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A good pair of snowboard boots can be just as crucial to a rider as the board itself. The right pair of boots are not only comfortable enough to shred the hill all day long, they also offer precise control, too, conveying the sense that the rider and snowboard are one, which makes for efficient, effortless carving.
Whether you’re hitting the halfpipe, riding rails, or just gliding down the slopes, your boots are one of the most important investments you’ll make when purchasing your snowboarding gear. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which boots are actually worth spending your hard earned money on. We’ve taken a look at the current models and made our picks for the very best options just in time for snowboarding season.
Best Overall: Burton SLX
Burton pulled out all of the stops when it came to designing the SLX boot, adding all kinds of new technology to make it the company’s best performance model ever. The SLX sets new standards in terms of weight and comfort while managing to provide a good range of flex, which allows it to be a solid performer on any type of terrain. That alone helps it to stand out from the crowd, making it an easy pick for our best overall snowboard boot.
The SLX features Burton’s proprietary Speed Zone lacing system, which is a simple but effective method for adjusting the fit while on the fly. The boot also includes the company’s Life+ internal liner, which has been a staple in Burton’s product for some time. This version of the liner somehow manages to increase comfort over previous generations, while still shaving off excess ounces at the same time.
As if that wasn’t enough, the designers at Burton found a way to move the SLX’s cushioning closer to the foot, increasing the level of protection as a result. They also incorporated heat-reflecting materials in the interior, which help to keep the rider’s feet warm using his or her own body heat.
The SLX is Burton’s flagship boot and it shows. This all-around great performer offers plenty of responsiveness on the slopes, in the terrain park, and even the backcountry. It even uses a Vibram EcoStep outsole, which is made from 50 percent recycled materials, demonstrating Burton’s commitment to protecting the environment.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: K2 Taro Tamai Snowsurfer Boa
Taro Tamai isn’t just a professional snowboarder, he’s a top-notch surfer, too. When designing these boots for K2, he brought some of the surf sensibility to the snowboard market, delivering a product that was built to gracefully carve the slopes rather than fly down them at high speeds. The result is a boot that brings a sense of riding big waves, even when gliding across fresh powder.
The Snowsurfer features a soft exterior and fluid flex that was designed to give the rider a full range of movement. This makes it a very versatile boot for use just about anywhere on the mountain. Dual Boa lacing systems allow riders to independently adjust the fit on both the upper and lower portions of the boot, maintaining a high degree of comfort and responsiveness. K2 has also outfitted the boot with a lightweight, heat-molded liner that provides a surprising amount of warmth as well. That makes the Snowsurfer a good choice for riders who like to stay out on the hill all day long.
Best Budget: Salomon Faction Boa
Lightweight and comfortable, the Salomon Faction Boa delivers a lot of features at a surprisingly good price. For instance, the boots are built to be easy to take on and pull off, giving riders an opportunity to hit the slopes as quickly as possible. They also come equipped with the popular Boa lacing system, which allows the wearer to dial in just the right fit to meet their needs simply by turning a knob.
With its soft flex, the Faction boot is designed for riders who would rather show off their trick riding rather than bombing down the side of the mountain as fast as they can. Still, they can carve the slopes nicely too thanks in part to their customizable fit. Salomon ships these boots with its proprietary Ortholite C1 insole and Gold Fit liner, both of which conform to the wearer’s feet and legs to increase comfort and stability.
This boot gets the nod in the budget category thanks to their excellent level of comfort and $200 price tag.
Best for Women: Vans Hi Standard
The Hi Standard has been part of the Vans line-up of snowboard boots for more than a decade and a half, and yet it still manages to find ways to continually get better. This all-mountain boot gets high marks for comfort and versatility, allowing female snowboarders to ride all day long on any part of the hill or even the terrain park. And while some manufacturers put little effort into changing up the fit of their boots to meet the needs of their female customers, that isn’t the case here. This shoe has been designed specific needs of women riders, increasing fit and comfort as a result.
