So you’ve taken your first turns and caught the snowboarding bug. Now it’s time to start thinking about getting your own gear so you can make this a more regular habit. Finding the right boots is more than just finding the cool looking ones especially if you’re just starting out. Below we’ll look at what you need to consider before purchasing your first pair and just what makes some the best snowboard boots for beginners.
How To Buy Snowboard Boots
Here we’ll take a look at the top things you should consider when buying your first pair of snowboard boots. Using these criteria to narrow down your choices will make finding the perfect snowboard boots a lot easier.
Like all other types of footwear the best snowboarding boots for beginners will be gender and age specific. You wouldn’t buy men’s shoes for a woman or a woman’s shoe for a 6 year old boy. Snowboarding companies have got this dialed in so you can find just the right boot that’s built with you in mind.
How and where you ride plays a big part in the selection process. If you’re riding in northern New Mexico then your ideal boot will be different then someone who’s in Vermont, the same can be said if you’re looking to advance to the tram line or if you’re wanting to throw down in the park.
Snow conditions, terrain, and riding style will all come into play when you’re looking at your first pair of snowboard boots. For simplicity sake we’ll assume you’re just getting started and look at boots that are going to help progress in the early stages.
The flex or stiffness of a given boot will be an indicator of what kind of riding it will perform best at. Stiffer boots generate great edge to edge response for more technical riding but wouldn’t be ideal for the park. For simplicity sake, in this article we’ll look at entry level boots that will give you a good middle ground mix of comfort and performance.
Comfort and Fit
Technical footwear will fit and wear differently then street shoes. One thing you’ll need to consider when buying your first pair of snowboard boots will what people refer to as “Pack Out”. When you’re trying on boots they should feel snug, almost too small. This is exactly how a correct snowboarding boot should feel like, once you spend some time riding the padding inside of the boot will, you guessed it, pack out. This will increase the room inside of the boot and form a more customized fit to your foot.
The boot is the most important part of your kit, the saying is “If you’re going to spend extra money on anything for riding, make sure it’s your boots”. Boots that are too big can cause as much discomfort as ones that are too small. The general rule is to buy boots that a 1/2 size smaller than your regular shoes. Boots that are too big will be very loose after they pack out and with all that extra negative space inside you’re feet will have trouble staying warm, not to mention you’ll loose a lot of control.
When it comes to securing your boots there are a few different options out there. Some are great and some, well, are less then great but all of them have their own pros and cons. There’s been a lot of different lacing systems that have been tried over the years but the 3 most common are traditional laces (like your shoes), Boa systems and speed lacing systems. Really it comes down to what you’re looking for in a boot and that will help define what kind of lacing systems you’ll be looking at.
Traditional Lacing Systems
Traditional lacing systems are some of the most common out there for the simple fact that they work. Less moving parts means less things that can go wrong. It might take a little longer to get situated then the others but once you get them set you’re good to go all day. Another advantage, if/when your laces get old and break replacing them is as easy as getting new laces.
Boa Lacing Systems
Boa lacing system snowboard boots are a great innovation that has really found a place in the modern snowboarding boot lineup since they came around in 2001. They work by twisting a central reel that tightens the whole boot allowing for super quick adjustments. To release the tension press the center of the reel and you’re unlaced. Higher end boots will include more than one adjustment reel to help with uneven tightening.
Speed Lacing Systems
The last option for lacing we’ll look at is the quick lace setup. These types of laces are really some of our favorites because of the ease of use, secure fit and simplicity of design. Typically these systems work by pulling on a centered lace that then tightens the whole boot and then sliding a locking mechanism into place to hold the tension on the boot.
How To Buy The Best Snowboard Boots For Beginners
When you’re buying your first pair of snowboard boots it might be tempting to go out and buy some super high-end and expensive boot. This is the wrong approach. Your first boots, while important, are a piece of intro equipment, most likely you’ll progress quickly and in as little as 1 season you’ll start to see what you like and don’t like in a pair of snowboard boots and upgrade to a pair that matches your riding and style.
What we’re looking for in a beginner snowboard boots is a boot that’s going to be comfortable, durable and leave you with enough coin left over to buy those new goggles you’ve been eyeing up. So without further ado let’s dive in and check our choices for the Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners!
Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners – Women’s Winner
DC Women’s Karma Snowboard Boot
The DC Karma Women’s snowboard boot made our number 1 spot on the Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners list because it meets all of our recommended criteria: Reasonably priced, mid flex, and built to last.
