9 Best Snowboard Boots in 2021

Best Snowboard Boots

No matter what your ability level is, or the style of snowboarding you like to do the most, boots are essential for everybody. A good pair of snowboard boots will help keep you comfortable and provide you with the performance you need to make the most of your time on the mountain. 

I’ve used many different boots over the years, and as a snowboarding instructor, I have seen hundreds of models on my student’s feet. I know what to look for in a good pair and what separates the average options from the best. 

The best overall snowboard boots for this year are the Burton Ion. These boots rule, it’s as simple as that. Burton once again knocks it out of the park with the latest version of the Ion. 

There are a seemingly endless amount of boot options out there, so I’ll show you some other top options in this post to help you find the perfect fit for the season. 

Make sure they fit and let’s get it.  

Quick Summary

Who Should Get This

Every snowboarder needs boots. Experienced riders know how vital boots are to the riding experience. They make a huge difference in how you perform and feel on the mountain. 

The boots listed here will meet the needs of many different riders, and they all come highly recommended for various reasons.

If you’re a beginner rider, you might want to try a few different types of boots out before buying them. You can rent snowboard boots at the resort instead of purchasing them straight away to get a feel for how they fit and help you become a better rider.

Once you have a boot you like, you can then look back at this list for some suggested options.

Top Picks of Best Snowboard Boots for 2021

Every snowboarder needs a decent set of boots, and the options listed below are some of the best you can get your feet into. 

1. Burton Ion

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key features: Comfortable, high-performance, excellent fit, speed zone lacing, DryRide Lining, Life Liner
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Lacing: Speed Zone Lacing
  • Cost: $$$$

At the top of the list comes the Burton Ion. These boots are fantastic, and I would recommend them to any experienced rider. They will give you outstanding performance all over the mountain and are comfortable and warm. 

They have a stiffer flex, 8/10 on the Burton scale, which means you will get aggressive and responsive performance that will allow you to charge hard and explore any type of terrain you want to get after. 

A Total Comfort Construction is designed to give you a broke-in feel right from the start. While I would say you still need to break them in for a few days, they still are more comfortable out of the box than most other options. 

The Life Liner uses a responsive polyurethane tongue to keep it lightweight but comfortable. A DryRide Heat Cycle Lining provides warmth and is breathable to allow moisture to escape and keep you dry. 

The SpeedZone lacing system is easy to use and keeps your feet firmly in place and stable. Dual-density EVA cushioning is soft and absorbs impacts when you want to go big. The list of features goes on and on.

The only bad thing about the Ion is that it is expensive. Very expensive. 

2. thirtytwo Lashed Melancon

  • Best for: Women
  • Key features: 1 to 1 lasting, 3D molded tongue, Team Internal Harness, heat-moldable liner, fleece collar cuff
  • Flex: Medium
  • Lacing: Traditional
  • Cost: $$

The thirtytwo Lashed Melancon is a great option for lady riders. It’s the top option for women’s boots and has a lot to offer in terms of comfort, warmth, and performance. 

A medium to medium/stiff flex gives you the ability to pursue all-mountain riding or get your freestyle flow rolling when you feel like it. It’s a versatile, effective, and fun flex rating. 

A 1 to 1 lasting ratio means you’ll get a solid fit that runs true to size. The 3D molded tongue makes it easy to laces these up and get to riding without struggling to cram your feet inside. 

The heat-moldable liner is made of dual-density foam that provides you with a comfortable,  customized fit. Your heel and ankle will be supported by a Team Internal Harness that acts like a little mini hammock for your feet. 

The Lashed Melancon has traditional lacing, which is a bit old school and not a preference for everyone but is still a great all-around women’s option. 

3. thirtytwo STW Boa

  • Best for: Beginners
  • Key features: Soft flex, 1 to 1 lasting, 3D molded tongue, comfort harness, heat-moldable liner, STI evolution foam sole
  • Flex: Soft
  • Lacing: Boa
  • Cost: $$

Beginner riders need an approachable boot that is comfortable and warm while still giving you enough support to progress. The thirtytwo STW Boa provides all of that and is my recommended choice for anyone new to the sport and trying to get better. 

The soft flex of the STW is ideal for a beginner. It’s forgiving and comfortable, so you won’t get tired feet or make any erratic moves on the mountain. 

