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For the more adventurous winter lovers who can’t wait for snowboarding season to start, they should consider purchasing the best freeride snowboard boots. Freeride snowboarding, also known as backcountry, big mountain, sidecountry, and off-piste snowboarding, is a style of snowboarding that refers to snowboarding on ungroomed or wild terrain. Unlike freestyle, which relies on a sort of man-made playground with half-pipes, rails, and jumps, freeriding involves adjusting to the natural environment. The following freeride snowboard boots reviews and ratings can help you choose the best option for your needs.
In This Article
Freeride snowboarding provides a different challenge than freestyle or alpine snowboarding does. Because of this, it can be beneficial to have different equipment for freeriding in order to be prepared for the challenges that the natural terrain has to offer. To get you started, read on to discover our top 5 best freeride snowboard boots available to prepare for upcoming winter fun.
The Burton Driver X Freestyle Snowboard Boots are the best freeride snowboard boots because they are one of the stiffest boots available on the market, providing extra support and security while riding on uneven terrain.
The Burton Driver X Freestyle Snowboard Boots are a great option for freeride snowboarding because they have such an aggressive response. These are the snowboard boots that you want when you need to be absolutely surefooted, since you never know what to expect when freeriding and may need to adjust course with little to no warning. You need snowboard boots that are fit for the job, and the Driver X may be the option.
The Heat Cycle lining and reflective foil cushioning helps keep your feet warm and dry on the terrain, and the New England Ropes lacing system ensures that these boots stay firmly in place once you have them strapped up. The Driver X is by far the stiffest boot in its line, offering a sturdy rubber back stay and lateral panels, which provide additional support to your feet and ankles. The stiffness is vital for rapidly changing terrain because it holds the ankles steady.
- Built for backcountry terrain
- New England Ropes lacing system
- Somewhat limited size selection
The Ride Mens Insano Freestyle Snowboard Boots are the best freeride snowboard boots because they are very stiff and built with quality materials to provide support, no matter how rough the backcountry terrain gets.
The Ride Mens Insano Freestyle Snowboard Boots are a new style of snowboard boot that entered the scene in 2019 and is one of the best premium options available. The Insano is the stiffest boot in the Ride line, providing vital ankle and foot support for freeride snowboarding. The Intuition liner on the interior is designed for superior heel hold to ensure quick response and aggressive control, and the outsole is a combination of rubber and phylon for a durable-but-lightweight exterior.
The heat-reflective foil in the bottom of the boot reflects the heat that you lose from the bottoms of your feet and bounces it back up into the boot, keeping your feet warm all day. One of the new features of this 2019/2020 model is the rebound heel counter, which allows for quick heel to toe while reducing the overall foot feel of the boot. It is available in solid black or red and black.
- Stiffest boot from the Ride lineup
- Reflective interior lining to keep toes and feet warm
- May be too warm for some snowboarders
The Vans Men’s Hi-Standard Freestyle Snowboard Boots are the best freeride snowboard boots because they are the best quality for the price with uncompromising heel hold, a durable rubber outsole, and heat-moldable Flex liners to conform immediately to your feet.
For freeride snowboarders on a budget, the Vans Men’s Hi-Standard Freestyle Snowboard Boots are a great option to ensure a good fit and a safe ride. Vans Life collaborated with Darrell Mathes’ company HOWL to create what would become Vans highest-selling snowboard boot ever: the Hi-Standard. The Hi-Standard is built for modern performance in a classic style with an easy but reliable lace-up front and uncompromising heel hold for safety and comfort.
The rubber outsole is designed to absorb and limit impact and provide all-day comfort. The Hi-Standard also has an internal web harness with various harness options so that you have some level of customization available to your standard. The heat-moldable Flex liners allow the boot to conform to your foot instead of wading through an uncomfortable breaking-in period. Like most snowboard boots, the Hi-Standard are made with synthetic leather and textile uppers.
- Includes a heat-molded liner
- An affordable option
- May not be as stiff as some other snowboard boot options
The K2 Thraxis Mens Freestyle Snowboard Boots are the best freeride snowboard boots because they have a stiff feel and soft flex, plus additional ankle, heel, and arch support for both comfort and safety.
The K2 Thraxis Mens Freestyle Snowboard Boots are another excellent option for freeride snowboarding with an Intuition SpaceHeater liner, heel retention system, and dual-zone exterior closure for a tight fit. No matter the size or model, Thraxis guarantees a long-lasting boot flex, and the reinforced rubber is designed to extend the lifespan of these boots.
The K2 Thraxis has a Dual Density footbed, which means that the soles of these boots have an extra layer of high-density EVA supports that provide additional comfort to both the arch and heel cup. Additionally, the foam liner and internal and external J-bars around the ankle pockets provide even more support to the ankles for safety on rough terrain. The K2 Thraxis boots are available in mens sizes 6-13.
- Stiff feel and soft flex, which is perfect for freeride snowboarding
- Additional heel cup and arch support
- Only available in mens sizes 6-13
The adidas Acerra Freestyle Snowboard Boots for Men are the best freeride snowboard boots because the durable rubber outsole is built to support the wearer’s ankles, no matter the terrain. The responsive feel is an added benefit for freeride snowboarding.
