The Art & Debate of Snowboard Boot Fitting

Snowboard boots. How are they supposed to fit? Which boots are right for you? Why do mine continually smell like the inside of tuna can left out in the baking sun? These are questions that have plagued the Snowboarding industry and consumers alike for years. Fortunately for you, we decided to get off our lazy asses and write a scientifically-backed (not really), professional (debatable), and quick (also, debatable) guide to how your snowboard boots should fit and why buying boots online is the devil.

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First let’s talk about the Fit of the Boot:

  • Yes, when you first put on a fresh, out-of-the-box snowboard boot, it will be tighter than security for the Pope’s visit in NYC. Don’t think that they don’t fit. They’re brand new and they have yet to be broken in.
  • Your toes should be grazing the top of the boot but not crunching. If you think you need the half inch rule here, get out. Having someone try to feel the top of your boot to find your toes is like trying to find water in the Sahara. It’s nearly impossible. You are the only person who knows where your toes are.
  • Your heel should be sitting nice and proper in the back of the boot; especially when you lean forward. Any heel lift is a big red flag for an improper fitting boot. Just make sure you have laced up or tightened up the boot before you go ahead and start leaning forward.
  • Socks. No, those nice Banana Republic dress socks aren’t what you are going to be wearing when you go out on the mountain. You’ll be wearing a medium weight acrylic or wool sock, possibly a compression sock that will fill out the boot more.

What kind of Snowboarder are you:

  • What kind of Snowboarder you are and how often you go will determine the kind of boots you should get. Are you a park rat? Are you an all-mountain rider, slaying groomers and hitting park on the way down? Are you new to Snowboarding? Are you an OG who still has one of the first Sims boards?
  • If you’re going to be riding 10+ times during the season, you’re going to want to invest a little more cash into your boots for the sake of durability. Considering the national average of how many times the typical US citizen goes snowboarding is like 4.5 (don’t quote us).
  • Let’s say you’re new to snowboarding or a park rat that doesn’t go all mountain, you’re going to want a boot on the softer flex side. It’s comfortable, tweakable, and quick to break in. Like a Kardashian.
  • Going all mountain, big jumps or backcountry? Something stiffer is in your future. A stiffer boot gives better response, support, and durability throughout a season. It may take longer to break in the pair of boots but they’ll last you the 10-50 times you’ll go from mind-numbingly helping your little cousin on the bunny hill to the pristine, powdered covered Wasatch Mountain Range of Utah.
  • Seasoned vet like a vintage Bordeaux? Depends if you’re casually ripping or going full steam ahead on the mountain. Comfort is going to be your number one priority. Lean on the side of stiffer for better response though. Chances are, the benefits will outweigh the time it takes to break in.

Lacing or Boa? Jam or Jelly? Mimosa or Bloody Mary?

  • Life hands us decisions on a regular basis and it all depends on personal style, preference, and attitude that influence our choices.
  • Lacing? Traditional as lukewarm hot dogs and flat beer at a Bills game. You can get a customized fit with laces with a tighter upper, looser lower or tight all around. Downside of laces, if it’s below freezing out, can be rough on those soft hands of yours and you may have to re-lace during the middle of the day. However, most snowboarders prefer lacing. Who doesn’t enjoy tradition?
  • Welcome to the world of Boa and Zonal Lacing. Convenient, easy-to-use and can be done wearing gloves, mittens, and those yellow cleaning gloves your mom uses to clean the bathroom and kitchen. The fast tightening systems of Boa and Zonal Lacing gives you an all around snug fit without the ability to customize (unless its Zonal, which means forget what we just wrote). Negatives? Boa steel lacing can break in frigid weather but fortunately this issue has been researched and developed by companies like Burton, who have partnered with New England Ropes, so that any below freezing weather does not affect the Boa lacing system. Sidenote* – do not sit with your board on top of your boot because the edge can cut into both laces and the boa lacing system.
  • Boa system with lacing? Take both descriptions above and combine them. Customization with convenience.

Liners

  • Stock, Moldable and Heat Moldable.
    • Pretty straight forward. Stock is padding that will conform to your foot over a period of time.
    • Moldable liners offer better materials but an increase in price. Constructed to mold to your foot like your favorite pair of Levi’s that fit to you perfectly after that Phish concert tour you decided to follow around the country without bathing. Get a job hippie.
    • Heat Moldable. The Rolls Royce of foot liners. Comes with a complementary bottle of Rémy Martin..if only. But seriously, heat molding offers the best custom fit and there’s no doubt about that. Just be prepared to devote some of your rent money to paying for those kind of boots.

