Published Sep 20, 2022 4:28 PM
Although we’re just through summer, shred betties everywhere are already gearing up for winter by asking, “Which women’s snowboarding boots are right for me?” They’re searching high and low on the Internet, at retail locations, and asking their riding buddies, “Do you like those boots? Can I try them on?”
Two key features to be searched out this season are Dual-zone BOA lacing and three-point BOA systems that incorporate a heel harness. These are the most cutting-edge lacing systems on the market this year. Another is Total Comfort Construction as well as other out-of-the-box ride ready liners, which are broken in upon purchase, right off the shelf.
Most importantly, be on the lookout for an avalanche of women’s specific foot-fitting technology. If a company is patenting designs tailored to women’s feet and lower leg anatomy, chances are they are spot on in their boot construction. Burton’s Women’s Specific true fit, Salomon’s sizing down to size 4, RIDEs Jade Last Performance Fit and K2s flex zone calf panel are just a few hot takes that are breaking the glass ceiling for shred betties searching for their holy grail powder and park boots. Look for these and other technologies to ensure you find the best boot for your unique foot.
If you’re searching high and low for the best new womens snowboarding boots on the market, look no further than this article. We scoured the shoe rack in all the most important categories and found the industry’s top picks on all fronts. Whether you all mountain carve or rail jam with the best. Whether you’re looking for a budget boot or the most teched-out glass slippers with all the bells and whistles, read on to find out the best women’s snowboard boots for all your spicy and slicey adventures this winter.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Women’s Snowboarding
Generally speaking, snowboard boots are less comfortable than regular everyday boots. However, they’re far more comfortable than the extreme hard plastic rigidity of ski boots. A couple considerations to think about when reflecting on snowboard boot comfort are correct sizing and fit for the intended style of riding (which can include manufacturer nuance—more on that in a second), how cold your feet tend to get when on the slopes riding and when waiting in lift lines, and what your current skill level is. Here’s a breakdown of how to consider these factors when choosing the snowboard boot that’s right for you.
Boot Size and Fit
In terms of sizing and fit, your snowboard boots should fit a little more snug than your everyday boots. For example, when fitting yourself for sneakers, you’d want a little space between your toe and the end of the shoe or toe box. This is not the case for snowboard boots. Your toes should come right up to the end of the boot.
In addition, manufacturers’ sizing can vary. Some brands tend to run large, some brands tend to run small, while some brands can run a little wide or narrow. When choosing the best size and fit, it can help to visit a retail location which has the boot you are interested in and try it on in person.
Boots size and fit and warmth can go hand and hand. If your boots are a little too tight sometimes your foot will get cold for lack of blood flow. If your boots are a little too large and you wear two pairs of socks to fill the space, the extra sock layer may squish down the plush lining and as a result there may not be enough room for the air space and padding necessary to create good insulation. Finally, sometimes snowboarders’ feet get cold waiting in line for lifts and once the border is back in action shredding down jibs and gully stashes, their feet are back to sweaty betty. If your foot is cold, it’s important to think about why and what can be done to solve that problem. Sometimes it’s boot technology, sometimes it’s sizing, sometimes it’s cardio.
When deciding on a snowboard boot, it’s good to know and understand your skill level and what sort of riding you like to do. For example, if park laps is your thing, the stiffer and more agressive your boot, the better you can get at table tops, boxes and all the other park options. Similarly, the approach of backcountry split boarding also demands a stiffer boot. For an everyday rider or someone just starting out, a more relaxed fit is just fine. Some riders also feel that stiffer boots last longer.
Why it Made the Cut
The combination of Women’s Specific True Fit cushioning and Dual-Zone BOA lacing means these snowboard boots fit like a glove. Add in the sleeping bag reflective foil underfoot technology for perfect cozy foot warmth and the industry-standard design that can only come with a long-standing heritage brand like Burton, and the Limelight takes the blue ribbon for Best in Show.
- Women’s Specific True Fit
- Dual-Zone BOA lacing
- 1-year warranty
- Total Comfort Construction
- Women’s specific features
- Old school boarders may prefer a heat molded liners
In comfort and style, from the ski rack to the boot pack, the Burton Limelight Boas will take you anywhere on the mountain you want to go. The Dual-zone BOA lacing system sets the bar for fit with two distinct lace zones that can be independently adjusted for the most custom fit possible. A snow-proof internal gusset seals out external elements while lock-up cuff technology found in the plush liner securely locks the wearer’s heel into place by tightly hugging the calf and utilizing inner cuff lacing across the forefoot and ankle. The outer DynoGRIP sole features additional traction on the toe pad and heel for added grip while Total Comfort Construction provides instantaneously broken-in feel, straight out of the box.
Why it Made the Cut
The Salomon Ivy is a crowd pleaser no matter the audience. It is the go-to boot for all levels of riders. The added three-point multidimensional STR8JKT ensures no heel slippage during your freestyle mountain rippage. With medium flex and fit-to-ride construction these boots feel like a dream all day until you’ve squeezed out every last slopeside drop. Slay all day as an aspiring newbie or a seasoned pro without breaking the bank with these lightweight and compact boots in tow.
