As in many industries, there is an abundance of misinformation in the snowboard world. The following tips come from years of experience in the industry, and are designed to cut through some of the tech talk and misleading jargon. If you would like us to find you the perfect boots for your needs, please use our contact form to send us the following information: Weight, US (Nike) Shoe size, Preferred style of riding, Ability level, Areas at which you most typically ride. Click the highlighted link to view all of our current snowboard boot deals. Click the highlighted link to view all of our current snowboard package deals.
| Your boots should be snug!
The most common complaint about boots is that they are too loose, not too tight. The junction between rider and board begins with the boot, as it is in the most direct contact with the rider. When fitting boots, use the following method: A. Slip into the boot. B. Kick your heel back against the ground several times to drive it back into the boot's heel pocket. C. Lace the boot tightly, as though you were going to ride. NOTE: This is where most sizing mistakes are made. A snowboard boot is shaped like an upside down "7". The back has a good degree of forward lean. Thus, when you drop into the boot, your heel may be resting up to an inch away from the back of the boot, and your toes may be jammed into the front of the boot. Until the boot is tightly laced, you will not know if it is a proper fit. D. Your toes should now have firm pressure against the front of the boot. As this is the crux of sizing, let's discuss firm pressure: When you flex your knee forward hard, the pressure should lighten, or cease, as your toes pull back. At no time should you feel numbness or lose circulation. Your toes will be in contact with the end of the boot, unlike in a properly fit street or athletic shoe (snowboard boots are designed to fit more snugly than your other shoes). When you have achieved this combination of firm pressure and no circulation loss, you have found the correct size!
Don't strangle your feet with too many socks!
Adding socks will not usually add warmth. In many cases it will insure that your feet are cold. Consider: Martina goes to her local snowboard shop in her street shoes and socks, and uses the above method to pick her boots. Now it's the weekend and it's 10 degrees on the hill, and she's preparing to ride. She reasons, "It's cold out, I'm going to wear two pairs of boarding socks". Martina is in for a frigid day. There is no room in her boots (originally fit with a thin set of street socks), for two sets of snowboard socks. The extra volume inside the boots will cut off her circulation, freeze her feet, and send her to the lodge while her friends are out ripping. Most good snowboard boots are quite warm. Wear one good set of snowboard socks when you try on your boots. Wear those socks, or ones of similar thickness when you go riding.
Growth room is not a good option.
When buying for kids, getting a size or two too large seems reasonable, but can be disastrous. If your kids have extra room for growth, they will slip back and forth inside their boots, sacrificing control over the board. When they lean forward to initiate a toe side turn, very little will happen, outside of their feet sliding in their boots and their heel's lifting. This is both discouraging and dangerous. Some of this room may be eaten up by extra socks, but this also is an imperfect solution, as the layers tend to slide on each other and not truly correct the problem. For the cost conscious (and who isn't), take heart, although this may mean buying new boots each season, boards and bindings can usually be sized to last many years.
There is no consistency in boot sizing from one brand to another.
...and often even within brands. Most major companies have their boots produced in factories in one or more foreign countries. This being the case, most of the US sizes that boots are labeled with, are actually approximated conversions from one of five foreign sizing standards. To further exaggerate the problem, the companies use different lasts (templates around which the boots are created) which also vary in size. The best way to figure out what size will fit, is to e-mail us using the link above, and we will find the appropriate relative size in the best model for your needs. For a rough idea of how foot measurement should relate to shoe size, and how the many international sizing standards relate to each other click here for a chart.
Remember to factor in the reality that boots are made primarily of fabrics and leather, and will most certainly stretch or "break in" with use. A boot which felt fairly snug in the shop may be too loose, or "sloppy", after a couple of weeks on the slopes. Err on the side of snugness.