Since warm, comfortable feet are essential to having a good time on the hill (as well as skipping circles around those skiers in the resort parking lot), many riders consider boots to be the most important choice when building their setup. As a beginner, your boots will be easier to pick out than your board, because you already know what size to get. But don't skimp here! Read on to find out how to keep your dogs from biting.
The outer layer of the boot is typically referred to as the shell. Shells are composed of high-tech materials to keep the elements out and lacing systems to keep your feet in. Check for a short overall dimension. Clunky boots or pointy toes might get you style points somewhere else, but on the hill, they just hold you back.
A boot is only as good as its liner. You'll want a comfortable, secure fit with no pressure points. The best way to find out which liner is for you is to get your foot into a boot and test it out. Many liners, such as our Imprint EVA liners, are heat-moldable so you can customize the liner to the shape and contour of your foot. Comfort and warmth are never a question. Stitched, or lace-up style liners (we call ours the Matrix liner), can be cinched as tightly or loosely as you please to accommodate a range of foot and calf shapes. We offer both Imprint EVA and Matrix liners to satisfy all flavors of feet. "Flavors of feet" sounds pretty gross. Let's move on.
Liners are built around a human foot-form, or last, and the shells are built around the liners. Make sure the boots you choose have 1:1 lasting, meaning for every half and full size boot, there is a matching, perfectly engineered, half and full size liner to go with it. (Hint: ALL Burton boots feature 1:1 lasting. How's that for subtlety?) And of course, our women's boots are created around a women's-specific last, because women shouldn't have to make do with some dude's stuff (unless, of course, she wants to). With the boot fully laced and tight, your toes should just brush against the front of the liner. Wiggle room is good as it gives your toes room for circulation and warmth. Growing room is bad as it creates heel lift, toe bang and reduced response. When you try on boots in the shop, ask to strap into some bindings. Make sure the straps don't create any painful pressure points and that your heel doesn't lift when you bend your knees or stand on your toes.
Boot Choice Recap
1) Use discrimination when shopping for boots. Happy feet are attached to happy snowboarders.
2) Pull out the liner and check quality.
3) 1:1 Lasting is good. It means that every whole and half size liner has a matching whole and half size boot shell.
4) Make sure your boots fit, and fit well. Strap in and