A friend of mine asked me this question the other day – can you wear your snowboard boots for walking? And I’m pretty sure she’s not the only one with this question in mind.
So can you?
The answer is yes and no. Allow me to explain.
Yes – strictly speaking, you can wear your snowboard boots for walking. However, this applies for walks involving a short distance, and only when necessary.
The structure and build of snowboard boots that makes them the perfect footwear option for snowboarding activities are also the same features that make them less than ideal footwear for walking, as we’ll see later on in this article.
While soft boots are generally more forgiving for walking compared to hard boots, snowboard boots do not count as appropriate footwear for walking.
In this article, I take you through the following:
- What Are Snowboard Boots
- Type Of Snowboard Boots
- 5 Reasons Your Snowboard Boots Are Not Ideal For Walking
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What Are Snowboard Boots?
Snowboard boots are one of (if not the most) the most crucial gear when it comes to snowboarding. The structure and construction of these boots ensure safe, efficient, and comfortable riding across mountains of varying terrains and conditions.
If you’ve wondered do you need snowboard boots, the answer is quite simple – yes.
So can you walk in snowboard boots? Surely if these boots are good enough to handle extreme weather conditions, they would work well for walking, right?
Well, not exactly. Short distances can be easily covered while wearing snowboard boots, but longer distances might be painful and even dangerous to be covered with your snowboard boots.
You also need to ask yourself what kind of walking you have in mind.
If it’s a matter of merely walking from the resort to the mountains where you want to snowboard, or walking from one point to another on the mountain, then that’s a yes to your question of ‘can you wear snowboard boots for walking’.
However, if you aim to maximize your investment in your snowboard boots and have them replace your usual pair of sneakers or walking shoes, I would suggest against doing that.
But hang on, let’s take a step back.
Before we delve further into can you wear snowboard boots for walking, let me first take you through the types of snowboard boots out there.
Snowboard boots are stiff in general, this is an essential design of the boots to protect your ankle and feet from unnecessary movements during snowboarding. It also allows a better distribution of power from your legs to the snowboard beneath you.
While they are not as stiff as ski boots, snowboard boots are much more rigid as compared to hiking boots and snow boots.
There are essentially two types of snowboard boots – soft boots and hard boots.
To give you a clearer picture of are snowboard boots good for walking, it would be worthwhile to take a look at both these types of snowboard boots.
- Soft Boots
Snowboard boots are commonly used by most snowboarders, and are considered pretty comfortable. These are also the most easily available type of snowboard boots.
These work very well for freestyle riding styles and allow flexibility in your motion during your ride.
When compared to hard boots, soft boots are much more comfortable to walk in. the fit is not as tight as that of hard boots, and these are also easier to slip into and out of.
Also, there is less restriction on your ankles with soft boots compared to hard boots.
- Hard Boots
Hard boots, as their name suggests, are much more rigid and uncomfortable when compared to soft boots.
These are also known as “Alpine snowboard boots”, and are preferred by snowboarders participating in competitive snowboarding as they are ideal for extreme turns and precisions and high-speed riding.
The reduced flexibility of hard boots makes them much less comfortable when walking, and can limit your movement.
Now that I’ve answered your question on can you wear snowboard boots for walking, let’s get on to the next part – should you be walking in your snowboard boots?
Just because you can walk around in your snowboard boots, especially soft boots, does not mean you should.
I’ll now take you through the five reasons your snowboard boots are not meant for walking.
5 Reasons Your Snowboard Boots Are Not Meant For Walking
Snowboard boots are generally stiff, and it is constructed this way to protect your ankle and feet during snowboarding.
Your legs would be bent at various angles during snowboarding, and the stiff outer shell of your boots is meant to prevent unnecessary movement of your feet throughout the ride.
This would result in an unpleasant and possibly even painful experience if your snowboard boots are used for walking.
Snowboard boots are generally quite heavy. This would require extra effort to lift them while walking, which in turn adds unnecessary strain to your feet, joints, and muscles.
Walking in snowboard boots can result in fatigue, and you will tend to get tired quickly if you insist on wearing them for walks.
3. Movement Limitations
As mentioned earlier, the construction of snowboard boots allows them to snugly hold your feet and ankle and limit their movement to prevent any injuries or your delicate ankle bones from rolling around during snowboarding.
This would naturally impose a strain on your lower body when you attempt to go against the restriction from the boots and attempt to walk.
Sure, walking a short distance is manageable and required as you move from one point to another, but forcing your legs to move against the tight control provided by the snowboard boots would result in limited movement which can be very uncomfortable.
4. Risk Of Injuries
There is a high risk of possible injuries stemming from forcing yourself to work while bound by the rigid structure of your snowboard boots.
The additional strain on your limbs can result in you possibly tripping and falling. Besides that, the pressure on your ankles and feet allows for a very unnatural gait that can lead to further discomfort and injuries.
5. Wear And Tear Of Boots
Snowboard boots are designed to protect you during snowboarding and also from harsh elements, so they are generally quite durable.
While they will not easily become damaged from the act of walking in them, extended use may lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your snowboard boots.
