Unlike some other types of downhill snow sports equipment like goggles and helmets, ski boots and snowboard boots are not interchangeable. Snowboard boots require much greater flexibility. Ski boots are generally made of rigid plastic, whereas snowboard boots are usually made from fabrics or materials like leather. Only alpine or racing snowboards with plate bindings require any kind of stiffness. Snowboard boots have two main purposes: to protect the ankles during snowboarding and still allow them to move forward and side to side as needed. While some snowboarding boots are unisex, women tend to have smaller feet on average than men, and since a proper fit is important, it’s generally better for women to opt for a pair of snowboard boots designed for their feet. Here are a few models we recommend.
What to Consider in Snowboard Boots
Here are a few things to think about before buying women’s snowboard boots:
- Lacing: There are three types of lacings for snowboard boots: traditional lacing, quick-pull lacing, and boa lacing. Traditional lace-up boots are easy to use, easy to replace if needed, and offer the best customization, though they tend to come loose more often than the other types. Quick-pull lacing is the fastest of the three types, may be tightened with gloves on, and might allow the lower and upper legs to tighten independently of each other (known as zonal lacing). Boa lacing uses a dial attached to a cable to turn and lock laces into place. This can be operated one-handed and while wearing gloves. Some boa lacings come as a double- or triple-lock, with two or three dials controlling and adjusting different parts of the boots.
- Lining: Every snowboarding boot will have some sort of liner, as this is the part of the boot that offers insulation, cushioning, and some degree of stability. Most liners will be soft and moldable. There are a couple of different types of liners to look for in your snowboard boots. Stock liners offer basic padding and stability. Most will conform to your foot’s shape over time. Moldable liners will adjust to fit your feet through body heat and tend to offer better padding and stability. Heat moldable liners offer the best custom fit and premium materials, though they’ll be pricier.
- Flex: As mentioned, most snowboard boots should be flexible to some degree. A softer flex is especially ideal for beginners and riders who prefer to snowboard in parks. Advanced snowboarders or those who use all-mountain or free-rider snowboards may prefer a stiffer model. Many snowboard boots are ranked on a 1 to 10 scale for flex, with 1 as the softest and 10 as the most rigid. Note that the actual ratings and feel can vary by manufacturer and company.
Most Comfortable: Thirty Two Shifty Snowboard Boots
This pair of women’s snowboarding boots is designed to be as comfortable as humanly possible, ideal for a sport like snowboarding where you spend all day on your feet. These are soft-flex boots, offering plenty of give without sacrificing support. The soft evolution foam outsole and comfort fit liner are soft and pillowy to the touch, as is the plush, cushy tongue. Coupled with the molded footbed, this boot will ensure all-day comfort so that you can spend as much time as you want on the slopes without worrying about aches or pain. The grip and rip heel hold keeps the boots locked firmly in place as your snowboard. The lacing is attached to a single dial at the front of the boot around the ankle that allows you to quickly and easily adjust them to better fit your feet.
Thirty Two Shifty BOA Womens Snowboard Boots Black Sz 5
A pair of snowboarding boots designed to ensure maximum comfort for a day out on the slopes.
Most Size Options: THIRTY TWO Women’s Boa Snowboard Boots
These women’s snowboarding boots are durable, soft, and protective. The comfort fit liner and evolution foam outsole are both nice and soft and will cushion your feet when you’re hitting the slopes. They also allow the interior of the boots to better mold to the shape of your feet for an even more comfortable fit. The outer layer offers an extra level of protection, while the 3D molded tongue provides both softness and support. The boa coiler lacing system lets you tighten or loosen the laces with a quick, one-handed turn of the dial. They are available in five different sizes and two colors. It is recommended to buy one size up for a better fit.
thirtytwo STW Boa Women's '18 Snowboard Boots, Black, 5
Durable, comfortable, and soft snowboarding boots that offer an extra layer of protection.
Best Lace-Up: 5th Element Women’s Lace Up Snowboard Boots
Traditional lace-up snowboarding boots are the best choice if you want as precise and customizable a fit as possible since you can adjust each lace to meet your exact preferences. These boots have traditional laces that let you fine-tune your fit at any given time so that you’ll always feel secure while riding your snowboard. Their soft-flex properties make them ideal for snowboarders of all experience levels, thanks to their easy-riding ability. As all-mountain freestyle boots, they’re suitable for groomed runs and terrain parks alike. The synthetic shell is tough and supportive, while the interior EVA liner keeps your feet cushioned and comfortable. The liner is removable for easy washing.
5th Element L-1 Womens Snowboard Boots - 8.0/White
Soft-flex all-terrain snowboarding boots that offer traditional, highly customizable lacings.
Best for Beginners: HEAD Women’s Freeride Snowboard Boots
These women’s snowboard boots were specifically designed with beginners and brand new riders in mind. Their flex index is ranked at a one, the lowest possible flex, meaning they’re incredibly soft and forgiving. This makes it easier for beginners to move and turn their feet as needed to steer and brake properly. The comfort cuff on the medial side of the boot increases its natural flex even further and makes it more comfortable. The loop of fabric atop the boots’ tongues makes it easier to slide your feet in and out. The boa lacing has a spring-loaded lace that coils involuntarily by design and can be adjusted quickly and easily with just the turn of a dial. The boots reach up to about mid-calf, and the liner can be conveniently removed for easy washing. You can also take it out of the boot for air drying after a long day on the slopes, which will allow it to dry out faster.
Head Women's Coral Boa Quick-Dry Freeride Snowboard Boots, Black/Purple, 265
Women's snowboard boots with the lowest possible soft-flex index, ideal for anyone who is just learning to snowboard.