As every snowboader knows, a good snowboard boot can make a huge difference to your comfort and performance on the slopes. Those who have only ever worn ill-fitting boots know just how uncomfortable they can become after several hours of use, while those who have found their perfect boots report decreases in injuries and improvements in control and comfort.
Buying a great snowboard boot doesn’t mean choosing the most expensive product in the store. Rather, it is a matter of fit. Before you buy your snowboard boots, pay careful consideration to size as well as insoles.
Find a professional fitter
First, always buy your boots with the help of a professional fitter. In addition to measuring your foot, a professional fitter will ask you questions about your boarding habits (experience, preferred kind of slope) and the type of boots you have worn in the past. Most stores should have professional fitters on staff… but if the store employees seem more concerned about getting you in and out than with getting you a good fit then you may want to try a new store.
Snowboard boot size
When trying on snowboard boots, you may be tempted to purchase a boot that is comfortably snug when you try it on. Be warned: after a week or so of use, when the lining has packed down, your boots will be too big. If your boots are too big, it will be harder to control your board as the boots will not respond as well to your movement.
It is also an easy way to cause injury: with loose boots, you will need to exaggerate your movements to control the board. This type of excessive movement can cause injury. The best way to avoid this is to refer to the size charts available in the store and also have the fitter help you. If the boot feels uncomfortably tight, it’s probably a good fit.
Insoles for snowboard boots
The final step to get a perfect fit is to purchase some insoles for your snowboard boots. Custom-made footbeds can have a major effect on comfort and performance.
It is worth noting that the foot orthotics you use in your regular shoes are not appropriate for use in snowboard boots. Your stance while snowboarding is entirely different to the way you walk or run. With snowboard orthotics, it is important that your orthotics support a safe and comfortable stance.
Ideally, insoles for snowboard boots will:
- Provide shock absorption to reduce the impact on your muscles
- Distribute your body weight evenly, making your boots more responsive to your movements
- Align your feet, ankles, knees and hips to prevent overuse injury
- Prevent the grown of bacteria and fungi with antimicrobial materials
- Keep your feet warm
- View the Formthotics range of footbeds for snowboard boots.