two snowboarders carrying their boards
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

The Best Snowboard Boots of 2022-2023

Whether you’re heading into the backcountry or looking for an all-mountain winner, we tested both men’s and women’s options to find the best snowboard boots of the season.

Snowboarding technology has made unbelievable strides since the sport’s invention in rural Michigan in the 1960s. Snowboard boots are no exception. From step-on tech to BOA lacing systems, there are a lot of options available.

To help you on your quest for the perfect snowboarding gear this season, we tested boots from all the top brands and divided this list into specific categories so you can easily find a pair of boots that match your riding style and budget.

If you have general questions about boot design, sizing, and fit, check out the buyer’s guide and FAQ at the end of this article, and have a look at our comparison chart to steer your decision-making. Otherwise, hop to a category that interests you or scroll through our picks for the best snowboard boots of the year:

The Best Snowboard Boots of 2022-2023

Best Overall Men’s Snowboard Boots: Burton Moto Boa

Burton Moto Boa

The Burton Moto BOA ($250) is our pick for the best overall men’s boot this season. Its thoughtful construction provides ample comfort for shredders taking hot laps through the terrain park and powder hounds chasing fresh snow from the first chair to the last.

Made to shred all types of terrain, the Moto boots are built with comfort in mind. Soft flex tongues allow for easy comfort tinkering, and Burton’s unique speed lacing system promotes quick and easy lace adjustments.

Added cushioning underfoot is the icing on the comfort cake. When coupled with the liners and gussets, your feet are all but guaranteed to stay warm and dry even on the wettest spring days.

Overall, the Moto BOA offers supreme comfort and performance at an accessible price for all types of riders, making it our pick for the best snowboard boot for men.

Specs:
  • Flex: Soft to medium
  • Lacing System: Burton Speed Lace
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Beginner to intermediate
Pros:
  • Very comfortable build
  • Lacing system allows for perfect micro-adjustments
  • Internal J-bars provide added ankle support
Cons:
  • Not quite aggressive enough for expert riders

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Best Overall Women’s Snowboard Boot: ThirtyTwo Lashed Double BOA

ThirtyTwo Lashed Double BOA

With supreme versatility and performance in all terrain — from ridge drops to carving groomers or powder-topped moguls — the ThirtyTwo Lashed Double BOA ($349) boot remains our top women’s pick. Ladies will be hard-pressed to find a more stable boot with as much comfort and adjustability.

The heel hold keeps riders secure and prevents any slippage mid-carve. Evolution foam provides lightweight comfort, and the liner is heat-moldable for a tailored fit.

The double BOA lacing system is quick and easy to adjust, allowing for a great customizable hold that’s dialed via two separate zones. Plus there’s an easy-grab pull strap to assist when sliding your foot in.

For cruising and exploring all of the terrain on the mountain, the Lashed Double BOA offers a combination of comfort, adjustability, and performance that make it our top pick.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium (6 out of a 1 to 10 scale)
  • Lacing System: Double BOA
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Intermediate to advanced
Pros:
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile all-mountain boot
  • Easy lacing
  • Ample comfort
Cons:
  • Some complaints about warmth

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Best Backcountry Snowboard Boots for Men: K2 Aspect

K2 Aspect

Backcountry snowboard boots need to be highly adjustable, feel extra comfortable, and meet a high-performance standard. The K2 Aspect ($500) checks all of those boxes and more.

The durable rubber outsoles on these boots are geared toward mountaineering objectives. And the stiff flex enables confident riding in technical terrain. Internal and external J-bars provide additional support and rigidity to keep your feet comfortable and protected on both the climb and descent.

With a stiff flex profile, these boots are designed for advanced riders who need peak performance and reliability. If that’s your jam, these are the splitboard boots we’d recommend.

Specs:
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Lacing System: Traditional laces with integrated lace locks
  • Ride Style: Freeride, backcountry
  • Experience: Advanced to expert
Pros:
  • Construction geared toward designated backcountry use
  • Highly adjustable and comfortable for confident and aggressive riding
Cons:
  • Expensive

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry

Best Backcountry Snowboard Boot for Women: Vans Viaje 

Vans Viaje 

The Vans Viaje ($370) answered our call for a backcountry snowboard boot that’s warm, supportive, and durable for all-day adventures ascending peaks and snowmobiling powder fields. And it achieved all of that without goosenecking our feet.

