Snowboard boots might be the most underrated piece of snowboarding gear you own. But in reality, they’re one of the most important. A good pair of boots helps transmit the energy from your feet to the board, and the more efficient that transmission is, the more enjoyment there will be in the experience.
But with so many snowboard boots to choose from, it might be hard to determine which are the best for each person’s individual needs and style. Thankfully, you’ve found yourself reading this guide to the Best Snowboard Boots, where we’ve taken the effort to test as many boots as possible – and are now sharing the results of our testing with you. We’re a group of riders that take snowboarding seriously, but not so seriously that we lose sight of the fun.
The following is our findings from months of riding these boots, getting to know each pair intimately, and finding out which ones shine through in the right conditions. If you’d like to see how the boots measure up against each other, check out our Comparison Table, below. All the men’s boots tested were a size 10, and women’s models a size 8. For more information on how to pick the right snowboard boots for you, scroll down to our Buyer’s Guide.
The Best Snowboard Boots of 2024
Best All-Around Men’s Snowboard Boots (Men’s): Nitro Team TLS
Best All-Around Snowboard Boots (Women’s): ThirtyTwo Lashed Double Boa
Best Budget Snowboard Boots (Men’s): Burton Moto Boa
Best Budget Snowboard Boots (Women’s): Vans Encore OG
Best Freestyle Snowboard Boots: ThirtyTwo Diesel Hybrid
Best Splitboarding Boots: K2 Waive
Best Stiff Snowboard Boots: Nidecker Kita
Best Soft/Surf-Style Snowboard Boots: ThirtyTwo Bandito X Christensen
Best All-Around Snowboard Boots (Men’s)
Weight: 38.4 oz
Closure System: Speed lace
Liner: Cloud 9
Best For: Comfort right out of the box
Pros: Easy to get your foot in and tightened up in a matter of seconds
Cons: Tongue is a bit stiff and rigid
There are very few boots that feel great on the first go and Nitro’s Team TLS is one of those. Named so because it’s a favorite of the Nitro team riders (who famously outnumber Nitro’s office staff by a large margin), these boots have one of the best fits we tested thanks to the dual speed lace system that maintains tightness throughout the day.
Underneath, the boot features the only double-locking tongue lace system we tested which, again, stays tight all day – a difficult feat to accomplish. Riding feels sublime and with a medium flex it’s a great do-anything boot for cruising, pow, and boosting in the park. The Vibram ecostep outsole lets you get around with ease, whether at the resort base or hiking laps on a booter.
It’s also worth mentioning the bang-for-buck you’re getting here, with a top-tier boot at a price point that is on the middle-to-low end of the spectrum. We don’t really have too much to say on the negative side, only that we found the tongue to be a bit more solid than most, and might require a bit more breaking-in. Which is funny, considering the rest of the boot felt perfect right away. Guess you can’t win ’em all. Read our full review of the Nitro Team TLS here.
Best All-Around Snowboard Boots (Women’s)
Weight: 32.6 oz (Size 8)
Closure System: Double Boa
Best For: All-around comfort and performance
Pros: Super comfortable and responsive
Cons: Outer seams are fairly exposed
In differentiating specific women’s vs. men’s snowboard boots, our female testers highlighted a fundamental aspect often overlooked by men: cozy comfort. While few men consider coziness crucial, many women prioritize it just as highly as performance and quality. Brands like ThirtyTwo stand out by offering boots with a plush liner for added comfort and style, without resorting to clichés about women’s offerings.
But for true lady shredders, function is still paramount. That’s why it’s no surprise that our female testers picked the Lashed Double Boa as the all-around top pick for ladies. A favorite of team rider Desiree Melancon, these boots take comfort to the next level but also hit the sweet spot in flex, fit, and price.
Thirtytwo has a track record going back decades, and their boots consistently rank highly in our tests thanks to their durability, responsiveness, and solid fit. These boots are no exception, with our female testers voting it best all-around for 2024.
Best Budget Snowboard Boots (Men’s)
Weight: 26.5 oz
Closure System: Boa
Liner: Imprint 1
Best For: Resort cruising
Pros: Lightweight, minimal break-in needed, BOA
Cons: Liner is a bit thin
Plenty of snowboarders aren’t into all the techy features that snowboard boots are loaded with these days, and simply want something that’s comfortable, well-priced, and ready to ride. Well, the Moto BOA boots by Burton satisfy all those criteria and more. It’s easy to wear, fitting well right out of the gate, and beginners and experienced riders alike will appreciate the BOA dial that helps keeps a tight fit all day long, and it rides well too. Furthermore, it was actually the lightest boot of all the boots we tested, a huge plus if weight is a deciding factor.
