It is critical that your snowboard boots fit properly. How well they fit will dramatically affect your control, fun and safety.
There are a few ways to improve the fit of your snowboard boots (such as heat molding the liners). But for starters, are snowboarding boots true to size?
Snowboard boots are generally true to size, meaning you should wear the same size as your regular shoes. However, there are exceptions; just like regular shoe brands, some snowboard boots run a little larger or smaller. Read more in our article on how to choose a snowboard.
Obviously, the best way to find your perfect fit is to try a bunch of different brands on in store. But when you buy snowboard boots online, this can be tricky.
Here’s some tricks and tips…
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Sizing Snowboard Boots
Snowboard boots use standard sizing, but different brands make their snowboard boots with specific characteristics. For example, some brands make their boots slightly wider or narrower.
In contrast, others run larger or smaller. Therefore, unless you know what the boots feel like it’s is best to try them on… preferably with help from a snowboard boot specialist.
A snowboard boot specialist will be qualified and have the knowledge to select the right boots for you in the first place. They will present you with several pairs of boots to try on that they believe will suit your feet and riding style.
Trying On Snowboard Boots
When you try on snowboard boots. They should feel snug but not so tight that they hurt your calves.
But remember that snowboard liners will compress over time, meaning they expand up to half a size larger – this is called packing out. When the snowboard boot packs out, it will become less snug, which can reduce your control.
It’s good to keep in mind that your snowboard boots should feel best in a few weeks on the mountain, not while you’re standing in the shop. If you feel like you are between sizes, it is best to choose the smaller size (as long as you don’t experience pressure, points or numbness in your feet and toes).
5 Tips For Sizing Snowboard Boots
When you try on snowboard boots, there are a few things you can do to find the true right size:
- Don’t wear thick hiking or cotton socks. Instead, wear a decent pair of snowboard socks made from synthetic material. This is what you will be wearing on the mountain anyway.
- If possible, go to the snowboard shop in the afternoon. Your feet swell throughout the day. If you try snowboard boots in the afternoon, your feet will be at their largest, so you can get a more realistic idea of how your boots will fit.
- Stand up straight in your snowboard boots and note where your toes are. They should just touch the end of your boots, but you shouldn’t feel pressure on your toes.
- Stand in your snowboarding stance with slightly bent knees. When you’re in this position, your toes should move slightly away from the front of the boot, and you should feel no pain at all. Your heels should also stay locked down!
- Give your feet a chance to get used to the boots by walking around for about 20 minutes. These boots are probably unsuitable if you feel any pressure points, numbness, or pain. But in minor cases, a boot fitter can tweak the fit by adjusting the heat mouldable liner.
My Own Experience Of Boot Sizing
I’m not sure if this will be helpful, but here’s my experience. I’m a size 9.5 (US) in most shoes, including Nike and Adidas. I’m also a size 9.5 (US) in these snowboard boot brands:
However, I wear size 10 (US) in these brands:
- DC (see my DC Judge review)
An extreme outlier is that I’m a size 8.5 (US) in Northwave boots, so these must fit pretty large! I’ve tried many other brands, but I unfortunately can’t remember my sizing accurately.
Snowboard boots do mostly fit true to size, but there is significant variation between brands. A “good fit” is also quite subjective and will vary from person to person.
This is why it sometimes helps to try a few pairs in store. You’ll soon get a feel for which snowboard brands feel best on your feet.
However, if you plan to order your boots online, use our gear discounts page to get the best price.