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How Should Snowboard Boots Fit?

You want to buy a new pair of snowboard boots?

You might think you can go ahead and buy a pair in the same size as your regular shoes, but this is not the case.

This is why it helps that snowboarding boots usually have sizes in traditional shoe sizes and what’s known as mondo print size.

What’s mondo print?

This is basically the length of your foot in millimeters or centimeters, and that’s important info you’ll need to ensure you can choose snowboarding boots that fit.

With that in mind, here are important tips to follow that will help you get snowboard boots that fit you perfectly so that you won’t experience pain or discomfort when you wear them.

We’ll start by looking at how snowboard boots should actually feel when you wear them.

How Should Snowboard Boots Fit?

how snowboard boots should fit

When trying on regular shoes, you might feel satisfied when the size gives you a bit of space between your feet and the shoe material.

When trying on snowboard boots, you should rather feel satisfied when they feel snug. They should be snug all over, not just in one place, so make sure that you feel they’re snug against your heel, at the instep, and at the toes.

Your toes, by the way, should touch the ends of the boots a little. If they feel roomy when you try them on, that’s a bad thing. The boots are going to stretch a little so you want them as snug as possible when you buy them.

Bruh, You Have To Measure Your Feet At Home

feet measure

Ready to get the right snowboard boots to fit your feet?

You’ll need to measure your feet. Start by putting your heel flat against a wall so you can measure along the floor, all the way from the wall to your longest toe.

You could make this a bit easier by placing your foot on a piece of paper and drawing a mark just where your longest toe ends (note: it might not be your big toe!).

Then you have to measure between the mark and the edge of the paper. Just bear in mind that you should still do this with your heel against a wall and the paper flat against the wall.

Why You Need To Try On Boots Before Buying Them

While you might successfully purchase regular boots and other shoes online without a problem, it’s risky to buy snowboarding boots if you haven’t tried on a few pairs and are 100-percent sure that they fit you well.

There are some things you also need to look out for when trying snowboarding boots to ensure that you don’t have a splurge regret on your hands.

Check The Boots For Pressure Points

boots check

You want to make sure that you don’t have any areas where you feel pressure, like if your toes are crushed into the front of the boot.

Remember, the boots should feel comfortable all over your feet, like around the tops and ankles.

Press the spot on the boot above your toes – there should be a bit of room there. While snug, the boots shouldn’t cause you to feel like your toes are bunched up. You should still be able to wiggle them around.

You might have to try on a few pairs before you feel that you’ve found the most comfortable one.

Check For Heel Lift

Another important thing to look for is heel lift. Stand with your boots on and get into a snowboarding position.

Bend your knees a bit as you would when riding and lean up onto your toes as you do when making a toe side turn. If you do this and you feel your heels lift up a lot inside the boot, the boots are not fitting you correctly.

A little heel lift is okay, but avoid boots that have too much – anything more than one centimeter is too much, FYI.

Don’t Forget About Your Ankles And Calves

Snowboard boots go all the way up past your ankle, so you have to ensure that you choose a pair of boots that will accommodate your lower leg.

If your lower leg is wide, opt for wide-calf snowboard boots as these offer a comfortable fit on the leg without losing the snug fit on your feet.

Try Them On With Snowboard Socks

Try Them On With Snowboard Socks

To get a good idea of whether or not the boots will fit you comfortably when you’re out there carving, you should try them on with your snowboard socks as this will give you a proper indication of how they’ll fit in snowboarding situations and not just when you’re trying on gear in a store.

Walk Around In Them

Don’t just try on your snowboard boots for a second and decide if you like them or not. Walk around for at least 10 minutes in them to be sure that they are comfortable.

If your feet feel sore or experience tingling, those are red flags that you’re wearing the wrong size. A bit of pinching is okay, but it must pass after a few minutes.

When it comes to tingling and numbness, it’s important to know that the foot has two main arteries. One is found along the top of the foot by the tendons which connect to the toes.

If there’s pressure at this spot or over the foot instep, blood flow will be constricted. The other artery is behind the ankle bone, located on the outside of the foot. If you get cramps underneath your foot when wearing boots, that’s a sign of blood circulation being restricted.

What About Boot Flex?

Your boots will have to be appropriate for the type of riding style you have, and you can generally find boots that are stiff as well as those that have a softer flex.

A stiff snowboarding boot is great for freeriding in the backcountry or all-mountain riding because it’s responsive and gives you a lot of support you need.

On the other hand, a softer flex boot is a good choice for freestyle riding, but you could also make use of it if you’re an all-mountain rider because it’s quite versatile. The soft flex enables greater maneuverability.

Can Footbeds Help You If Your Boots Are Too Big?


Footbeds are otherwise known as insoles. They can be used to make your feet feel more comfortable inside snowboard boots because of how they support the foot’s natural shape.

However, it’s important to know that if your boot feels a bit too large for your feet, footbeds aren’t going to help you much. They can only make you feel a bit more comfortable.

In addition, to choose a footbed that accommodates your foot shape as well as boot, you have to visit a bootfitter.

You might be thinking, “But my boots already have footbeds!” Well, the truth is that they’re pretty standard when it comes to the support they offer.

They aren’t unique to your feet, so you won’t be getting the benefits from them, therefore you should seriously consider getting your footbeds custom made.

When Should You Buy New Snowboard Boots?

when is time for new boots

It’s time for a new pair of shiny snowboard boots when any of the following things happen to you:

  • You’re young and your feet have grown in size or changed shape since you bought your last pair.
  • Your boots have been wearing out at the back or breaking in places. This is never safe and the boots need to be replaced.
  • You have bought new boot bindings. FYI, bindings don’t come standard and they have to match their corresponding boot sizes.
  • You might find that your bindings also need to be paired with specific boots!

Related Questions

Should you break in your snowboard boots?

As with other shoes, it’s essential to wear your snowboard boots a lot to get used to them, so walk around the house in them.

The bonus of this is that you’ll get stronger muscles in your feet to improve your shredding.

Are snowboard bindings important?

Bindings have many benefits, such as allowing you to better control your board, maintain your foot comfort, and absorb vibrations, so they shouldn’t be overlooked.


Need a new pair of snowboard boots?

Make sure you get the right fit by reading our guide. While it’s easy to assume that sizing snowboard boots is the same as regular shoes, this is not the case.

You need to take some important tips, such as those we’ve featured in our article, into account so your boots won’t hold you back or make you bail.



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