The adidas Acerra Freestyle Snowboard Boots for Men are built for comfort, ease of entry, and no-hassle adjustment. The Ultralon foam liner contours to the shape of your feet for both comfort and a responsive feel, and the durable synthetic upper is built to endure everyday riding. The rubber outsole is built to support the wearer’s ankles on rough terrain and keep the wet and the cold away, even during long days in the backcountry. Additionally, these boots feature a BOA lacing system to ensure the perfect fit before heading out and easy adjustment when needed, plus a responsive cushioned midsole and a stabilizing tortion system to help support the more fragile joints in the feet and ankles to allow greater control.
- BOA lacing system for easy adjustment
- Stylish color patterns stand out on the slopes
- Limited sizing available
Features to Consider for the Best Freeride Snowboard Boots
Because freeride or backcountry snowboarding isn’t the most popular subset of snowboarding, not all snowboarding gear is best suited for the surprises that wild terrain has to offer. Because of this, there are certain features that are more suited to freeride snowboarding than others, and vice versa. Here are a few features to be aware of when researching freeride snowboarding boot reviews.
New England Ropes
If a pair of snowboard boots features New England Ropes, then you can be confident that the boots are made from high-quality materials. New England Ropes are some of the sturdiest laces that you can get, used by the likes of rescue teams, firefighters, and stuntmen. Often, the boots themselves will have a different lace-up and tongue structure when they have New England Ropes to get as much durability and rebound as possible.
BOA Lacing System
The BOA lacing system, or BOA closure system, is another common feature that you will see in snowboard boots. Unlike regular laces that you see on tennis shoes, BOA lacing is a wind-up system that ensures a very snug, glove-like fit. This is important with freeriding because you need as much responsiveness as possible. All you need to do is turn the dial, and the laces will tighten up as necessary. These laces do not stretch or unwind, but getting out of your boots is a simple process with the quick-release system.
For freeriding, you want at least medium stiffness snowboard boots, but generally the higher stiffness, the better. Stiffer or more rigid boots allows for more precision and speed, which are extremely important when riding rough terrain outside of parks and established slopes. The rigidity also allows for more edge power.
Personal Preference and Aesthetic
At the end of the day, comfort is different to all riders. It is also good to keep in mind that “soft”, “medium”, and “stiff” don’t necessarily feel the same or mean the same thing across brands. Don’t be afraid to try multiple brands and manufacturers to ensure the right fit. The stiffer boots meant for back country especially can be rougher on your feet than softer flex, so it’s important that you find a pair of freeride snowboard boots comfortable enough for you while still allowing the precision, speed, and control necessary for freeriding.
Benefits of Using Freeride Snowboard Boots
There are many benefits to using freeride snowboard boots versus those designed for big mountain or off-piste snowboarding. Here are some benefits of using freeride-specific snowboard boots on your next trip.
Higher Stiffness for Protection
While high stiffness isn’t immediately associated with comfort, it can be a life-saver when freeriding. Unlike man-made slopes and jumps, you never know what you’re going to run into in backcountry skiing. The stiffness on this type of snowboard boot, often coupled with extra supports for the rider’s ankles, helps to protect the delicate joints of the ankles and feet on unforgiving terrain.
Traction is King
For freeride snowboard boots, traction is one of the most important features because the soles need to have a good grip on wild terrain. Often, this may mean sacrificing some shock absorption that softer boots offer, but that is a low price to pay for the increased responsiveness and traction that you receive from freeride snowboard boots, as you will need traction the most.
Precautions of Using Freeride Snowboard Boots
There are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing a new pair of freeride snowboard boots to ensure that you get the best fit and best match possible.
Check Available Sizes
This may be a bit obvious, but it would be very disappointing to complete your research and fall in love with a particular type of freeride snowboard boots, only to find out that it doesn’t come in your size, or that your size isn’t available. One thing you can do is make a top 3 list so that if your size isn’t available in one of your favorite options, then you can choose another style.
Freeride Boots Are Pricier For a Reason
While it may be tempting to skip out on the price tags that freeride boots offer, there is a reason that freeride boots tend to be more expensive than other snowboard boot styles. Because freeride snowboard boots must be able to endure whatever the rider or the terrain offers them, these are the most durable and stiffest boot style in snowboarding. That need for higher quality to ensure safety as well as comfort deserves the higher price tag, so it is often worth waiting a little longer to save up and ensure you buy a good pair.
Our top pick for the best freeride snowboard boots review is the Burton Driver X Freestyle Snowboard Boots. These freeride snowboard boots offer an ideal balance of comfort, safety, and additional features at a reasonable price for their quality. As the stiffest boot in its line with a sturdy rubber back stay and a design that’s meant to keep the warmth in and the cold and damp out, these boots are a great option for freeride snowboarding.
No matter which pair of freeride snowboard boots ends up being the perfect fit for you, we hope you have a blast out on the backcountry and stay warm and safe!