Snowboard boots are the most important piece of gear in your snowboarding arsenal. Perhaps even more important than your board itself! They are your connection to the snowboard, to the snow, and to the way your board flows and reacts.
Boots also affect how movement and force is absorbed and transmitted in your body. The wrong snowboarding boots can throw everything off, and your riding won’t reach its full potential. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll have to sit out runs because of piercing foot discomfort!
So: don’t leave the mountain early because of bad boots, ladies. Read on for our roundup of the best women’s snowboard boots on the market today.
My Review Process
In nearly two decades of sliding on snow, I’ve tested my share of women’s snowboard boots and learned my lessons. Never again will I let improper boots ruin a bluebird powder day!
It’s crucial to put in the time and research when choosing proper riding footwear. What to look for in the best women’s snowboard boots? Like the board itself, it depends on the type of riding you’ll be doing.
We’ve broken down our “best of” list to accommodate all skill sets, price points, and styles to make your decision easier. I highly suggest you review our buying guide below to learn why boot-flex, foot liners and lacing systems also matter.
Salomon’s Ivy Boa SJ tops our list for best-in-show because of its versatility, comfort and uncompromising construction.
Designed to please women of every skill level and riding style, they’re a boot to grow with for the long haul. I love that they’re lightweight enough to perfect core techniques and master park tricks, yet stiff enough to keep turns reactive and downhills stable.
The double Boa lacing system and internal ankle harness guarantee your heels stay locked for utmost control and support in unpredictable terrain, too. If I had to choose one snowboard boot to progress with, I wouldn’t hesitate with Salomon’s tried-and-true Ivy.
For women looking for a balance of playfulness and control, the ThirtyTwo STW Double Boa will have you grooving on rails as much as on moguls.
Built with a boundary-pushing, all-mountain freestyle rider in mind, the STW puts a focus on comfort and cushion just as much as on movement. Keen on landing jumps in the park or cruising a natural halfpipe? The dual Boa lacing system will have you feeling stable and in control, yet with the needed flexibility to deliver a move.
The ThirtyTwo STW is recommended for women that prioritize tricks in the park, but appreciate a graceful, easy-going ride on all slopes.
Burton’s best-selling Mint Boa snowboard boots make for one of the most relaxed and reliable pieces of riding footwear for dedicated beginners.
The Boa system ensures a fast, snug and simple lace-up, wasting no time figuring out fit. The lining also keeps shredders-in-the-making satisfied with warmth, comfort and shock-absorption at the forefront.
In terms of board feel, the Burton Mint Boa hits the mark with a softer boot flex that keeps things playful as you adjust to your board’s movements. Highly recommended for novice and intermediate female riders planning to spend full days committed to progression.
Unfortunately, wider models are hard to come by in the women’s snowboard boot market. Luckily, the unisex K2 Maysis -the brand’s perennial bestseller- fills the gap.
The Maysis hits the mark with durable construction and loads of high-tech features that advancing intermediate riders will appreciate. A stiffer boot flex makes them suitable for females charging all nooks of the mountain, but with the energy transmission of a softer shoe. The cushioned heel and superior ankle hold for those dialed, sweeping turns is also a big perk.
I’d say: the K2 Maysis is one of the best-valued, higher-performing snowboard boots out there. For a wider and regular foot alike, these could be the best snowboard boots for the money.
The Vans Women’s Hi-Standard OG boots blend the iconic style of Vans’ signature sneaker with a friendly and forgiving all-mountain ride. And all without breaking the bank!
The soft flex is ideal for female riders in search of both buttery turns and range of motion when landing tricks in the park. Although supportive enough for moderate terrain, they may not respond as well with deeper and steeper lines.
For beginner and intermediate riders prioritizing comfort while keeping gear investment low, though - the Vans OG won’t disappoint.
Want to jump into the convenience of strapless binding systems? No snowboard boot balances performance and comfort better than the Burton Felix Step-On.
Whether ollieing rails or on double blacks, their medium flex makes for an easy transition exploring the entire mountain. All without the fuss of binding straps!
Just like the regular (non-Step-On) Burton Felix model, you’ll get amazing board control and edge engagement, too. Plus, heat-reflective technology and moldable liners ensure feet are warm and feel good all day, with a minimal break-in period.
Overall, a great shoe for getting off the lift and cruising down in one seamless motion. As long as you don’t mind switching to a whole new Burton binding system.
The ThirtyTwo Hight MTB Boa is the ultimate in big-mountain riding footwear for women not quite ready to switch to hard boots.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the “walk-mode” Boa backing, which maximizes stride comfort when touring or bootpacking uphill. The full-zip gaiter and rugged Vibram sole is huge for kicking steps in deep powder and on slick ascents, too.
Okay, but how do they ride?
