Choosing the right boot for you and your board is critical. Oftentimes people come into the shop looking for the cool board – checking out the graphics, matching the binding to it and making it really look cool – with a little help from the sales person, you get an awesome board that does what you need it to do and looks awesome as well. A lot of people kind of skip over the boor part as much as possible when they really shouldn’t. Your snowboard boot is the single most important item in your set up. It’s what connects you to the board and drives it. Boots make your day out the best or the worst possible situation.
That’s why when I buy a boot, I make a commitment to it for a few seasons at least. Boards and bindings can change around seasonally or even daily depending on the conditions and terrain, but I always use one boot on all of those boards. In my case, that’s the Darko from K2. Fit on the Darko is great right out of the box, but its made even better by the way it secures – both with traditional laces as well as a Boa reel on the side.
If you haven’t heard of Boa yet, consider this; Boa technology is fast becoming a standard in not only snowboard boots but many other places as well, especially where feet are concerned. Use of a Boa lace on a shoe or boot gives you even distribution of pressure across the laces and friction-free movement. Simply put, your foot is held better and in a way that eliminates hot spots from laces and arguably the best security out there. Add to that the easiest entry and exit from the boot and its no wonder Boas rule on a snowboard boot.
Many snowboarders prefer a lace boot. It’s got the flexibility needed for freestyle riding and pairs well with a Board system like the WWW and Hurrithane mentioned last week, but every rider is a little different, and every day is a little different. The k2 Darko adds a Boa reel that is connected to an ankle harness called BoaConda. The BoaConda is one of the most unique uses of a Boa system yet, in that it allows for customization of ankle hold and play. The Boa reel tightens the harness, locking your heel in place. People spend hours trying on the boot that gets their heel locked in place, the Darko can take up that last little bit easy. On the hill, this translates into a boot that you can run a little loose in the morning in the park, and lock it down for great drive and control on the big runs later on in the day.
So you need a boot that let’s you go where you want to and provides the best adjust-ability across terrain and riding style? Look to the Darko – because of the reasons above as well as Harshmellow vibration damping and an intuition liner, this is a boot that gets better through time by molding to the unique shape of your foot. On a stiffness scale, the Darko registers as a 7/10 – so it’s no slouch