Snowboard Boots: What We Say

Published in Whitelines Magazine Buyer’s Guide Issue, Winter 2010-2011

Sizes: 4 – 13
They Say: Bring on some action.
we say: The relatively stiff flex on this boot would suit riders who have a bit of experience under their belt, and who want a boot for carving and cruising. It’s probably a bit soft for true park rats though.
Bonfire Blaze : £140
Sizes: 5.5 – 14
They Say: A pure feel-good fit.
we say: This is only Bonfire’s second year of building boots, but their success means their line is expanding rapidly already. This mid-flexing boot is their all-round offering – soft enough for park-based frolics, but also just about stiff enough to hold it together in pow.
Bonfire Bolt : £180
Sizes: 5.5 – 14
They Say: Better than ever.
we say: Bonfire’s top of the range men’s boot still comes in at under 200-quid. It’s not the highest tech boot, but it’s still a snip when you consider that you get a boa lacing system, a nice mid-flex and a gangsta look for your money.
Burton Moto : £130
Sizes: 5 – 14
They Say: Technically the #1 selling boot in the entire universe.
we say: A well-made boot with an easy flex that’d suit beginners and intermediates down to a tee. It’s maybe not supportive enough for boosting off 60-footers, but it’s great for just jibbing about.
Burton Ruler : £170
Sizes: 5 – 14
They Say: A god among mortals.
we say: Burton have been producing a boot called the Ruler for a long time, and with good reason. Its medium flex pattern makes it comfortable off-piste or in the park, making it popular with all-round riders. It’s not a specialists’ boot, but it’ll do most things well.
Burton Ruler Restricted : £170
Sizes: 5 – 14
They Say: One boot to rule them all.
we say: Burton have beefed up their already impressive Ruler here with an extra-large airbag for extra cushioning and a slimmer ‘Shrinkage’-enhanced profile. They’re not available everywhere, but if you can find them these are well worth a try.
Burton Ambush : £190
Sizes: 6 – 14
They Say: Featherweight assassin.
we say: Burton reckon this is one of the lightest boots they’ve ever produced, making it perfect for park rats. Its got a flex that’s maybe a wee bit on the soft side for hardcore carving, but it’ll suit most riding styles.
Burton Hail : £200
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: Bring the storm.
we say: One for the freestylers. Burton’s Hail boasts an extra large air cushion in the sole, making heavy landings easier on the ankles. That flex isn’t built for really high speeds, it’ll help you tweak those tricks out harder.
Burton Imperial : £240
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: 28 years in the making.
we say: This boot packs most of Burton’s top-end tech into a single mid-flexing shell. Built as “the ultimate go anywhere boot”, it’s more expensive than most, but you get a lot for your money.
Burton Ion : £280
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: A legacy of all-mountain mastery.
we say: Ridden by a lot of Burton’s pro-team, this super-stiff boot is aimed at the kind of riders who need that kind of support. Beginners and casual riders will struggle to bend it to their will, but experienced big hitters will appreciate it.
Burton SLX : £380
Sizes: 6 –12
They Say: Luxury slippers for all-mountain rippers.
we say: Burton have done everything humanly possible to make this boot the most comfortable ever made by anyone – even down to looking at the way the panels are stitched! Its mid-flex means it’ll suit almost any rider, as long as they can afford that stonking price tag.
Celsius Cirrus : £195
Sizes: 7 –12
They Say: Packs a mean punch.
we say: This all-rounder will suit most different riding styles, from piste-cruisers to park rats. That said, it’s probably a bit too stiff for absolute beginners or diehard jibbers, but advanced shredders will appreciate the tech you get for the price.
DC Scout : £180
Sizes: 4 – 14
They Say: Skate-inspired.
we say: This features DC’s low-profile sole, meaning that you can feel every twitch of your board through the boot. This, combined with the softish flex, makes it great for park rats. That said, it’s maybe not the most supportive on really massive booters.
DC Rogan : £200
Sizes: 4 – 12
They Say: Welded backstay and internal ankle harness.
we say: One of the stiffer boots in DC’s generally park orientated line, this is nonetheless pretty comfortable in the park or pipe. The welded backstay adds extra stiffness for carving.
DC Park : £230
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: Special Park Bravo liner.
we say: DC’s ever-popular Park boot has had a bit of a re-vamp this year – that Park Bravo liner is actually backless, making it easier to feel what’s going on with your bindings and board. While the outer is stiff flexing and responsive, it’s very much still a freestylers’ boot.
DC Ceptor : £270
Sizes: 6 –12
They Say: Lightweight and durable.
we say: This is one of DC’s stiffest boots. Aimed at the kids who are hitting the biggest booters in the park and need the extra support. These would definitely be too stiff (and possibly too expensive) for beginners, but hard-carving speed lovers will like ‘em.
Deeluxe One del Mar : £200
Sizes: 4 –14
They Say: The non plus ultra of the One Series
we say: Like everything in Deeluxe’s One series, this is good and light, and the flex, which has been increased from last year’s Del Mar, is impressively responsive. This doesn’t have a liner, but Deeluxe have put in a ‘D-Tex’ layer to ensure it’s still waterproof.
