Snowboarding Essentials
Main Equipment Boots

Snowboard Boots

Snowboard boots (along with their bindings) are designed to
efficiently transfer the movements of your body while riding onto your board. To minimize any possibility of toe and heel overhang, the soles are shorter than other types of footwear of a similar size. You should, therefore, not consider wearing any other types of foot apparel for snowboarding.

The following are some factors to consider before purchasing a pair of snowboard boots.

Step In or Strap In

You'll have a little more flexibility if you decide to go with the more traditional strap-in bindings. This is because strap-in bindings should work with pretty much any non-step-in soft boots while step-in boots must be purchased together with their respective step-in bindings. To find out more about step-in boots and their bindings, see our article on Strap-In or Step-In Bindings.

Soft or Hard

Unless you're an advanced rider who's into racing and high speed carving, you'll probably want to opt for soft boots. Soft boots allow for a greater range of ankle movement making
them ideal for freestyle boarding and soft snow conditions.

Beginners will also appreciate the greater margin for error soft boots will allow not to mention the warmth and comfort they provide even if you just want to use them for taking a walk.


Finding a pair of boots which fit you comfortably is crucial. Exactly how tightly fitting a boot should be comes down to personal preference. Some riders have even deliberately purchased boots half a size too small to allow them to pack out perfectly onto their feet after a few rides. Others may like a little (but not too much) give to allow for a better feel for their board.

Pay attention to any discomfort, or even pain, you experience while trying on your boots. Snowboarding is meant to be fun, not an ordeal caused by undersized boots. Conversely, boots which are too loose will result in your heel lifting instead of your board during a toeside turn and will lead to a degradation in board control and, subsequently, your snowboarding experience.

Boots For Women

If you are a woman, you should probably get snowboard boots specifically designed for women. This is due to the fact that women typically have narrower heels and forefeet with lower calf muscles and as pointed out above, you'll want to get the best possible fit which is something you will most likely not get with boots for men or 'unisex' boots.

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