We’ve been wearing these boots for back-to-back backcountry seasons and they’re still just as comfortable, warm, and supportive as day one. They’re also comfortable for riding the lift and cruising groomers with friends.

Vans nailed the snugness and security but managed to leave room to wiggle the toes. They also provide a secure ankle hold for zero heel lift, even for those of us with narrower feet.

The plush, comfortable liner is boosted with a sweet technology called FlashDry from The North Face, which pushes moisture to the surface to help keep our feet dry. The waterproof/breathable valves in the boot’s shell help release that moisture, too.

A heat retention wrap is integrated around the toebox and above the outsole to help retain heat. And in our blizzard experiences, it works. Our feet have never been so cozy throughout 10-hour days on snow.

The footbeds are comfortable and help prevent fatigue. But after an all-day big-mountain adventure, our feet do feel a tad tired. And though the Viaje prevents frosty toes and offers great protection for resort riding, they feel denser than a freestyle boot.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium to stiff (adjustable flex)
  • Lacing System: Double BOA
  • Ride Style: Backcountry, freeride focus
  • Experience: Advanced to expert
Pros:
  • Keeps feet warm even in subfreezing temperatures or transitioning at the top of a climb
  • Outsoles have an aggressive lug around the perimeter for great traction and stability
  • Boot fits narrow feet and heels well, even with the dual BOA system (versus laces)
  • Tongue stiffeners allow customizable flex that ranges from 6 to 8
Cons:
  • A tad stiff for freestyle action
  • Lacks heel counter for extra crampon security
  • D-rings are too small and not reachable by most pant gaiters

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Best Freestyle Boot for Men: DC Phase

DC Phase

The DC Phase boots ($180) are an excellent, big-name option for riders new to the sport of snowboarding. The flex on these boots is great for beginners, but they’re stiff enough to stay engaging as skills improve.

While the liners are not the most comfortable, they are removable, so you can easily dry them out after a day in the snow. The traditional lacing system is intuitive and allows for adjustments up and down the boot.

Providing excellent performance and versatility, these boots manage to come in under $200, making them a functional, budget option for riders who plan on making steady improvements. The Phase boots are tried and true; a great option for freestyle riders who may be overwhelmed by the number of options available these days.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium/soft
  • Lacing System: Traditional laces
  • Ride Style: Freestyle
  • Experience: Beginner to intermediate
Pros:
  • Affordable and stylish
  • Simple design
  • Mid-flex rating is ideal for most beginner to intermediate riders
  • Comfortable to walk in
Cons:
  • Degrade faster

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Best Freestyle Snowboard Boot for Women: Ride Harper

ride harper snowboard boots

The Ride Harper ($220) is loaded with features that provide enhanced comfort and convenience, but isn’t the highest-ticket build. Overall, this design is a great choice for riders eyeing a season full of trick stomps and powder laps.

There’s a plush foam liner and articulated cuff for a cozy fit across the shin and heel. The midsole is light, durable, and cushy for landing jumps and jibs. The upper is secured via a single BOA turn dial, which is straightforward and easy to operate, even with gloves on.

To keep the heel and ankle on lock, the line has integrated cushioning called J-bars that snug the foot down. We appreciate the EVA footbed beneath our feet, too. The liner is fully molded to the upper, which prevents pack out and increases the lifespan. But that’s a tradeoff for some folks, as removable liners dry out faster after a long day on snow.

Specs:
  • Flex: Softer side (3/10)
  • Lacing System: BOA
  • Ride Style: Freestyle
  • Experience: Beginner to intermediate
Pros:
  • Forgiving for playful tricks and jibs
  • Great price
Cons:
  • Lacks dual BOA system for better customization

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Ride Snowboard

Best Budget for Men: System APX

System APX

There’s an undeniable financial burden of entry to snowboarding, and the System APX ($119) boot is here to address that. This is a great no-frills, entry-level boot that performs well in beginner to intermediate terrain without compromising much in the way of comfort.

The heat-moldable memory foam liner is the best budget option for riders trying to achieve a near-perfect fit. Most higher-end boots have moved toward the BOA lacing system, but the standard laces on the System APX work for a boot at this price point.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium
  • Lacing System: Traditional laces
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Beginner to intermediate
Pros:
  • Highly affordable
  • Impressive comfort for a budget boot
  • Good performance in beginner/intermediate terrain
Cons:
  • Not the most durable
  • Standard lacing can impact adjustability

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Wired Sports

Best Budget Snowboard Boot for Women: ThirtyTwo Shifty

ThirtyTwo Shifty

thirtytwo shifty snowboard boots

Snowboarding is a pricey pastime to start and keep. A few economically priced boots are out there, and they’re generally softer with less robust makeup. One plush, less expensive option is the ThirtyTwo Shifty ($240).