1 to 1 lasting and 3D molded tongue means you’ll get a solid fit that is true to size. These should work for a range of foot sizes and be plenty comfortable. 

The comfort liner has a heat-moldable dual-density intuition foam that allows you to get a customized feel. I like a heat-moldable option for beginners because discomfort is an easy way to ruin your fun in the snow. 

A Boa lacing system will allow you to dial in your tightness and keep your feet firmly planted in place while you ride and explore new areas over the mountain. 

As a beginner’s boot, these are soft and won’t perform as well in challenging or technical terrain. 

4. Vans Hi-Standard

  • Best for: Intermediate
  • Key features: V1 UltraCush liner, comfortable footbed, waffle lug sole, quality construction
  • Flex: Medium/Stiff
  • Lacing: Traditional 
  • Cost: $$

The Vans Hi-Standard is a quality all-around boot that will let you progress in ability level through the intermediate stages. It’s comfortable but still has an aggressive enough of a flex to allow you to dive into challenging terrains. 

These boots are fairly simple in design and construction, and I like that about them. There isn’t a lot to get in your way, and everything has a purpose and a function. Similar to Vans shoes, they’re simple, but they’re great. 

The V1 UltraCush Liner is super comfortable, and although it’s not heat-moldable, you will still get excellent foot support, which caters both towards performance and comfort. 

A Popcush footbed is made of single-density foam and gives you plenty of cushion and support for long days on the mountain or big lines in the park. A Waffle Lug outsole pays homage to Vans skate style and adds good grip in the snow. 

They don’t have a heat-moldable liner, and that’s a bit of a bummer. 

5. Rome Libertine

  • Best for: Freestyle
  • Key features: Molded SkateCuff 3D, Boa HeelLock Harness, PowerStay strap, comfortable heat-moldable liner
  • Flex: Medium/Stiff
  • Lacing: Traditional
  • Cost: $$$

Park rats and freestyle junkies will appreciate everything the Rome Libertine has to offer. These boots are stable and effective in the park and beyond. 

A 3D molded shell tongue and a performance 1 to 1 lasting give you a snug fit that is cushiony and soft – everything you want out of a freestyle-focused boot. 

A molded SkateCuff 3D EVA heel pocket supports your ankles and provides you with a line of safety against injury and fatigue. The Ultralon liner is heat-moldable for a customized fit and added support. 

Additional external support comes in the form of a Boa HeelLock harness and PowerStay Strap. These boots are built to huck.

They are on the expensive side and not a good option for beginners.  

6. Ride Lasso Pro

  • Best for: All-Mountain
  • Key features: High-performance fit, lightweight construction, articulated cuff, rebound heel counter flex
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Lacing: Boa
  • Cost: $$$

The Ride Lasso Pro is a versatile, high-performance boot that is a perfect fit for all-mountain riding. They have a stiffer flex that caters to more technical lines, and a patented rebound heel counter keeps the flex durable and strong season after season. 

They have a lightweight construction that makes them easy to wear all day, and season, long, but they are still strong and durable. A liner that is factory molded to the shell works to increase comfort and limit them from packing out heavily. 

The Lasso Pro comes with an Intuition Support Liner made out of high-density foam for solid performance and lasting comfort. There is also a bamboo charcoal material built into it that helps limit odor and moisture build-up – pretty cool!

The H4 Boa lacing system is easy to use and gives you a quick, precise, and easy fit. The footbed is made of EVA foam for added cushion and comfort. 

The Lasso is expensive but worth every penny if you want the best in all-mountain performance.  

7. DC Travis Rice Boa

  • Best for: Freeride
  • Key features: High-performance option, very responsive, Stormproof Stormflaps, warm, articulated construction, Black Aerotech Liner
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Lacing: Boa
  • Cost: $$$

The DC Travis Rice Boa boots are the perfect companion for freeriding. These boots are built for high-performance and offer excellent response and tremendous warmth in the most severe conditions.

They will rip through deep powder and challenging lines with ease. A stiff flex gives you amazing response and control when things get technical. 

The Black Aerotech liner offers professional-level performance and helps to keep your feet warm. These have a unique construction that is heat-moldable but also contains memory foam for added comfort. 

