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Snowboard Boots Size Chart: Fitting Explained

Published on 02/17/2024 · 11 min readFind your perfect fit on the slopes! Our snowboard boots size chart and fitting guide ensures you get the comfort and performance you need for snowboarding.
Branin Boyack, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Branin Boyack

Photo by Viacheslav Nikolaenko

Tl;dr: Choosing the right size of snowboard boots is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable snowboarding experience. Ill-fitting boots can lead to discomfort, reduced performance, and even injury. This buyer's guide will help you understand how to use a snowboard boots size chart effectively and make an informed decision when purchasing your next pair.

Hey there, My name is Branin. I'm an adventure-seeking, snowboard-addicted outdoor enthusiast with over 25 snowy seasons under my belt. When there's snow in the mountains, I'm in my element. I've been helping friends and family and family of friends with their snowboarding gear for what seems like forever. Today, I would like to help guide you through the somewhat confusing world of choosing the right size boots for your next snowboarding adventure.

What are Snowboard Boots?

A snowboard boot is a boot designed specifically for snowboarding. They are meant to keep your feet warm and dry with waterproofing or water-resistant design. They're also dule lined, meaning there is an inner liner and outer shell. Most snowboard boots are made to work with multiple binding systems. Snowboard boots also come in one of several different boot lacing systems, such as traditional laces, Boa, speed lace, and sometimes a hybrid of the other styles. When it comes to flexibility, snowboard boots come in everything from soft flex to stiff flex. This, combined with all the other features, lets riders pick boots that can be customized to their style of riding.

How to Know if You Need New Snowboard Boots

First, let’s take a look at your current pair of snowboard boots. If you’re not new to snowboarding, you might have a pair of boots you’ve been rockin' for years - that trusty pair that just hangs out in the closet all summer, only to be pulled out and tried on before your first trip to the mountain.

For those of you trying snowboarding for the first time, you may not know what to look for in a snowboard boot. If you fall into the latter category, then, of course, you’ll need some new boots. But for those of you wondering, “Do I need new boots?” Here are a few signs that it’s time for an upgrade.

  • Your feet have changed in shape or maybe in size. This is usually the case for the younglings out there who may have outgrown their current boots.
  • You have new or different bindings that are no longer compatible with the boots you have.
  • Your boots are worn and may even be broken - laces broken, the boa dial stripped, or the back is just blown out.
  • Your inner padding is ruined, or your liners are weird and lumpy.

The typical life expectancy for snowboard boots is around 100 days of riding. This could be more or less depending on how well you care for your boots, how much hiking or walking you do, and the terrain.

How Should Snowboard Boots Fit?

Photo by Vadim Zakharishchev

Your boot fit is important for safety and comfort. But how should a boot fit? Your foot should be snug from the tips of your toes to the back of your heel. From the top of the foot to the arch, every bit of your foot and ankle should feel like it’s wrapped in a nice hug.

You want your boot to feel a bit tight but not so tight that it is causing discomfort. You should be able to put your boot on with a small amount of effort and then tighten it up to your desired snugness. If your new boots feel a bit awkward at first, give them a few wears to break in. Boots with moldable liners will conform to your unique foot shape relatively quickly.

You can help your boots fit correctly by wearing the right type of socks. Your everyday sock won’t cut it here. It’s best to wear socks made for winter activities such as snowboarding. These socks are made to work with your foot to move as you snowboard and not bunch up like regular socks. They’re often a bit more cushiony as well.

Let’s Determine Your Boot Needs

Yes, looks definitely factor in when choosing your boots, but there are several other factors to consider. You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions to figure out what you need from your snowboard boots.

What is my normal shoe size?

Starting with the size shoe you wear for everyday use can give you a rough guideline. Snowboard boot sizes tend to run the same as normal US Men's and US Women's shoe sizes but can vary from brand to brand.

How wide is my foot?

Feet come in all shapes and sizes. Width is an important factor when considering snowboard boots. Whether your foot is narrow, wide, or average, you’ll want to find boot styles that accommodate your foot width.

Do I have a high arch or a flat foot?

Some people have higher arches than others, and the same is true for boots. Your boots need to provide you with the proper arch support to avoid foot and back pain. Keep in mind that you can add the proper insoles to most boot designs.

Do I have a high instep?

The instep of your foot is the top of your foot opposite your arch. Some Snowboard boots may feel tight if they constrict that part of the foot. You may need to find boots that will accommodate your higher instep while still hugging your foot correctly.

What if I have wider calves?

Snowboard boots are designed to support your ankles as well as your foot. This means they go over your ankles and up your calf. If you have wider-than-average calves, you’ll need to consider finding boots to accommodate that.

How to Size Snowboard Boots

Photo by Ivan Kovbasniuk

Snowboard boots are the most important piece of equipment for your epic ride. Sizing your boot correctly is of the utmost importance.

First, remove the inner lining of the boot. Place your foot inside the shell and try to center your foot inside the shell. Stand up; the sides of your foot shouldn’t be touching the inside of the shell. You should be able to place two fingers stacked between your heel and the back of the shell. If you can place three fingers, you’ll need to size down, and if only one fits, then size up. During this step, you must also make sure your toes are not touching the end of the boot.