These boots feature dual-density foam for immediate walk-friendly comfort, a soft tongue, and a forgiving liner. The synthetic leather upper is on the softer, suppler side as well.

The traditional laces allow for a precise hug despite taking a couple of minutes longer than conventional quick-lace systems. We appreciate the burly bootstrap for pulling them on, too.

Specs:
  • Flex: Soft
  • Lacing System: Traditional laces
  • Ride Style: Freestyle
  • Experience: Beginner to intermediate
Pros:
  • Wallet-friendly
  • Out-of-box comfort
Cons:
  • Lacks support for bell-to-bell ride days
  • Softer boots generally break down faster

Check Price at REICheck Price at evo

Best Hard Boot Setup: Phantom Slipper

phantom slipper

The Phantom Slipper ($800) has had a decade of percolation, thanks to NASA engineer John Keffler who started tinkering with splitboard boot designs in 2011. Phantom Snow Industries is known for the SplitTech splitboard binding and has been experimenting with a surfy hard boot revolution for riders ever since.

And the voyage to develop the perfect splitboard slipper recently reached a big mark. New to the sport is the first-ever designated hard boot, the Phantom Slipper. It’s efficient for nimble uphill ascents, sidehilling, and bootpacks. Yet it feels supportive and comfortable like a traditional snowboard boot.

A streamlined, precise fit replaces the cumbersome feel of traditional snowboard boots — and it’s surprisingly comfortable. The shell is heat-moldable and has good forward flex but boasts lateral flex for riders, too.

This boot is nongendered for men and women.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium
  • Lacing System: Dual adjustable ski boot-esque straps
  • Ride Style: Backcountry, big-mountain
  • Experience: Advanced to expert
Pros:
  • Construction geared toward designated backcountry and big-mountain use
  • Sidehill stability
  • Walk mode
  • Great power transfer
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Support for long days and variable conditions
Cons:
  • An investment
  • Compatible with tech toe pieces (not traditional snowboard bindings)

Check Price at Phantom Snow

Best of the Rest

Scroll through the women’s picks followed by the men’s top choices.

Women’s Burton Felix BOA 

_DSC4783
Gear tester and contributor Morgan Tilton testing the women’s Burton Felix BOA snowboard boot at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips)

The Burton Felix BOA snowboard boots ($420) are among our favorites thanks to their immediate comfort for all-day resort shreds.

Inside the boot is a squishy cuff that reliably holds down the heel, which we love. The surrounding plush cuff hugs the calf well with medial and lateral neoprene stretch zones.

The sweat-wicking liner absorbs and radiates body heat back onto the feet to help those toes stay warm enough. A reflective foil integrated beneath the foot also reflects body heat back to the foot. A soft faux fur lining adds a bit of warmth and comfort.

We also appreciate the dual BOA system for customization of fit and keeping our heel snug. The streamlined design of the Felix BOA provided a great connection with our board on groomers and through tight glades, exactly when we needed quick edge response.

While they didn’t quite take the top spot, they’re some of the best snowboard boots on the market.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium (5 out of 10)
  • Lacing System: Dual-zone BOA
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Beginner to advanced
Pros:
  • Soft out-of-box comfort
  • Streamlined fit provides close-to-board feel
  • Two unique, generous loops on the front and back to pull on boot
Cons:
  • If you like stiffer boots, these won’t fit the bill
  • Pricier option

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Women’s Burton Supreme

Women's Burton Supreme

For women who aggressively charge slopes, check out the Burton Supreme ($520). These firm, low-volume, responsive boots closely connect riders with their boards for quicker turns with less effort. Whether you’re bound for groomers, bumps, glades, a slalom course, the back bowls, or park jumps, these boots are supportive yet comfortable.

The design feels lightweight in part due to the high-end liner, which is made with a polyurethane tongue and performance foam that forms around the foot. For dependable warmth, the liner reflects body heat back onto the feet while simultaneously wicking sweat. A reflective foil is integrated underfoot to increase heat even more.

The Supreme features a heel hold plus medial and lateral ankle support as well as a gel cushion that doesn’t falter in frigid temps. The dual-density outsole is steadfast, too. For durability and high performance, these are some of the best snowboard boots available.

