Expert Review: DC Judge Snowboard Boots · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
The DC Judge Boot is built for intermediate to advanced level snowboarders looking for a stiffer, more comfortable boot that they can rely on day after day. Made with high quality material like the H4 double BOA system and Vibram soles, there’s really nothing Mother Nature can throw at these boots to hold them back.
About this gear
- Model: DC Judge
- Size: US Men’s 9
- Lacing type: Double BOA
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Street shoe size: US Men’s 9
- Foot shape Regular
- Experience: 25 years snowboarding
- When I bought these: November 2021
- Days tested: 25
- Board: Ride Twinpig
- Bindings: Flow NX2 Team, Fusion
- Where I’ve used it: Summit County, CO; Lake Tahoe, CA; Snowshoe Mountain, WV
- Terrain Everything from ice to off-trail powder and groomed trails
How it performs
What I was looking for
I had been wearing a 10 year old pair of ThirtyTwos and desperately wanted to find a boot that offered newer technology, something that was higher quality and had a little more stiffness. I had gained about 15 lbs since I last purchased boots so I wanted something that was going to offer the maximum amount of support without my feet feeling like they were crammed into a box.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the DC Judge because of the quality, comfort and support I felt. I have worn DC shoes in the past and the quality was always there for me and gave me more confidence in my purchase.
I tried on multiple boots and went with the Judge because it felt more like a skate shoe with tons of support. I felt the quality as soon as I picked it up off the shelf and realized this is the boot for me once I tried it on.
What I love about it
- Size: This boot runs true to size with DC skate shoes.
- Comfort: These are extremely comfortable with a soft, fleece lined insert and Vibram soles.
- Warmth: Whether I’m standing in line, sitting on a lift or cruising trails, these boots come with 3m Thinsulate liners to keep my feet toasty all day.
- Heel hold: These boots are made with an internal ankle harness in the heel for extra hold and ultimate responsiveness.
- Shock absorption: I found the Vibram soles to be extremely durable whether I was on a rail or dropping into the flats.
- Responsiveness: With a flex rating of 8 out of 10, these rank pretty high in terms of responsiveness compared to boots I’ve worn in the past.
- Grip (outsoles): Grip was noticeably firm from the baseplate all the way to the deck of the board with no stomp pad.
- Durability: These were the most durable boots I’ve ever ridden. I rode them hard this season and took about 3 days to fully break them in. They’re still extremely comfortable and ready to go for next season.
- Weight: With articulated construction, Aerotech ventilation system and Sole re-purpose insoles, these boots are fairly lightweight in comparison with others of the same quality.
- Versatility (riding style/terrain): I found this boot to be extremely versatile. I was on groomed trails, ice, deep powder and even a few park laps and felt secure in all conditions.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Ease of use: If there’s one weakness in this boot, I would say it’s the difficulty of getting the boot off and on. I prefer to take my time and as long as the boot is comfortable while I'm riding, that’s all I really care about.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these boots has to have been at Kirkwood Mountain in The Sierras. We had two feet of fresh powder the day before so I knew it was time to head off trail. There are some pretty steep drops off of Covered Wagon and into Devil’s Draw. I was a bit hesitant to go at first and It took me a few fly-bys to get up the courage to send it and when I did, I made it. No shock in my feet, ankles had plenty of support and boots responded as expected.
Value for the money vs. other options
Of course there are cheaper options, like the Nitro Skylab or Nidecker Talon, but for what I get from this boot and the quality of materials used, I can't find a better option in this price range. It’s competing with more of the higher end name brands and delivering just as much quality/performance, if not more.
This boot offered everything I was looking for and so much more. The DC Judge boot is the definition of stability, comfort, support and response. Its versatility stands out in any condition and no doubt a popular crowd pleaser.