If you’re like me, you just love the feeling of rising with the sun getting ready for another day on the slopes – unless your feet are getting demolished by painful snowboard boots that is. Having had this issue myself, I know a thing or two about why it occurs.
The most common cause of snowboard boot pain is a badly fitted boot. The shoe has to fit your foot. There is no one boot fits all. Many people fail to consider that getting snowboard boots is like getting running shoes. Size is not the only thing that you need to consider. Feet have different shapes. All of these factors need to be addressed when investing in snowboard boots. Most people also forget that our own two feet might be different sizes or shaped slightly differently.
For those of us that have tried on alpine boots, snowboard boots might feel like wearing some cozy Ugg boots. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. There are many different kinds of boots. Which ones you choose, and how they fit around your feet will have a big impact on your day in the mountains.
This article will help you to figure out why your snowboard boots hurt, and how you can avoid this issue in the future.
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What Causes Snowboard Boot Pain
There are several factors to keep in mind while hunting for your new snowboard boots. Also, if you happen to be a newbie in the world of shredding on the slopes you have to remember that the boots might hurt a bit the first time. Like a lot of other things in life.
Snowboarding is no game. Your feet have to get used to the movement. Your legs too. Ligaments and muscles might get a shock at first. This is an important reason for investing in good boots to start with.
A lot of people aren’t aware of how their feet are positioned. Terms like pronation and supination might throw off a few, but these are important in adjusting the correct stance on the board, and more importantly, finding the best boots for you.
In the world of snowboarding, there’s a ton of different brands and styles to consider. This can be confusing, and confusion can lead to bad decisions. Sometimes we’re all just super eager to get out there without considering that the equipment we use ultimately plays a big role in how enjoyable the ride is going to be.
We all want to be out there shredding and enjoying the mountains. More importantly: We want to do it without pain. By knowing some of the common causes of snowboard boot pain, it’s easier to identify a solution.
1. The Boots Are Too Small
It is extremely important to try your new boots before purchasing them. This is where getting used boots online will be a bad idea. Your regular shoe size might not be the best size for snowboard boots. Allow a 1/2 inch gap at the end of your boot, generally, this is about the size of the tip of your index finger (small hands) or pinky finger (large hands).
2. The Boots Are Too Big
You might think that this isn’t the biggest issue, but when the boots are too big people often tighten the instep buckle too hard to make sure the foot stays in place. This will result in the boot pressing down on the top of your foot. This will in turn cut off the blood circulation to your feet while also pressing on your nerves. Not comfortable at all.
3. The Boot Are A Bad Fit
Considering that all feet are different you need to make sure the boots are properly fitted. There are high arches, wide feet, flat feet (or pancake feet as some people call them). There are even other considerations to be made like pronation and supination. All of these differences should be addressed when getting your boots. If you wear arch supports with your other shoes make sure you use them with your snowboard boots as well.
Most snowboard shops nowadays will help you figure out all of this, and then fit the boot to your type.
Do I Need to Invest in New Snowboard Boots?
The answer to this is: You might be one in a million and find the perfect used boots, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
I’m sure it’s tempting to buy some used ones for a cheaper price, but when considering that painful feet most likely are going to ruin your day out in the snow it’s better to do it right the first time. The boots will last for approximately 100 days. Either you’re a regular rider or ride a few times each season rider getting fitted boots will be worth it.
Painful boots will ruin your snowboarding experience – No doubt.
How are Snowboard Boots Supposed to Fit?
After all of this information, you’re probably wondering how are the boots supposed to fit. It’s quite simple. The boot should feel snug and firm around your feet, but without squeezing the life out of them. You should feel the end of the boot liner when you are standing up with the boots tied on.
Your new boots might feel a bit tight the first few rides, but that’s normal. The boots need to be worn in. This usually takes a couple of weeks.
Snowboard boots can also be heat molded so that they are customized to your feet.
Tips to Avoid Snowboard Boot Pain
Socks: Wear long socks inside your boot so that the top edge of your sock doesn’t get pushed into your leg by the boot.
Leggings: Make sure your leggings don’t go down into the boot. This will create the same issue as a short sock.
Heel kick: Drop your heel back into your boot by heel kicking. This prevents your toes from getting smashed into the front of the boot.
No cotton: Use synthetic socks to avoid socks that soak up water. Wet feet quickly turn very cold, which will make you even more uncomfortable.
2 finger rule: When you are trying on the boot remove the liner and step into the shell of the boot. There should be room for 2 fingers between your heel and the liner. If you can fit 3 fingers the boot is too big.
Fitting: Put the liner back in the shell and jump in. The toes should lightly brush against the ends of the liners. When leaning forward your heels should only lift slightly.
The ball of your foot shouldn’t come near the shell when you are standing up.
Strength exercising and stretching: Doing exercises to strengthen and stretch your feet might help for those who simply have feet that won’t cooperate. After all, snowboarding is a sport and our feet need to be conditioned for the exercise.
Fit: Make sure to fit both boots! Even if they are your feet they are most likely not the same, so make sure that they both fit.
Now you hopefully have a better idea of why your snowboard boots hurt, and more importantly, how to fix it. Investing in new boots perfectly fitted to your feet is the best route to take when trying to avoid reckoning your days outside.
The equipment we choose should make our days out in the white covered mountains better, not slow us down, and not be painful. Cruising down the slopes in the fresh mountain air is an amazing feeling that I hope you now will be able to enjoy in comfortable and well-fitted snowboard boots.