Specs:
  • Flex: Stiff (7/10)
  • Lacing System: Burton’s “Speed Zone” quick laces
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Intermediate to advanced
Pros:
  • Packs out less compared to softer boots
  • Dual-speed zone lacing system is durable and fast and provides customizable tension
Cons:
  • More expensive choice

Check Price at Backcountry

Women’s K2 Taro Tamai

k2 taro tamai

For experienced riders who want a soft, surfy, high-end boot that lasts, look no further than the K2 Taro Tamai ($520). It’s no surprise this new boot is a top hit, given it was co-designed with renowned snowboard designer and photographer Taro Tamai, the founder of Japanese snow surfing.

This boot is flexible yet stable. We appreciate the dual BOA setup for a more precise fit, and the rope lace system is constructed with a softer lace versus steel. To adapt the structure, there’s a removable harness that locks to the shell.

The ergonomic Vibram outsole enhances heel-side turns for a surf-inspired feel. The articulated cuff is supple and offers great forward flex, yet it’s reinforced with rubber for durability.

For warmth, the liner features a reflective panel that holds in body heat. The boot’s comfort is high, thanks to the foam midsole, dual-density EVA insole, and internal cushion that holds down the heel.

Specs:
  • Flex: Softer (4/10)
  • Lacing System: Dual BOA adjustment
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Intermediate to advanced
Pros:
  • Odor-control liner made with recycled coffee grounds and recycled polyester
  • Premium construction
Cons:
  • Top dollar

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at K2

Women’s Ride Context

Women's Ride Context

Love traditional lace-up boots? The Ride Context ($300) is a high-performance model with old-school laces for that fine-tuned fit. Plus it has a single BOA that pulls the tongue back while cinching down the heel and ankle. It’s the best of both worlds.

Around the boot’s upper, a premium polyurethane blend is added to high-use areas — like where the bindings rub against the boot — for a longer lifespan. The proprietary midsole, dubbed +Slime, is a foam blend that’s comfortable yet responsive. The boot’s liner is infused with bamboo charcoal, which naturally stomps odors and regulates temperature.

The C.A.T. (calf adjustment technology) lets ladies widen the cuff zone for an adaptable hug and overall fit. The build has a heat-reflective foil above the midsole, which reflects body heat to the underside of the feet.

To stabilize the heel and ankle, an internal cushion adds articulated support — no slipping around here. On the exterior, the rubber toe cap and dual-density heel counter, constructed of thermoplastic polyurethane, boost the boot’s durability.

Specs:
  • Flex: Stiffer side (7/10)
  • Lacing System: Traditional laces with BOA-adjustable tongue
  • Ride Style: All-mountain, freeride
  • Experience: Advanced to expert
Pros:
  • Laces plus single BOA
  • Removable liner
  • Good choice for bigger calf muscles
Cons:
  • Some riders don’t prefer laces

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry

Women’s ThirtyTwo TM-2 Double Boa

_DSC2706
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Among the most popular gear ThirtyTwo makes are the TM-TWO Double Boa ($385) snowboard boots for gals. These boots rock.

Slightly stiffer, this design is a solid choice for saving energy on aggressive runs. That’s in part thanks to the performance-oriented backstay — rigid material that reinforces the spine of the boot. The Vibram outsole paired with a light foam cushion adds support.

An interior butterfly cushion reaches outward above the ankle to keep the heel locked down. The boot also includes a heel hold system, optional inserts that can be used for customizing the fit in addition to heat molding at a shop.

The dual quick-pull for the interior lace, which tightens around the liner, is smartly designed for an easier release at the end of the day or while taking a lunch break.

Specs:
  • Flex: Slightly stiffer (7 out of 10)
  • Lacing System: Double BOA
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Intermediate to advanced
Pros:
  • Cozy, fuzzy cuff
  • Spacious toe box is great for wiggling toes during cold conditions
  • Gorgeous purple color option
Cons:
  • Not the most streamlined fit but still responsive
  • Slightly stiffer might not be a good choice for beginner riders or those looking for a softie

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Men’s Vans Infuse

Men's Vans Infuse

For an incredibly adjustable boot that performs equally well across the entire mountain, look no further than the Vans Infuse ($420). The adjustable flex on this boot allows riders to adapt to changing snow conditions and terrain easily. This lacing system is designed for every rider to find their perfect fit.