In a nod to its roots, Vans elected to use a traditional lacing system in the Hi Standard, although that doesn’t seem to have impacted performance in any way. The boot still cinches up nicely along the rider’s foot, keeping the heel tightly in place and offering solid all-around performance and control. And while this boot may not be carrying lots of new technological features, it more than delivers when it counts.
Best All-Mountain: Burton Moto
Riders looking for a versatile boot that they can use on the slopes and in the terrain park should look no further than the Burton Moto. This boot has been a top seller for a number of years now, and for good reason. Not only is it lightweight and comfortable, it provides a level of flex that is just soft enough to make it beginner friendly while remaining slightly stiff for improved control.
The Moto comes equipped with Burton’s Speed Zone lacing system, which gives riders the ability to adjust the fit on both the upper and lower zones of the boot independently. It also features surprisingly comfortable inner liners, which can be heat-molded to match the wearer’s feet. Add in excellent ankle support, a snow-proof internal gusset, and a heat-reflective foil lining and it is easy to understand why this has been such a popular boot for so long.
Best Freestyle: K2 Ender
Snowboarders who love to ride the rails and make epic board grabs will find a lot to love in the K2 Ender. This boot was designed with the freestyle rider in mind, offering up excellent heel hold and ankle support, both of which are crucial when pulling off those maneuvers. The boot even comes with enhanced padding for impact absorption when sticking those bone-jarring landings and has a slightly stiffer flex for increased speed and control.
To provide the best possible fit, K2 elected to go with traditional laces on the exterior of the boot, while the Boa system can be found on the Ender’s internal lining. This allows riders to adjust both settings independently of one another, providing maximum versatility in terms of how the boot feels on the foot.
Best Freeride: Adidas Acerra ADV
Using Energy Boost technology that was imported from its running shoes, Adidas has managed to create a snowboard boot that is stiff and responsive enough to make any freerider happy. The Acerra ADV provides all of the control riders need when they leave the groomed trails behind and head out into the wild backcountry where there is little room for error. Snowboarders who have little room for error will appreciate this boots ability to maintain speed and agility even on difficult terrain.
This well-cushioned Acerra ADV is surprisingly comfortable and easy to wear, even on extended outings. That’s because Adidas equipped the boot with dual Boa lacing systems that offer the ability to adjust the fit on both the exterior of the Acerra, as well as its inner lining. That same foam liner can also be molded to the contours of the rider’s foot, improving support and control in subtle, but important, ways.
Best for Cold Feet: K2 Maysis Heat
The K2 Maysis Heat (women’s version Sapera Heat) boots feature everything you would expect from top-notch snowboarding boots, including good control, a comfortable fit, Vibram outsoles, and Boa laces. The boots feature a somewhat stiffer flex that provides extra speed and control on the mountain as well, while also offering a fashionable look that promises to turn heads in the lodge.
But what makes these boots truly stand out from the crowd is their ability to keep a rider’s feet warm and comfortable, even in the coldest of conditions. Both the Maysis and the Sapera feature battery-operated heating elements integrated directly into their liners. With three heat settings available, these elements can be turned on with the touch of a button, offering as much as 17 hours of warmth on a single charge.
Best for Kids: Burton Zipline Boa
Young snowboarders need good boots, too, and thankfully Burton hasn’t forgotten about them. The Zipline Boa is a full-featured boot designed specifically with kids in mind, offering an extremely soft flex that is very beginner-friendly. That said, these boots include some nice features that can grow with the rider, providing stability and control as they improve their skills.
For instance, Burton has included a Boa lacing system, a snow-proof internal gusset, and a well-cushioned outsole that helps protect growing feet. The Zipline even comes in at a budget-friendly price since we all know that kids will probably need a new pair by next season. The boots also come in black and blue.
Our writers spent 8 hours researching the most popular snowboarding boots on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different boots overall, screened options from 8 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the boots themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.