It’s definitely on the softer side, so isn’t well-suited for hard-charging or big pow days. But for beginners or cruising laps inbounds, the softness isn’t an issue, and the price point is hard to beat for those looking for a solid boot on a budget.Check Price on REI
Best Budget Snowboard Boots (Women’s)
Weight: 32 oz
Closure System: Boa
Liner: UltraCush V1
Best For: Resort laps with comfort and style
Pros: Warm and cozy
Cons: Heel isn’t very secure
This might be dating us a bit, but so be it: back in the day, you weren’t cool unless you had a pair of Vans shoes. They were the ultimate casual non-sneaker shoe that graced high school hallways from coast to coast. You could spot a pair a mile away, thanks to the trademark stripe on the side. Now, decades later, the brand has kept their trademark style in a snowboard boot, giving today’s shredders a healthy dose of nostalgia with a modern twist.
With Van’s signature Ultra Cush liner, these boots were some of the most warm and comfortable of all boots tested. It’s not a super high-performance boot – our testers experienced a bit of looseness in the heel – but for those who prioritize feeling good (and ok, sure, looking good too) on the slopes, these boots knock it out of the park. We were stoked to include this boot as a top choice, budget or not. But factor in the price and the Encore OG scored some serious brownie points.Check Price on evo
Best Freestyle Snowboard Boots
Weight: 36.1 oz
Closure System: Hybrid lace/BOA
Liner: Intuition Team
Best For: Park laps and street sessions
Pros: Hybrid lace/BOA system gives you the best of both worlds
Cons: Laces can freeze up in coastal conditions
You’ve probably heard of The Bomb Hole podcast, and if you haven’t, you should do yourself a favor and go down the rabbit hole of a veritable museum of snowboarding’s finest characters who have graced the studio. At the helm is Chris Grenier, who himself has rightfully claimed a spot amongst the greats for his smooth street segments of the past decade in a half, which are right up there with the best of ’em.
His Pro Model, the Diesel Hybrid, was born from much of Grenier’s feedback to produce the ideal boot that a top-tier freestyler requires. It has just enough flex to have response without being overpowering, giving a great natural feel from top to bottom. The boot incorporates the unmatched feel of a lace-up boot with the added bonus of a BOA to dial down the top of the boot where laces are often a bit of a pain to get nice and tight. It’s the type of boot that will take plenty of abuse in the streets, and give you many seasons of riding thanks to its well-made construction, from a brand that’s been doing this for nearly 30 years.
An added bonus feature is that ThirtyTwo uses a donut-shaped heel hold insert system that slips into the boot for added heel lock. They come in two sizes for added customization based on foot size and preference. Although it’s just a couple pieces of foam, they really do work, so it’s well worth trying both to see which size works best for your feet.
Best Splitboarding Boots
Stiffness: Stiff, but adjustable with walk mode
Closure System: Lace and BOA
Liner: Intuition Pro
Best For: Using your legs instead of a chairlift
Pros: Dedicated walk mode for uphill travel
Cons: Takes several steps to tighten up
Splitboarding is slowly creeping into the mainstream discourse when it comes to options for how to ride a snowboard. But traditionally there have been few options for a boot that works well on the uphill as well as the downhill. K2’s Waive is part of a recent awakening from snowboard brands to give some attention to the growing popularity of the sport and they’ve knocked it out of the park with this one. With the ability to shift into walk mode with a flick of a switch and some loosening of the calf, you can skin up with much more efficiency than your standard boot. The boot is well-built and will help you move more efficiently on the skin track, giving you more laps in untouched powder with comfort and ease. Read our full review of the K2 Waive here.
Best Stiff Snowboard Boots
Weight: 38.7 oz
Stiffness: Extra stiff
Closure System: Double BOA
Liner: Gold wrap
Best For: Going really fast
Pros: Excellent comfort and optimum fit, unisex design
Cons: Might be too stiff for most
Nidecker’s Kita hits all the right notes to give this boot some of our highest praises with its stiff construction, well-placed dual BOA dials, and a Vibram outsole with just the right amount of spring in its step. We had to reach hard to find something wrong with this boot, especially since its price comes in at far less than most other premium models.