The custom liner is heat-moldable. And the UltraCush footbed provides a comfortable fit with ample arch support. Given the comparably stiff flex of the Vans Infuse, these boots are best for experienced snowboarders.

While they didn’t get a “best of” spot at the top, these are some of the best snowboard boots money can buy.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium to stiff
  • Lacing System: Hybrid BOA combines traditional laces with BOA instep adjustment
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Advanced to expert
Pros:
  • Versatile on all terrain
  • Adjustable flex
  • Intuitive and thorough lacing system
Cons:
  • Stiffer flex in general
  • Best suited for experienced riders

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

thirtytwo Lashed

thirtytwo Lashed

For those looking for a traditional lacing boot, the thirty-two Lashed ($300) is arguably the most comfortable and best performing of its class on the market. This boot’s structure lends itself to all types of riders and is an excellent choice for those seeking a low-profile option.

As far as all-mountain performance goes, this boot is impressively responsive for a boot of medium flex. The Lashed has been around for well over a decade, but its classic lace-up design remains relevant in a field of BOAs and quick-pulls.

We’re big fans of the Lashed’s heat-moldable dual-density liner. It’s comfortable, supportive, and completely free of internal seams and pressure points. For a boot with traditional lacing, it’s the best snowboard boot available.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium
  • Lacing System: Traditional laces
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Intermediate to expert
Pros:
  • High-quality liner
  • Grippy outsole
  • Handles well across the mountain
Cons:
  • Some questions of flex durability
  • Standard challenges of traditional lacing

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Men’s Burton Ion BOA

Men’s Burton Ion BOA

If easy and precise adjustability is the goal, then the Burton Ion BOA ($620) has you covered. The Ions boast a dual BOA system, allowing riders to adjust the upper and lower parts of the boot independent of the other.

The stiff flex caters to more aggressive riders, while the heat-moldable liners add to the comfort and customization of these top-notch boots.

If quick adjustability is your top concern, hit the slopes in these and you won’t be disappointed.

Specs:
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Lacing System: Dual BOA adjustment
  • Ride Style: Freeride
  • Experience: Intermediate to advanced
Pros:
  • Precise adjustability
  • Impressive comfort
  • Trustworthy option for off-piste riding
Cons:
  • On the expensive side

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry

K2 Maysis

K2 Maysis

The K2 Maysis ($330) is a great advanced-to-expert pair of boots for riders with wider feet. The Maysis comes with Intuition liners that mold to every curve of your foot, working hard to maximize comfort and durability.

A dual BOA lacing system allows for precise adjustments across the boot, so you can modify comfort on the go to confidently shred all types of features and terrain. If you find the Maysis isn’t a comfortable fit for your foot, check out other boot brands that cater to wider feet, such as ThirtyTwo or adidas.

Specs:
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Lacing System: Dual BOA adjustment
  • Ride Style: All-mountain, freestyle
  • Experience: Advanced intermediate to expert
Pros:
  • Dual BOA lacing for quick and precise adjustments
  • Included Intuition liners for increased comfort
Cons:
  • Some questions of durability

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Men’s Burton Step On Photon

Burton has long had the corner on the step on boot/binding game. So, it’s no surprise the Burton Step On Photon ($460) boots are the go-to for this riding style. The Photon boots offer the latest and greatest technology with standard Burton comfort and adjustability.

The boots lock into the Burton’s Step On bindings (not included) in the front and back, allowing for increased downhill power and drive compared to classic bindings.

If step on riding is your jam, these might be the best snowboard boots for you.

Specs:
  • Flex: Medium
  • Lacing System: Dual BOA dials with over-foot “snugger strap”
  • Ride Style: All-mountain
  • Experience: Intermediate to advanced
Pros:
  • Easy and convenient binding system
  • Boots are as comfortable as any other
  • Locked heel increases power in riding
Cons:
  • Requires compatible bindings
  • Pricier

