Though your first instinct when shopping for snowboard equipment might be to browse the substantial diversity of snowboards and bindings on sale, in reality, your snowboard boots may well prove the most crucial part of your snowboarding gear.
For this reason, it is important to be choosy when shopping for snowboard boots. You may initially find that, in many ways, choosing new snowboard boots to buy can feel like choosing new ordinary shoes or trainers to buy – you browse the huge range available, rummage through boxes for boots of your size, try them on to ensure that they fit comfortably, and maybe consider the material from which the footwear is manufactured.
However, you should discover before too long that there are so many other crucial factors to consider. Where exactly should you do your shopping? How stiff or soft should the right pair of boots be? And how much should you reasonably expect to spend on the right pair of boots?
All such questions could only be answered by many snowboarders with the help of years of experience of shopping for snowboard boots. Fortunately, however, you might not necessarily need that; for a few useful initial pointers, you just need to read this article.
So, where should you look first in your search? Surprisingly, the answer actually isn’t ‘online’. True, the Internet is an incredible resource – and you are bound to find plenty of retailers of snowboard boots there. But especially when it comes to buying your very first pair of snowboard boots, it is so crucial that you actually get the opportunity to try them on beforehand. There are so many factors to consider in choosing snowboard boots which cannot always be accounted for through the listings of online stores.
So, then, where exactly should you shop? Well, the big name, highly reputable stores, like Burton Snowboards, are probably the best bet. This is because their staff are often thoroughly experienced snowboarders themselves, and so are usually in a good position to provide advice on what type of snowboard boots would be right for you. However, there are many top quality snowboard equipment retailers out there, so be sure to consult the opinions of snowboarding friends and snowboarding instructors on the best retailers. Once you have tried them on in a shop you can then go online in the confidence that when you buy them (hopefully at a cheaper price) they will fit!
Make sure they fit!
Once you are trying on some snowboard boots in the shop, make sure that they genuinely fit snugly, albeit not to the point where they restrict circulation. Also remember to aim for boots which are half a size less than your ordinary shoe size, as boot liners will compress over time.
There are two main types of lacing systems. There are traditional laces, which are often cheap, widely available, and easily replaceable, and then there are the more advanced “speed-lace” systems, which can be laced more quickly and easily through a single tug, but nonetheless remain more difficult to replace than ordinary laces. Weigh up these advantages and disadvantages while deciding which type of laces to buy.
It is also crucial to consider how stiff or soft your snowboard boots should be. More experienced and larger snowboarders will generally require a stiffer boot than novice or smaller snowboarders. Prices may also influence your choice of snowboard boots, but you should really try to spend a little more cash on boots and bindings than snowboards, in order to assure great quality.
Ultimately, though we hope that you have found this article useful, it can only provide subtle pointers; be sure to thoroughly consult fellow snowboarders for more advanced and detailed advice, as the wrong pair of snowboard boots will definitely be detrimental to your snowboarding experience and performance.
This article originally appeared on snowboard.ltd.uk.