The equipment of a snowboarder cannot be separated from the boots, which must be carefully chosen for comfort, protection from the cold, safety, and performance. To select the right pair of snowboard boots, you need to consider several factors.
On the basis of these factors, it is well understood how the purchase of snowboard boots should not be made lightly but needs careful consideration, which will allow you to find the right model according to your specific need.
Right below we had listed out some of the best pairs of Nike snowboard boots.
How to Choose Nike Snowboard Boots?
Choose Your Boots Based on Your Level of Experience
When purchasing, it will be essential to keep in mind the level of experience achieved. A beginner should opt for a flex that is in line with the index of the board and snowboard bindings, to have optimal overall compatibility of the snowboard set.
Therefore, snowboard boots for beginners should, as a rule, have a medium or soft degree of flex (of value 3 or 4), consistent with what happens for snowboard boards or bindings.
A medium-soft flex provides a good response, giving the right comfort and is better suited to those who have not yet developed an advanced level of driving and still make many mistakes.
A medium flex instead, between 5 and 6, is well suited to all boots for intermediate level snowboarders and for those who have not yet defined their surfing style. Although this is not a fixed rule, taking your skill as a starting point is still an excellent way to avoid making risky or incorrect purchases.
The Right Flex for Every Riding Style
The flex degree of snowboard boots can be classified as soft, intermediate, and rigid. It is possible in principle to associate the degree of flex as well as the technical level of the rider to the different areas of use, according to the following combinations:
- Park and Freestyle Boots: ideal soft/soft flex, to obtain maximum sensitivity when practising fluid styles. The cushioning is designed to absorb impacts for the benefit of the joints;
- All-Mountain Boots: ideal intermediate flex. In this case, the degree of flex is quite versatile, that is, with a balanced relationship between support and sensitivity;
- Freeride and Backcountry Boots: ideal medium / rigid-flex. The rider will thus benefit from a high reactivity and a high-speed transmission from the foot to the board. By means of a solid structure of the hull and with the cushioning of the midsole, adequate protection of the joints is also obtained;
- Race and Carving Boots: ideal rigid-flex.
How Is a Snowboard Boot Made?
Before moving on to the advice to choose the right model and size, let’s analyze which are the main parts that make up a snowboard boot, the respective technical characteristics, and the most popular materials used in the construction by companies in the sector.
Knowing the anatomy of a snowboard boot and the technical characteristics of its components is very important to find the right model for your needs. Each part of a snowboard boot performs a specific function.
Here are the main parts that characterize a classic model of snowboard boot, both externally and internally:
External components of a snowboard boot
- Outer boot, the outer cover generally made of plastic or leather;
- Outer lacing, or the laces for closing in synthetic material or steel cable;
- Boot Tongue that is the tongue supporting the tibia;
- Grap Loop which facilitates the insertion of the boot and is placed at the level of the calf in the back.
Internal components of a snowboard boot
- Liner, or liner, with an insulating and protective function;
inner lacing or internal laces;
- The footbed, i.e., the sole presence in the shoe, generally of the thermoformable type;
- Sole, are the soles placed in the base of the boot, to offer grip and sometimes even to cushion thanks to special pads.
Let’s now analyze in detail the technical characteristics of some of the essential parts that make up a snowboard boot.
The Closure System
The type of lacing/closing of a snowboard boot represents a characterizing element and is of fundamental importance. The closing systems have as their ultimate aim to guarantee the perfect fit, as well as the adherence between the foot and the boot, thanks to the appropriate adjustments.
In boots with traditional closure system, the most common one, the closure takes place by means of a lace that wraps the boot according to personal needs;
In boots with BOA® lacing system ( Boa® Lacing System ), the lace is replaced by a steel cable, mounted near the tongue of the boot, adjustable by means of wheels.
The Boa® is a straightforward and fast system that has the advantage of leaving the upper and lower closure of the hull independent, so as to be able to vary its tightening. This system is very convenient especially in situations where you do not want to or cannot take off your gloves to tie your boots;
The most innovative system is the speed lacing (rapid lacing system) or “Fast Track®” that, in the same way, Boa® allows us to adjust the upper part independently from the lower part of the hull but this time using a double rod, highly quickly and safely.
Which prevents the lacing from loosening while driving. It is a lighter and more flexible system than the Boa® that adapts well to boots with a flexible structure and in models for freestyle and jibbing.
Snowboard boots include an internal liner or ” liner “to ensure thermal insulation, excellent comfort, and of course, the right fit. The inner liner has a particular structure and a certain level of rigidity, which affects the inflexibility of the boot and the support it provides during the riding phase.
