When asking yourself the question, “what size snowboard boots do I need?”, the answer can be a bit tricky. Each brand of snowboarding shoes will have its own boot sizes that may be the same or different from your normal shoe size.
There are other features, like heel lift and boot feel, that also make a big difference to the size of your snowboarding boot. This might seem like a lot of information to take in, but if you stick to this buying guide then you should have no problem finding the right-size snowboard boots for you.
Tip: Once you have found the right boot size, you can choose the best snowboard bindings to accompany them.
- Snowboard Boots Sizing Tips
- Heat Moldable Liner
- Wide Feet
- Boot Feel
- Heel Lift
- Pressure Points
- Riding Style
- Men vs Women
- How to Size Snowboard Boots Online
- Snowboarding Boot Sizing Chart
- Frequently Asked Questions About Snowboard Boot Size
- Final Thoughts on Snowboard Boots Sizes
Snowboard Boots Sizing Tips
When it comes to finding snowboard boots that are the right size for your feet, you want to take into account a few basic specifications that will make your life easier. Shoe length, width, fit, heel lift, and pressure points are the most important factors to consider.
Snowboard Boot Size vs Shoe Size
Snowboard boots sizes are the same as shoe sizes (eg. 10,11, etc.). You should go to a physical store and try on a variety of brands’ snowboard shoes to get a feel of what boot size fits you best. It can take some trial and error to get the right fit.
Luckily, many boots come in two sizing options: boot size (like shoe size) and mondo print, which is essentially foot length in centimeters (cm) or millimeters (mm).
This mondo print option expresses the boot size in cm or mm (for example 28cm/280mm). If your foot is the same length as the mondo print size of the boot, then it should be a good fit for you. It is not always so simple, though, as half sizes can come into play.
If you normally wear a shoe that is too big for you (ie. there is a lot of room between your toes and the shoe), then you may need half a size smaller in mondo print. The same goes if your shoe has a snug fit, then you may need a half size larger in mondo print. Each half a centimeter (five millimeters) in mondo print counts as a half-size in normal shoe size.
You can measure your foot in-store, but if you want to do it at home you can just use a measuring tape and a piece of paper (to mark your toe). Make sure that your heel is flat against the wall and measure to your longest toe (this may not be your big toe).
Heat Moldable Liner
Some snowboarding boots have a heat moldable liner. This can help make your boot a better fit by heating the liner and letting it mold to the shape of your foot when it sets. It is always a good idea to ask them to do this in-store.
Some people have wide feet and that’s totally normal, but it can be difficult to find comfortable snowboard boots. Luckily, most snowboarding brands have boots that come in a wider model that fits wide feet better.
Solomon, K2, and Burton are all brands that have wide-specific shoes. There are also specific brands that are known to make wide boots like DC, Adidas, and Thirty-Two. Alternatively, you could opt for a snowboard boot that has a heat-moldable liner.
The feel or the fit of the snowboard boot plays a big role in choosing the right one. It is not the same as your regular shoes where you should leave a thumbs gap between your biggest toe and the tip of the shoe.
Your longest toes should be just touching the edge of your snowboard boots. There shouldn’t be any gaps in the front of your boot. The worst thing for any snowboard boot is for it to crush or squeeze your toes. The reason being that when you bend your legs for a turn or lean forward when you snowboard, your toes will naturally curl back.
If the mondo size of your feet matches that of the boot, then it should fit and feel just right. But remember this is just an estimate, there is no replacement for trying it in-store.
This is a term to describe the lifting of your heel when you are snowboarding (a natural occurrence). If you find a snowboard boot that fits well and has no heel lift, then you have found the holy grail of boots. However, a maximum heel lift of 1cm (⅓ inches) is also acceptable for a pleasant ride.
To test whether a boot has any heel lift you should strap yourself in, bend your knees and lean forward as if you’re preparing for a toe turn. If your heels lift excessively during this test, then those boots are not a good fit for you. Beware not to lift your heels up purposely, rather they should rise naturally.
If you are struggling with heel lift, there are a few things that you can buy to help you:
- An ankle harness is a strap that sits in the inner boot and fits around the ankle area. This will prevent your heel from lifting up too much and is accessible from the outer boot so that you can adjust the tightness throughout the day with ease.
- J Bar inserts are another way to reduce heel lift. They are foam wedges that go behind the ankle and are designed to stop your heel from lifting.
- Heat moldable liners also help to eliminate heel lift.
This one is tough to judge because each boot’s pressure points differ from person to person. These points can generally be felt in the ankles and the tops of your feet or your toes. If the boot you are looking at has some serious pressure points, then it may be worth considering other options.
Depending on where you snowboard and the type of riding you will do, you may want a snowboard boot with stiff, medium, or soft flex.
If you are a freestyle rider, then a boot with a soft flex will do the trick. It helps with maneuverability, landings, and sliding.
If you are someone who prefers freeriding in the countryside or the rugged mountains, then a boot with a hard flex will suit you. They are better at handling and assist the rider in turning more accurately and aggressively.
Men vs Women
Just like there are different types of snowboards for men and women, there are different types of snowboard boots too. However, most boots are unisex and there is a size conversion for women to men that you can use below.
How to Size Snowboard Boots Online
It’s usually best to go into the store to see if your preferred boot is the right size, but if you’re like the rest of us then you probably like to do most of your shopping online.
This is not possible with the first sizing option since the shoe size to boot size translation doesn’t work. But with mondo print, it can be done. Simply follow the above instructions on how to measure your feet at home (and convert it to centimeters or millimeters) and then compare it to the mondo print size online.
Once you know what your mondo size is in centimeters or millimeters, you can compare it to the common boot sizes in the sizing chart below.
Snowboarding Boot Sizing Chart
You can use the two sizing charts below to do your snowboard shoe size conversions. If you are a beginner looking for your first pair of snowboard boots, you can look at Burton snowboard boots and many other top-quality brands.
Adult Ski Boots Size Chart
|Mens (US)||Women (US)||Europe||Mondo (cm)||UK|
Kids Ski Boot Size Chart
|Mens (US)||Women (US)||Europe||Mondo (cm)||UK|
Frequently Asked Questions About Snowboard Boot Size
Here are some frequently asked questions about snowboard boot sizes that you may like to know.
Do Snowboarding Boots Run Big or Small?
The answer is neither. Depending on the brand of snowboard shoe, or shape of your foot, or even your personal preference. But the fact is your snowboard boots could run big or small compared to your regular shoe size.
What Snowboarding Gear Should I Purchase Along With My Boots?
Final Thoughts on Snowboard Boots Sizes
It’s clear that no matter how long you have been snowboarding, the size requirements for your snowboarding boots stay the same. They need to fit snugly, have little to no heel lift, and support your riding style.
If you are purchasing snowboarding boots in-store then you shouldn’t struggle to find the right size. But if you are ordering boots online, then you should measure your feet and compare them to the handy size chart we included.
Hopefully, this guide on choosing a snowboarding boot that fits you minimizes any online order returns for you in the future. See you on the mountain!