A big distinguishing feature here is the external heel lock closure. The BOA tightens an extra flap on the exterior of the boot that helps pull the heel in snug for added support and a tight (but not too tight) fit. For many this boot may be a bit too stiff, as you need to be ripping pretty fast for it to have any response. But for those who enjoy a stiff boot, the comfort and optimum fit on these boots is unmatched.
Best Soft/Surf-Style Snowboard Boots
Weight: 36.6 oz
Closure System: Lace
Best For: Pow surfing and smacking the lip
Pros: Soft, but not flimsy
Cons: Vulnerable to wear
Surfing and snowboarding go together like carrots and peas, although unlike carrots and peas you can’t consume both at once. And most snowboarding boots are designed to withstand the high speeds and big impacts from huge airs, so it’s difficult to mimic the freedom of surfing barefoot in a winter mountain environment. Well, legendary surfboard shaper Chris Christensen teamed up with ThirtyTwo to do his best to give the people a boot that has enough flex to feel like you’re truly surfing the mountain.
While it’s impossible to satisfy both columns at once, the Bandito does a pretty good job of giving the support and protection you need when riding in the mountains while also having enough playful flex to be in a class of its own. As both surfers and snowboarders, we love having the option to have some days where you’re just playing around on a shorter board, or even a pow surfer, as opposed to givin ‘er hard on massive lines or huge booters. This boot is for those spring slush days, the mellow pow laps, and days when you’d like to harness your inner Malibu, high up on a wind drift or pillow field.
One strike against it is that although the suede upper looks and feels great, it’s not super durable. This became a problem when splitboarding and the heel began to show wear pretty quickly after rubbing with the binding while skinning. A simple fix could be adding some kind of scuff-guard, which seems like a pretty good compromise if you want to take these boots on a backcountry mission, seeing as they are such a unique and fun ride on the way down – especially in the pow.
Best of the Rest
Runner Up: Best All-Around (Men’s)
Weight: 38.3 oz
Stiffness: Medium – Stiff
Closure System: Double BOA
Liner: Intuition Trap Wrap
Best For: Hard Charging
Pros: Remarkably grippy sole. Bonus features are well thought out.
Cons: Hard to keep clean, easy to over tighten
Ride has been in the game for a very long time, always being a brand that followed their own compass rather than follow industry trends. Now they are part of the K2 universe, and with that comes the manufacturing might that a larger company brings.
Their new Torrent boot is a well thought out boot that rides well in a variety of circumstances, but the real bonus is in all the extra details. For one, the boot comes with a simple velcro-like backing that has just enough grip to help keep your calf in place without being annoying. Another is the extra-grippy Michelin outsole that, while it isn’t unique to the Torrent, complements an already great boot with superior traction in or out of bindings. Add in that the boot is made from mostly sustainable materials, and you will feel good knowing your hard-earned dollars are supporting a shift in the industry toward better environmental stewardship.
The only downside is that the BOA laces are almost too good. It’s easy to over tighten the boot thanks to the ultra-comfortable liner, only to realize your mistake on the way down. But once you get the system down and the foot molds properly, this isn’t so much of an issue. We just thought it would be good to give you a heads up beforehand.
This was definitely one of our favorite boots, but the price is a bit tough to digest for most people. It’s definitely a high-performance boot that will treat your right, but we had to give the edge to the Nitro boot for our “Best All-Around” award when factoring in the price.
Runner Up: Best All-Around (Women’s)
Weight: 29.3 oz
Closure System: Speed Lace
Liner: Cloud 6 liner
Best For: Resort laps
Pros: Primo comfort
Cons: Might be too soft for hardcore shredders
It’s easy to get caught up in different levels of boots and think that top-shelf always means a better boot. For Nitro, their Crown TLS isn’t considered a premium model, but it’s still a damn fine boot worthy of recognition.
The differences between this boot and some of their higher-end models are fairly minimal, when it comes down to it. You still get an amazingly comfortable liner, a fantastic fit thanks to the TLS speed lace system, and a responsiveness in the flex that lasts. We found this boot also holds the heel much better than many boots that cost hundreds of dollars more. Sounds pretty good, right? That’s because it is. The price is right on these and Nitro’s innovation does not mean skimping out even though it’s not on the top shelf.
