- Price: £210
- Sizes: UK 6-12
- Flex: 5-7
- Lacing System: Classic & Boa
Across their entire line of snowboard boots, Vans take customisation customisation seriously. The Vans Implant is no exception; various aspects of the boot’s fit, stiffness and general performance can be tweaked quickly and easily, so you can always have just the right calibration for the conditions.
Firstly, there’s the ‘Reach Around’. It may have an ill-judged name (don’t Google it, whatever you do), but you can’t fault the system. The powerstrap on the inner boot can be secured as normal, or it can also go right over the tongue. Like all the best tech, the Reach Around is simple and effective; adjusting the Implant’s response simply couldn’t be easier.
“If you ever experience heel-lift in these, we’ll eat a pair of checkerboard slip-ons”
The liner itself is fully heat-mouldable, and designed for maximum support. Supplementary padding in an ‘X’ shape is present at the back, which holds your heel in place once the boot is fully tightened. With moisture-wicking properties and an uber-comfy toe box, you’ll be happy to stay in these all day.
Securing the liner is as easy as pulling on a speed lace, which is attached to a harness that wraps around your entire ankle. The fat lace on the outer shell is up next, and then it’s time for the fancy bit. The Boa coiler on the side of the boot tightens a wire across the area underneath your binding’s ankle strap. Fed through the ‘Custom Slide Guide’ to avoid any uncomfortable pressure points, it spreads the tension evenly and holds your heel down. If you ever experience heel-lift in these, we’ll eat a pair of checkerboard slip-ons.
You can count on a footwear specialists of long standing to know their way around a footbed, and the ‘V2’ version here has extra shock absorption where you need it most – namely, at the heel and forefoot. Both it and the outsole use ‘UltraCush’ dampening that you’ll also find in some of Vans’ best skate shoes.
The design seen here is – by some distance – the more muted of the two that are available. If you like the sound of the Vans Implant but are after something far jazzier, check out the ‘punk’ colourway.