If you love to push limits and explore new terrain, freeriding is right up your alley. The snowboarding style allows you to experience everything the mountain has to offer, and it often does so far away from the lift lines or crowds that come standard with other disciplines.
However, the demanding nature of freeriding means you need to be well prepared in order to perform your best. Here’s a look at the best freeride snowboard boots to help you on that quest.
- The DC Torstein Horgmo are some of the best freeride boots you can get your hands on. These deliver high-end performance to help you push yourself out of the comfort zone and make for some truly amazing snowboarding.
- Another great freeriding option is the thirtytwo TM-2 XLT boots. These boots are durable and made to tackle the elements. They will deliver quality support and performance as well.
- Check out the Burton Imperial if you want legendary performance from a trusted brand. These boots are designed to handle just about anything, making them ideal for freeriding.
Who Should Get This?
Freeriding is all about finding amazing natural features and terrain beyond normal resort conditions. You can certainly freeride at a resort, but the essence of the style brings more backcountry-esque situations to mind. If you love to ride big mountain lines, are always on the hunt for powder, or love pushing your limits on the mountain, freeride boots are the way to reach your full potential.
Since freeride boots cater more towards serious on-snow scenarios, they are better for intermediate to advanced riders. You can certainly use a freeride boot if you’re more of a beginner, but the models in this guide have a stiffer flex that delivers higher performance.
Best Freeride Snowboard Boots: What to Consider
Obviously, freeride snowboard boots are intended for those who like to freeride. Their stiffer flex, durable construction, and increased response make them able to perform at high levels on the terrain and conditions you most often find yourself in while freeriding. If you love to explore parts of the mountain that the common boarder might not venture into, these boots will help you do just that.
If you’re a beginner or like to spend a lot of time in the park, you’re going to be better off getting a different style of snowboard boot. Freeriding equipment definitely has its advantages, but park performance is not one. Freeride boots can certainly be used in the park, but you will not get excellent performance out of them.
Freeriders often find themselves deep in the backcountry where you’re not going to find a chairlift to get you to the top of a run. You have to get there using your own two feet. That means you need boots that will aid you in your climbing. Freeride boots are built with backcountry needs in mind and offer superior grip/traction over other boot styles.
Even if you plan on staying within the boundaries of the resort but still want to pursue freeriding, extra grip pays off when you find hike-to terrain that many resorts offer for advanced riders. All of the boots on this list feature excellent grip that will enable you to hike in the snow with ease.
Freeriding will put your snowboarding equipment under heavy stress. This means that you want to look for boots that are constructed out of high-quality materials that make them durable. All of the boots listed here are built with these factors in mind. That’s one of the reasons they stand apart from other models. You need your boots to hold up under any and all conditions because that will keep you safe, warm, and allow you to ride at the highest levels.
Quality comes down to the materials the boots are constructed out of, but it also has a lot to do with a brand’s priorities and their commitment to excellence. All of the boots listed here are made by quality brands with great reputations. Even if you purchase boots that end up having some sort of defect, the companies will work with you to get an exchange or refund.
Best Freeride Snowboard Boots: Our Picks
One of the best freeride snowboard boots is the DC Torstein Horgmo. These are a high-end option that will deliver excellent comfort, performance, and response for serious riders who live for the thrill that freeriding has to offer. A dual BOA lacing system allows you to achieve a highly customizable fit while the Impact-G outsole gives the boots excellent grip and increased shock absorption. A great boot for freeride pursuits of any kind.
- Dual BOA lacing system
- Excellent grip
- Internal ankle harness
- Double black liner
- Comfortable but catered towards advanced performance
- Not a good beginners boot
The thirtytwo TM-2 XLT is another amazing freeride boot. These are one of the most durable offerings from thirtytwo, a brand that’s well known for their quality, rugged options. An overmold outer shell and performance strap both work to increase stability when strapped in, while the dual-density foam liner provides quite a bit of comfort. Stiff and meant to rip, these boots are a freeriders dream.
- Excellent grip
- Overmold design protects your feet and boots in severe conditions
- High-performance option
Another boot that sits on the shortlist for one of the best freeride options is the Burton Imperial. These boots use 30 years of research and brand development to deliver serious performance and comfort. Speed zone lacing allows you to quickly achieve a secure, comfortable fit, and the lightweight Vibram Ecostep soles deliver stand out grip/traction. The B3 Gel cushioning in the sole also adds comfort and impact absorption.
- Quality brand
- Speed zone lacing
- Serious grip
- Lightweight but rugged
- Nice medium-stiff flex for freeriding
- Would like to see BOA lacing on this boot
Useful Tips & Resources
If your freeriding takes you into the backcountry, you need to be safe at all times. There’s no one coming to the rescue if you get into a hairy situation deep in the wilderness and away from the crowds. Here is an excellent backcountry snowboard guide that’s well worth reading if you are even considering heading off-piste.
Freeriding is probably my favorite snowboarding style. I love getting on the snow and will take every opportunity to do so, but some of the most memorable experiences I have ever had with the sport have been during freeride situations. If you haven’t explored this type of snowboarding, I would highly recommend it. Just make sure you get the proper equipment and always play it safe!
Do you have any freeride snowboarding tips? Or some good freeride boots that aren’t listed here? Let us know in the comments below!