We really did like this boot and you can’t go wrong with it. We gave a slight edge to the ThirtyTwo lashed due to the comfort of the Intuition liner, but this boot came a close second in our books.Check Price on Backcountry
Weight: 40.1 oz
Stiffness: Medium stiff
Closure System: Speed Lace
Liner: Life+ Liner
Best For: Popping huge
Pros: Amazing rebound potential
Cons: Pricey. Forward lean might be too aggressive for some
Burton knows what they are doing. Without a doubt they are one of the world’s best snowboard brands due to their longevity and contributions to the sport, and are a top pick of ours when it comes to snowboard jackets, pants, and more. When it comes to boots, they have a whole arsenal on offer, but we fell in love with the SLX for a number of reasons.
The main reason is just how responsive it is. The flex trends on the stiffer side, but with enough pressure, it bounces back to give you the pop you need to throw a good spin or simply carve up a groomer like a knife to butter. You usually need to sacrifice stiffness for such responsiveness, but not here, making this a favorite if you like to pin it through the trees or pop massive airs – either in the park or au natural.
With a dual speed lace system that allow for as snug of a fit as your forearms are strong, you can really lock in the comfort for a day’s worth of showing off on the mountain. These boots are designed for people who know what they are doing, but will also allow intermediate riders to progress far faster by allowing the energy transfer between body and board to happen seamlessly, with an extra energy kick in there for good measure.
Weight: 48.2 oz
Closure System: BOA
Liner: Vans UltraCush
Best For: Shifting between backcountry and resort
Pros: Can easily adjust the stiffness to your liking
Cons: Heavy with inserts in
The Verse was the only boot we tested with removable inserts to add extra stiffness in the tongue. This allows you to easily adjust to the conditions of the day and/or what your intended use may be. To be honest, the inserts felt a bit rigid when walking around, but not so noticeable when riding. But that said, when they were out it felt amazing. Vans is doing something right with their UltraCush liner and the boots had a comfortable fit right out of the box that only got better with time.
The versatility comes from the adjustable flex and super durable sole. You really can take this boot anywhere and do anything with it, so if you want one boot to take you through the park, the trees, and that sweet, sweet powder, this is a boot that will treat you right through all types of conditions and riding moods.
There really isn’t much that’s negative about this boot, but also nothing that truly stands out, aside from the comfortable fit. It rides really well and feels good walking around the valley as well, and the ability to really fine tune the fit with two well-placed BOAs, a power strap on top, and the removable inserts make this a great boot to customize to your specific riding personality quite well.
Snowboard Boots Comparison Table
|Nitro Team TLS
|ThirtyTwo W’s Lashed Double Boa
|Doing it all
|Burton Moto Boa
|Cruisey, easy going riding
|Vans Encore OG
|V1 Ultra Cush
|Comfortable resort laps
|ThirtyTwo Diesel Hybrid
|Park and street
|Crushing the backcountry
|Going really fast
|ThirtyTwo Bandito X Christensen
|Pow surfing and smacking the lip
|Medium – Stiff
|Intuition Trap Wrap
|Nitro Crown TLS (W’s)
|Comfort + Performance without paying a premium
How We Tested The Best Snowboard Boots
Testing out snowboard boots is a fun process, but not exactly easy. Most boots have a significant break-in period before you really get to know them, so we went for quality over quantity for this here review. It would be physically impossible to test every single boot out there with any legitimate analysis, so we relied on our industry knowledge and a whole lot of research to determine which boots were worth trying out. Even then, not all the boots we tested made it into this review. And to make sure all the boots were properly worn in, we’ve been wearing these boots around the house and out and about for more than just riding to make sure the liners actually do mold, and the closure systems don’t get weaker over time.
Lead tester Steve Andrews has been snowboarding for over 25 years, having seen it all from the old-school Airwalks to all the fads to come and go since the 90’s. Now living just outside of Whistler, his main focus is making sure the quality snow days count, and he’s learned that sore, wet, or numb feet can ruin a session faster than a wonky board or wiggly bindings. So finding the perfect snowboard boot for every situation is on the top of his list. Since last season he’s taken these boots out on sunny park days, stormy pow days, and big alpine days in the backcountry. Along the way he recruited some compadres from the local crew of Whistler faithfuls to test the boots and give feedback, helping to form a well-rounded set of opinions.
For the ladies, we had a couple of lady shredders join for the testing to share their insights. Both were a women’s size 8 and shared their experience in each boot we tested. The ladies are longtime Whistler/Blackcomb vets, so know their way around all types of mountain features and conditions.
