How to Choose a Pair of Snowboard Boots

A fun shred starts with comfy feet

The time has come. Your old boots feel like a pair of slippers – with the smell and outdoor practicality to match. 

When choosing a new pair of snowboard boots, it’s worth doing your research and trying on as many as you can; in the end, they’re probably the most important item in your gear bag. It’s vital the flex suits your style of riding, and how they fit can genuinely make or break your day. 

 

Snowboard Boot Sizing

We can't stress this enough: a snowboard boot should be no bigger than absolutely necessary. You’re looking for a snug yet comfortable fit, without any excess space at the end.

If you haven't done it already, now’s the time to measure your feet. Note the length in millimeters, which corresponds to the Mondopoint (MP) sizing system. Mondopoint is an official ISO standard, so (in theory!) there shouldn't be any manufacturer variations in size. Be sure to measure both feet, since they’re often slightly different sizes, and remember to wear snowboard socks.

Once you’re done, you can download and print the outlines of our Rome insoles for comparison – this is super useful if you need to order your new pair online. 

 

Snowboard Boot Fit

What does the ‘right’ size feel like? Ideally, your toes should gently touch the end of the toe box while standing upright. When you’re shredding, your knees are usually slightly bent, which moves your toes back a little so you won’t feel them pushing against the liner. 

If you’re trying them on instore, bend your legs to see how they feel in your snowboard stance, keeping your heels flat on the ground. Again, the boot should feel tight but comfy, and if you’re fully laced up you should experience no heel lift.

If you have two different sized feet, or your foot shape is especially narrow, you should definitely choose a snowboard boot with heat moldable liners. We use them on all our models because they guarantee a perfect fit. Our high-performance liners consist of two different densities of Ultralon Foam, and you can custom fit them several times over the course of their life to maintain the ideal shape. Wanna know how? Click here to learn all about heat molding.

 

Snowboard Boot Flex

While it’s possible to buy super soft or crazy stiff snowboard boots (and you’re welcome to try ‘em), for 99 percent of people the right choice is somewhere in the middle. At Rome, we offer three practical flex ratings: soft to medium (Flex 5); medium (Flex 6); and medium to stiff (Flex 7).

For beginners, or riders who only get to hit the mountain a few days each year, you don’t wanna waste time breaking in a solid pair of boots, so we would recommend choosing a soft to medium model like the *Stomp*. It’s a forgiving boot that’s comfortable right out the box and lets you concentrate on your riding.  

More experienced shredders who are all about flow and tweakability should take a look at our medium flexing Bodega. Its PRO F.I.T liner and Skate Cuff 3D construction combines a solid level of support with freedom of movement, so you can crank some carves on the hardpack or bust out back-breaking Japan like Stale. The Bodega is also available in three different lacing systems: Focus Boa offers the most direct power transmission; traditional lacing can be easily adjusted to suit your feet; and Hybrid Boa combines elements of both.

If you ride with speed and power, enjoy serious airtime and need maximum support, then a medium/stiff boot like the Libertine is the right choice for you. Producing a boot that doesn’t lose that support over its lifetime is a tricky design challenge, but we’ve mastered it with our new Durafit Shell construction that maintains its overall structure – even after 100 days on snow. The Libertine is our stiffest boot in the line and offers awesome response without feeling too gnarly. 

 

Snowboard Boot Lacing Systems

Classic laces are a tried and tested system that’s intuitive, easy to repair and looks dope. As mentioned above, you can also adjust how tight they are across the forefoot and shin, depending on what feels best for your feet.

Speed lacing is a convenient alternative. Many manufacturers offer their own versions but BOA has set the standard for decades, which is why it’s the only system we use aside from classic laces. Sequence BOA consists of a single dial that tightens a cable across the entire boot; it’s super quick and easy, even for kids. Focus BOA has separate cables for the upper and lower part of the boot, controlled by twin dials. It allows you to customize the fit on the fly and gives the boot a stiffer, more direct feel.

As a third option we offer Hybrid Heel Lock BOA. This combines all the advantages of normal lacing with a BOA dial that operates a dedicated ankle harness, minimizing heel lift. It’s a versatile system that’s trusted by many of our team riders.

If you wanna geek out, we’ve taken a more in-depth look at Laces vs BOA here.

 

Men’s vs Women’s Snowboard Boots

Each of our boots comes in both a men’s and women’s model. The outer shell and liner of both versions are designed from the ground up to offer a perfect fit. Aside from that, they feature the same high-quality materials and badass black styling.

 

Bottom Line – How to choose a pair of snowboard boots

Getting a good pair of boots is super important – arguably more important than your board choice – but with so many on the shelves it can be a daunting prospect.

We’ve kept the process as simple as possible by offering three flex levels. Choose a model that provides the right support for your riding level and style, and then choose from classic laces or one of our BOA systems depending on your preference. 

Above all, take your time when it comes to sizing; think snug but comfortable. Heat moldable liners help here. 

As for colors… well, you can’t go wrong with black, right?