Your snowboard boot keeps your foot warm and connects you to your binding. Although some might argue otherwise, your boot is the most important gear purchase. A comfortable foot means more control, more warmth, and a longer day on the hill. Your ability level dictates a few aspects of the boot you choose, not the least of which is flex (rated on a 5 point scale from softest (1) to stiffest (5)). Although beginners usually start with a softer, more forgiving boot and progress into a stiffer, more responsive boot, this is also a matter of preference. Once you dial in stiffness, flex and lacing, things like fit requirements and personal preferences become the primary factors in finding the perfect boot.
Boots are rated on a 1-10 or soft-to-stiff scale, which is indicated in product description or technical specs. Consider the terrain you ride, your ability level, and your personal preferences before you go too soft or too stiff.
Most boots use a traditional shoe-lace-style system, a Speed Lace system, or the twisting-dial setup of BOA. Traditional lacing allows for a more customizable fit, while speed or BOA systems aim for ease and speed.
Before you get too specific with features, determine your riding style and look for a boot made for your type of riding. You can find riding style indicated under a boot’s recommended use.