The Burton Hail snowboard boots are one of the sets that I’m considering for the 2012 season. In this preview I’ll take a look at the general design of the boot, and comment on my experience from trying them on (alongside other boots) – is this the next snowboard boot for me?
This preview may also help you decide if the Burton Hail is a good fit for your riding…
One liner from Burton
“Freestyle domination that can’t be denied.”
My thoughts on the Burton Hail boots
Flex/support rating. Put these on and there’s no doubt that they’re a freestyle boot through and through. Burton rate them at 4 out of 10 and that seems spot on. They are a soft, tweak-able boot. They felt light also.
Inner boot. I like the inner boot of the Hail. It’s easy to tighten, and when you pull it tight, you get a good snug fit around your foot, ankle and lower leg. What’s more the inner boot is tied to the outer boot – as the inner laces are like a harness that’s joined to the outer boot. Just like the 32 Lashed boots. This is excellent for keeping the inner and outer boot in sync when you ride.
There’s velcro at the top of the inner, keeping the tongue in place. I think that’s all it’s going to do – I don’t think that will stay tight as you ride all day…
Traditional laces. I’m all about regular laces – every time I try some kind of speed lace I don’t like them. I haven’t tried them all, so maybe there are better options, but until then, I’m firmly with traditional laces. The laces on the Hail are great! They feel solid, easy to hook around and good for getting them tight just where you want them.
Overall fit. When I tried the Hail boots, I was comparing them against two others: the 32 Lashed and the Nike Vapen boots. The Hail had the best overall fit. By that, I mean they gripped my foot, ankle and leg evenly; as I flexed, the boot flexed well with my foot, no gaps etc. I felt like I could tailor the tightening to my foot.
Obviously the fit is going to be different for each individual. But, there are features of a boot that make it more likely to tailor to an individual – like the lacing system, the way the inner and outer work together, how the outer is designed to flex… Try them on, the Burton Hails may be great for you.
All mountain performance? Of the three boots, and one other that I’m considering, the Hail probably has the softest flex. Like a jibber’s boot. The only thing that is stopping me from settling on the Hail is the (supposed) lack of all-mountain performance. Something like the 32 Lashed will probably ride better around the rest of the mountain. However, Mikkel Bang wears them and he’s doing just fine…
Video explanation of the Burton Hail’s tech/design
The following video does a good job of breaking down the complete design of the Burton Hails. It’s worth watching…
Get hooked up?
The Burton Hail is in first place on my boot-shopping-list. If you’re thinking about getting some, the following stores can all hook you up, depending on where you live.