If you are new to snowboarding, you have probably already heard about all the gear, such as the bindings, stomp pads, and, of course, the snowboard.
However, the most important piece of snowboarding gear is actually the boots.
Many amateur snowboarders may wind up being slightly baffled when more experienced riders insist that snowboarding boots should be worn tightly.
Maybe you have even adhered to this advice, only for your toes to end up painfully blistered after a day on the slopes.
So, how tight should snowboard boots be?
Although your experienced friends weren’t too far off on their advice, your feet may breathe just a little easier after this question has been officially answered for you.
How Tight Should Snowboard Boots Be?
Snowboard boots should fit snugly, just not enough to cause blisters, pain, or discomfort. When they’re freshly out of the box, your toes should touch the top of the boot slightly, but withdraw some once your boots have been worn.
Snowboard Boots Should Be Just Tight Enough
Well, without being too tight, of course. Many people mistakenly purchase shoes that are about half a size too big, so you will want to size down a little when selecting snowboarding boots.
Often, one foot is slightly bigger than the other, so you may want to size both of your feet at a shoe store prior to making the purchase.
Maybe you remember the story of Goldilocks. One bowl of porridge was too hot, the other one too cold, and finally, the last bowl was just right.
Yes, you will need to adhere to this concept when shopping for snowboarding boots, as boots that are too loose can cause you to completely lose control of your board and place extra strain on your ankles, which can lead to injury.
However, snowboarding boots that are too tight can also cause problems, such as cramping in your feet and trouble making turns at slower speeds.
While you do want to choose snowboarding boots that fit your feet snugly, you want to avoid shoes that are too tight and cause discomfort.
How to Tighten Snowboard Boots
Ok, so maybe you experienced difficulty finding a pair of snowboarding boots that fit just right. Fortunately, snowboarding boots are equipped with four layers of protection, which gives you four opportunities to properly secure your boots.
First, the inner boot resembles a sock that either laces up or is nestled within a hanger that joins the inner and outer portions of the boot. Regardless of the type of snowboarding boots that you have, these inner boots should be laced as tightly as possible.
Since this part of the boot is made of soft material, you can tie it up tightly without causing pain or discomfort. Most snowboarding boot manufacturers secure the inner boot with a sliding lock feature, so there’s no need for you to tie complicated knots.
Next is the Velcro strap, which can be found at the top of the inner boot. This should always be securely fastened, as it was designed to offer additional support and relieve some of the pressure that is placed on the sliding feature.
After you have properly secured the inner boot, then you will need to tighten the lower portion of the outer boot. If you secure this part of the boot too tightly, you can cut off circulation to your foot and cause cramps to develop, so you will only want to tighten this area just enough to secure your foot without causing discomfort.
Finally, you will need to adjust the tightness of the upper portion of the outer boot, which affects your flexibility. However, the ideal tightness depends upon your weight, how stiff the boot is, and your riding style.
While beginner snowboarders and freestylers can get away with a looser outer boot, those who are more experienced and advanced will want to tighten up the upper outer portions of their boots.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Tight Should Snowboard Boots Be
What’s the difference between snowboarding boots?
Just like bindings, snowboarding boots are classified by their flex ratings. While those who are new to snowboarding may prefer boots with a softer flex rating, riders who are more experienced and advanced tend to choose stiffer flex ratings. Mainly, it is just a matter of what one wants.
Should my toes touch my snowboard boots’ ends?
Snowboard boots should fit very snugly around your entire foot, but not be worn so tight that they’ll cause discomfort. It’s normal for snowboarding boots to fit a little too tightly at first and begin to feel just right after they have been worn in. So, yes, but just barely.
Can you wear regular boots to snowboard?
Technically, yes, but it isn’t recommended as regular boots don’t provide the adequate level of support that your ankles need while snowboarding. Actual snowboard boots are a wise investment when snowboarding because they’re made to fit in the bindings and provide the necessary stability and support.
So, the answer is yes, snowboarding boots should be worn tightly, but there is the issue of moderation involved. You will want to choose boots that fit snugly and provide you with the necessary support without being too tight. As far as exactly how tight they should be, well, that’s a matter of comfort and personal preference.