Recently, I said that I could probably get away without replacing my snowboard boots for this season; I really like the 32 Lashed boots that I ride, and, I didn’t think they were quite as beat up as they are…
After riding last weekend and unpacking my gear, I found this:
I’ll get by in the fridge, for now, but that’s not gonna last for too long…
What features am I looking for?
So I really need to start thinking about what boots to buy. The problem with boots, is that you’ve really got to go and try them on. I certainly wouldn’t order some boots online and just hope they fit well/accept the fit. I can narrow it down though by considering the sort of boots that I like.
Having ridden the 32s for such a long time, I’ve only owned 3 sets of boots since starting to snowboard. In that time, these are the features that I’ve grown to like:
- Light weight. It was one of the first things that I noticed about the Lashed boots – it’s good to have the feeling that you’re not wearing bricks on your feet.
- Freestyle flex. Before the Lashed I had some fairly agressive boots – Salomon Malamutes. They didn’t suit my riding. I much prefer something that has a secure and consistent fit around the whole foot, but is fairly soft flexing.
- Basic laces. Not sure that it’s like this with all laced boots, but with the Lashed, I tie them up at the start of the day and then don’t touch them. It’s simple, they work, and they stay “done up”. That said, although I’ve tried speed-lacing style systems, I haven’t tried Boa…
- Good inner boot features. The Lashed have two great features on their inner boot. The lace-up is actually a harness, tying the inner boot to the outer. They also have a velcro strap keeping the top of the inner boot firmly closed – no “slackening”.
Which new boots to consider?
Taking a look at what’s out there, the following seem to be decent contenders:
32 Lashed. I could go straight for another set of the Lashed boots. They’re fairly popular, so they should be easy(ier) to locate and try on. Checking their site, I see that they still have the internal ankle harness, which is such an awesome design for snowboard boots. If you want to, check out my ageing review of the 2004/2005 boots (same ones from the picture above).
Downsides of going for the Lashed again? Well, I’d be missing out on trying another boot…
DC Park. Having not tried them, I can only say that DC seem like they would make good boots. Obviously a skate influence, and in this case, the DC Park boot is clearly designed for the park, so the flex should suit. Basic laces and a nice, clean design.
Vans Hi Standard. These have been around in the Vans line-up for a while and they’re a bunch cheaper than both the Lashed and the DCs above. Definitely a soft flex, standard laces and another boot that I like the look of.
Burton Hail. Freestyle domination? That’s the Burton message. I’ve flagged them because they’re touted as being super light, which is a feature that I like. Again, it’s another freestyle oriented boot with regular laces; not the cheapest at £200….
Am I missing something in the Vans range that might be more suited? What about a brand that isn’t up there? 32, DC and Vans sprung to mind as brands that I think make good boots, but out of those boots I’ve only ridden boots from 32.
And Boa? I would consider trying something with the boa lacing system. Anyone got some that they rate? Do they stay shut nicely? Good even pressure? Even pressure – that’s another thing you can tailor well with standard laces. Any recommendations for Boa boots that fit my other criteria?
I’ll update this as I continue to look for new boots. Also, I’ll add previews of any boots that I look at further in the Snowboard Gear section of the site.
Boots in more detail…
Here are the boots that I’ve looked at further and/or tried on in a shop: