Expert Review: Burton Photon Snowboard Boots · 2022Published on 02/19/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard boots, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Nelson A.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard boots, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.
The Burton Photon Snowboard Boots are for the all-mountain freerider that wants a stiff boot. While it is supportive, it does not feel uncomfortable.
About this gear
- Model: 2022 Burton Photon
- Size: 14
- Lacing type: Quick Laces
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 240lbs
- Street shoe size: 15
- Foot shape: High Arches
- Experience: 5 years of snowboarding
- When I bought these: September 2022
- Days tested: 85
- Board: 2022 Burton Custom X
- Bindings: 2022 X Bindings
- Where I’ve used it: All over Colorado
- Terrain: Steeps, moguls, trees, park, groomers
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a STIFF boot. I wanted a boot to help me through a waist-deep pow-day or a bulletproof preseason ribbon of death. A boot that I could use in any terrain, in any conditions. This is that boot.
Why I chose this gear
If someone is reading this review, chances are they’re looking for boots for a bigger foot. Snowboard boots and shoes are difficult to find in sizes greater than 12. Burton makes true-to-size boots. Since snowboard boots should be about a half to a whole size down, these boots would fit someone who wears a size 15 shoe. These boots are meant for a foot that needs a bigger toe box or a boot that runs “big.” I was considering a BOA for this particular boot, but I went with a speed lace system because it seemed to me that the speed lace system would stay tighter longer. I was also considering RIDE boots, but I was unsure of the quality of those boots, and I live close to a Burton store, which helps when I had to figure out how to put on these boots.
What I love about them
- Size: This runs true to size. These boots are wide and accommodate a foot that needs a big box, so I would say they accommodate bigger feet.
- Comfort: While initially stiff, the boots broke down to be more comfortable. They’re almost like walking in shoes but with a taller cuff.
- Heel hold: Really great heel hold. I don’t really get much movement in my heel.
- Shock absorption: The boots themselves really support well when jumping or hitting boxes or rails. The boot material makes it easy to land since it has some flex, so there is some forgiveness if my landings are not super precise. There is also an internal cushion that helps absorb landings.
- Responsiveness: Really responsive. There is some flex to this boot due to the Griplite that snugs between the back of the boot and the highback. Griplite is a material that runs up the back of the boot to give support but without sacrificing some forgiveness and comfort.
- Grip: The Vibram soles make a really big difference in walking around. Vibram is a particularly grippy rubber that helps grip in slippery conditions. The boots have a texture on the toes to help with hiking uphill since the texture creates grippy points when walking uphill. Ice poses no threat in these boots.
- Durability: Super durable. I have spent 85 days with them, and they’re still supportive. I think the mixture of quality materials and construction, Griplite, the air cushion in the footbed, and the Vibram outsole are a great mix for a boot that will stand the test of time.
- Versatility: These are true “do anything” boots. These boots are at home in the park, on the jump line, in the trees, steeps, and moguls. They are soft enough not to be uncomfortable but supportive enough to jump and carve. I ride mostly trees and moguls, with some side hits here and there. These boots have helped me stay on the mountain longer, as my feet don’t hurt or get tired even after carving for hours. Even the impacts from jumps don’t really affect my feet since my boots have dual-layer shock absorption from the air cushion and the aftermarket insoles.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Warmth: These are not the warmest boots, even with merino wool socks.
- Ease of use: Truth be told, I had to take these to the Burton store to get help with opening the laces. But after a quick tutorial, it has become second nature.
- Weight: Not the lightest boots. The weight has not affected my riding. I don’t notice the weight when on a board. But when my feet get tired after a long day of riding, they feel a little heavy.
- Hot spots: The insoles in these boots are trash, but nothing a good aftermarket insole wouldn’t fix. Like most stock insoles, they’re thin and aren’t very shock absorbent, even with the airbag in the footbed. After replacing the insoles, I don’t really get foot fatigue or hot spots in these boots. But that only came after replacing the insoles.
Favorite moment with this gear
It was a waist-deep powder day at Copper Mountain, Christmas day. I could feel the wind shaving off the tip of my nose, and my fingers were stiffening from the cold. The wind was whipping my hair from out underneath my helmet. It was a little miserable, but the conditions are good when the weather is bad. I was about to head down for some directed skiing, packing down a mogul run. Unfortunately, my face felt like it was rubbing against dry ice, and my feet were starting to get cold. However, they were dry and, most importantly, fresh.
As I headed down the run in the direction of the patroller, I made my first toe-side turn, kicking up some sluff as I carved down in the runnels between the car-sized boulders on the run. I was buttering bread as I switched between toe-side to heel-side back to toe-side, my boots flexing gently as needed to keep flowing down the fall line. I popped over some pillows in between carves, floating precariously. I was hoping I landed back seat enough not to tomahawk. I landed like a two-legged goat, barely staying upright in all the fresh snow. I stopped, took a few deep breaths, and then made my way back down the rest of the run lazily, ready to ride the lift and do it all over again, thanks to my boots.
Value for the money vs. other options
These boots are expensive, no doubt. Honestly, one gets what one pays for. In this case, the price is justified as these boots have lasted me 85 days and will probably last me another season or two. However, the footbeds could be better for what I paid for these boots. When I compare these Burton Photons to other boots for big-footed riders like RIDE Anthems, I think that these boots are more quality constructed from the inclusion of Vibram in the soles to having a Griplite running up the back of the boots and the cushioning in the footbed.
The Burton Photon Snowboard Boots are for the big-footed, burly rider who wants performance above all.