I have the voile light rail bindings on my split board, and last year I used my old soft boots. My boots are getting really warn out so I'm going to purchase some new ones. I do some snowboard mountaineering where I would need crampons. I have some BD strap crampons that barely fit my old soft boots. Do you guys have any suggestions on what boots I should go for? I was considering getting mountaineering boots but I don't want to compromise the ride down. I can spend around $300.
have a look at the 32 team 2 boots. I am just getting into splitboarding, having bought my first set up last season, but have snowboarded for over 10 years. The team 2 boots provide enough stability and control for the mountaineering side but are still soft enough to ride in an aggressive manner. When I bought these boots last season, the sales guy at a high end snowboard shop on vancouver island assured me these were a quality boot for backcountry and will hold up in the gnarliest of backcountry situations.
Burton SLX are too soft, they're great for the park but not that good for splitboarding.
Burton driver X are the stiffest Burton boots, they're also pretty compact and have a vibram sole, which means you won't destroy them walking on rocks. Beware that the 2010/2011 driver x are crap (too soft) but I guess you can still find the 2011/2012 model for $200
The Salomon Malamute are the stiffest soft boots I've ever used. The only problem is that they're not very durable if you use them for splitboarding/mountaineering. I mainly use them at the resort. Pricing is similar to the driver X
The Deeluxe Spark (and XV) are great for touring, the XV are even more mountaineering oriented (you can use leverlock crampons). They're pretty stiff laterally (great for splitboarding) and not that stiff on flex, which I find is good when you're freeriding (not that good at the resort when you're carving). I've used last year model the whole season (~50 splitboard tours) and they still look great, I guess they're pretty durable. You may still find last year model at 1/2 price. This year they're a bit more expensive than the Driver X or Malamute
Overall, if I had to choose, I'd get the Malamute if I were spending all of my time at the resort. I'd get the Driver X if I were spending half my time at the resort and half my time in the backcountry and I'd get the Spark Deeluxe if I were spending all of my time in the backcountry.
But I don't have to choose. I bought the Deeluxe XV to replace last year deeluxe, which are the most important boots for me. When I got a decent deal (1/2 price or less), I also got a pair of driver X and Malamutes (I work in a ski shop).
I've heard great things about those Fitwells, and I'm sure they are awesome. However, they are generally not available in the US. And I'm a big fan of trying on boots prior to buying them. Hopefully in coming seasons we'll see them more widely available here.
I really like my Spark XVs for what it's worth. For US riders who can't get the Fitwells, I don't think there's a better soft boot out right now for BC riding and touring. My