Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big snowboard boots test 2021. Here we present all the snowboard boots that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best snowboard boots for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy snowboard boots.




Summary

  • Basically, there are two different types of snowboard boots: soft soft boots and hard boots (= shell boots, similar to ski boots). The choice of your next boot depends largely on your riding style.
  • The most important criterion when buying your new boots is the right size. With your legs stretched out, you should touch the top of the boot lightly. When you bend your knees, this should no longer be the case.
  • As a rule, you can distinguish between three different types of lacing system: Classic lacing, quick lacing systems and BOA.

Snowboard boots: Our picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a snowboard boot

What are the different types of snowboard boots and how do I find the right one for me?

Basically, there are two different types of snowboard boots:

  • the soft softboots and
  • the so-called hard boots (= shell shoe, similar to ski boots)

It is very important that you first determine where you will be travelling with your boot, or what you intend to do with it. If you are ALWAYS riding in the terrain or park, go for the soft boot. If you live for hard piste and relatively short turns, then the hard boot is the right one for you. Sofboots are only suitable for a soft binding, which features a flexible foot plate and good padding. Soft boots also have padding, which can vary in thickness, and offer much greater freedom of movement than hard boots. Depending on its area of use and your individual preferences, you will choose a softer or firmer boot. The harder the boot, the greater the power transmission. Conversely, a soft boot is easier to control. Hardboots differ from a ski boot in the following ways only by the more acute angle and a more stable sole. Hard boots shine above all because of their very good power transmission to the board. But despite their high wearing comfort, inexperienced snowboarders can quickly get tired.

The choice of your next boot depends largely on your riding style. Freestylers and freeriders usually opt for soft boots, whereas racers and carvers prefer the harder version.

How to find the right size for your boots:

The most important criterion when buying your new boots is the right size. Your Mondopoint size is a good guide. Many sports shops have comparison tables based on normal shoe sizes. We would like to offer you a similar table:
Shoe size EU Shoe size UK Mondopoint
35.5 3 22.5
36 3.5 23
37 4 23.5
37.5 4.5 24
38 5 24.5
39 5.5 25
39.5 6 25.5
40 6.5
41 7 26
41.5 7,5 26,5
42 8 27
42,5 8,5 27,5
43 9 28
44 9,5 28,5
44,5 10
45 10,5 29
46 11 29,5
46,5 11,5 30
47 12 30,5
48 12,5 31

With your legs stretched out, you may only lightly touch the top of the boot with your toes. When you bend your knees, this should no longer be the case. Make sure that the heel sits firmly and does not move upwards. Soft boots can stretch a little over time, so you should be aware of this when you buy them. If the soft boot is not chosen tight enough, it can expand so much after a while that it affects the precision and riding characteristics. How much will a snowboard boot cost me? Of course, this depends entirely on the boot you choose. Depending on how "professional" your boot is, it will be a bit more expensive. However, you can get good models for under 200 euros, especially at the end of the season or in winter sales. Low-priced but high-quality snowboard boots are around 100 euros. You can't expect a high-tech boot for this price, but it's always enough for the occasional boarder. If you're going to be on the slopes more often, it's worth spending a little more. But don't worry, you can get better models relatively cheaply, starting at around 170 euros. Top models are, of course, a little more expensive. Top boots cost between 250 and 450 euros. Hard boots, which are perfect for the racer in you, usually fall into this price range.

Snowboard boot price
Entry-level models around €100
Good soft boots from around €170
Top models and hard boots €250-450

The prices in this case refer to manufacturer prices for new models before the season starts. If you find a good time, you can save a lot of money. Towards the end of the season, the selection is usually no longer the biggest, but you can save up to 50%.

Decision: What types of snowboard boots are there and which are right for you?

As you have already noticed, there are two main types of snowboard boots:

  • Softboots
  • Hardboots

First of all, it should be mentioned that soft boots are preferred in most cases. No matter if you are a beginner or a pro: the classic soft boot is the right choice in most cases. The hard boot is rather to be seen as a separate category and is only used in rare cases, such as racing or slalom. In the following section, we will take a closer look at the special features as well as the areas of application of the various snowboard boots. We will clearly compare their advantages and disadvantages.