They’re stiff enough for utmost control and stability in complex backcountry terrain, but have a customizable flex that translates to a surfy, graceful ride. They feel just as well within the confines of a resort as out-of-bounds, so a great option for those who want the best of all worlds.
For seasoned riders traveling deeper into alpine terrain, switch to splitboarding hard boots and never look back with the Phantom Slippers.
They’re inconceivably lightweight while keeping performance at the forefront. And most importantly, they’re the safest option for avalanche-prone slopes.
When touring, strides become super-efficient when gliding uphill. The rubber sole and crampon compatibility is a must for those scaling summits on foot, too.
For downhills, the Slippers don’t skimp on flex and responsiveness, with just as much playfulness as their softer counterparts. Plus, there’s no fluff to the mechanics; a two-buckle closure provides dependable heel hold for controlled carving in powder.
If you’re serious about riding steep lines in the backcountry, the Phantom Slippers are a very wise and worthwhile investment.
When To Buy New Snowboard Boots
Any seasoned rider will tell you that there’s nothing like a perfectly worn-in pair of ski boots or snowboard boots. That’s why switching styles “just because” is not recommended.
In general, riders might need to buy a new pair of snowboard boots for these two reasons:
1. Age & Performance
Your boots are old and no longer perform as they should.
This could mean stitching has weakened and there is some leakage, or the sole is completely worn out. Or maybe, your boots have lost their stiffness or no longer hold your heel in place when turning. It’s possible lace loops have torn or a BOA lace system has broken beyond repair, too.
You’re advancing as a rider, and need a certain style for a specific type of riding or terrain.
For instance, if you’re getting into racing, you’ll want stiffer snowboard boots. If you’re venturing into the backcountry, you may want to look at splitboarding boots or hard-shell alpine boots.
Women’s Snowboard Boot Buying Guide
It’s simple: Invest in your riding footwear. The right snowboard boots will elevate your riding! .
Keep these factors in mind to snag the perfect pair of snowboard boots.
Your snowboarding abilities and the type of riding you do will determine the type of boot you need. Choosing the wrong boot can prevent you from progressing. So, recognize what your goals as a rider are.
Sticking to rails and jumps in the park? Flexibility in snowboard boots should be a priority. Soft-flexing boots or freestyle boots will deliver the range of motion needed to land complex tricks.
Plan on racing or riding off-piste? You’ll want a stiffer or hard shell boots designed with responsiveness in mind. A stiff boot flex provides more control and stability when descending steeper slopes and deeper snow.
Boot flex refers to the stiffness of a snowboard boot. In general, there are two main types: a soft boot flex and a stiff boot flex.
Soft Boot Flex
- Flexibility & range of motion
- More comfortable boots
- Better for playful, “freestyle” riding
- More balanced weight distribution
- Good shock absorption for jumps
Stiff Boot Flex
- More stability
- More edge control
- Better ride at high speeds
- Better ankle support & lower risk of foot injury
- Great for carving in deeper snow
Generally, beginner riders will benefit from softer flex snowboard boots. They provide more comfort and maneuverability when learning to control your board.
Expert riders will probably be riding faster on steeper slopes. They’ll want a stiffer boot flex that provides more responsiveness and stability in complex terrain.
Liners are a crucial component of a snowboard boot. They keep your feet warm, protected, stabilized, and interacting properly with both your boots and board.
All liners are not built the same, though. They’re made from a variety of materials, come in various thicknesses, and are shaped in different ways. While some boots come with standard liners, higher-end models often prioritize fit by featuring memory foam or heat-molding liners.
If you have the means, I suggest choosing boots with removable, heat-moldable liners. Removable liners dry faster, and moldable liners ensure your feet have the best possible fit. A professional boot-fitter at a local ski/snowboard shop is your best bet for getting a custom mold tailored specifically to your feet.
Snowboard boots will usually have one of three lacing systems. Sometimes, more complex boots will incorporate two or more systems, though.
- Traditional Laces. Age-old, dependable lacing system that is easily adjusted, and easily replaced.
- Quick-Pull Laces. Faster than traditional lacing systems. Typically adjusted by pulling a single lace, and can be done while wearing gloves, too!
- BOA System Laces. Thin cables replace traditional laces, and they are adjusted by a dial (or two or three, on some boots.) Provides a precise fit with micro-adjustments, but more difficult to replace if a strand breaks.
When buying a new pair of snowboard boots, the fit should be snug. You’ll want toes touching the front of the boots, but your foot should not be smushed. Make sure you can wiggle your toes. Too tight, and circulation will be an issue.
How your heels feel in your snowboarding boots is equally important. Your heel should be “held” in place when leaning forward on your toes. This aids in board control when turning.
My best piece of advice for women in search of new riding footwear? Choose a boot to progress with for seasons to come. Our “Best Overall” boot pick, Salomon’s Ivy Boa SJ, is a solid choice for all abilites and riding styles.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.