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at REI

Snowboard Boots Comparison Chart

Snowboard Boot Price Flex Lacing Ride Style Experience
Men’s Burton Moto BOA $250 Soft to medium BOA All-mountain Beginner to intermediate
Women’s ThirtyTwo Lashed Double BOA $310 Medium Double BOA All-mountain Intermediate to advanced
Men’s K2 Aspect $500 Stiff Traditional laces with lace locks Freeride, backcountry Advanced to expert
Women’s Vans Viaje $370 Medium to stiff Double BOA Backcountry, freeride focus Advanced to expert
Men’s DC Phase $180 Medium/soft Traditional laces Freestyle Beginner to intermediate
Women’s Ride Harper $220 Softer side BOA Freestyle Beginner to intermediate
Men’s System APX $120 Medium Traditional laces All-mountain Beginner to intermediate
Women’s ThirtyTwo Shifty $180 Soft Traditional laces Freestyle Beginner to intermediate
Phantom Slipper $800 Medium Dual adjustable ski boot-esque straps Backcountry, big-mountain Advanced to expert
Women’s Burton Felix BOA $400 Medium Dual-zone BOA All-mountain Beginner to advanced
Women’s Burton Supreme $520 Stiff Burton’s “Speed Zone” quick laces All-mountain Intermediate to advanced
Women’s K2 Taro Tamai $520 Softer Dual BOA adjustment All-mountain Intermediate to advanced
Women’s Ride Context $300 Stiffer side Traditional laces with BOA-adjustable tongue All-mountain, freeride Advanced to expert
Women’s ThirtyTwo TM-2 Double Boa $385 Slightly stiffer Double BOA All-mountain Intermediate to advanced
Men’s Vans Infuse $420 Medium to stiff Hybrid BOA All-mountain Advanced to expert
Men’s thirtytwo Lashed $300 Medium Traditional laces All-mountain Intermediate to expert
Men’s Burton Ion BOA $620 Stiff Dual BOA adjustment Freeride Intermediate to advanced
Men’s K2 Maysis $330 Stiff Dual BOA adjustment All-mountain, freestyle Advanced intermediate to expert
Men’s Burton Step On Photon
$460 Medium Dual BOA dials with over-foot “snugger strap” All-mountain Intermediate to advanced
_DSC2538
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our snowboard crew of GearJunkie gear testers includes a range of experience levels from intermediate to expert male- and female-identifying snowboarders. We also have backcountry splitboarders (with AIARE 2 certification) and backcountry snowmobilers on staff. We meet for an annual gear testing week to swap notes, too, including a recent ski week at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, in Colorado, which is known for its extremely steep terrain.

Leading the gear testing, editor Austin Beck-Doss has been snowboarding since 2005, and staff writer Morgan Tilton has been snowboarding since 2002. Morgan is also a backcountry splitboarder, snowmobiler, and pow surfer. Both have faced challenges with finding the best-fitting snowboard boots and are aware of the obstacles.

Beck-Doss has wide feet and a high arch. Tilton has narrow feet and a narrow heel. She’s also gone through superficial frostbite, which is the first level of frostbite damage, which has made her feet extremely sensitive to cold. She also lives in Gunnison Valley, which tends to be one of the coldest, snowiest places in North America.

We’ve tested snowboard boots in a range of conditions from California to the Colorado Rockies and high-alpine environments. Our boots have been used to navigate the park, moguls, glades, steep terrain, and fast groomers.

While testing our boots we consider overall fit, stiffness level, durability, comfort, support, the outsole grip, and the lace design. We also take into consideration the most novel, objective-specific, popular, highly-rated, and legacy products across a range of price points. We’re confident this list is comprised of the best snowboard boots on the market.

_DSC2830
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Snowboard Boots

Style

Snowboard boots for the ski resort are generally categorized by terrain preference or rider “style.” Those three broad categories include all-mountain, freeride, and freestyle.

  • All-mountain: Groomers, powder, park, half pipe
  • Freeride: Off-piste (backcountry, slackcountry, side country, big mountain), steep terrain, firm snow
  • Freestyle: Half pipe, rails, jumps, spins, jibs, tricks in the park and around the mountain

Depending on personal preference, backcountry objectives, and backcountry terrain choices, some snowboard boots could work well in the backcountry, too.

For more experienced backcountry enthusiasts, it’s typically good to pick out a second stiffer, technical boot for the backcountry with specific features tailored to off-piste travel like deep lugs for traction, crampon compatibility, or extra rigidity and arch support for those long hours.

Fit

Snowboard boots are broadly categorized for men or women. The biggest difference between the anatomy of women and men is that the calf muscle is lower on a woman’s leg. For better support and comfort, the cuff of a woman’s snowboard boot is shorter in length.

Women’s boots also generally have a narrower heel, more streamlined shape, and greater flex. Some women with longer or wider feet find men’s boot options work great. For some men with narrower feet, women’s boots are a better fit.

Beyond these two broad categories, snowboard boots can have a narrow, wide, or regular width. Their shape can also be more precise and streamlined for refined performance.

