The Top 5 Recommended Men's Snowboard Boots

Published on 12/15/2023 · 7 min readWhether you're a freestyler, a backcountry enthusiast, or a beginner, we've got you covered on finding the right snowboard boots to conquer the slopes!
Miguel Machado, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Miguel Machado

Photo by Duet P and G

Tl;dr: When it comes to gear, the boots on your feet are just as important as the snowboard below them. Check out our top picks.

More than a decade ago, when I first started snowboarding, I, like most young people my age, wanted to look cool. And that meant that when I graduated from rentals to buying my first pair of snowboard boots, they needed to look cool. That was my criteria. Now, years later, I still believe that aesthetics and style are important to how we, as riders, express ourselves. But I’ve learned that it's more than just a fashion choice. Snowboard boots serve a function, and the right pair can greatly improve or hinder your riding.

Factors like stiffness, warmth, the lacing system a boot uses and its durability are all characteristics that require careful consideration when selecting the right boot. So before we get into our list of most recommended snowboard boots, let’s take a look at the factors you’ll want to consider and how each impacts your ride.

What To Consider When Buying Snowboard Boots

Photo by Ivan Kovbasniuk

Warmth/Breathability

Snow is cold. So many beginners might think that the warmer the boot the better. Not exactly. Snowboarding is a high-output sport and depending on the kind of riding you’re doing and whether you run hot, a warmer boot isn’t always the best choice. If you tend to ride resorts in colder climates and don’t really work up a sweat on technical runs, a warmer boot would serve you well. However, for backcountry riders or those who like to hike for their turns, a more breathable boot allows for better ventilation, keeping your feet from sweating too much on the way up, which can then lead to a frozen toe or two on the way down.

Boot Size/Boot Fit

Snowboard boot sizing can run the gamut. Some brands run true to shoe size while others don’t. Some brands offer true half sizes while for others, you’ll have to size up or down accordingly. The important thing though is that you get a fit that is dialed in AND comfortable. Bots that are too small or tight can lead to pain, cold toes, and an overall shorting session on the hill. Boots that are too loose, however, can negatively impact your riding. Snowboarding is all about energy transfer, and if your feet are sliding around in your boots, you won’t be able to turn with as much control or as quickly as you need to.

It’s important to keep in mind that even boots that start out tight and stiff will pack out over time, so some initial discomfort or tightness is normal as the boots break in. Some boots shorten this break-in period through heat-moldable liners. This means the inner liner can be heated up to mold better to your foot, decreasing break in time.

Riders also need to take into account the fit of the boot in the binding when they strap in. You want a boot that matches up perfectly with the binding footbed, without too much or too little space on the sides.

Soft Boots vs.Stiff Boots

This is the big one. As I mentioned before, snowboarding is about energy transfer, and the stiffness or softness of your boot impacts how that energy is passed to the binding and, eventually, the edge of your board.

Soft boots, while usually thought of as beginner boots because their general comfort and mellow energy transfer make them great for learning, can definitely suit more advanced riders depending on their style of riding. For instance, freestyle riders benefit from the extra lateral flex of a soft boot, allowing them to really tweak out their grabs and tricks in stylish ways due to the extra range of motion at the ankle. Soul riders—a nickname for snowboarders that favor deep powder and a more chill riding style— also tend to lean towards a softer boot as they transfer energy to the board's edge more slowly. This is perfect for the kind of big, surfy turns that characterize that style of riding.

Stiff boots sacrifice comfort and ease of flex for performance. The stiffer the boot, the quicker and more consistently energy is transferred to the board. Stiff boots are a must for riding more technical runs where the rider might need to react to changes in terrain instantly. For this reason, they usually aren’t suitable for beginners as the responsiveness makes them more likely to catch an edge.

So, now that we’ve covered some of the factors you should consider when shopping for snowboard boots, let’s get into our top picks for this season.

Best Freestyle Boot (Jibbing and Tweaks): Vans Hi-Standard Pro

Pro. Soft flex and heat-moldable liners make the boots comfortable to wear through extended freestyle sessions. Also, traditional laces tend to hold up to bails and falls better than their BOA counterparts. Features like an adjustable harness for customizing heel hold and a Power Cuff that can be wrapped around the inner lining or boot tongue add an extra layer of versatility. The Vans trademark waffle outsole also makes the hike up when practicing a feature easier than ever with increased traction and flex.

Also available in women’s sizing.

Best Freestyle Boot (Jumps and Pipe) Burton Swath BOA

When it comes to stomping landings off of kickers or in the pipe, the medium flex of the Burton Swath provides excellent response—something crucial for lining up your take off and getting on edge at the last minute. The double BOA lacing system allows for extra fit customization, and heat-moldable liners allow you to reduce the break-in period. But what really makes the Swath stand out is its heel hold and the incredible shock absorption, the latter coming courtesy of the cushy EVA foam midsole. Together, all these features make for a boot built to stomp big tricks.

Check out our expert review of last season’s Swath here.

Best Freeride Boot: thirtytwo Jones MTB

The price tag on the Jones MTB is certainly a doozy. But for those who are serious about taking it into the backcountry, it really is everything you want in a boot. It’s compatible with crampons and has a dedicated touring mode to ensure more comfort while walking. The boot is also very breathable, which comes in handy on long ascents. Features like an articulated cuff and dual BOA lace system further increase the versatility of the boot, allowing the upper and lower zones to flex independently and suit different riding styles. However, the MTB’s stiffness combined with their weight will definitely be a deal breaker for some.

Best All-Mountain Boot: Burton Photon BOA

The Photon is a hard-charging boot designed to give you the stiffness to send it big anywhere on the mountain without sacrificing all-day comfort. The dual BOA system allows the upper and lower zones of the boot to be adjusted independently so riders can get a comfortable flex at the calf without sacrificing heel-hold ( the Photon is also available with a speed lace system known as speed zone lacing). The Photons also excel when it comes to warmth featuring heat-moldable liners that wick away sweat and a reflective foil to keep your feet warm and dry—necessary for when you’re getting knee deep in powder. However, they aren’t the most durable boot, so riders who frequently find themselves on the gnarliest lines might want to upgrade to the Burton Ion, which is both stiffer and more durable at a higher price.

Check out our review of the Burton Photon here.

Best Budget Boot: Vans Invado OG

When it comes to advanced riding, it can be hard to find a pair of boots that hold their own on technical trails without breaking the bank. Enter the Vans Invado OG. At just over $200 dollars, it’s not the cheapest boot on the market, but with a medium/stiff flex, hybrid BOA lacing system, and trademark rubber waffle sole for increased grip and better board feel, the Invado is designed to give you the stability needed to lock in anywhere on the slopes while still being economically priced.

Available in unisex sizing.

Best seller

Choosing the Best Boot For You

Photo by Ivan Dudka

When it comes to “the best boot,” the true best is going to be the one that suits you. This guide was designed to help you walk away more knowledgeable about the factors that make a good boot and hopefully narrow down your search.

Remember, snowboarding gear can be a pretty pricey investment, and you want to make sure that the decision you make is one that brings you joy on the hill for seasons to come. It’s always a good idea to reach out to a Curated Winter Sports Expert for feedback on the latest gear and tech, to see how each impacts your riding, or just to get the deets on any piece of gear you're considering—all for free!

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Shop Snowboards on Curated

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