How does a soft boot work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In most cases, soft boots fit perfectly to your feet. Many manufacturers supply their boots with the option of adjusting the inner boot to your feet. This allows you to combine an optimal fit with good power transmission. Ratchet bindings ensure a harmonious connection between the board and your feet. The main difference between these snowboard boots is the lacing system and the flex (degree of hardness). The flex is important for your purchase decision. This tells you how soft or how hard your boot is. Depending on whether you are riding freestyle, freeride, all-mountain or boardercross, you need a hard or a soft snowboard boot. A soft snowboard boot gives you more freedom of movement. This gives you a better feeling in your feet. This is important if you ride a lot in the fun park on rails or boxes. With a softer boot, you can perform your tricks more precisely. This is where technical terms like "tweaking", "pressing" and "boning" come into play. In other words, with a soft snowboard boot that has a flex of up to level 5, you can present your tricks with a lot of style. But be careful: boots that are too soft are not suitable for big jumps. They are forgiving at lower speeds, but if you are going very fast, you lack the necessary stabilisation in the ankle. On the other hand, a stiff/hard snowboard boot (from a flex of 5) offers you better support and more stability in the ankle. This is important when you are riding big kickers (jumps) or at high speed. Because your snowboard boot has less flex, you can apply pressure to your edges. In this way, you always maintain control, even when changing edges quickly. This is especially important for boardercross, freeride, all-mountain and fun park disciplines on large jumps. The special features of a soft and a hard flex at a glance: Soft flex:

  • Forgiving
  • Freedom of movement
  • Better board feeling

Hard flex:

  • Stability
  • Edge pressure
  • More control at high speeds

Although soft boots are almost always the best choice, there is still a drawback. This is a compromise between optimal comfort and durability. Soft boots wear out very quickly. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a slightly stiffer boot, as it will soften after a few days on the slopes anyway.

Advantages
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Optimal for almost all disciplines
  • Sufficient stability
Disadvantages
  • Relatively short life

How does a hardboot work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A hard boot is similar to the classic ski boot. As the name suggests, it has a hard outer shell made of plastic. Special alpine bindings are used here. These resemble the slimmed-down form of commercial ski bindings, but have the advantage that they do not have a spring-loaded mechanism. This means that your feet are always connected to the board. The choice of board is also limited with the hard boot. Only special racing bullets come into question. These are significantly longer and narrower than boards ridden with the soft version. Hardboots are exclusively for race boards or carving boards. In these snowboard boots, your feet have hardly any freedom of movement. This allows you to exert enormous pressure on the edges of your board. Especially in slalom and carving you need maximum edge pressure. This allows you to make tight turns in prone position even in icy conditions. In contrast to softboots, this variant costs more money, but the lifespan of a hardboot is significantly longer.

Advantages
  • Direct contact with the edge
  • High stability
  • Long life
Disadvantages
  • More expensive
  • No freedom of movement

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate snowboard boots

In the following, we would like to show you which criteria you can use to compare your snowboard boots. This should make it easier for you to decide and choose your perfect boot. Basically, these are:

  • the performance level
  • the construction, the flex, your riding style
  • the existing lacing system
  • the inner boot and the sole

In the next few paragraphs, you'll find out what each feature is about and how you should factor them into your decision.

Performance level

There are many different people on the slopes, from beginners to (near) professionals. To make your day on or off the slopes as enjoyable as possible, it is therefore important that you are at your personal performance level. Of course, it is also helpful to choose the boat that suits your ability. Beginner boats are usually the cheapest models, but you shouldn't expect technical milestones from them. Such boots are usually characterised by a low flex value and allow you enough freedom of movement. In addition, beginners' boots are often very comfortable to make you as comfortable as possible. If you already have a few kilometres on the slopes in your bones, then it is advisable to at least switch to an advanced model. Beginners should also be able to handle this model, but an advanced snowboarder can of course use it to its full potential.

Construction / Flex / Riding Style

The choice of your next boot will largely depend on your riding style. As with your board itself, the stiffness of the boot is also indicated by the flex value. This describes how much resistance your boot offers you.

Did you know that snowboard boots can also be really uncomfortable? If the boot is just a little too small, it can start to pinch, even though it feels comfortable at first. This hinders optimal blood circulation and can lead to cramps.

Snowboard boots are available as hard and soft boots. For freestyle and freeride you use soft boots. Soft boots also come in different degrees of hardness. Freestylers prefer soft boots, while freeriders need harder boots for more grip. Hard boots are designed for racing and carving. They restrict movement quite a bit, so you put pressure on the edge even at high speeds. Despite their now high level of comfort, fatigue can quickly set in, especially for inexperienced snowboarders.

