Vans Hi Standard Review

This is my review of the Vans Hi Standard snowboard boots.

I’m a certified snowboarding instructor with years of experience on the mountain. I’ve worn many different pairs of snowboard boots and rocked the Hi Standard a few seasons back. I know how they perform and feel. 

The Hi Standard is a super comfortable and great-looking snowboard boot. It’s a popular model because of its affordable price that still gives you decent performance characteristics, especially with freestyle riding in mind. 

In this post, I’ll give you my honest review of these boots to help you make an informed buying decision. I’ll highlight why these boots make a good choice and some key factors that might make you consider other options. 

Let’s get after it. 

Vans Hi Standard Overview

The Vans Hi Standard is one of those models that has been around for a long time and never seems to go out of style. It’s been a popular option for many riders over the years, and the latest version builds off of an already solid reputation. 

These boots stand out for their affordable price and awesome looks. They have the throwback appeal of wearing a pair of Vans sneakers. If you are a fan of the brand, you will be a fan of these boots. 

They aren’t the most capable boot on the mountain, and they aren’t going to give you highly technical levels of performance. But they are capable in various situations and can be a solid choice for the freestyle rider on a budget. 

I think the Hi-Standard is one of the most comfortable boots in the budget category that I have ever worn. They fit great and will give you lasting cushioning that won’t wear your feet out while letting you ride hard all day long. 

These boots can also work well for beginners who are buying their first setup and want an option that will allow them to grow. A softer flex makes them forgiving while still generating enough power transfer to explore all over the resort.

While they can work for intermediate riders, I think they fall short of providing advanced-level performance. They just aren’t stiff enough to handle freeride situations where you need precision and power. 

The boots can work as an effective freestyle option, and that’s probably the area where they stand out the most. Their forgiving nature and reliable cushioning allow you to crush big lines or attempt new maneuvers. 

The Hi-Standard is basic when it comes to design and construction. You aren’t going to get many extras, and the traditional laces and simplicity might be a downside for some riders. There’s nothing wrong with a throwback design because it flat-out works. 

A very affordable price tag is another enticing aspect of these boots. They will fit the budget of nearly every rider and make for a great value because of that and the comfort they have to offer. 

Detailed Review

The Vans Hi Standard is easy to wear and easy to look at pair of snowboard boots. They are very comfortable and affordable, making them a favorite choice for riders who want to save money without giving up performance. 

Performance

The Hi Standard isn’t a high-performance option in my mind. They are versatile enough to let you explore the resort but will leave you wanting more if you like to tackle technical situations or freeride terrain. 

With a softer flex, these boots have more of a freestyle focus and can be a solid option for riders of all ability levels who like to play in the terrain park. They give you enough response to stay in control and enough forgiveness to absorb impacts. 

Beginner riders will like how these boots perform across the board. They are a good option to choose if you want something that will grow with you as your ability levels improve. They can quickly help you transition from a beginner to an intermediate rider. 

At higher speeds or on steeper runs, I think the boots lack the necessary stiffness to be effective. They won’t make it impossible to complete a run, but they aren’t going to help you stomp a big mountain line. 

For an all-mountain snowboard boot, I think there are better options out there if you want high levels of performance. But if you are a freestyle rider and want plenty of comfort, these could easily meet your needs. 

Comfort

These boots are comfortable. For the money, I think they are some of the most comfortable boots you can find. They have a natural fit that is easy to wear, and they break in very quickly to give you plenty of support when you ride. 

A softer flex comes into play with comfort considerations. The boots are forgiving and won’t restrict movement in any way. If you struggle with tight or stiff boots, these are a nice alternative that will keep your feet well-cushioned and in good shape. 

A V1 UltraCush liner is at the heart of all this comfort. It’s a simple liner that isn’t heat-moldable, but it’s effective and breaks in better than other standard liners that I’ve used. You won’t need to worry much about sore, achy feet after your first day on the mountain. 

The Hi-Standard also comes with a V1 PopCush footbed that increases comfort and helps reduce impact. It is made from a 3D-molded material that works with the natural shape of your foot to keep things stable and in place when you ride. 

These boots are also good at providing plenty of ventilation to keep your feet from getting too sweaty. They have a Nylex moisture-wicking top sheet on the footbed that helps increase evaporation and allows enough airflow in without compromising warmth. 

Style

The Hi Standard is one of the best-looking boots that I’ve ever worn. I’m a fan of Vans shoes, and these boots owe much of their design to the sneakers that the brand is famous for making. They almost look like a pair of high-tops. 

Traditional laces and a simple construction help create a throwback look that hasn’t changed much over the years. The lower portion of the boots is made with leather material, and this extends up into the lower ankle. 

Vans tags are placed on the top of the tongue and around the upper cuff, adding another nice touch that sneaker-heads will appreciate. These boots aren’t flashy, but they still make a statement in the snow. 

The current model comes available in a handful of colorways to allow you to match any style preferences you have with the rest of your riding wardrobe. I prefer the classic black, but the Vaporous Gray looks pretty sweet and modern. 

Additional Features

The Hi Standard doesn’t come packed with many additional features, but it really doesn’t need them. The simplicity of these boots stands out, and even though that means you don’t get many extras, they are still practical in performance and price.

A waffle lug sole is worth mentioning because this increases grip and traction when you are walking around the resort or hiking to hit some untouched line. It also pays homage to Vans sneakers and just looks classy. 

Other than that, the only real additional feature is the Pleasure Cuff V1 harness. This helps hold your feet firmly in place when your ride and adds yet another level of comfort. This harness is durable as well and built to last. 

Value

The Hi-Standard makes for a recommended choice in large part because of its very affordable price. These will fit the budget of nearly every rider, and that’s a great thing to consider, no matter what your ability level or riding style. 

For beginners and freestyle riders, these boots are a great value. They can help you progress quickly and will easily last for several seasons. Freestyle riders will love all of the comfort and flex that they have to offer.

Experienced riders who like to freeride or hit very technical lines won’t get as much value. They can still work in these situations, but the boots won’t give you excellent performance when control, power, and precision are all on the line. 

The Alternatives

There are plenty of options to choose from when looking for a good pair of snowboarding boots. Here are some recommended alternatives to the Vans Hi Standard. 

1. Adidas Tactical ADV

These are another pair of boots that are made by a major sneaker brand. Adidas hasn’t been offering snowboarding equipment for very long, but these boots are pretty sweet – both in how they perform and how they look. 

The Tactical ADV is a very capable all-mountain option that delivers plenty of support and responsive performance. They have a medium-stiff flex that’s better for intermediate and advanced riders. 

2. Burton Ion

The Burton Ion is a boot that looks great while giving you a ton of comfort. They have a natural fit that runs true to size and are built with high-quality materials that make them highly durable and ready for action.

They also come with a DryRide Heat Cycle lining that helps keep your feet warm and dry. This material is very breathable to allow moisture to escape. AutoCANT cushioning utilizes dual-density EVA foam for added impact protection as well.

3. Thirty Two TM-2  

These are another one of my favorite boots, and I think they give you an incredible blend of comfort and performance. You get effective all-mountain versatility and a construction that is comfortable, durable, and ready for action.

My Verdict

The Vans Hi Standard is a classic snowboarding boot from a classic sneaker company. They are very affordable, making them a great value and a solid option for beginners and freestyle riders. They don’t give you high-end performance characteristics but are still a recommended pick.

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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