And now we come to the most debated topic within Snowboard Boots, Sizing. You might as well call CNN, get a stage, some podiums, and a moderator because this may need political backing. Do you go true-to-size? What about half-size smaller?.. “I have wide feet so I need extra big boots..”. Our professional, scientifically-proven response below will answer all your past, present, and future questions about Snowboard Boot sizing. No, shhh, we know exactly what we’re doing.

  • Traditionally, go a half size smaller. “But..but, they hurt my feet!” Yes they might but did you think Snowboard boots are going to feel and fit like slippers made of puppy ears? I hope not. Snowboard boots break in and pack out. This means that over time they will become roomier and ultimately be the perfect size you need.
  • If you decide, god forbid, to go your actual shoe size or bigger, you will end up with a clown shoe that gives you less response and heel lift, which may or may not lead you to falling on your face. Does this sound like ‘fun’ or ‘happy’ time for you?
  • Companies manufacture a variety of boots that have different fits. It’s called capitalism and it’s what Adam Smith pioneered, what this country, and most of the Western world depends upon for economic growth. Don’t like it? Take you and your Commie ass to Russia , North Korea or Cuba.
    • On a serious note, boots will fit differently depending on the company that makes them so open up yourself to a variety of sizes that may fit you. You may be a 10 in a pair of ThirtyTwo’s but a 10.5 in a pair of Burton’s.
  • Also, boots have different profiles. Some are low and more park or urban oriented like the Maven from ThirtyTwo or are aggressive and meant for big mountain riding like the Burton Driver X or Salomon Synapse. You have to account for this when trying boots on and what kind of board you have as well.
  • Low profile can mean a more narrow board. Conversely, a bigger, sturdier boot may mean a wider board.
  • If you got some Shaq-sized feet, you may need to look around for a boot that will fit but don’t worry, here at Phatman, we cater to all sized people. Just be aware you’ll need a wider board.

Some ending notes you should take into consideration.

  • Boots are the most important part of your setup. If you have shit boots, you’ll have a shitty day. Easy as that. Sure price is a concern for many people but really take the time to get a great fitting and comfortable boot that you know you’ll enjoy for multiple seasons.
  • DO NOT BUY A BIGGER SIZED BOOT.
  • Boots are like cars, some may look cooler than others but it comes down to the driver of the car. Get it? Buy on size and fit, not just on colors or how great it will match with the rest of your set up. If it happens to match, wonderful, if not, so what. That’s why snowboarding pants were created so they cover the boot and keep snow out.
  • Don’t buy online. You can’t actually try a boot on over the internet. Technology isn’t quite there yet and even if you did, your credit card number will be snatched up faster than your girlfriend at the Ultra Music Festival in Ibiza. Those spaniards know how to swoon a woman…But in all seriousness, buying online hurts local businesses (aka us), doesn’t give you the customer service you deserve, and may lead to a difficult return policy.
  • Oh yeah, don’t showroom us either. We know that game.

Any questions or concerns? Contact us or call the shop at 716-837-8743.

Disagree or have a complaint? You can fill out our complaint form below.

PS – If you mention you read this article while you are shopping for boots at the shop, we’ll give you 10% off.

 

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2015 Mucho Jib Jam at KB

It’s about that time of year again, weather is getting brisk, Bills still have playoff potential, Mountains out west are opening up while we are forced to wait until December…but fortunately the annual Mucho Jib Jam is on horizon. This year, the Mucho Jib Jam will be on Saturday, Nov. 14th at Kissing Bridge (obviously), starting at noon(ish). Bust out the fake mustaches and sombreros. There will be product tosses, handmade PB&J’s, hot dogs, and all other kinds of goodies. Red Bull will be a sponsor so if you buy a Red Bull, you get a jump on the air bag.

For the mean time, here are some videos from years past to get you all hot and bothered for the jam. Who remembers when tall tees and baggier clothing the better were a thing? Classic…

If you want details on the event, call the shop at 716-837-8743.

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Vans Snowboard Boots

Alas, we have this season’s Vans Snowboard Boots in the shop. Our collection of Vans Boots include the Implant, V-66, and the Hi-Standard. We all know Vans make incredible shoes, so you shouldn’t expect anything but greatness from these boots.

