Forums Boots How to try on 6 pairs of splitboard boots for $2,276.77
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #785470
    frigginjeff
    17 Posts

    So I just spent $2276.77 on six pairs of splitboard specific boots to be delivered to my house.

    Why would I do this?

    To start, I figured some general information is required so y’all can adjust your “filters” around the following information and process.

    1. I live in Rye, NH on one of the 17 miles of NH coast; so.. not exactly a hotbed of backcountry action. There’s no surf here, either. Splitting in NH and Maine and VT is pretty small still, though growing at an insane rate (scary to me) and this lack of market means there are no shops within easy diving distance (sub 60 minutes) that sell ANY of these boots.
    2. I have been snowboarding since 1986 (Burton Elite 135 at Loon Mt.) and Splitting since 2010.
    3. I have been using 2009 Burton Driver X’s since I started splitting, averaging 20 days on moderate (read: non-technical) terrain in the White Mountains of NH. They are toast.
    4. I only own one pair of boots for both on-piste and off piste riding, though that might need to change immediately, pending the outcome of this experiment
    5. 6. At 42 years old, I am not hardcore. I don’t huck anything anymore but love to go fast and love pow. I’m also getting to the weight-nerd place in my touring career.
    6. I have flat, wide, low-volume, size 11.5 feet with neuroma’s in both feet from too many years in climbing shoes and Dr. Martens. I need a wide toe box and narrow heel to have a boot work for me.
    7. I will have to make my decision without ever leaving my house (unless I buy the 32’s, in which care REI might take them back).
    8. I am the Northeast Regional Ambassador for Karakoram, so if you have questions about our binders, let me know. (sorry for the plug).

    Now that all that is done with…

    This is what I bought:

    1. 32 Jeremy Jones MTN’s (2016) $499.95
    2. Burton Tourist (2016) $497.95
    3. Burton Driver X (2016) $399.95
    4. Solomon Malmutes (2016) $349.00
    5. K2 T1 (2016) $299.95
    6. Spark Deeluxe XV (2015) $229.97

    So far, as of November 6th, The 32’s, T1’s, and Malmutes have arrived.

    Initial impressions:

    32 Jeremy Jones MTN:
    Fit true to size. Out of the box they are VERY comfortable. Insanely light with a small footprint for the amount of support they provide. Complicated but intuitively designed (gaiters, inner & outer laces, walk mode boa thingy). They have a lot of moving parts. Zippered gaiter on the outside makes me nervous in New England Crud and frigid temps. Walk mode makes me go “Huh”… as I’ve never toured with anything other than my Drivers, and my Karakoram Primes have the Ride-Stride lean adjusters that work well. My initial impression was “more shit to break,” but the more I messed around with them, the more it grew on me. Vibram sole and general flex is stiff but no plastic boot either. So far these are my faves. Typical… they’re also the most expensive. Having worn Mountaineering boots (ice climbing and winter hiking), these feel lighter but not as responsive as compared to plastic boots and a hell of a lot softer in the flex department. In short.. these things are dope.

    K2 T1:
    Fit true to size. Out of the box they are VERY comfortable. Smaller than my 2009 Driver X’s but def “snowboard boot” size… kinda clunky but without the weight…. they were VERY light. Lacing is simple and intuitive. Pretty straight forward. Not nearly as stiff as I want/like for on or off-piste riding (again… I’m not talking technical terrain requiring crampons.. just “typical” steep and deep stuff). Large footprint. Felt like an 11.5. Also, for their pricepoint, the materials look and feel solid, but don’t compare to the 32’s. (which are almost double the cost so its not fair to really compare them). I will be returning these not for quality reasons, but for stiffness reasons.

    Solomon Malmutes:
    Fit true to size lengthwise. Beam (width) was another issue.
    Left foot fit fine. Right foot was too narrow; painfully so (aforementioned neuromas were firing) at first, but got more comfortable as I wore them longer. My guess is the heat mold-able liner would take care of this. They were very solid; stiffer in every dimension than the T1 but not as stiff as the 32. Lacing took some getting used to but allows for quick access and adjust-ability (I love this in my Burton Drivers… I can adjust them without removing them from my bindings… important when you have messed up feet). They felt like an 11 rather than the 11.5 they were. Materials and engineering felt like they deserved the price-tag: felt and looked solid. I’ll be returning these for fit reasons.. not sure I want to take the risk of having them heat molded on the chance that they will be an issue. Foot pain is the mother of all session enders.

    So that’s 3 of six. The Burton Drivers should be here next, followed by the Burton Tourists and the Spark Deeluxe’s. I’m pretty interested to see how this goes.

    I’m also wondering how long my wife is going to put up with the boot orgy going on in my living room…

    Time will tell.

