Let’s talk about the most essential piece of snowboarding gear… your boots. The right pair of snowboard boots can truly make or break your season. Upgrade them regularly! But how long do snowboard boots last?
On average, snowboard boots last from 70 to 100 days of snowboarding. This equates to anywhere from one season to several years, depending on how often you use them, the quality of construction, and how well you take care of them.
However, there’s a lot of variability between riders and brands. Keep reading (please).
How Long Will Your Snowboard Boots Last?
As mentioned, you might get much longer (or much shorter) out of your boots than others. This is due to a number of factors:
1. How Often You Ride
Firstly, how often you hit the slopes is a biggie. If you’re shredding regularly throughout the winter season, your boots may not last as long as someone who only snowboards on vacation. Makes sense, right?
2. How Hard You Ride
Deep carves and back-to-back park laps will certainly wear out boots quicker than a mellow weekend cruise. Aggressive riders can burn through a pair of boots in 50-days!
3. Snowboard Boot Quality
Another key factor is the quality of construction. High-end snowboard boots made with top-notch materials and construction methods tend to last longer than their cheaper counterparts. It may cost you a bit more initially, but investing in good quality boots could save you money in the long run.
4. Snowboard Boot Stiffness
Stiffer boots are harder to break down and will offer support for longer.
If you buy a boot with a 5 out of 10 flex rating, it won’t be long until the support is nearer to 2-3. You might therefore want to consider boots with a 6-7 stiffness rating. This allows a little more wiggle-room when they soften up.
5. Proper Love and Care
And finally, proper care is crucial. After each use, make sure to dry your boots thoroughly and store them in a cool, dry place. Don’t leave them in direct sunlight or near a heat source. This can cause them to break down faster.
Give them a regular clean with a damp cloth and mild soap to keep them free from dirt and grime. You can read more about this in my post about fixing smelly snowboard boots.
How To Know When It's Time For New Snowboard Boots?
If you’re glancing lovingly at the disheveled, old boots in the corner of the room… I think you already know. Floppy and unsupportive boots will limit your progression, no matter how comfy they are. It’s time to say goodbye!
But sometimes it’s less clear-cut.
Here are some other signs that it’s time to replace your snowboard boots:
They no longer fit properly: If your boots are too loose, you won’t have adequate control. Snowboard boots will stretch out and your feet may change. At this point, it’s time for new boots. Read more about snowboard boot pack-out here.
They’re worn out: Look for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed laces, cracks in the soles, or holes in the liner. If the boots are visibly worn, they may not provide the support and protection you need. If the outsole is the issue, Shoe Goo can give your boots a few more weeks of life… but they might still be nearing the end.
They’re uncomfortable: Uncomfortable boots lead to foot pain, blisters, and a general lack of control. You can always try adjusting the fit or adding these insoles. But if that doesn’t work, it’s time to replace your boots.
- They’re not providing enough support: Snowboard boots are designed to provide support to your ankles and feet. Over time, the support breaks down. This will make it harder to engage your edges and your board response will suffer.
Which Snowboard Boots Last Longer?
Some snowboard boots last longer than others. Avoid the cheapest boots on the market, but be aware that price tags don’t always guarantee quality. Look for quality boots, by these quality snowboard brands.
Additionally, whilst stiffer boots will usually last longer, don’t go for the highest end of the flex spectrum. This can be a painful mistake… particularly if you’re a new rider.
My current favorite boots are the DC Judges. I got around 90-days of hard riding from these bad boys.
Testing Which Snowboard Boot Brands Last Longer
I’ve ridden dozens of pairs of snowboard boots over the years. Here’s a summary of how they’ve held up to my vigorous testing.
|Boot Model||Lifespan||Cause of Death|
|Thirty-Two Lashed||Around 20-days||Detached Sole|
|Burton Ions||Around 70-days||Worn Liner (blisters)|
|DC Judges||Around 90-days||Lost support|
|Burton Moto||Around 30-days||Went floppy|
|Salomon Malamute||50-days+||I got scared of the stiffness and "downgraded"|
|Burton Ruler||60-days||Snapped speed lace|
|K2 Maysis||Around 75-days||Retired of old age (great boot though)|
How To Make Snowboard Boots Last Longer
This is the part where we talk about how to look after your boots… and we both ignore almost all of it…
After a long day of riding, the last thing you want to do is wash, clean and store your boots. But even if you practice one or two of these tips, your boots stand a chance of living a longer life.
Invest in Quality Boots
The first step to ensuring your snowboard boots last longer is to invest in a high-quality pair. Cheaper boots may seem like a good idea at first, but they’re likely to wear out faster and won’t provide the same level of comfort and performance.
Dry Them Out Properly
After a day of riding, it’s essential to dry your boots out properly. Leaving them wet or damp can lead to mold, mildew, and a funky smell. Use a boot dryer or stuff them with newspaper. Leave them in a warm, dry place until fully dry.
Store Them Correctly
When not in use, store your snowboard boots in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing them in a garage or basement where they could be exposed to moisture or temperature fluctuations.
Use Boot Bags
Boot bags are a great investment. They can protect your boots while traveling or during storage. They offer a layer of protection against scratches, dirt, and other damage.
Clean Them Regularly
This will help remove dirt and grime that can accumulate and cause damage over time. For tougher stains, use a mild detergent and water, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly and dry them properly afterward. For more details, read my article on how to clean snowboard boots.
Don’t Walk Around in Them
While it’s tempting to walk around in your snowboard boots, it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. Walking on hard surfaces like concrete can damage the soles and cause them to wear out faster. Save your steps for the slopes!
Don’t Rest Your Board On Them!
Remember the tattered old boots in the picture above? Those were the result of resting a snowboard on them whilst riding the lift. Don’t do this! A newly sharpened snowboard edge will quickly demolish the outside of your snowboard boots. They’ve also been known to cut laces and even BOA wires!
Maybe New Boots are Better?
In the past I have glued and taped my boots together, long after they’ve bitten the dust. Sadly, I have now learned to accept their fate. Old boots can limit progression and lead to soggy feet.
Just get new ones.
Every few years there is some new and innovative snowboard boot technology. This is your chance to try it. Take for example BOA lacing systems and step-on technology. New boots are a chance to try out some warmer, more supportive tech.
So, how long do snowboard boots last?
In short, snowboard boots can last anywhere from one season to several years. But this all depends on how often you use them, the quality of construction, and how well you take care of them. By taking care of your boots, you can extend their lifespan and enjoy many more supported days on the slopes.
So, keep shredding, friends. Take good care of those boots!