3M Thinsulate insulation ensures that your feet will stay warm when the weather outside is wild. These are easily the warmest option on the list. A Stormproof Storm Flap is another measure built in to keep out the snow and cold. 

These are best left on the feet of experienced riders and come with a decent price tag but are the best freeride option. 

8. DC Phase

  • Best for: For the Money
  • Key features: Affordable, performance liner, responsive, EVA insole, lightweight 
  • Flex: Medium 
  • Lacing: Traditional
  • Cost: $

The DC Phase proves that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a quality boot. These aren’t fancy, but they get the job done and are a recommended budget option. 

Medium flex gives you versatile performance all over the mountain. They are also responsive enough to be used in more challenging situations. 

A performance liner features multi-layer construction that gives you plenty of cushioning and support for lasting comfort. 

The footbed is made of an EVA foam that is built to absorb impact and reduce chatter. This is covered with a moisture-wicking cloth material to keep your feet dry when you ride. 

The Foundation Unilite outsole is lightweight but durable and adds plenty of grip when you want to hike or need to push.

These aren’t the most durable option around, and you don’t get heat-moldable liners, but for the money, they are awesome. 

9. Burton Ruler 

  • Best for: Wide Feet
  • Key features: Available in wide sizes, Total Comfort Construction, PowerUP tongue, Imprint 2 liner, Lock-Up cuff
  • Flex: Medium
  • Lacing: Speed Zone Lacing
  • Cost: $$

If you have feet, you know it can be a struggle to find boots that fit. The Burton Ruler is a great option to look into because they come in wide sizes and will work well for larger and wider feet. 

Total Comfort Construction limits the break-in period and gives you quality comfort straight out of the box. These boots are comfortable in any size. 

An Imprint 2 liner is heat-moldable to give you a customized fit. It also has a molded EVA footbed for extra comfort and a Lock-Up cuff that keeps your upper ankle firmly in place. 

Speed zone lacing is easy to use and effective, allowing you to dial in your fit in seconds and be ready to ride. 

The Ruler is just a little on the bulky side, which isn’t that big of a deal but worth noting if you’re looking for a small profile or lighter weight option. 

Best Snowboard Boots: What to Consider

Take a minute to read over the following section before you buy your boots. These factors are all essential to keep in mind. 

Flex

Flex is an important initial consideration when choosing a snowboard boot. The term refers to the amount of movement the material and construction of the boots allow once you lace them up.

Most boots are rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for flex, with 1 being the softest (most flexible) and 10 being the stiffest (least flexible).

Your flex choice comes down to your ability level, preferred riding style, and personal preference. Softer boots are generally better for beginners because they are more comfortable and allow for easy maneuverability.

Park riders usually like a softer boot as well. Stiffer boots are better suited for experienced riders who want high-end performance and increased power transfer from their legs to their board.

Also, there is no universal standard here. Flex can vary from brand to brand.

Style

Your preferred riding style also comes into play when deciding which snowboard boots to buy. This isn’t as big of a consideration if you’re a true beginner, but once you start to realize your riding habits and tendencies, you want to get boots to match.

Experienced riders might want to buy different boots for different styles and conditions as well.

All-mountain boots are the most common. The style is for people who like to venture all over the mountain and ride through changing terrain.

They are versatile and perfect for riders who need medium flex shoes that can perform in various conditions.

Freestyle boots are for riders who love to catch big airs, learn new tricks, and spend a good amount of time in the terrain park. They are durable, come with plenty of cushion, and are pretty soft for this style.

Freeriding boots are more about tackling big lines and exploring snowboarding away from the resort.

They need to be high-performance to allow you to utilize your snowboard to its fullest capacity. Freeriders need a stiff boot that’s warm and durable.

Liners

Liners, the removable insert that goes inside the main shell of a snowboard boot, is another critical aspect of a boot. They provide you with a lot of warmth and plenty of extra comfort.

They come in standard options with a universal fit and can be customized to fit your foot perfectly.

Custom liners are standard for experienced riders who want a precise fit. Such options are more expensive, and you will need the help of a boot fitter, but they do help you perform better on the mountain.

Thermo-formable liners will mold to the shape of your feet over time. Once these liners are broken in, they can be quite comfortable and provide a somewhat customized fit and feel. These are more affordable than fully custom options.

Standard liners have a basic universal fit that will work for most riders, especially beginners.

