Expert Review: Burton Ion BOA Snowboard Boots · 2023
This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard boots, which I purchased with my own money in December 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard boots, which I purchased with my own money in December 2021.
The Burton Ion BOA Snowboard Boots are an unbelievably well-balanced all-mountain set of boots recommended for intermediate to advanced riders. These boots fall on the stiffer side for technical, fast descents but still come to play at slow speeds.
About this gear
- Model: 2023 Burton Ion Snowboard Boots
- Size: 11
- Lacing type: BOA
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Street shoe size: 11
- Foot shape: Wide and flat
- Experience: 10+ years of snowboarding
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 33
- Board: Libtech Golden Orca
- Bindings: Union Atlas
- Where I’ve used it: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Park City
- Terrain: Groomers, tree runs, all mountain, off-piste
How they perform
What I was looking for
I like to ride aggressively all day, so my responsiveness and comfort are always top priorities in a boot. Other key factors I was looking for were adjustability and versatility since I like to ride all over the mountain.
Why I chose this gear
I previously owned a pair of Ion boots and absolutely loved them. The stability and control they offered were unmatched, lasting over 90 riding days proving their quality. This newer model is lighter, more comfortable, and slightly more responsive than the older model. The real question is are they as durable?
What I love about them
- Size: Boots run true to size but aren't ideal for narrow feet. They offer more room in the toe box but only slightly wider than the average width.
- Comfort: As with all stiffer boots, the Ions take about 4-6 days to break in, but afterward, they can be ridden all day for two weeks straight without any foot pain. I have very flat feet and needed to replace the insole, which alleviated any arch pain.
- Warmth: Great at retaining heat. I have never used a foot warmer. Not once.
- Heel hold: There is some heel lift, but it is minimal. The dual BOA system helps reduce it to a level I barely notice throughout the day.
- Shock absorption: Yes. These boots are always there to soften the landing with big jumps, side hits, and whatever I hit. I did experience a little shin bite early on, but this went away after about a week of riding.
- Responsiveness: Unbelievable boots for carving and maximum control at high speeds. The Ion does a great job at providing a stiff boot and high responsiveness while not overly sacrificing slow-speed maneuverability, which was great when I was trying new tricks in the park.
- Grip: The footprint isn't as deep as the older models but provides great traction in snowy conditions. I found that when hiking up icy terrain, I slipped quite a few times, so I wouldn’t recommend these for ice junkies.
- Ease of use: Easy to slip on and off. The dual BOA system makes adjustability and fit a breeze.
- Durability: Yet to be seen. The older Ion boots were super durable and probably could’ve lasted one more season. Hopefully, the 2023 Ion possesses the same quality.
- Weight: Very lightweight, easy to walk in and wear at the Après, and effortless when performing ollies.
- Versatility: A true all-mountain boot, these bad boys perform well in tree runs and technical terrain yet provide the comfort to relax and cruise through a scenic groomer.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Hot spots: Center of the foot, but that’s because my feet are flatter than flat. I experienced some minor pain in the top of my foot but that went away as the boots molded to my feet.
- Other: The BOA lacing requires adjustment throughout the day. It loses its tightness quicker than I would like.
Favorite moment with this gear
I hiked up Jupiter Peak in Park City, UT, in these boots, and the experience I had was shocking in the best way. Aside from some slippage on the hike up due to hard ice sheets, the boots gripped well to wet snow and the terrain. On the descent, I took a sharp turn through a chute, sharper than I usually would dare to take. I was riding on the edge of my board, shins almost parallel to the ground, and I felt fully in control. Scratch that, I was fully in control. The ability of these boots to maintain control and responsiveness in all angles and maneuvers is why I keep coming back to these bad boys each time I’m in the market for new boots.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Burton Ion boots really do stand on a level of their own in terms of performance and quality, but at around $620 a pair, these boots cost as much, if not more, than most high-quality boards. However, if someone has a high budget, these are a no-brainer and will not disappoint.
A similar product I tested was the DC Travis Rice BOA boots. These boots are stiffer than the Ion and really tailored for back-country riding. I found the Ion more comfortable, particularly when riding at casual speeds and scenic runs. If one is a fan of stiffness and isn’t looking ever to ride slowly, the DC Travis Rice boots are a great second option at approximately $420.
The Burton Ion boots pushed me to levels of riding I simply did not know I possessed. With maximum control and feel, fast responsiveness, and all-day level comfort, these are the boots I’ve been riding for almost 10 years and the boots I hope to ride for the next 10.