- 1:1 changes for every half size in shell and liner
- STR8JKT BOA heal harness
- Adaptable high-performing boot for beginners and experts and everyone in between
- This boat is made down to a size 4
- STR8JKT heal support technology
- Great price point
- Made for all levels of border
- No explicit female technology noted
Embracing your foot like a featherweight dream, the comfort, support and versatility of these boots will have you on cloud nine while you powder slash every stash in sight. Since inception this boot has only gotten better and better. Equipped with dual-boa the Ivy now includes a third point heel harness called STR8JKT which boasts total elimination of heel slip. Exploring on all mountain terrain or trying your hand at freestyle, these boots support any alpine endeavor imaginable. Finally, Salomon ices the Ivy out with a patented rubber compound called Contagrip which illicites all conditions underfoot grip.
Why it Made the Cut
The Sage snowboard boot is a no contest, ridiculously phenomenal value for what it delivers. This boot is $50 less than most of its competing brands’ least expensive boots and hundreds less than many comparable boots. To boot, this snowboard boot addresses an age-old concern for female shredders: Boots aren’t frequently designed for and rarely fit our calves. RIDE heard our cries and responded with a velcro adjustment on the boot cuff which allows for a one-of-a-kind custom fit in the upper ankle/lower tibia zone.
- Killer price point
- L.S. D. & C.A.T. (Ladies Specific Design & Calf Adjustment Technology) as well as Jade Last, a performance designed women’s specific fit
- The Closer Lace Guide and 4 Boa Fit System, both unique takes on widespread technology
- Outstanding price point
- Adjustable calf fitting
- Excellent fit for a narrow foot
- Usually boots at this price point wearout a bit faster than more expensive options
The perfect boot at the best price point, the Sage has some unique features that you just can’t find at such a low cost. This includes the proprietary patented Closer lace system which can be critical for women’s feet as they are sometimes narrower than the male foot profile. Other attractive features include the Intuition heat molded liner which is heated and then custom conforms to your foot. Finally, a Grip Light sole composed of rubber pods for maximum ice traction and durability keeps the wearer traversing even the most difficult terrain.
Best Stiff Snowboard Boots: K2 Format
Best Stiff Snowboard Boots
Why it Made the Cut
There are two cutting-edge technologies that women boarders will love about the Format boots. The first, lycra-based stretch panels at the top of liners which limit unwanted pressure on calf muscles. Second, the technologic components that will make these boots stand the test of time (good for the pocket book and for the environment): Vibram soles reinforced with outsole rubber in high stress zones and proprietary material which uses a sustainable resin to improve durability and wear resistance.
- Cutting-edge technology
- Highly abrasion resistant premium synthetic outer material
- Vibram soles made of 30-percent recycled material
- Flex zone calf panel
- Great sizing range, 6 to 11
- Very rigid
- 3-point harness configuration
- Could be too stiff for beginners
This is one of the more rigid boots noted in the glass slipper round up which means it executes with precision in powder and on rails and groomers. Combined with the industry standard in BOA technology including the 3-point harness configuration which holds the wearer’s heel in place, rest assured these boots are built for the most aggressive riders. Heat molding by Intuition foam and reflective heat blanketing conform to and warm the foot in the coldest and gnarliest conditions. Lastly, Harshmellow, developed by K2 dampens unwanted vibrations and works to create the smoothest ride any boot on the market can deliver.
How I Made My Picks
I considered all the top snowboarding brands world wide and then selected the top 10 boots based on 20 years of snowboarding experience. From there I examined all the specifications of each boot and gave priority to boots demonstrating clear expertise in technology designed for a women’s foot.
Q: How much do snowboarding boots cost?
Snowboarding boots range in cost starting at about $200 as a baseline although, there are occasionally very budget unisex brands for less. It isn’t unusual to spend between $300-350 for a solid brand that will last for many seasons.
Q: What happens if my snowboard boots are too big?
If your snowboard boots are too big, several things can happen. Blisters can form on your skin from the movement of your foot in the open space of the boot, it can be harder to get precision in turns and carving because of the lack of tightness and it can ultimately prevent you from progressing in the sport. The slimmest, tightest fit without hurting your foot is preferred.
Q: How often should I replace my snowboard boots?
How often you should replace a snowboard boot is somewhat up to you. After between one and several seasons you will likely start to see wear and tear on your boots. Either the internal lining will get really packed down, the boa or laces will break or the outer may start to break down. Depending on how often you ride, boots are usually replaces every couple years, sometimes sooner, sometimes later.
Investing in your snowboard kit can be spendy but the pow dividends deliver 10 fold. If you’re new to the sport, invest accordingly and as your skills progress, increase your investment in gear and boots that compliment your growing skills. It isn’t all smoke and mirrors. In the two decades I have been shredding, technology has changed and enhanced the snowboarding experience in all aspects of the sport, including boots. Researching and spending money on the latest bells and whistles really does make a difference in your performance on the snow.