    If you have experience with any of these boots, or any other boot suggestions (remember, I like ’em stiff!), please let me know.

    Also.. this is my first post of this kind, so any feedback (put forth kindly and with respect) would be appreciated. Douchebags need not respond.

    Cheers!
    Frigginjeff!

    ~ Frigginjeff
    Ehhn yah tuhns, bub...

    2015 Karakoram Prime 1 binders
    2012 Jones Solution 168W
    2010 Burton Driver X
    Handlebar moustache

    #785473
    Jason4
    442 Posts

    If you have access to a precision scale (grams or ounces) it would be nice to know the measured weight of each boot. This is normal information in any review of AT gear but it’s hard information to find for snowboard boots.

    Thanks for putting in the effort to try on a bunch of stuff and sharing your thoughts.

    #785477
    snowsnowsnow
    54 Posts

    I will be interested to see what your experience with the XVs is. I picked up a pair along with the Karakoram Prime system over the summer and the fit is on the small side. Size 8 XVs and small bindings is good for the most part after extending the baseplate, but that airstrap on the toe just doesn’t like the larger footprint of the XVs.

    #785505
    permnation
    303 Posts

    2nd what Jason4 stated, weights are a nice spec to have but hard to find. @frigginjeff Thanks. You think you could push the orgy boundaries to eight and add the newest Fitwell and some 2016 Ultralights? The Btn Tourists based off the Ion look nice. Interested to see what you find out. Happy testing!

    #785596
    powslash
    382 Posts

    This is great. Science!

    #785611
    frigginjeff
    17 Posts

    Jason4… I am beginning the awkward task of looking for a digital scale. I’m not quite at the point where I’m ruling anything out on weight just yet…still looking for something that doesn’t fit like an Iron Maiden. Happy to provide the data, though!

    ~ Frigginjeff
    Ehhn yah tuhns, bub...

    2015 Karakoram Prime 1 binders
    2012 Jones Solution 168W
    2010 Burton Driver X
    Handlebar moustache

    #785612
    frigginjeff
    17 Posts

    I will be interested to see what your experience with the XVs is. I picked up a pair along with the Karakoram Prime system over the summer and the fit is on the small side. Size 8 XVs and small bindings is good for the most part after extending the baseplate, but that airstrap on the toe just doesn’t like the larger footprint of the XVs.

    IS the airstrap too small for the XV’s? I have Large Karakoram Primes and size 11.5 Burton Drivers and though the straps are definitely in the last couple “holes” of their range, they worked great for me last season. Tell me more about your issue and let me see if I can help!

    When you mentioned that the fit was on the small side, did you have them heat molded?

    Thanks for the thoughts!

    ~ Frigginjeff
    Ehhn yah tuhns, bub...

    2015 Karakoram Prime 1 binders
    2012 Jones Solution 168W
    2010 Burton Driver X
    Handlebar moustache

    #785634
    bcall8
    125 Posts

    Awesome stuff. Very interested in the burton drivers and tourists. I am currently using burton ions, my understanding is that the tourists are a version of the ions adjusted with features for splitboarding. Also it looks like the current year drivers have slimmed up and look more like the ions as well. Thanks for using the credit cards!

    #785662
    snowsnowsnow
    54 Posts

    IS the airstrap too small for the XV’s? I have Large Karakoram Primes and size 11.5 Burton Drivers and though the straps are definitely in the last couple “holes” of their range, they worked great for me last season. Tell me more about your issue and let me see if I can help!

    When you mentioned that the fit was on the small side, did you have them heat molded?

    Thanks for the thoughts!

    I suppose it will help once I get them mounted and get a tour in on them. Just been holding off in case I want to stick with my Sparks and sell off the Primes. I even looked in to getting the regular toe straps, but dropping another 60 isn’t something I’m keen on. I may be tripping about nothing though.

    #785680
    frigginjeff
    17 Posts

    First off.. how did you get that pic in here?

    I won’t say that you are tripping for nothing… we all have our own style and needs as far as fit goes. AND….

    Those fit perfectly. They felt “funny” to me too at first because I was used to years of toebox compression from my oldschool toestraps. You have lots of room (more holes in the strap) to increase pressure if needed, but you won’t need it. The fact that they are elastic provides plety of hold without the compression by distributing the force more evenly… even in -30 degrees (MT Washington, NH last year).

    PLEASE don’t judge until you have a tour on them… mount them up and do some board wheelies on a carpet… but not on that nice table… (though I would love to see that picture). You will be amazed at the board hold the Primes have… binder to board and board to board… then the strap to boot will make more sense. It’s nuts.