We used several factors to determine which boots were the cream of the crop. Those came down to:
Fit: The boots needed to be snug but not so snug that our feet went numb. We took note of a uniform feel from the toes all the way up, making sure there were no gaps or pressure points.
Longevity: Did the boots hold up like they said they would, or deteriorate over time? A good flex is important but it should hold the flex over a season at the very least. Snowboard boots aren’t cheap, so it’s important to make sure that the investment holds up over time.
Warmth: As this is a winter sport, you won’t last long out there with cold toes. So we only recommended boots that kept feet warm in all conditions. Equally important to the liner is the seams and waterproofing, to make sure that they hold up under heavy use to ensure they don’t leave you with wet socks, one of the absolute worst feelings out there. Thankfully, these boots all kept feet warm and dry throughout the testing process.
Support: Do these boots offer enough support to go big and keep you upright? We tested how each boot worked even after being broken in to make sure that they will continue to be useful after more than a handful of days.
Snowboard Boots Buyer’s Guide
With so many different snowboard boots out there, it might seem overwhelming to think of where to start. But taking the following factors into account will help you narrow down the search to find the best boots for your skill level and riding style.
Flex/Stiffness: The flex of your snowboard boots should complement your riding style and skill level. A softer flex is conducive to beginners and those who prefer freestyle riding, offering maneuverability and room for error. Stiffer boots are tailored for experienced riders who engage in high-speed and big lines, requiring precise control and quick power transmission.
Soles: A boot’s sole contributes significantly to your traction on slippery surfaces and comfort within rugged terrains. High-quality soles like Vibram or Michelin offer excellent grip and durability. Additionally, certain soles incorporate cushioning technologies, essential for absorbing impact during aggressive rides.
Material: The longevity and comfort of snowboard boots are greatly influenced by the materials used. Synthetics are common, providing a balanced compromise between durability, flexibility, and cost. Premium models might utilize authentic leather, known for its durability and ability to conform to one’s foot shape, though it necessitates more meticulous care. Interior liners that feature moisture-wicking properties are beneficial for maintaining a dry and comfortable environment for your feet.
Liner: Generally utilizing some type of foam, a good liner is worth its weight in gold. That said, a good liner doesn’t weigh much and is all about forming to the foot. Premium liners from brands such as Intuition offer heat-moldability and excellent insulation. Sometimes a brand’s proprietary liner is pretty darn good but we haven’t found anything to unseat Intuition liners as the top-tier option.
Lacing Systems: There are a few different ways to keep your snowboard boots nice and tight on your feet. Traditional laces are classic and customizable, offering the most personalized fit, but require manual adjustment and can potentially loosen throughout the day. Speed laces provide ease and speed, allowing for zonal tension adjustments, though they may not offer the uniform tightness some riders prefer. The BOA system is renowned for its convenience, employing dial-based lacing, facilitating on-the-fly tension adjustments. The system’s various configurations (single or double BOA) enable different levels of zonal fitting precision. Some boots on this list even use a combination of laces and BOA.
Fit and Comfort: An optimal fit is essential for any rider’s peak performance and overall experience. Advanced features like heat-moldable liners can personalize the fit, while ample cushioning helps in shock absorption and comfort during prolonged rides. It’s wise to peruse customer feedback regarding fit, as different brands may cater better to distinct foot contours.
Breathability and Waterproofing: Look for materials that promote a balance between air circulation and moisture exclusion. A boot that effectively wicks away sweat while keeping external moisture out ensures a comfortable ride regardless of weather conditions.
Additional Features: Some boots use integrated gaiters to prevent snow intrusion, reinforced construction for enhanced durability, specialized heel-hold systems for stability, and antimicrobial treatments to preserve inner boot freshness. While not essential, these features can significantly enrich rider’s comfort and the boot’s overall lifespan.
The ideal snowboard boot is one that aligns with your individual riding style, provides lasting comfort, and delivers consistent performance. When purchasing online, it’s essential to consult brand-specific sizing charts and understand the retailer’s return policy. Most of the big ones will allow you to try it on, but won’t let you return after riding for an extended period of time where the liner has molded to the foot.
Editor’s Note: For more in-depth reviews of the top snowboard gear in the industry, check out our guides to: The Best Snowboard Jackets, The Best Snowboard Pants, The Best Snowboard Goggles, The Best Snowboard Mittens, and The Best Snowboard Bags. Curious about the brands behind it all? Check out The Best Snowboard Brands. Looking to protect your head? We’ve reviewed Ski and Snowboard Helmets, too. And for even more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.