New Snowboard Boots for the 2012 Season

worn_out_boots

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:

worn_out_boots

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”.

vans_high_standard_2012

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….

 

 

Any suggestions?

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:

 

7 Comments

  • Reply October 7, 2011

    dewei

    Nike Vapen if you like trainers comfort?

  • Reply October 10, 2011

    Ian

    After unpacking from a trip in Feb my vans were pretty much in the same state as your 32s in the picture, but they had had a thrashing so they had lived there worth!…
    Strangely I looked (after a bit of reading up) at 3 of the pairs you mentioned, 32s lashed,Dc park and the vans, difference was I was looking to buy the end of season sales earlier this year (so 2010/2011 models), i managed to try on all three pairs and ended up with the Lashed (pull tighten system thing, not norm laces) well happy with the fit and have been using them (on denex) since march, very happy with the fit, feel and quality..
    Haven’t had a trip away with them as yet to see how they are on everyday wear for a week or so, so cant pass full judgement!!

    but as you know you need to try them all on for personal pref’..

    But my 2pence, for fit, feel, quality and cost the 32s work for me.

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Gavin

    @dewei – is that what you’re riding? I’m interested in trying some Nike boots on, just to see what they’re like. They’ve clearly got experience in the footwear department, I wonder how they’re doing with snowboard boots?

    @Ian – yeah the Lashed just seem to provide me with exactly what I want. I know you said you haven’t had them on a trip away yet, but how does the pull-tight system feel?

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Ian

    The pull system seems to work really well, its split in to two areas (well are on the 2010/2011 not sure on the new 2011/2012 models) across the top of the foot and up front of the boot, so you should be able to adjust to get the fit/feel your after, pos even tighter than you can get with laces. as yet i’ve not worn them in anger for more that 3hours at one go in stints at the local dry-slope but haven’t had to adjust/tighten constantly which was a bit of a worry as i’ve heard of some of these systems slipping after a while.. not sure how much wet and cold would affect this though..

    Only thing i have noticed with the system over laces is i never used to do the very top of my old laced vans up very tight at the very top now i don’t have to option to vary at all… but that hasn’t been a problem as yet..

    hope that helps a little?

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Ian

    PS just got the TSA (the snowboard asylum) brochure through the other day, they seemed to have a few of the nike boots in, don’t know is there is one near you but could be a place to try some on.

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    dewei

    I ride in Salomon F20 from 2 seasons ago because that was the only pair that would fit me back in May when I bought my gear!

    I only mentioned the Nike Vapen because of the recent ad blitz in the magazines and on the net. Some guys in the SCUK forum felt they were comfy like trainers. I certainly like their look. The blue or red DC Park also look tasty!

    32, Northwave, Burton, Forum, K2 do not seem to fit me at all – too much volume. I have a medium width but ‘thin’ forefoot with a small narrow ankle.

    I suppose fit is more important than looks!

  • Reply October 17, 2011

    Gavin

    @Ian and @dewie,

    hey guys, I updated the post with some links to some boot pages – I got the chance to try on 3 pairs: Burton Hail, Nike Vapen and the 32 Lashed. Very useful session.

    In fact, all three boots seemed good. Hail edged it over the Vapen, for me personally. And then Hail vs Lashed -> that’s a touch call because I was really impressed with the Hail boots, but they are very soft. Lashed have got better, all mountain performance…

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