The shoe comes into direct contact with the foot and should be carefully evaluated. The liners can present various measures on the lacing and appropriate reinforcements.
The boots with thermoformable liners are particularly appreciated, which is adaptable to the shape of the foot through heat and those that have a cushioned sole that contributes to comfort during movements.
Cushioning generally uses synthetic and plastic materials, often also flexible, such as EVA foam or polyurethane. There are also cushioning systems made with distinct layers of gel or special padded pads. The more the boots offer to cushion, the more they protect the joints.
No less significant is the tightness of the heel, and in general, of the foot, inside the shoe. An optimal seal allows us to transfer the movement to the table better. As for the insole, it performs a significant function of cushioning and support to the arches and all these thanks to a pad positioned at the heel. A suitable footbed must offer ample protection to the three arches, that is, on the medial, lateral, and transverse areas.
Of great importance is the sole. Generally made of rubber, new singles are now lightened through the use of individual compounds in STI Evolution Foam, which at the same time determine the grip of the boot on the snow and the necessary cushioning.
The Importance of Materials
Wanting to save at all costs to buy new snowboard boots exposes you to the risk of finding yourself with an inferior product. Precisely for this reason, we have selected only the best models for our snowboard shop.
In a typical session, you find yourself wearing snowboard boots for several hours, and comfort plays a decisive role. This means that prosperity still requires a specific price to pay and should always prevail over aesthetics. In this regard, it is always better to prefer boots that implement quality materials.
Each brand offers innovative and specific materials. Deluxe, for example, creates boots with thermoforming leather for protection against humidity, Burton uses Aegis antibacterial coatings against unpleasant odours, K2 uses the Endo Construction with a European exoskeleton to optimize reactivity and flex.
In the choice of boots, it is customary to distinguish between boots with hard and soft structure, or between two types that use different materials.
- Soft Boots: they are made from an external shell, while the inside has a lining or shoe that can also be removable and equipped with laces. Generally, these boots have a thick and flexible sole with a rigid upper. The soft boots have the advantage of offering exceptional comfort and are very suitable for freeride and freestyle, whether in the park, powder or on the track;
- Hard Boots: they are designed for those who love high speed, to look for the perfect hold and the optimal transmission of movements on the table. They have an outer shell that mounts unique buckles to offer comfort. Often they are also equipped with a unique adjustable tilt mechanism and, therefore, also guarantee ample customization in order to fit. It should be noted that these boots, at the moment, remain compatible with alpine bindings only.
We have already dealt in detail in one of the previous paragraphs with regard to the degree of flex and its decisive role in the choice of boots in relation to the technical level and specific field of use.
How to Choose the Right Size of Snowboard Boots?
Now let’s move on to one of the most important and useful topics in this guide: the choice of size. When you buy the new boots, when you wear them, you must immediately feel an absolute comfort, taking into account that you are not, however, faced with every day sneakers.
The snowboard boot suitable for your size must not hurt but must bandage and keep the foot firm. When a boot is still new, it could give some initial discomfort because of the flat, which will always have to take the shape of the foot.
Let’s see how to proceed and some tips.
When preparing to choose the right size, it will be necessary to measure the length of the foot, taking into account not only the profile but also of the transverse arch and any disturbances during the support phase.
Then we will proceed with the wearing of the boot, tightening it appropriately according to our needs. The right size can be identified if one flies on your feet. The big toe will touch the inner shoe, and being bent, this does not happen. The correct hold on the heel is assessed by exerting pressure on the toes: the boot should not move more than an inch.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the boot closed and try to take a few steps before making a final judgment. It would be preferable not just to try a couple of models but also to range between one brand and another, as the fit can vary significantly.
Finally, measuring the boots wearing technical socks, specific for snowboarding, can help to identify the correct size in the best way, as well as ensuring the proper protection to the foot when you use them.
By clicking on the following link, you can view a useful size and size conversion table for snowboard boots in the different numbering systems used (European, USA, UK, and Mondopoint in centimetres), which will make it easy for you to find the right size during your online purchase.
Choose the Right Boots for The Type of Binding and For the Board?
Ultimately, but not in order of importance, when choosing boots, the problem also arises of identifying the models compatible with the bindings and consequently with the board. When you already have a board and bindings, it would be advisable to combine the new boots with the same degree of flex as the first ones.
Another good starting point is to verify that the size of the boot is compatible with that of the binding. When wearing the toe and heel, they must not protrude from the table but always remain close to the edges.