It’s important to determine your correct boot size for a particular boot, which can vary slightly from brand to brand. The best way to determine your boot size is to visit a retailer, get accurate foot measurements, and try on different pairs with your preferred snowboard socks.

Comfort

A boot’s overall comfort is delivered through the combination of the midsole, liner, and footbed as well as the level of overall support, which prevents fatigue. For instance, the K2 Taro Tamai features a foam midsole and dual-density EVA insole for a plush feel that’s also paired with a reinforced, articulated cuff.

Generally, an all-around soft boot might provide immediate comfort but doesn’t necessarily deliver stability for preserving energy on a bell-to-bell or big-objective day. All considered, what feels most comfortable is based on each rider’s preference and foot needs.

_DSC4789
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Flex

Snowboard boots are constructed on a flex range from soft to medium to stiff. Often brands use a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the stiffest. Occasionally, boots have an adjustable flex, like the Vans Viaje, which uses tongue stiffeners and ranges from 6 to 8 on the stiffness scale.

Some snowboarders prefer super-soft boots, while others need a very stiff pair for sensitive responsiveness. Generally, softer boots are a great choice for new snow sports athletes or instructors who need to be on their feet all day. Some park riders also prefer a softer boot.

Stiffer boots enhance the reactivity and precision of the board, a trait more experienced and aggressive riders often prefer. Often stiffer boots are better for backcountry, too, especially with foot perspiration and exposure to the elements, which can soften the liner during an outing and in the long haul. The conditions in the backcountry are also more variable than at the resort, and you don’t get the reprieve of a ski lift, so it’s generally helpful to have stiffer foot support for those long days on your feet. Ultimately, the ideal flex of a snowboard boot hinges on personal preference and foot needs.

Softer boots typically pack out and break down faster, while stiffer boots last longer and cost more.

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(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Outsole

The outsole is the rubber located on the underside of the boot, which grips the snow and ice. Each boot has a unique lug design to help provide great traction while walking on sidewalks or up a slope.

If you’re in the market for a backcountry or splitboard mountaineering boot, pay attention to this feature. Look for an outsole with aggressive lugs and dependable, well-vetted material like the heavy-duty Vibram mountaineer outsole on the K2 Aspect Snowboard Boots.

Lacing & BOA

Traditional snowboard boots close up with laces, which certain riders prefer for a more fine-tuned fit all the way up the boot.

Conventional quick-pull closure systems are faster and easier to operate while wearing gloves. Various designs exist across brands, like the speed zone lacing on the Burton Supreme boot. Other models have a single- or dual-zone BOA system.

Some folks feel quick closures provide a more uniform hug that doesn’t pack out compared to lace setups. One tradeoff is laces are simpler to replace as they wear out or if they break in the backcountry. Overall, laces are more economic than quick-pull and BOA systems.

A handful of designs mix these options like the Ride Context, which has laces plus a single BOA. And several backcountry and powder-conscious boots feature a zippered shroud to protect the lower portion and closure of the boot from ice and snow, like the Vans Viaje and K2 Taro Tamai. Some boots add extra reinforcement with a Velcro strap.

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(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Liners & Footbed

The liner is a boot-shaped layer that fits inside the boot’s exterior shell. Most liners are removable, which is helpful for drying them out after a long day. We prefer to remove the liner and use a boot dryer to move air through the material, which helps eliminate odors and prevent mold while getting the liner dry for the next day.

Liners are typically constructed with EVA foam, a lightweight and malleable polymer, which provides a cushion-like feel and stabilizes the foot. Some liners are heat-moldable, which is great for a more custom fit and shorter break-in period.

The footbed is removable, so you can upgrade with an aftermarket option that provides tailored support or cushion.

Warmth

Many new-age snowboard boot designs boast unique technologies to help keep your toes safe and toasty. For instance, the Vans Viaje features FlashDry, a technology from The North Face that pushes moisture to the liner surface and keeps the feet dry. The shell has waterproof/breathable valves to release moisture. There’s also a heat-retention wrap integrated around the toebox and above the outsole to hold heat.

The K2 Taro Tamai and Burton Supreme both have a heat-reflective layer in the liner. Some designs also have an integrated heat-reflective foil beneath the feet like the Ride Context and Burton Supreme.

If your feet tend to get cold or you’ve experienced a cold injury, prioritize getting a pair of boots constructed with a heat-regulating technology. And don’t forget to choose a warmer snowboard sock if needed. Furthermore, if you’ll be hanging out after the lifts close or have a long drive, bring a dry pair of socks and cozy snow boots to change into.

