Are the first snows falling and you’re itching to hit the slopes? Did you rent snowboard boots last season but have decided you want your own this year? Here is our guide as to how should snowboard boots fit.
Rental boots serve their purpose, but there’s nothing like having your own boots for a perfect fit. They will cradle your feet and legs better and mold to your unique size.
We will look at snowboard boots sizing, flex and lacing systems, while also giving you some tips on fitting.
Snowboard Boots Sizing
The sizing for a pair of snowboard boots should be much the same as the size you choose for any other shoe. As well as foot sizing, snowboard boots will vary in flex. This denotes the amount of support they provide, from soft through to firm.
Bear in mind, different manufacturers can have different sizing. It’s worth shopping around and trying on several different brands to make sure you get the boots which are right for your feet.
Let’s detail some of the sizing charts for popular brands.
Nike has a range of snowboard boots for men and women. Their sizing chart gives measurements for your feet and matches it with the shoe size.
A brand with a range of sizes is Salomon, who also offers different flexes and lacing options. With sizes and styles for men and women and children, a sizing chart can be found on different websites.
Vans also makes a number of snowboard boots. Use this shoe sizing chart to see which will be best for your feet.
Another popular brand when it comes to snowboarding is DC. This company has sizing charts for men’s and women’s ranges. There are also different lacing options, and a flex rating from 1 through to 10 on each product.
You can also check out the sizing charts for Burton snowboard boots. These give you US sizing and also a Mondo size. This is essentially the length of your foot in centimeters. They have boots with different flex—soft, medium and stiff.
What Exactly Is Flex in Snowboard Boots?
We have briefly mentioned flex above, but let’s look at it in how it affects you when buying snowboard boots.
A soft flex boot is suitable for those who are new to snowboarding, or for those of you who prefer park or freestyle board riding. They give more room to maneuver when landing jumps, and are more forgiving than harder flexed boots.
A firm or stiff flex boot is generally the choice of all-mountain freeriders and more advanced snowboarders. It will give loads of support in turns and give you more edge power on rougher, steeper terrains.
Medium flex falls in the middle area. Suitable for all types of snowboarders wanting to cover all mountain areas. They could be a good choice if you aren’t quite sure which flex you want.
The flex rating can vary between brands. Some will rate soft, medium and stiff, while others will use a sliding scale, with one being the softest and 10 the stiffest.
Lacing Systems for Snowboard Boots
There are different lacing systems on snowboard boots. These include:
- Traditional lacing: These fasten in the same way as any other boots. You can thread and tighten the laces in the best configuration for comfort and fit. The main setback of this type of laces is that they can be hard to adjust with gloves on.
- Speed lace or quick-pull systems: These use two sets of strings or reinforced nylon cables, usually attached to handles. They let you adjust both the upper and lower part of the boot independently, which results in a better fit overall. This system can be used while wearing gloves, and is fast and convenient.
- Boa lacing system: This system uses two steel cables which are woven through the boot and tightened or loosened via one or two dials. They are quick and easy to put on, take off and adjust, even with gloves on. The only setback is that you can’t tweak them for different areas of your boots; think Boa constrictor wrapped around your feet and calves.
Snowboard Boots Fitting Guide
Now that you know about flex and lacing systems, let’s see what you need to know when fitting your snowboard boots.
- Wear a pair of snowboarding socks, like these from Minus 33, when trying your boots on. You want to make sure you have the right socks for the task.
- Try boots on later in the day, when your feet tend to be at their largest, as they usually swell during the day.
- Our feet tend to be slightly different sizes, so make sure you try both boots on.
- Put the boot on and lace it up, or tighten the Boa system.
- Once you have done this, you should feel your toes touching the front of the boot liner. This should feel like a gentle brushing, with no curling of toes or plenty of wiggle room.
- Time to give the boots a bit of a workout, either rock back and forth gently on the spot or try out a few lunges around the store. Your heel should seat firmly in place and not lift, and you should feel your toes pull back a little from the front of the liner.
Take the liner out of the boot and see how the shell of the boot fits. To do this, put your foot in the boot and slide it forward so your toes touch the front. You should now be able to place two fingers behind your heel, any less and it’s too tight, any more it’s too big.
Without the liner, your foot should not be touching the sides at the widest point.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Tight Should Snowboard Boots Be?
Your snowboard boots should fit your feet like a glove fits a hand. With the liner in, you should feel contact all around your foot. The boots will gain internal volume or pack out after a few days of wear.
Do Snowboard Boots Run Big or Small?
Just as with any other footwear, different brands will fit in different ways. Be guided initially by your usual foot size and try on a few different makes to see which you feel are the most comfortable.
How Should Snowboard Boots Fit in Bindings?
Bindings are what hold your feet on your board, so it’s important your boots fit in them well. Their sizes are more general than boots, usually small/medium, medium/large and large/extra large. Your boots should be gripped securely in the bindings, with a snug fit on the heel.
When your boots are in properly, they should not hang over the sides of the bindings too much, and should be able to flex as you move.
Ready to Hit the Slopes
Choosing a pair of snowboarding boots could take a bit of time. Decide what type of boarding you’re going to do and then work out the flex and lacing type you want. Once you have narrowed down the choices, it’s time to find your boots.
Now you know what to look for when you are buying and fitting snowboard boots, you can find a pair that will have you catching air and riding the edge of your board like a pro.
We hope you enjoyed our guide and have picked up some useful tips. Please leave us a comment with your thoughts, and don’t forget to share with other boarders.