year’s Formative, we’re already busy working on the next generation of the boot. Stay tuned for more!”


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