Touted as the performance snowboard boot you can afford, the Karma has all the bells and whistles that you’d fine on more expensive boots. DC’s Red liner is fleece lined for all day comfort and is built using memory foam so you end up with a boot that feels custom fitted to your foot. The fleece lining will help guard against hot spots from your feet rubbing inside the boot, something we thought was really nice.
The sole of the boot is a lightweight, dual material Unilite that grips the snow well for the treks to and from the lift and gives you a secure grip when you’re pushing with your back foot. The EVA footbed absorbs impacts and smooths out vibration when you’re riding so you can ride all day in comfort.
Overall the DC Karma is great snowboard boot for beginners because of it’s reasonable price and great features that will help you progress and stay comfortable all winter.
DC Karma Highlights
- Lacing System: Traditional
- Outsole: Foundation Unilite
- Liner: Red Liner
- Insole: Snow Basic
- Flex Rating: 3/10
Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners – Women’s Runner Up
Women’s K2 Sendit
Next on our list and runner up for the Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners in the women’s category is the K2 Sendit Snowboard boot. With super forgiving flex and comfort-minded features the Sendit was easy choice for our list.
The Boa lacing system makes short work of getting your boots on and off and the interior liner uses a separate lacing system that works off of a quick draw style. Just pull the liner tight, secure the outer with the Boa and you’re all set for riding all day.
This great snowboard boot was a must-have on our list because like the Karma above
it’s high quality, beginner friendly, and won’t bleed your wallet dry. At just over $100 the Sendit leaves you plenty of room for gearing up for the winter.
K2 has done a great job at designing a boot for maximum comfort in the Sendit. the shell itself has a lot of great padding to it separate from the liner itself so you’re getting a boot that will keep you smiling all day. The liner, while maybe not “Heat-Moldable” is body heat activated, so the more you wear it, the better it fits.
K2 Sendit Highlights
- Lacing System: BOA
- Liner Lacing System: Fast-In
- Liner Type: Intuition Comfort Foam 3D
- Outsole: Low-Pro
- Footbed: EVA Insole
- Liner fit: Custom Molding
Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners – Men’s Winner
DC Men’s Phase Snowboard Boot
If you’re a dude who’s just starting out, we’ve got you covered too. The winner of our Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners in the men’s category are the DC Phase snowboard boot. Like the women’s DC boots up above these awesome entry level boots come complete with all the comfort and beginner-friendly option that you need to succeed.
The common thread between these two DC boots is their super lightweight design and this is because of the Unilite outsole. It might not seem like a huge deal but when you’ve got your boots on all day the weight can play a big part in how well your feet feel at the end of the day.
Another thing we really like about the DC Phase is the tread on the inside of the toe. When your stepping up on a side hill or grabbing traction with your foot out of the bindings you need a little more grip on that specific spot and DC has done a great job of incorporating that into the design of the boot.
The men’s Phase boot features a traditional lacing system that keeps your feet secure and the Red Liner is a great option too that keeps your feet warm and comfortable while you’re on the hill. The DC Phase has been known to run a half size smaller so when ordering keep in mind that you may have to order half to a full size up. The smaller feel of the boot is due to the triangular shaped toe box.
DC Phase Highlights
- Lacing System: Traditional
- Outsole: Foundation Unilite
- Liner: Red Liner
- Insole: Snow Basic
- Flex Rating: 5/10
Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners – Men’s Runner-Up
Burton Invader Snowboard Boot
The runner-up in the men’s category is the Burton Invader. This is an awesome price point boot that’s great for guys who are just starting out and with it’s soft flex it’ll keep you comfortable for those days when you’re spending all day on the hill.
The Invader is Burton’s softest flexing boot and that’s because it’s designed to keep you on the mountain as long as you want without having tired feet being the reason you have to call it a day. Total Comfort is Burton’s exclusive construction that comes right out of the box with a broken in feel. The Invader also features the Imprint 1 liner with an integrated lacing system and that’s heat mold ready so you can dial in the fit even further.
- Traditional Lacing
- Soft Flex Tongue
- Total Comfort Construction
- Snow-Proof Internal Gusset
- Imprint 1 Liner with Integrated Lacing
- Level 1 Molded EVA Footbed
- DynoLite Outsole
- 1-Year Warranty
Well there you go! Now you’re dialed and should have no problem lining up some new boots for your first pair. These boots made our list of the Best Snowboard Boots for Beginners because they’re comfortable to keep you riding as long as you want, reasonably priced so you can have extra money for buying the rest of your gear, and they’re beginner friendly so you’re going to be able to progress quickly.
See you out there!