Try Them on First
Just like street shoes, snowboard boots come in different widths and fit certain foot shapes better than others. While wearing your snowboard socks, try on several different pair to get an idea which boot suits your foot best. The boots should be snug, with the front of your toes just brushing the front of the boot.
Lace 'em Up
Lace the boots up tight. They should feel comfortable, with no obvious pressure points or "hot spots." Your ankle and heel should be held in place securely, with little to no "heel-lift" or fore/aft (front to back) movement.
While standing, flex forward to determine if the boots' flex is appropriate. The boot with the proper flex for you will offer some resistance, but not so much that it prevents any movement.
Next, from a seated position, raise your foot off the ground and flex your ankle as if you were pushing the gas pedal on your car. If you are unable to do this, the boot is too stiff and will severely impede your progress as a snowboarder. Look for something softer in this case.
Take a Hike
Finally, take a quick stroll around the store or rental shop to make sure the boots feel comfortable. An otherwise great day on snow can be wrecked by ill-fitting or painful boots, so take your time and make sure they fit properly!
- Don't be afraid to ask for help! The staff at snowboard shops and rental shops are often riders themselves, and as the saying goes, "The only dumb question is the one not asked."
- Make sure to wear the socks you'll be snowboarding in when trying on boots to get the most accurate fit possible.
- Try on as many pairs of boots as needed. Your snowboard boots are the most important piece of equipment you'll be using.