This would especially affect the inner padding of your boots as your feet will tend to flex against the restriction of the inner padding, resulting in it opening up and creating more space within the boot.
And as we know, extra space within the boot is a recipe for disaster – a snug pair of boots is extremely important to avoid unnecessary movement of your ankles and feet within the boot during riding.
Ultimately, choosing to save by using your snowboard boots for walking will lead to unnecessary expenditure when your boots become damaged and require replacement.
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Best Snowboard Boots
I know it can be a little disheartening to not be able to repurpose your snowboard boots for walking, after all, I do love a good pair of multipurpose shoes!
However, it is important to acknowledge that certain footwear serves a particular purpose, and it would be smarter and financially viable to use them for only the intended purposes.
As a bonus, I’ve rounded up a selection of not only snowboard boots for women, but also some of the best snowboard boots for everyone!
If you’re looking for any of the Nike snowboard boots for sale (weren’t they an absolute beauty?), I’m afraid there are none on the list today.
Nike stopped production of their snowboard boots in 2014, but there are some pretty good ones listed below!
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Best Snowboard Boots For Women
This pair of boots bind to your snowboard without the need for straps thanks to DC’s Step On Technology. How cool!
Perfect for beginners and doesn’t need to be broken in, what more can you ask for?
A traditional lacing system coupled with excellent feet protection, this is the perfect choice for expert snowboarders.
Be sure to check out this article for more options for the best snowboarding boots for women!
Best Snowboard Boots For Men
This pair of boots is Burton’s best-seller for a reason. The stiff boot flex and Double Boa lacing system make this a great option for advanced snowboard riders.
The perfect option for the adventure-seeker, this pair of stiff-flexed boots is great for advanced to expert snowboard riders.
Softer boot flex option that is also budget-friendly without compromising on quality – this is a must-have!
Best Snowboard Boots For Beginners
Soft boot flex combined with a Single Boa lacing system, these snowboard boots promise comfort and performance.
This medium flex boot is perfect for all-mountain riding, and the Single Boa lacing system ensures a comfortable fit – the perfect, fuss-free option for a beginner.
3. K2 Raider
Single Boa lacing system that is comfortable and can be easily used and removed, with medium-soft flex.
Best Snowboard Boots For Big Feet
Worried about your wider feet and wondering if the options above are suitable for you?
I got you covered! Here are my favorite snowboard boots for wide feet:
Speed Zone Lacing System allows easy customization of both the upper and lower parts of the boots, and it can be used without the need to break in first. A must-have!
Medium-flexed boots with BOA Lacing System, this pair of boots are specifically designed for people with wide feet.
Double BOA Lacing System with a medium flex, perfect for all types of riding.
Can You Rent Snowboard Boots?
YES, you can rent snow board boots! Because what if you’re only dipping your toes into the world of snowboarding, and you’re not too sure if it’s something that will appeal to you?
I’m sure you don’t want to fork out a significant amount on a pair of snowboarding boots, only to hang it up if you decide that snowboarding isn’t your cup of tea.
Or maybe you’re just learning how to ride and you want to try out different types of snowboarding boots before deciding on what suits you best.
What should you do then?
Simple – you rent!
It is really easy to find rental shops for snowboarding gear in the base area of the mountain you intend to snowboard on.
Renting is also a great option if you don’t plan on snowboarding frequently.
Instead of spending between $200 – $500 on a new pair of snowboard boots, you can easily rent them instead for anywhere between $20 – $50.
Don’t we all love a good cost-saving tip?
FAQs On Can You Wear Snowboard Boots For Walking
Can You Wear Snowboard Boots As Normal Boots?
It is not advisable to wear snowboard boots as normal boots as you’ll wear out your snowboard boots. The structure of snowboard boots makes it uncomfortable for you to walk in, and your snowboard boots will also be prone to damage in the long run.
Are Snowboard Boots More Comfortable Than Ski Boots?
Yes, snowboard boots are more comfortable than ski boots because the exterior of snowboard boots is made of softer, more flexible material as compared to the hard, plastic shell of ski boots. This makes wearing and walking around in snowboard boots a much more pleasant experience as compared to ski boots.
Can You Use Snowboard Boots For Hiking?
Can you use snowboard boots for hiking? I wouldn’t recommend it. Snowboard boots don’t have the necessary traction required for hiking, and the rigid structure of the boots makes it unpleasant to walk in.
Also, your snowboard boots will be subjected to unnecessary wear and tear as the soles are not meant to be used for walking extensively on rough, uneven surfaces.
And there you have it – an overview of the types of snowboard boots and why these are not the best options for walking.
Snowboard boots will be able to take you from point A to point B without tripping all over your feet, but the structure and build of these boots do not offer the most comfortable experience.
So while they will be able to do the job for short distances, you will want to avoid relying on snowboard boots for longer distances.
The discomfort and risk of injuries are just not worth sticking with these boots for walking.
We hope this answers your question on can you wear snowboard boots for walking.
Do check out our other articles below to answer all your snowboarding-related questions!