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Expert Review: Burton Ruler BOA

Published on 07/18/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard boots which I bought with my own money in January 2021.
Ben Houghton, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Ben Houghton

About this review: This review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard boots which I bought with my own money in January 2021.

My take

The Burton Rulers are ideal snowboard boots for riders in the intermediate-advanced skill range looking for all-mountain, durable gear. They are mid-flex, highly adjustable boots that are comfortable to wear and responsive on most areas of the mountain.

Photo by Benjamin Houghton

About this gear

  • Model: 2021 Burton Ruler Snowboard Boots
  • Size: 11.5
  • Lacing type: Double BOA

About me

  • Height: 5’ 11”
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Street shoe size: 11.5
  • Foot shape: Narrow
  • Experience: 10 years

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: January 2021
  • Days tested: Eight
  • Board: 2021 Capita Mercury
  • Bindings: 2021 Burton Cartels
  • Where I’ve used it: Beaver Mountain, Utah, and Brian Head, Utah
  • Terrain: Powder, trees, terrain park, ice, groomers

How it performs

Comfort
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Grip
5/5
Lightweight
5/5
Responsiveness
5/5
Durability
4/5
Shock Absorption
4/5
Versatility
4/5
Warmth
4/5
Heel Hold
3/5

What I was looking for

I wanted a pair of boots that would be really aggressive on days when I’m with my more experienced friends but would also cater to days when I ride with less experienced riders. I don’t do much park, but I wanted boots that had great take-offs and landings on side hits and kickers, as well as being super responsive in trees.

Photo by Benjamin Houghton

Why I chose this gear

I needed new boots, and I decided to buy these boots because I have always trusted Burton to make quality gear and lead in innovation. I think Burton makes the best snowboard boots out of any brand on the market, and from the reviews I read, these were perfect for my riding style. I like a playful boot but require stiffer boots than a freestyle boot since I also like to charge hard sometimes. I also really loved the double-BOA lacing system (compared to standard laces) and the flex. I got them at a discount, so it was too good of a deal to say no.

I actually originally bought Salomon Focus BOAs for their flex and BOA system but didn’t end up liking the feel or fit. I returned them and went with the Burtons instead and haven’t regretted it once.

Photo by Benjamin Houghton

What I love about them

  • Size: The men's Burton Ruler snowboard boots run true to size and have a perfect fit on my narrow feet. The soft lining and insole make them pretty adaptable to different foot shapes.
  • Comfort: The Rulers are an incredibly comfortable boot. I cannot say enough about how comfortable these boots are. Burton is known for its soft liners, and these are no exception. Equipped with total comfort construction, including lock-up cuffs, they are comfortable to walk and ride in; the break-in period was very quick, and they had almost an instantly broken-in feel. Heat-moldable liners imprint your foot shape exactly the more you wear them, creating a custom-fitting footbed. Even with the mid/stiff flex, my feet never feel sore after a full day of riding. Say goodbye to cold feet! Sleeping bag reflective foil underfoot locks in body heat to help keep your toes nice and warm during cold temperatures and cold conditions. In case that's not enough, man fur and Thinsulate_ _insulation also provide an additional layer of warmth. The dual-zone BOA system allows the rider to tighten the upper boot and the lower zone of the boot independently, creating a more custom fit and ultimate heel hold.
  • Shock Absorption: The shock absorption in these boots is great due to the soft comfort of the interior. Off jumps, including big kickers, I hardly ever felt any discomfort on landing, and much of the impact was instantly absorbed into the boot. Each landing feels very comfortable, making it easier to recover from uneven landings. The pro-level gel cushioning in the midsole provides maximum damping and stability and reduces rider fatigue. If you love big air tricks, then these boots will suit you well!
  • Responsiveness: The double-BOA system gives these boots a super responsive feel, as they can be perfectly adjusted to the tightness I desire. The overall medium flex is also ideal for super snappy turns in trees as well as amazing board control on hard carves and groomers. A medium flex powerup tongue and durable synthetic backstay create direct energy transfer on both toeside and heelside turns.
  • Grip: These things are super grippy. A snow-proof rubber outsole creates amazing traction and board feel for a steady ride. I have had no issues walking through slush, ice, and asphalt.
  • Ease of Use: The Burton Ruler boot provides super effortless entry and is just as easy to take off because of the convenience of a dual-zone BOA. They are even easier to adjust to the rider's desired fit adjustments, needing just a quick twist of a dial to tighten or loosen the Burton exclusive New England ropes, which are very durable cables that keep the boot tight to the calf and ankle. At the end of the day, pop the dials up, and the ropes loosen and retract into coiler technology to remain tangle free and allow the rider to exit the boot quickly. This is a much more beginner-friendly feature than a boot with hook and loop closures (traditional laces).
  • Weight: These boots are extremely light due to the multi-density molded EVA footbed and synthetic textile construction. These lightweight materials make wearing the boots for extended periods of time very easy. After full days of snowboarding, walking back to the car felt effortless. Other boots have burlier features like hardcore rubber soles and heavy insulation, but Ruler has a thin but grippy rubber sole and low-bulk warmth tech that gives you everything you'd need for less weight!
  • Versatility: These boots are super versatile. Their mid-flex makes them a perfect choice for a rider wanting to switch between aggressive steeps, parks, trees, larger drops, and groomers. If you're looking for pure freestyle boots, you may want to seek a softer boot, or if you want a pure freeride boot, then you may want something on the stiffer side, but the Rulers are the perfect in-between boot. No matter your ambitions or personal skills, this boot will let you tackle whatever is in your path on any given day.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Heel Hold: With a narrow forefoot shape and skinny legs, getting proper maximum heel hold took a few runs, as I felt some wiggle room in the lower portions of the boot. There was some extra space in the toe, and I encountered some minor heel lift because of it. I ended up wearing medium-thick socks and cranking the upper BOA as far as it would go to get the right hold. But since I’ve figured that out, the boots have a good hold on my ankle and a snug fit.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment has to be a tree run I did with my sister at Beaver Mountain. There was a fresh coat of powder and we came flying off a steep groomer into an opening in the trees. Even at the speed we were going, I could immediately start navigating tight turns. I felt the responsiveness of the boots kick in and was able to maintain the rush of the previous groomer while exploring untouched powder in the trees. Once we finished our tree run, we hopped back out onto the groomer and finished the rest of the run at a slow, playful pace. It just really confirmed to me that these boots are the entire package. They could be aggressive when needed but were great for more casual riding as well.

Value for the money vs. other options

I think the Burton Rulers are a great choice for all-mountain boots at their price range. There are other options available in the all-mountain category with competitive prices, such as the Salomon Focus or the DC Judge boots, but I think where the Burtons really take the cake is the comfort. I have never had a boot more comfortable than this pair, which really sets them above other competitors of a similar price. They're perfect for both beginners and advanced riders and will hold their own on the slopes regardless of the terrain.

Final verdict

The Burton Rulers 100% live up to the Burton legacy. They are the perfect boots for someone looking for an all-mountain experience. The comfort of the boots means the rider can go all day without sore feet, and the mid-flex allows for a versatile ride that ranges from aggressive steeps to playful freestyle. The dual-BOA fit system allows for a precision fit. Ultra-durable materials used in the boot mean it will stand up to the harshest conditions throughout the lifetime of the product. Be sure to mention them to your Curated Snowboard Expert to determine the proper boot size for you, as sometimes it varies between brands.

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