Deeluxe Id TF : £220
Sizes: 4 – 12
They Say: Dedicated to riders who want to be in harmony with the surrounding nature and mountain.
we say: This is a relatively simple boot, with traditional laces rather than fancy more modern systems, but don’t let that or the soft flex deceive you as to the quality here – it’s second to none.
Deeluxe Empire PF : £260
Sizes: 5 – 12
They Say: Classic but elegant.
we say: One of Deeluxe’s longest-running boot lines, the Empire boasts a convenient speed lace system and a ‘powerstrap’, for extra ankle support. The stiffish flex means it’s probably not for beginners or jibbers, but it’ll ride everything else easily.
Flow Rift Boa Focus : £150
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: Geared for hard-riding freestylers.
we say: This comes in towards the stiffer end of Flow’s range, but it’s still very much a freestyle focussed boot – it’s just designed for freestylers who hit big stuff, not novices. So cornices and cliff drops into powder, not dryslope boxes.
Forum Fastplant : £115
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: Real style, performance and comfort at a real price.
we say: Aimed primarily at jibbers, the Fastplant’s soft flex and cheap price would probably suit beginners as well. It’s not the techiest boot in the book, but for that price it’s pretty damn dope.
Forum League : £170
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: A league of its own.
we say: An all-round freestyler’s boot, with a mid flex to match its mid-price. It’s got Forum’s cheapest footbed and liner, but it’s still comfortable enough to soak up heavy landings in the iciest of parks.
Forum Tramp : £175
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: True park flex thanks to ‘Tweaker Technology’.
we say: ‘Tweaker Technology’ enables you to flex your foot from side to side easily, while still offering solid support on the toe-to-heel axis. While this might not suit beginners, advanced riders will love how easy it is to bone out grabs.
Head Team : £130
Sizes: 4.5 – 12.5
They Say: For park and backcountry slayers.
we say: Head keep it simple but stylish with this boot. The double strap around the ankle offers extra support, and the stiffish flex means it’ll soak up heavy landings. It’s not the lightest boot, but you’d be hard pushed to find another high-spec boot at that price.
K2 Darko Boa Conda : £190
Sizes: 6 – 13
They Say: Ride anything and stomp everything.
we say: This features a side Boa system for easy adjusting on the fly. The stiff flex means it’s definitely not for beginners, but the flipside is it’s one of the most responsive boots on the market – so perfect for people who like riding fast.
K2 Thraxis Boa Conda : £250
Sizes: 6 – 13
They Say: Changes everything you know about snowboard boots.
we say: This boot features no less than three Boa wheels, meaning you can pretty much adjust everything about it to get the fit exactly right. OK,
so it’s reasonably pricey, but it’s got tons of tech features.
Nike Zoom Force One : £190
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: The perfect combination of heritage style and modern performance.
we say: Taking its name from one of Nike’s most successful shoes ever was always going to be a good start, and this boot doesn’t disappoint. It’s not the most tech piece of snowboard footwear out there, but it’s simple, well-built and effective.
Nike Zoom DK : £210
Sizes: 7 – 12
They Say: Developed with Danny Kass using superior Nike technology.
we say: Kass’ signature boot is a relatively stiff offering aimed at those who know how to ride rather than beginners. It’s not so stiff that park rats couldn’t use it though.
Nike Zoom Kai Ju : £235
Sizes: 6 – 11
They Say: Our pinnacle in boot technology.
we say: Nike’s highest price boot has a spec to match, with a ‘Zoom Air’ bubble nicked straight from their trainers in the sole, and a ‘temperature-controlled liner’. It’s probably out of the price range of beginners, but that mid-flex means it’ll suit most others.
Nitro Reverb : £130
Sizes: 4 – 13
They Say: Not your standard entry-level snowboard boot. we say: Nitro have produced a sick way in for snowboarders starting out here. The flex isn’t so soft that you’ll need to replace it as your riding improves, but should be easy enough to kick start your career.
Nitro Anthem : £150
Sizes: 4 –13
They Say: A staple for riders who want park and freestyle performance.
we say: A nice mid-flexing boot at a mid-price. Nitro’s Anthem features a lightweight liner and a low-profile sole, keeping it compact. Not the most padded on big booters, but nice and light.
Northwave Freedom : £140
Sizes: 5 – 13
They Say: Speed lace boot that won’t break your bank account.
we say: Northwave’s Freedom must be one of the bestpriced speed-lace boots on the market, and that, along with the mid-flex, make this an attractive proposition for anyone. It’s not got the highest tech spec, but it’ll do most things.
Rome Libertine Pure Flex : £195
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: The perfect choice for riders who like tweakability and support.
we say: This is one of Rome’s longest running boots for a reason. It sits comfortably in the space between super-soft and super-stiff, and if you choose the lace
option, it’s adjustable across four different zones thanks to Rome’s ‘PureFlexQuad’ system.