Even though they don’t offer any custom fit, that doesn’t mean the liners don’t perform well or provide decent comfort. They are also budget-friendly.

Laces

You also need to keep your boot’s laces in mind. There are several different types of lacing styles used across the industry, and each has slight variations in fit and function.

Standard laces are the most basic option. They act as the same lacing system you would find on any regular shoes.

A snowboard boot with a standard lace will tighten up and secure by crossing the laces. These are cheap and easy to replace, but they can also loosen or come undone.

Boa laces are a more complex lacing system. This is a popular, innovative way to secure your feet into your boots and gets its name after the Boa Constrictor snake. 

These laces use a dial on the outside of the boot to both tighten and loosen. Some boots have separate dials for your ankle and foot area.

Quick laces are another option that works by using a single cord or pull tab.

This is an easy-to-use option that allows you to tighten your boots with your gloves on quickly. Like the Boa laces, some quick-lace boots have to separate laces to customize the fit of your ankle and foot independently from one another.

Look

Even though performance should always be your primary concern when choosing snowboard boots, looks also come into play. There are many different ways to customize your style, and many boots come in a range of colors to choose from.

You might want to match your boots to the rest of your equipment or get a unique pattern that stands out in a crowded lift time.

Break-in Period

It’s good to remember that almost all new snowboard boots will have a break-in period. This means that they might feel too tight or even be uncomfortable when you wear them out for a few days.

This is normal, and they will become better formed to your feet as time goes on. Your feet also need to get accustomed to the boots, which can cause some slight initial discomfort.

If your boots don’t feel right or are giving you considerable discomfort after 3 to 5 full days of riding, you should take them back to the purchaser and see what can be done to improve the fit and feel.

Related Articles

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some common questions relating to snowboard boots. 

Can I wear regular boots to snowboard?

No. Regular boots don’t have the stiffness to keep your feet and ankles secure when you ride. You won’t be able to effectively transfer weight from your boots to your bindings and board. You need snowboard boots. 

Do snowboard boots make a difference?

They certainly do. A good pair of boots can help you become a better rider and keep you comfortable and warm while you ride. Boots make a big difference in your ability to ride in different conditions as well. 

What is a good price for snowboard boots?

You can get a decent set of boots for around $150-200 new on the cheap side of things. On the high side, for top-of-the-line options, you’ll be paying more in the range of $300-500. Sometimes you can buy used, but I really wouldn’t recommend that. 

Why are snowboard boots so expensive?

There is a pretty big range in the cost of snowboard boots, but all of them will cost more than the average snow boot. This is because they have more materials and engineering involved to allow you to snowboard properly. 

Should your toes touch the end of snowboard boots?

You don’t want your toes to quite touch the end of your snowboard boots when you are standing upright. In a new pair of boots, the liner will pack down and settle after you ride a bit in a new pair of boots. 

Why do my feet hurt in snowboard boots?

It can take some time for your feet to get used to snowboard boots. There is often a break-in period your toes can be slightly touching in new boots that can be uncomfortable. Your feet will strengthen, and your boots will get more comfortable after some time. 

Should I buy snowboard boots one size bigger?

No. Unless you are a child or teenager who is still growing. Most snowboard boots run true to size, and you don’t need to size up. If you have any questions, make sure to ask the shop or tech and the snowboard shop. 

Useful Resources

The performance and quality of your snowboarding boots have a lot to do with how they fit. You can spend a ton of money on some of the high-end options listed here, but if you don’t have a proper fit, you won’t be able to utilize the boots as they are intended.

Snowboard boots should be tight but comfortable with your toes just barely touching the front of the boot when they are fully laced up.

Beginners might want a more comfortable fit, while intermediate to advanced riders should go for a tighter fit for increased performance.

Also, remember that almost all boots have that initial break-in period I mentioned earlier in the article. Here are some tips to help you learn how to properly size and fit your boots.

Here’s a good video on the subject:

My Verdict

Good snowboard boots are a must for anyone, regardless of their abilities on the snow. And the best about out there right now is the Burton Ion. These boots are expensive, but if you want the best, they have so much to offer. 

The options listed here are some of the best boots available for different needs and riding styles. They all come highly recommended and offer enough variety to fit a wide range of snowboarders. 

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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