Range of use ideal flex value hardness
Freestyle 2-5 soft
All Mountain 5-7 medium
Freeride 5-8 stiff
Race/Carving 7-10 very stiff

Lacing system

As a rule, a distinction is made between three lacing systems:

  • Classic lacing
  • Quick lacing systems
  • BOA

Classic lace-ups are among the traditional and inexpensive closure systems. With no other system can you adjust the pressure as precisely as with this oldschool variant. However, with this system there is also the risk of the lacing coming loose. Quick lacing systems have become firmly established over the last few years. Here, the laces are guided through plastic or metal devices, tightened to the desired strength and "clamped" in a device. The more zones the system offers, the more precisely you can adjust the boot. BOA is a special quick lacing system that works with wires and wheels. By turning the wheel, the boot laces up evenly. This means you don't have to pinch the laces to get a perfect fit. It's not the fastest system for tightening, but it's number one for loosening - one push of a button and the wire ropes are loosened.

Inner shoe and sole

The inner boot is an important part of your snowboard boot. It increases comfort in the rather hard outer shell. So that you can survive hard landings without bruising your heel, the boots are additionally cushioned. There are four main types of cushioning:

  • EVA - a particularly flexible plastic; deforms when it gets too cold and thus loses its quality.
  • PU - a durable plastic, does not lose its properties even in icy temperatures; therefore more expensive than EVA.
  • Air cushion - cushions the impact of forces; works particularly well in the heel and forefoot area, worse in frosty temperatures.
  • Gel cushions - are usually incorporated around the heel and function similarly to air cushions, but are less temperature-dependent.

Many models even have a thermal liner as an inner shoe. This can be adapted exactly to your foot through high temperatures. So if you are prone to pressure points or certain areas of your feet cause you problems, you can prevent this with this adjustment.

Facts worth knowing about snowboard boots

What are the different types of bindings for snowboarding and what are their advantages?

Basically there are a few different types of bindings, here we want to introduce you to 3 of them:

  • Plate bindings
  • Soft bindings
  • Step-in bindings

Plate bindings are only suitable for hard boots. These bindings were based on conventional ski bindings. Plate bindings allow good power transmission and are used when high speeds are to be achieved. Opening and closing plate bindings is easy. After the rear boot is fixed under a steel shackle, the front binding is closed with a steel shackle. Soft bindings can be used to fix soft boots to the snowboard. There are different degrees of hardness available, which are selected according to the area of use. Soft bindings are more controllable and are suitable for freestyle. For carving on the piste, harder bindings tend to be used because of the better power transmission.

type of binding snowboard boot feature manufacturer
Fast Tech bindings normal snowboard boot quicker entry and exit into the binding possible Völkl,Burton and Nitro
Fast Tech Click bindings special snowboard boot with click connections necessary even faster entry and exit possible Burton and Nitro
normal ratchet binding normal snowboard boot suitable for every beginner, rather slow entry and exit into the binding every manufacturer offers this type
Hard Boot binding hard snowboard boot necessary more suitable for carving, e.g. for race boards for race boards DeeLuxe and UPZ

Another type of binding is the step-in binding, which is usually integrated into the boot. Without having to close the binding with the hands, it locks into place by means of a mechanism. Step-in bindings are available for both hard and soft boots.

When choosing a binding or even a boot, it is important to know that you have to match these two things to each other. Not every binding is compatible with every boat. Please think about this before you buy.

Quarrel with the skiers? We'll explain why snowboarders and skiers don't get along

Skiers and boarders have a lot in common - the snow, their love of the mountains and much more. But some things also separate them. For snowboarders it is "cooler" to have only one board under their feet. Skiers, on the other hand, happily ski past strenuously bouncing boarders on the flat. The snowboard used to stand for rebellion against short-swinging on two long, thin skis. Snowboarders did their own thing, which included casual, comfortable clothing, hanging out on the slopes, etc., compared to which skiers were almost boring. It wasn't until the early 90s that the ski industry started to fiddle around with how to make skiing more attractive again. An Austrian inventor finally came up with the idea of sawing his snowboard in half and using it as a ski - ready was the prototype of the carving ski, which ended the stuffy image of skis. Today, skiing is also cool and casual. The skis are longer and wider, the clothes are not as tight as they used to be. So in purely visual terms, the two now get along quite well. Nevertheless, there are still many situations that make peaceful coexistence difficult. Nevertheless, we are full of hope that everyone will get along with each other through mutual understanding and consideration.

How long has the snowboard been around?

Although the first precursors of the snowboard were developed earlier in Austria, among other places, the "snowboard feeling" and the riding technique go back to the two wave riders Sherman Poppen and Tom Sims. In 1965, the US American Poppen created the snurfer. He was out sledding with his daughters when one of them, standing on the sled, went down the slope. He ran into his shop, got two skis and tied them together at the tips. Soon after the first prototype, everyone on his street wanted one. Poppen licensed his concept to make the Snurfer "professionally". Over the next 10 years, Poppen sold about a million Snurfers.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 71569248

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