Rome Folsom : £210
Sizes: 6 – 12
They Say: What Bjorn [Leines] needs for dropping a line with speed and power.
we say: These are boots for the unashamed big mountain rider who likes boosting off big cliffs. They’re too stiff for intermediates, but experienced riders will
appreciate little touches like the memory foam heel cup and the extra dampeners for big landings.
Salomon Dialogue : £170
Sizes: 4 – 14
They Say: Simple style, timeless performance.
we say: Aimed at people who ride over 100 days a season, this relatively stiff boot can take a battering, thanks to its simple construction. That said, it’d
probably go down well with most snowboarders looking for an all-round boot.
Salomon F20 : £170
Sizes: 6 – 13
They Say: Low profile shape, high profile reputation.
we say: With a gel bubble in the sole for extra cushioning and the comfy ‘Mystic footbed level 3’ this boot will suit most riders. It’s not one for pow or park
specialists, but if you fall somewhere in between, it’s well worth a look.
Salomon Synapse : £190
Sizes: 6 – 11
They Say: First class response.
we say: That stiff flex rating says it all really – this boot is built to be super-responsive. If you’re into tweaking your grabs out like Terje in the early nineties, then it’s probably not for you, but if you want to charge hard and fast you’ll want some of these.
Salomon MALAMUTE : £230
Sizes: 5 – 13
They Say: Radical response.
we say: One step up from the Synapse, this offers an even stiffer and more responsive feel. Its got a ‘Power liner’ and a high tech footbed to keep you comfortable as you hoon it around the hill, but it’s definitely not for jibbers.
Thirty Two Prion FT : £140
Sizes: 4 – 13
They Say: Geared for comfort and easy entry.
we say: This is one of the more basic boots Thirty Two produce, but it’s still packed with features, including their patented speed-lacing system and a 3D moulded tongue. Aimed more at intermediates, but would probably suit any rider on a budget.
Thirty Two JP WALK ER PROSPECT : £150
Sizes: 4 – 13
They Say: We gave JP creative control…
we say: …and he stuck a rasta three-stripe down the side. If you like your boots to come with an easy-going reggae vibe and a softish flex, then take a look at this. It’s not as tech as some boots, but for jibbers, park rats, casual cruisers and Bob Marley, it’s ideal.
Thirty Two Lashed : £170
Sizes: 4 – 13
They Say: Lightweight without compromising support.
we say: The lashed continues to be one of Thirty-Two’s best-sellers, and with good reason. Like all Thirty- Twos, it’s good and light, it’s got a mid-flex that appeals to most riding types and it’s got a name that makes you sound like a lad. Innit.
Thirty Two TM Two : £200
Sizes: 5 – 12
They Say: Our team-inspired boot.
we say: A relatively stiff-flexing beast built for advanced freestylers – like the Thirty-Two team. It’s got an ‘Articulating Cuff’ for extra tweakability and features a super-tech ‘level 4 liner’. Perhaps a bit stiff for most jibbers, but Simon Chamberlain rides it, so it works for some.
Thirty Two Focus Boa : £220
Sizes: 5 – 12
They Say: Three specific tightening zones.
we say: The boa system makes this boot pretty easy to get on and off, and Thirty-Two’s ‘Eye-stay’ system means it’s still adjustable over the whole length of the foot. That stiff flex means it’s more responsive than forgiving, so aimed at better riders.
Vans Encore : £160
Sizes: 6 –13
They Say: The best-selling Boa boot of all time.
we say: An easy-flexing boot aimed at anyone from entry-level riders to experienced park rats. It’s not the lightest in Vans range, but it’s got a thermal liner and that flex will pretty much suit most riding styles.
Vans Aura : £185
Sizes: 6 – 13
They Say: Last season the Aura was introduced to rave reviews.
we say: With it’s double boa lacing system this boot is easier to adjust than most, and with it’s ‘ImpactSorb’ tech in the sole, it goes easy on heavy landings. Which is good, because it’s built for freestylers who go bigger than most.
Vans Jamie Lynn : £180
Sizes: 7 – 12
They Say: Style is forever.
we say: Jamie Lynn is surely one of the steeziest riders ever to set foot on a snowboard, and this is his boot. It’s got a dope looking Eagle on the back and a stiff flex that offers awesome response – if you know how to use it.
Vans Andreas Wiig : £190
Sizes: 7 – 14
They Say: Andreas designed his boot to be lighterweight and softer flexing than before.
we say: Softer-flexing it may be, but when you’re the size of Andreas Wiig, you need some serious support – and this boot gives it to you. It’s definitely not one for beginners, but if you want to go as big as Wiig, then it’s a pretty pimpin’ option.
Vans Cirro : £240
Sizes: 7 – 12
They Say: Sets the pace as the best boot in its class.
we say: A beast of a boot built for serious freeriders who need the kind of support only a super-stiff flex can offer. Lightweight and comfortable, this also features
a shell built largely out of recyclable materials, so it’s good for the planet as well. Not one for jibbers’ though.


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