Snowboard Boot Sizing and Fit Guide
Snowboard boots are a critical component of your snowboard setup, so getting the right size and fit is essential to having a fun time on the slopes.
There are several ways to ensure a great fit, including sizing the boots properly, custom molding the liners and perhaps making additional adjustments based on your stance.
See our Expert Advice article, How to Choose Snowboard Boots, for more information on shopping for snowboard boots.
How to Size Snowboard Boots
A good snowboard boot fit starts with purchasing the right size boot.
Snowboard boots typically use standard U.S. sizing. Sizes are not always uniform by brand or even from one model to another.
If at all possible, have yourself professionally fit by an REI snowboard boot specialist or other qualified person. He or she will have you try on several boots to gauge what feels best to you. The fit should be snug, but not uncomfortable. Keep in mind that liners compress ("pack out") with use and will end up roomier at the end of the season than when you bought them, so if you’re deciding between two sizes, it’s best to size down. The first time you try on your boots is the tightest they will ever be.
Video: How to Size Snowboard Boots
In this short video we show you how to try on snowboard boots, including how to do a shell fit and what to look for as you examine the fit.
Tips for Trying on Snowboard Boots
Here are some things to keep in mind when trying on snowboard boots:
- Wear thin, synthetic snowboard socks. No thick hiking socks, no cotton.
- Feet tend to swell over the course of the day. Try on boots in the afternoon or evening when they are largest.
- When standing straight, your toes should brush the end of the boots, but they shouldn't be crammed or turned under.
- When flexing your knees like you’re snowboarding, your toes should just barely pull away from brushing the front of the boot. The fit should not be painful.
- When flexing your knees, your heels should stay down.
- Walk around and stand in the boots for at least 20 minutes.
How to Custom Mold Snowboard Boot Liners
Some snowboard boots come with liners than can be heat molded for a custom fit. If your snowboard boots have liners like this, you can either take them to REI or another qualified snowboard shop to be molded or you can do it at home. The service is generally free with the purchase of boots (a small fee may apply for molding boots not purchased at the store.)
If you want to mold the liners at home, here’s what you’ll need:
- 3–4 lbs. of uncooked white rice
- 2x4 piece of wood
- Two old socks you can cut up
- A pair of long thin tube socks
- A pair of thin wool or synthetic snowboard socks
Video: How to Custom Mold Snowboard Boot Liners
In this video, we show you how mold your liners at home.
Snowboard Boot Fit Modifications
If you've molded the liners and are still experiencing fit issues, it may be time to seek the help of a professional boot fitter. A professional boot fitter can examine the shape of your foot and leg and make modifications to your boot to improve the fit and performance.
Custom insoles: Custom insoles are a popular way to improve fit and support. Your options:
- For a little extra support, try cut-to-fit insoles. REI carries these.
- For a more customized fit, get custom-molded cork insoles. Each insole is heated, vacuum molded and massaged to fit your foot—a 25-minute process. Many REI stores make custom-molded insoles. Contact your local store to check.
- If you have known foot issues, choose a physician-made orthotic.
Other fit modifications that a professional boot fitter may recommend include:
- Using a heel wedge to lift the heel.
- Stretching or compressing the liners.