So you’ve just got a badass new pair of snowboard boots?
They’re so darn comfortable, you’re probably never gonna take them off!
But can you wear snowboard boots for walking?
While it’s technically possible to wear your snowboard boots for walking, it’s generally not recommended for extended periods or regular walking activities.
Let’s dig into the pros and cons of strutting around in your snowboard boots…
Why You Shouldn't Wear Snowboard Boots For Walking
As the name implies, snowboard boots are specifically designed for snowboarding. They are literally built to provide ankle support, stability, and weather protection.
Traditionally, this made the boots a little uncomfortable.
However, these days, the right snowboard boot should fit like your favorite slippers (especially if you’ve heat molded them).
This might even tempt you to wear them around town…
However bear in mind the following factors:
Flexibility: Snowboard boots need rigidity for control and response. This can make walking feel awkward, hindering your natural foot movements.
Weight and Bulk: Snowboard boots are clearly heavier and bulkier than regular walking shoes. This can be tiring, especially if you’re covering long distances.
Comfort: Whilst the comfort levels are off the charts these days, they can’t compete with the design and cushioning of regular walking shoes.
- Sole Design: Snowboard boots typically have a flat and rigid sole. This provides perfect grip for the snowboard binding footbed. Clearly this isn’t optimal for mid-foot flex compared to a walking or running shoe.
Let’s take a closer look at the upsides and downsides to wearing snowboard boots for walking.
Pros and Cons of Wearing Snowboard Boots For Walking
Still not convinced?
Let’s check out some of the risks and benefits of walking in your snowboard boots.
- Protection and Stability: With excellent ankle support, snowboard boots can feel pretty supportive when walking short distances.
- Weather Resistance: Clearly snowboard boots are built for the weather. They're warm, well-insulated and pretty much waterproof (more so than regular boots).
- Durability: Built to withstand hours of snowboarding, snowboard boots are made of tough stuff. They consequently handle all sorts of rocky trails and terrains.
- Smelly Boots: walking all day is really going to stink up your boots!
- Lack of Flexibility: Can be restrictive and uncomfortable when walking.
- Stairs: Stairs are your worst nightmare in a stiff pair of snowboard boots!
- Packing Them Out: While all snowboard boots pack out, walking breaks them down even further (learn more here).
- The Price: Why wear out your $200-$400 boots when you could wear sneakers.
- Weight: As discussed, even the lightest boots are heavier than walking boots.
- Lack of Cushioning: Walking or running shoes have better cushioning and impact absorption, particularly underfoot.
Okay, here’s the deal—wearing snowboard boots for walking is certainly doable. But is it the best option?
For longer walks or hikes, ditch the snowboard boots and opt for something specifically designed for walking.
However, if you’re just strolling around the resort, your boots are fine. The same goes for hiking an untouched mountain ridge prior to your descent. You’re hardly going to change into sneakers for that!
Learn about how long snowboard boots last (and how to extend their lifespan).