 

The Hi-Standard (Men’s)

Vans Hi-Standard Snowboard Boot for Sale - Buffalo NY

Vans best-selling boot of all time and a true standard setter, the Hi-Standard has a history with snowboarding and in a good way. Over 15 years of being an easy lace-up boot with the fit and flex you need to spend endless hours on the mountain. Classic style meets modern performance. Price: $179.99.

 

V-66 (Men’s)

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Winston Churchill was a straight-shooter. So is the V-66. A lace boot meant for all types of terrain and riders. Jam packed with features that make a boot that can take a beating from the park to the groomers to the beer-filled après party. Premium materials mixed with a comfortable fit that prevents against heel lifts. Price: $229.99

 

Implant (Men’s)

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Fully loaded and ready for action. The Implant boot offers a hybrid lacing system with both laces and the functional and convenient Boa system. Giving your feet the ultimate treatment in boot fit and security. The Vans Implant boot gives you a lean, mean construction with a gift box of technology that may define the entire Vans boot collection. Price: $239.99

 

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New Politic Decks & The Top 5 Moustaches in Skateboarding

We would to let you all know that we are now carrying Politic decks. These bad mamas are proudly crafted right here in the USA and are waiting to be skated. Sizes range from 7.75 – 8.5. Something for everybody.

 

Politic Skateboards in Buffalo NY

 

Also since today and the rest of this weekend is supposed to shitty and rainy, we figured we would get creative and make a list of the best moustaches in skateboarding right now. This isn’t a cumulative historic list but a who’s got ’em right now list. We’ll start from #5 and make our way to #1.

5. Ernie Torres – Almost a dirt lip but enough there to not be considered pedophile-esque. Reppin’ the John Waters pencil-thin moustache hard. A bold and difficult moustache to pull off but Ernie does it well. Savor the flavor son.

 

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4.  Leo Romero – You could land a plane on the gap between these caterpillars. Is it natural or from the friction from all the ladies he’s been getting at the Travesura shows? We’ll leave that up to imagination but Mr. Romero walks the line between creepy and dignified mustache well, very well. Viva el bigote!

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3. Dolan Stearns –  The dude rocks overalls, has some of the best bonelesses in the game, and offers a style that is unmatched.  Including a decent ‘stache that would give your local cop a run for his money. Keep it up Dolan and you’ll be looking like Salvador Dali in no time. Dolan’s even got the artwork to match. 

 

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2. Billy Marks – Billy Marks or Burt Reynolds? This thing’s got character, power, and the ability to make married women single. On top of that, Billy Marks has thrown down some heavy tricks on some man-sized shit. His parts in Toy Machine’s “Good and Evil” and Fallen’s “Ride the Sky” are prime examples. The dude also looks like Luke Wilson.

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1. Richie Jackson – You know that quote “Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty?” Pretty sure Richie Jackson lives and dies by it. One of the most creative guys in skateboarding both in style, fashion, and overall skating, no rock or bush is considered out of bounds for him. Also, if you haven’t noticed, his moustache is something short of a work of art. That’s why Richie is coveting the number one spot. And maybe those vests. And the skating. Watch the vid below.

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Adidas Shoes and New Decks

Finally seeing some nice weather so there’s no excuse to say you can’t skate. Oh and we now have Adidas shoes in. The Busenitz and the Adi-Ease. Busenitz has a little more cushioning and padding that the Adi-Ease but that’s due to the fact that the Adi-Ease is a vulc shoe. Not saying it’s a lesser shoe but it’s a simple and clean looking shoe. Also we just got a variety of new decks in. Habitat, Deathwish, Expedition One, DGK, Almost, Enjoi and a lesser known brand called The Friend Ship Skateboards. They’re a refreshing reminder of how skateboarding is meant to be fun and carefree; promo vid on the bottom of the page featuring Nick Sommer. Online shop still a work in progress, along with the revamping of the site…

Adidas Skateboarding Busenitz Shoe in Buffalo NY

Grey/White Adidas Adi-Ease in Buffalo NY

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We’re Busy

So I haven’t updated this thing is terribly long time and I half-heartedly apologize. Grad School, Work and more work kinda takes the steam out of you and the last thing you want to hear about is me bitching about it all. We’ll be revamping the site with a butt load of new pictures and products soon and hopefully, fingers crossed, creating an E-Commerce section of our website so all you super hesh ‘I order all my shit online’ folks can get our products delivered right to your door step. Stay posted and in the mean time here’s a 45-minute skate/art/avant-garde film called ‘Symirroretry’ by Andrew Lovgren. Variety is the spice of life. Stay tuned for more..