If your feet still get cold, consider purchasing a pair of rechargeable heated liners or footbeds.

(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Socks

Choosing the correct snowboard socks can help manage foot temperature and moisture as well as provide targeted cushioning for overall protection and comfort in your boots. These sport-specific socks are woven with a synthetic or merino wool blend.

Backcountry Riding and Splitboarding

When snowboarding in the backcountry, you’ll need an effective method of traveling uphill. Most snowboarders hike in their boots and snowshoes or invest in a splitboard and set of skins.

In general, backcountry snowboarding does not necessitate the use of a specific boot. However, certain boot features can significantly improve your comfort and performance. Backcountry terrain requires both uphill and downhill travel. It’s tricky for manufacturers to craft boots that can handle both.

Stiff boots will be efficient while hiking and carving on firm surfaces, while softer boots will feel more playful and nimble in the power. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which aspects of the backcountry experience that you want to prioritize. If you tend to take longer tours that are more than 1-2 hours long, we suggest opting for a stiffer boot that will provide more support.

Backcountry-specific boots do exist, though many riders simply stick to the boots they wear at the resort. Some features commonly found on backcountry-specific boots include crampon compatibility, a reinforced toebox for kicking in steps, deeper and more strategic lugs for snow and ice traction, and extra rigidity for traversing across steep slopes.

(Photo/Eric Phillips)

FAQ

How Should Snowboard Boots Fit?

Snowboard boots should feel snug all around your foot, with your toes barely reaching the end of the boot. Most boots have liners that can either be custom-fitted to your foot or naturally adjust over time.

Are Snowboard Boots True to Size?

Your snowboard boot size will likely be equivalent to your shoe size, give or take a half-size on either end. Like standard shoes, every company’s fit will vary.

(Photo/Eric Phillips)

How Do You Break In Snowboard Boots?

Each snowboard boot feels different based on the fit, softness/stiffness profile, and the materials used to create the interior liner and the exterior shell. Some ingredients degrade and soften faster with use, while others are more rigid and durable. Typically, higher-end materials reflect a bigger price tag.

Many snowboard boots have heat-moldable liners that are removable. Heat-moldable liners will eventually conform to your feet if you simply ride in them. To speed up the process for immediate comfort, take your boots to a snowboard shop to get the liners molded.

A retail specialist sticks the liners onto a special heater that warms the components and then puts the footbeds back inside. With the materials all toasty, you stand in the liner for up to 15 minutes to cast the shape of your foot.

You can also pull on your boots and snowboard socks at home to help the break-in process.

Are Snowboard Boots Easy to Walk In?

Snowboard boots are harder to walk in than shoes, as they only allow for forward ankle movement. On the flip side, the increased softness and flexibility make them easier to walk in than standard ski boots.

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(Photo/Eric Phillips)

Why Do My Feet Go Numb in Snowboard Boots?

If a snowboard boot is packed out and too big or the support is too soft, riders can try to compensate by clamping down the closure system and binding. As a result, the pressure applied to the top of the foot can cut off circulation and lead to numbness.

On the other hand, riders who size down for a better heel hold can face the same issue, especially if the boot is stiffer and doesn’t pack out as much as they anticipated. Furthermore, some stiff designs and particular shapes are not ideal for certain foot shapes and can decrease blood flow.

Make sure you properly measure the length and width of your foot and try on various boot sizes at a retail store. Adding a new insole, J-bars (also known as l-pads), C-pads, ankle wrap pads, a foam narrowing pad, or boot-fitting foam can help snug up the boots in the right spots without downsizing.

What's the Difference Between Women's and Men's Snowboard Boots?

The most noteworthy difference between the anatomy of women and men is that the calf muscle is lower on a woman’s leg. For better support and comfort, the cuff of a woman’s snowboard boot is shorter in length.

Women generally have narrower feet than men. Snowboard boots built for women often have a narrower heel and overall more streamlined shape. For greater flex and easier transfer of energy, women’s snowboard boots are also generally less stiff.

Some women with longer or wider feet find men’s boot options work great. For some men with narrower feet, women’s boots are a better fit.

If you choose a women’s boot, it’s good to get a women’s binding for the best compatibility. Likewise, if you opt for a men’s boot, consider getting a men’s binding.


the author wearing a Phunkshun balaclava underneath a helmet, she is gazing out over the snow
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