Next, replace the liner, slide your foot inside, and lightly tighten up the boot. Do not tighten it as much as you would before a ride. As you stand up, you should notice the tips of your toes lightly brushing the end of the liner.

Then check the flex. While standing, lean forward like you’re starting a turn. While doing this, you are checking for heel lift. Your heel should only lift minimally, and your toes should only move back slightly. You’ll also be feeling if the boots flex enough or too little for your riding style.

Lastly, keep in mind the first time you try on your boots is the tightest they will ever be. Boot liners tend to pack out with use and will loosen over time. Check out the boot sizing chart below to get a good idea of where to start.

Most snowboard boots usually use the US standard sizing, but sizes are not always uniform from brand to brand. While the size guide will help get you into the right boot size, nothing beats an in-store fit to give you the perfect feel for the boot. Many retailers will help with foot sizing for free and have the tools and knowledge to do so.

If there's one thing the world will never agree on, it's a measuring system. While the US uses the Imperial system (inches, feet, miles), most of the rest of the world uses the metric system (centimeters, meters, kilometers). This means that shoe sizes are expressed differently in different parts of the world.

The overall process is the same. Measuring from the back of the heel to the tip of the longest toe and then the width of the ball of the foot. Once these measurements are known, the sizing charts can be compared, and shoe size can be determined.

Top Snowboard Boot Brands

Thritytwo

With a commitment to quality and rider-driven design, Thirtytwo offers a diverse range of boots. With a classic look and mostly traditional laces, Thirtytwo has boots for mostly all-mountain and freestyle riders. Many of Thritytwo's boots feature heat-moldable liners and customizable fit systems to give you that custom fit.

Benefits:

  • Suitable for all-mountain and freestyle riders
  • Durable construction
  • Very comfortable for an all-day ride

Keep In Mind:

  • Limited advanced features
  • Price can be on the higher end

K2 Snowboarding

K2 snowboard boots are known for their comfort and versatility on the mountain. There are plenty of K2 options that feature the Boa lacing system to give you that all-around snug fit. K2 carries Men’s, Women’s, and children's size boots in a variety of colors and styles. K2 boots offer everything from soft to stiff flex.

Benefits:

  • Wide range of flex options
  • Various options are available for all riding styles
  • K2 integrates many new systems like Boa laces, Intuition liners, and Harshmellow damping

Keep In Mind:

  • Some riders say that K2 boots are heavier than other brands
  • They have a specific fit profile that’s not for everyone

Burton

With decades of experience in snowboarding, Burton continues to push boundaries with cutting-edge technologies and materials. Burton boots come in many different styles, colors, and flex options. Burton makes boots for men, women, and kids. They offer the Boa system on a lot of their boots, as well as the quick pull lacing system. While Burton boots offer soft to medium flex, they tend to fall short in the stiffer boots.

Benefits:

  • Many styles and options
  • New tech, such as the Step On system
  • Extremely durable material and construction

Keep in Mind:

  • More expensive than other brands.
  • Slightly longer break-in period over other boots

DC Shoes

DC Shoes Snowboard boots are synonymous with style, performance, and durability. DC makes men’s and women’s styles and has a reputation for wider-fitting boots. With a range of flex ratings and lacing styles like Boa and traditional laces, DC is considered to be one of the best-rated Snowboard boot manufacturers. With a strong heritage in action sports, DC infuses innovative features and technologies into their snowboard boots for optimal support for long days of riding.

Benefits:

  • Quality and comfort are all but guaranteed
  • Emphasis on style while still delivering a quality boot
  • Well establish and respected brand name

Keep in Mind:

  • A wider boot may cause some binding compatibility issues
  • Sizing seems to be a little smaller than other brands

Ride Snowboards

Ride snowboard boots are considered a comfortable go-to for all-mountain riders. With a variety of styles and colors, as well as Boa and traditional lace options, Michelin outsoles, and long-lasting performance, these boots are designed to withstand the demands of snowboarding. The mostly medium flex of these boots is a great choice for many riding styles.

Benefits:

  • Classic snowboard style
  • More affordable options
  • Boa lacing system available on most boots

Keep in Mind:

  • Lack of flex options
  • Some models and colorways can be hard to find

The Joy of It All

Photo by Leo Kostik

The joy of snowboarding lies not just in the rush of carving through powder or conquering challenging slopes but also in the seamless harmony between rider and gear. Your snowboard boots, in particular, become an extension of your own movements, dictating the fluidity and pleasure of your experience on the mountain. Choosing the correct boot size is the cornerstone of this symbiotic relationship.

As you strap into your bindings and feel the crisp mountain air against your face, may your boots provide the perfect balance of snugness and comfort. A well-fitted pair is not merely a piece of equipment; it becomes a conduit for the exhilaration that comes with conquering new challenges, pushing your limits, and savoring the sheer joy of snowboarding.

Shred on, my friends!

Need Help Deciding?

Choosing the perfect snowboard boots can be a personalized journey, and Curated is here to help. If you need assistance in navigating the extensive range of options, the Curated Snowboarding Experts stand ready to provide tailored guidance. These experts possess an in-depth understanding of snowboard gear and can offer insights to help you identify your specific needs and recommend the ideal pair of boots.

Feel free to reach out to the Curated Snowboarding Experts today to ensure that your winter adventure is not only exhilarating but also optimized for performance and comfort.

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