Forums Boots Rethinking softboot options
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #828560
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    I’ve posted this three times now but it’s vanished each time, so I’m giving one more try. Hopefully other kooks will find it of some value or at least get a good laugh. BTW this not a hardboot vs softboot post.

    For the past two months I’ve been using winter hiking boots for splitting. Happy to say I’ve no intention of going back to a snowboard specific softboot.

    This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while for a number of reasons.

    Firstly I’ve been riding without bindings a lot more this season and found snowboard boots an overall bad option. And because I often approach lines via split and then hike with the snowsurf it made sense to explore options better suited to the powsurf..

    Secondly I’ve pretty much had it with softboots disallowing a full stride when touring. I’ve ranted about this before, but in short it makes no sense for softboots to lack reaward flex when bindings have a high back. The entire reason highbacks came into being was because of the boots of the day.

    At any rate, my current setup solves all of these issues and more. Currently using the Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV

    Pros
    Works great for binderless snurfing
    Allows for full stride touring
    Normal hiking/walking
    No more random foot/ankle pains
    Lighter
    Cheaper
    More stable temperature/moisture control – no more boot funk
    Don’t have to change shoes to work my trucks clutch

    Cons
    Side-hilling
    Minor high-back/calf rub on hard heelside turns – may trim highbacks
    Had to size the spark ladders down to the minimum – considering going with a smaller size (lighter) mens or womens binding

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #828567
    permnation
    303 Posts

    For your style of splitting and powsurfing, this seems like a great way to go. I have a bunch of questions but might be able to answer them myself with some experimenting around the house.

    For now, do you think with a lower hiback and a smaller binding you would be comfortable taking your setup out on a powder day of lift-served and hiking around at your local resort? I know you are mostly or only a bc rider but if you were to take lifts, would this setup work for you?

    #828586
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Functionally the system would work fine, but a smaller binding and lower high-back would be more confidence inspiring/comfortable. Apart from function, I’m not sure my body could handle more than a couple hours of packed snow runs, but powder would be no problem.

    The fit of the Columbia boots isn’t perfect, but they work for now. I’m actually amazed to have stuck with this approach. The first day out I was prepared for a shit show and all went well. The second and third times out I figured perhaps I was being stubborn and just trying to save face. After several more days of splitting only with this type of boot I’m past the experiment and feel this approach is my way forward.

    Cheers!

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #843406
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Kook update

    Last season came to an abrupt end and never got around to posting any follow up.

    Anyways, re: resort days:
    I had a couple opportunities to ride the hiking boots on a lot of sketchy hard snow and it was not fun!!! I attribute this about 50% to heel lift (due to binding size) and 50% lack of high-back engagement.

    After that (and not wanting to invest in a smaller binding) I gave the Van’s old school soft boot a go. These fit the medium sparks better, but they did not fit my foot/lower leg at all.

    I’m not sure if the boots were defective, but the fit was most peculiar. I normally center right around a US 10.5 shoe, US 9.5 boot. But went with a US 9 in the Van’s. I was shocked that the 9 was still a bit sloppy around my foot.
    But the real deal breaker was the neck of the boot. It was huge!

    I have large calves and it was still impossible to get the boot snug without the material overlapping and uncomfortably bunched up. I’m not talking tourniquet tight, but snug enough to keep snow out. Needless to say I returned these. YMMV

    I’ll continue to use the Columbia’s for binderless fun, soft boots for groomers and give my old hardboots another go for splitting. While I still feel softboots are the funner option (for me personally) the inability of the ankle to articulate is becoming an increasing liability for this aging rider.

    Not sure what I’ll do for areas like the Uintas where the split is ideal for the longer approaches? Maybe I’ll be the kook who pioneers hardboot snurfing 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #843413
    chronicracing
    162 Posts

    Snurfer,

    Before going full kook you may want to check out the , Vans hi standard dx. They are liner less & feel like wearing a pair of hi-tops. Super flexy & great board feel. I use them for powsurf’n, porter’n, chore’n out & low angle/deeep split’n. I am stoked on these mountain slippers. They (size 12) fit my L Arcs fine, straps reduced. It’s definitely time for a different boot if the slope is firm & steep.

