We checked out three snowboard boots that are making waves – of powder, that is – as the 2017/18 winter season gets underway.
Vans Danimals Implant
For this season, Vans joined forces with global snow team rider Dan Liedahl, better known as “Danimals,” to deliver a customized Implant snowboard. Showcasing Danimals’ original artwork, the Vans Implant is equipped with classic snowboard boot construction, finished with a fully-loaded feature package that caters to the needs and wants of every style of rider.
This boot combines traditional lace-up technology with the Vans Hybrid Boa closure system and Custom Slide-Guide to provide adjustability around the instep area of your foot, eliminating heel lift and creating a more supportive and tunable boot. Constructed with heat-moldable Response Liners, dual-density UltraCush V2 footbeds, and the Reach Around cuff strap that allows the choice of wrapping the strap around the internal liner or exterior tongue, the Implant gives the opportunity to completely personalize the flex and fit of your boot.
“Preventing heel lift thanks to the Boa is really what makes this boot one of a kind for me,” said Danimals. “Of all the boots that Vans has to offer, the Implant is what I choose to ride every day, for every condition.”
Burton Step On
Burton spent three years developing a strapless system that didn’t compromise comfort and performance, and the gearhead community has definitely taken notice. “Over the years, I stressed upon the hardgoods crew and the R&D team that we have to make product more convenient,” said Jake Burton Carpenter. “I had very high expectations. I did not want to make a product that represented a compromise.”
Available in four boot styles – Photon and Ruler for men, Felix and Limelight for women – the system replaces binding straps with three connection points, two by the toe and one at the heel. Burton also dumped laces in favor of Boa adjustable closures, and for good measure made Step On compatible with all current mounting systems, including 4×4, 3D and The Channel.
Riders exit the binding using a quick-release lever that instantly resets once it disengages, allowing hands-free re-entry.
Note: the four models mentioned above are also available in non-Step On versions under the same names.
K2 Men’s Aspect
The Aspect is ideal for technical split board missions in the backcountry, as its rugged Vibram outsole has a traditional lug design and is crampon-compatible, but it also gets the job done at the resort. The Intuition Pro Foam 3D liner has a BOA Conda closure that keeps heels locked in when the terrain gets iffy, but you get the best of both worlds since the exterior sports traditional laces.
Internal and external J-bars lock down the heel to help prevent lift for the times when dialing turns in no-fall zones is crucial, and the 3D-formed dual density EVA footbed absorbs harsh impacts from dropping cliffs and navigating choppy terrain.
Lead photo courtesy Vans, additional photos courtesy Burton and K2, video courtesy Burton