Working as a snowboard instructor means spending an ungodly amount of time in snowboard boots. Through 4 years of teaching, I’ve learned that a good snowboard boot needs to be comfortable for long days on the mountain. If a boot isn’t comfortable, it affects all aspects of my snowboarding unlike anything else.
A good boot also needs to be warm, no matter the conditions, so I can be in the elements without worrying about my feet freezing. And lastly, a boot has to perform when you need it to. It should be able to charge on the steeps, expand your riding capabilities, and support your only connection to the snowboard.
Between the tail end of last season and midway through this season, I’ve been testing the Nitro Chase BOA Boots to see how well they check those three boxes. I can safely say that this medium-stiff boot has a ton of comfort built in.
In short: The Nitro Chase BOA Boots ($500) meet my three biggest needs for a good snowboard boot and knock them out of the park. This boot is extremely comfortable thanks to a dual BOA lace system that lets you find the perfect, snug fit. It’s warm enough for the coldest and deepest days of riding, and it offers superior performance both on and off the snowboard. What it might lack in durability, it makes up for in those other departments.
Read the full GearJunkie Snowboard Boots guide.
- Flex Stiff, 8 out of 10 (on a 1-10 scale)
- Experience level Intermediate to advanced resort
- Upper material synthetic, armored spine backstay
- Footbed Ortholite dual density footbed
- Liner Cloud 9 liner with internal lacing system and re/lace liner locker
- Lacing Dual BOA fit system
- Outsole Vibram outsole made of Vibram Ecostep compound
- Midsole EVA, Air Dampening
- Price $500
- Color options Black, stone (gray)
- Easily adjustable BOA helps dial in fit
- Performance-oriented design excels in technical terrain
- Durability issues — boot wears out fast
Nitro Chase Dual BOA Snowboard Boots Review
I first stepped into the Chase BOA Boots in February 2023. It was the beginning of the annual GearJunkie Ski and Snowboard testing week: 3 days of bell-to-bell powder at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colo. Immediately, I noticed how easy the liner was to get into. It locked down to my foot thanks to the Cloud 9 liner and re/lace liner locker. My foot was snug but not smashed.
What came next is what Cinderella might have felt putting on her glass slipper. The dual BOA system allowed me to cinch the boots to the perfect tightness, inside and out. Its wire laces evenly distributed equalized pressure around my entire shin, ankle, and foot. The double BOA system let me find the exact tightness needed to maximize comfort without sacrificing performance.
After that, I was hooked on these snowboard boots. I wanted to try them in more conditions. So, I spent the rest of the season putting more days on them at Crested Butte, Telluride, and Monarch Mountain where temperatures ranged from -15 degrees to 45 degrees. At a local snowboard contest, I even won the best trick for a frontside 360 off a cliff while laced into the Chase BOA.
Dual BOA System
The dual zone BOA fit system is the single (double?) feature of these boots that sets them apart from traditional lace boots. There is one BOA dial on the outside of the boot that controls the ankle and foothold. Then, a second BOA dial on the tongue of the boot controls the shin hold. Breaking up the lacing into two different systems delivers a tailored foothold to find the perfect pressure on each zone.
Unlike laces, BOA dials are faster to use, hold tighter, and offer more adjustability. I was able to operate them using a gloved hand with ease and adjust my boots on the fly for the perfect fit each lap. All these features led me to believe this was one of the most comfortable snowboard boots I had ever worn.
The Chase BOA boasts a Vibram outsole made from Vibram Ecostep. This eco-friendly compound is composed of up to 50% recycled rubber scrap from the production process of Vibram soles. Vibram captures the scrap and recycles it into Ecostep compound to make new products. The Ecostep outsole offers great traction on snow and ice while helping eliminate waste in the production process.
Then, sandwiched between the toe and heel under the arch of your foot is the EVA Midsole. This is a lightweight rubber that provides thermal insulation and extra cushioning underfoot.
After a season of hard use, the Ecostep sole and EVA Midsole still feel almost brand new and just as grippy.
A quality boot would not be complete without an equally good liner. With the Nitro Cloud 9 liner, I didn’t have to think about adding aftermarket boot liners. It stands up to its name with comfort and stability.
The liner comes pre-molded, meaning it’s comfortable right out of the box, which was my experience. But, you can also heat mold the liner at a shop if needed to get a more precise fit. The re/lace liner locker, Nitro’s unique design, was easy to use and pulled tight with gloves on even when I needed to retighten during a long day.
The flex toebox was comfortable even with hard carves and landings. Thanks to an expandable toebox, I never jammed my toes on the inside of the boot. A thermal layer underneath the footbed helps retain heat even on the coldest days. A few morning inversions meant I was able to withstand -15-degree temperatures in the boots without much issue.
Air Dampening and Flex Link
Two of my favorite features of the Chase Boot are the Air Dampening and Flex Link. Air dampening refers to a small air pocket underneath the heel of the boot. This pocket acts like a shock absorber for your heels and helps absorb hard landings and heel chatter.
As someone who loves side hits, I find myself on as many hard and flat landings as I do soft, powdery ones. You can still go too big or too flat with these boots, but for the vast majority of landings the air-dampening “shocks” were good on my heels.
Another delightful element of the boot is the Flex Link. This is a 3D-molded, flexible foam panel on the ankle of the liner, and it helps ensure even flexing between the upper and lower parts of the shell. I noticed this with turn initiation, as it was flexible yet responsive and helped with speedy transitions from heelside to toeside and back again.
Critique: Exterior Durability
My biggest gripe with Chase BOA boots was the lack of durability of the outer synthetic material. Almost immediately after clipping my toe clip for the first time, I noted it left a wear line in the outer material of the toe. By the end of a few runs, this small line grew into a gash. The blue outer material wore away rather quickly, exposing the fuzzy white material underneath.
By the end of a season in these boots, the outer layer of the toecap was almost entirely worn through. This was more prominent in my back foot boot, as I was unstrapping and strapping that boot every run while leaving my front boot in the bindings.
I also had stitching come undone on one side of the rear fabric pull handle, rendering that pretty useless.
Overall, I never had any issues with performance from this wear. It was mostly cosmetic — but from $500 boots, I want them to look good all season and not show wear as quickly as these did. It did hinder the waterproofing as well toward the end of an open-to-close spring resort day. Water started to see into the toes of my socks, and the exterior of the boot was visibly wet.
Nitro Chase Dual BOA Snowboard Boots: Conclusion
Overall, I really loved the Nitro Chase BOA snowboard boot. The dual BOA system and Cloud 9 liner deliver an extremely comfortable design. These might be the most comfortable snowboard boots I have ever worn.
That comfort does come with a high price tag, but also comes with the performance needed to charge hard on a pow day, dig trenches on the groomers, and even win best trick at your local snowboard comp.
Despite its durability issues with the outer fabric and showing signs of wear, I still find myself grabbing these boots whenever I head to the resort for some soul turns.