    If you hate the airstraps, let us know and we’ll take care of you. At the least, I will send you my personal spare pair for a comparison.

    ~ Frigginjeff
    Ehhn yah tuhns, bub...

    2015 Karakoram Prime 1 binders
    2012 Jones Solution 168W
    2010 Burton Driver X
    Handlebar moustache

    #785702
    snowsnowsnow
    54 Posts

    As far as the pic, I uploaded it to imgur.com then you just click “img” at the top of the message box and insert the url of the photo.

    That makes me feel much better. After being accustomed to standard toe straps I wasn’t sure what was normal or not.
    I’m just waiting on some extra hardware after stripping out one of the screws putting in the K-clips. Once those show up I’ll go ahead and give them a shot.

    #785787
    frigginjeff
    17 Posts

    As far as the pic, I uploaded it to imgur.com then you just click “img” at the top of the message box and insert the url of the photo.

    That makes me feel much better. After being accustomed to standard toe straps I wasn’t sure what was normal or not.
    I’m just waiting on some extra hardware after stripping out one of the screws putting in the K-clips. Once those show up I’ll go ahead and give them a shot.

    I’m glad I put your mind at ease w/ the Primes… I am obviously biased, but try ’em before you judge, I am pretty sure you will be stoked on the connection and functionality!

    ~ Frigginjeff
    Ehhn yah tuhns, bub...

    2015 Karakoram Prime 1 binders
    2012 Jones Solution 168W
    2010 Burton Driver X
    Handlebar moustache

    #786008
    bcall8
    125 Posts

    So this thread inspired me to order a couple of boots I was interested in. I got the 32 Jeremy Jones boots and the Burton tourist boots. I wrote down some observations on the 32s here http://splitboard.com/talk/topic/32-mtb-boot-with-walk-mode/page/2/#post-786007.

    The Burton tourist boots were interesting. Very comfortable. The built in walk mode flex zone was pretty noticeable and I think it will do its job. I have been using Burton ions for the last 2 seasons which the tourist was based on. The flex panel in the back made the boot feel softer overall to me. I think that these will skin very well and be a good soft snow boot. I’m concerned that they won’t be as supportive as my ions while sidehilling or boot packing. I don’t know how much support they will give. I like the fact that regular laces can be used in place of the speed zone. I haven’t changed out the lacing system yet but plan on playing with that to see if it changes the flex of the boot. I may keep these since they are so comfortable and will be great for side country, tree riding and some freestyle in the powder. I would think of these as a typical higher price point soft boot with an enhanced flex for skinning. They look pretty clean as well. I am very interested in how these compare to the driver x.

    #786028
    bcall8
    125 Posts

    So after more consideration and some sweet carpet board tours I have decided that the Burton tourist boots are a no go. Despite how super comfy they are. In the end I think that this is a watered down version of what a splitboard boot could be. The negative flex is nice but the boot is just too soft out of the gate. I don’t see them lasting very long. Too similar to my ions, but softer. I’m sure I would enjoy them in bounds and on mellow tours but the same could be said for most soft boots. I doubt I would want to throw crampons on these. Not that I have experience with that but I would imagine I would want a little more support for that type of terrain…. A quiver boot? Sure, but who does that….

    #788345
    Cascade Cruiser
    15 Posts

    Frigginjeff, any follow up on the other three boots, particularly how the Deeluxe’s stack up? Any experience w/ the Fitwells? I’m down on Cape Cod so I feel your pain x2 in regard to not being close to any shops to try on before I buy.

    #788521
    Powdoerizer
    8 Posts

    Hi, i ride Northwave Domain Boots, they are very stiff and responsive, so riding steep faces and charging hard is great with them, but skinning is not perfect. I’m limitied by it’s stiffness when skining, because there is no walk mode.
    Lacing system is great, and the liner is very comfortable. It’s a little bit lose on my calf, so wrapped a voile strap over the upper end of the boot.
    The sole could be shorter, especially the heel could be more rounded. For me with MP30 it has a little bit long footprint.

    always waiting for the next dump

    #788528
    Cascade Cruiser
    15 Posts

    Where did you pick up the Northwave’s? Online or in a shop? I’m not seeing many for sale online, and unfortunately not too many shops where I live.

    #788662
    Powdoerizer
    8 Posts

    I bought them in a shop in Vienna/Austria called Surfinsel.

    always waiting for the next dump

    #789190
    Robinhood
    24 Posts

    Great writeup!

    how do the 32 MTB and Deeluxe xv compare?

    #812064
    snwbrder
    6 Posts

    Which of them has the smallest footprint? I wear size 10 and want to be able to fit on regular width board so I try to keep my boots as small as possible. Now I use driver x which seems to be pretty compact.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.