    Stoked to have ’em in the boot quiver a softy to consider,

    CR

    #843429
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Snurfer,

    Before going full kook you may want to check out the , Vans hi standard dx. They are liner less & feel like wearing a pair of hi-tops. Super flexy & great board feel. I use them for powsurf’n, porter’n, chore’n out & low angle/deeep split’n. I am stoked on these mountain slippers. They (size 12) fit my L Arcs fine, straps reduced. It’s definitely time for a different boot if the slope is firm & steep.

    Stoked to have ’em in the boot quiver a softy to consider,

    CR

    Hey thanks for the reply, Very cool! Sounds like you are stoked on them.

    Unfortunately that is the latest version of the boots I tried and while they fit the Arcs just fine they didn’t fit my body at all. Probably gonna look at the Deeluxe’s though my previous experience with Deeluxe hasn’t been that great either.

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #843446
    Scooby2
    613 Posts

    Hmm, are snowmobile boots flexy enough, never tried on a pair. not entirely cheap. They don’t have the agro forward lean at least.

    https://www.revzilla.com/snow/fxr-x-cross-pro-speed-boots

    https://www.cabelas.ca/product/77681/fxr-x-cross-boot-ii

    #843448
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @scooby2

    I might have to stop Cabelas and try those.

    Ha ha, the expensive ones come in Verts neon pink and neon yellow. Took me back to the mid eighties for a minute

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #843469
    Scooby2
    613 Posts

    Ha, yeah, I’m not sure motorsports ever gave up on the 80s

    #843600
    Powdoerizer
    9 Posts

    Hey Snurfer, try K2 Taro Tamai Snowsurfer boots! They work great for powsurfing and have enough flex for a comfy way up.

    Cheers from Austria,
    Powdoerizer

    always waiting for the next dump

    #843602
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @powdoerizer I have the Snow Surfers, going on third season. Like most snowboard boots they don’t flex backwards.

    From my original post
    “Secondly I’ve pretty much had it with softboots disallowing a full stride when touring. I’ve ranted about this before, but in short it makes no sense for softboots to lack reaward flex when bindings have a high back. The entire reason highbacks came into being was because of the boots of the day.”

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #844179
    Chewbacca
    100 Posts

    You guys are addressing my exact frustration!!

    It is time for the boot manufacturers to step up their game. Why is there no soft boot out there with a truly pivoting shaft read: a riveted rotation point.

    It can’t be that hard to combine the knowledge of soft boot AND mountaineering boot design into a capable soft boot.

    Anyway my 2 cents.

    #844198
    Scooby2
    613 Posts

    I think the design issue is boot mfgs try to design a boot that won’t become too soft too quickly. The sides and stiff back spine of the outer boot and liner contribute to forward lean resistance when laced up snug. You could easily cut a wedge into the back of a boot like an intuition pro tour liner has and stitch and glue some neoprene or stretchy material into the cut — so long as you are looking for buttery soft forward lean also. You could also extend cuts into the cuff from the front a bit if the back cut didn’t release enough stiffness. Shred ’em

    #844218
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    You could easily cut a wedge into the back of a boot like an intuition pro tour liner has and stitch and glue some neoprene or stretchy material into the cut

    Not a bad idea, maybe when current boots are a bit more thrashed.

    For now I’ve resigned myself to hiking books for binderless snurfing, softboots for groomers/touring and eventually a new hardboot setup for exploring and long flats.

    Took my old HB out a few weeks ago and with the fishscale v-tail and while it was glide heaven the blisters where out of control (e.g. really poor fitting boots and heavy as f’k)

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

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