How Tight Should Snowboard Boots Be (GUIDE)
Your snowboard boots, arguably, is of utmost importance as a part of your snowboard gear. It can either make your snowboarding adventure enjoyable, or totally spoil the day.
You need to make sure that they fit correctly, and comfortably. But how tight should snowboard boots be?
Buying the Perfect Snowboard Boots
Choosing the right snowboard boots requires you to consider a few factors.
- Fit. Snowboard boots are meant to fit snugly, but there should be no feelings of discomfort or pain. Brand new boots are usually tighter at the beginning so they should be broken in. If you can wiggle your toes but only gently graze the toecap, that’s a perfect fit. Your heels should not be moving for better board control, but you should not feel discomfort.
- Flex rating. The stiffness of the snowboard boots is determined by its flex rating, which ranges from 1 to 10. For beginners, it’s usually recommended to get boots with a softer flex. For most advanced riders, stiffer boots is the way to go.
- Lacing. From traditional lacing to the more advanced Boa system, this aspect of the snowboard boots has evolved. Modern lacing systems allow you to tighten the boots’ laces by turning a dial. In the old days, you will have to do a lot of adjustment before you get the right fit.
- Liners. Within your snowboard boots is a lighter inner boot called the liner. It is usually made of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate or EVA because of the material’s light weight and moldable features. The liner provides the padding, cushioning, and insulation factor of the snowboard boots. Without it, you won’t last long on the snow. There are removable and permanently attached liners.
- Footbed. This is optional and is added to increase comfort during those long rides. A bootfitter can help you get the right size and shape for your feet.
- Boot size. When it comes to snowboard boots, the sizing may differ slightly from one manufacturer (or even model) to another. Although they follow US standard footwear sizing, the outer sole of a size 11 from Brand A might be longer than that of Brand B’s. It’s recommended that you personally fit snowboard boots instead of buying online, unless you’ve been using a particular brand and model and you just want another pair of a different color.
- Socks. Believe it or not, your choice of snowboard socks will greatly affect the level of your comfort and performance. Socks provide added insulation and protect your skin from rashes that can be brought about by frequent rubbing with the inner parts of the boots.
All of the items mentioned above affect the tightness or looseness of your snowboard boots, so each one should be considered before buying a pair. Else, you might end up with issues that will not only affect your performance and comfort, but also cause accidents.
So, you got a new pair of snowboard boots. You got one of the more expensive brands that your favorite snowboarder is using. It’s the right size and you now want to try it on. Here are a few tips:
- Use the snowboard socks that you plan to use when trying on your new boots.
- Loosen the laces, BOA dials, or release the quick pull locks of the boots completely. Some boots have multiple lacings for both outer and inner sections. If there is paper stuffed inside the boots, remove them.
- Put in your feet inside the boots. Grab the boot’s tongue as you slide your foot in, then stand up and step into it. Make sure your feet are in all the way.
- Don’t panic when you feel the boots are a bit tight when you put them on.
- Stomp on the floor a few times to push your heel in and you feel your toes being pulled away from the boots’ front.
- Tighten the inner lacing first by standing up and pulling. Some systems, like the Boa, allow you to tighten the laces by turning a dial usually located outside the boots’ shell. When you feel the perfect snug, tighten the shell’s lacing next. Don’t tighten any of the lacing too much or you’ll get uncomfortable after some time.
- Imagine you are snowboarding. Get into the riding position. Simulate the twists and turns. This will help you get a good idea of how the boots will feel when you’re actually snowboarding.
- Stand and walk around in your new boots. This is the tightest your boots will ever be. Padding and cushioning will decrease to half its size in time.
We hope that you have now a better understanding of how tight your snowboard boots should be - they should feel tight and snug, but not to the point that it becomes uncomfortable. Consider the pointers above as you buy and try on your new pair of snowboard boots. This is to ensure you get the most out of your investment and enjoy your snowboarding adventure.