Symirroretry.com from Andrew Lovgren on Vimeo.

Get A Heart On Rail Jam

Forget about your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband this Valentine’s Day and get some action you don’t have buy dinner for at KB Grind’s Get A Heart On Rail Jam. This rail jam will be on Valentine’s Day from 6-10 PM at Kissing Bridge. KB Grind has been putting in work this season on getting a new feature constructed and fortunately for you all, it will be inaugurated at the Get A Heart On Rail Jam. For details and to ask any questions, visit the event on Facebook and join it.

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Alix Rice Memorial Walk

Three years ago in July of 2011, Alix Rice was on her way home from a night of work at Bocce’s Club Pizzeria on Hopkins Road. She was pushing home on her longboard along Heim Road when she was struck by a drunk driver. She was killed instantly. The driver of the car? Dr. James Corasanti, a well respected member of the medical community. Corasanti did not stop to see what he had hit, nor did he realize he hit something since he had been having drinks previously at a “Martini Golf” event at Transit Valley Country Club. Corasanti received a one-year jail sentence (in which he was released early from) and a misdemeanor DWI. He was acquitted of charges such as second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and a list of others like leaving the scene of an incident without making a report. 

The skateboarding community, Alix’s Family and many others along with our shop pushed forward through the pain of feeling injustice to help put together something we can always remember Alix by. A skatepark in Amherst, NY. The Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark is set to be built in Amherst near the Northtown Center. The creation of the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation has been an integral part of gaining funding, raising awareness and piecing together the puzzle in order to get the Skatepark built.

So this Sunday, July 13th, we will be remembering Alix in an honorary walk from Williamsville North High School to her Memorial Site on Heim Road. The same route she took on that fateful July night. Please feel free to bring your board to push as we walk her trail. The walk will begin at 10AM and after we will be visiting the location of the spot for the Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark. There will be Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation merchandise there for sale in which the proceedings will go towards funding for the park. Being a skater in Buffalo, or more specifically Amherst, you know that parks are few and far between, especially with Xtreme Wheels closing down for the summer. That leaves two, the GHH Skatepark and the LaSalle Skate Plaza. Let’s bring one to Amherst. Show the Buffalo and Amherst Community the amount of support our culture and community have for Alix Rice and her Memorial Skatepark. If you have questions, contact the shop.

 

Date: July 13th

Time: 10 AM

alixriceparkloc alixricemap AlixricelogoWhere: Williamsville North High School

Bring: Water, Skateboard, Longboard

 

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Schu-B-Q & Skate Jam

On April 25th, we will be throwing a Barbeque/Skate Demo/Game of SKATE & tons more with our friends over at Schussmeisters Ski Club. The BBQ will be taking place at the Basketball Courts behind the Ellicott Dorms at UB’s North Campus. They’re located off of Frontier Rd, parking will be available in the dorm parking lots. The Game of SKATE is limited to 18 contestants, so if you feel you’re up to the challenge sign up early! We will be giving prizes to 1st, 2nd & 3rd places. Sorry no 4th place prizes. The itinerary is located below.

  • Start Time: 4:30 PM
  • Game of SKATE Registration Time: 4:30 – 5:15 PM
  • Game of SKATE Start Time: 5:30 PM
  • Highest Ollie Contest: 6:30 PM
  • Longest Manny Contest: 6:45 PM
  • BBQ-ING ALL DAY

We’ll be selling Hot Dogs & Chocolate and all kinds of goodies for a $1 with all proceeds going to the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation. We’re bringing the manny pads, boxes, rails & kicker for your skating pleasure. Be sure to get in on the highest ollie contest or the longest manual contest as well. Head to our facebook event page for more information. We’ll see you homies there! Bring your girlfriends…or friends that are girls.

 

Here’s a map incase you do not know where the Basketball courts are!

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Walker Ryan’s Part & Welcome Skateboards

You should check out Walker Ryan’s Part “A Far Walk From Home”. Why? Cause there’s some pretty cool global spots in there and the man can switch flip and switch 360 flip over some gnarly stuff like a boss.

 

We’d also like to give you the inside scoop of what’s coming new to the shop. If you’ve heard of Welcome Skateboards, you’re in luck. The first thing you’ll notice about these is the deck shapes. Give a man a bandsaw and let the creativity explode. Now we won’t tell you which ones we having coming in but we can tell you that a have a good amount ordered. We suggest you go over and check out the shape guide here. The Time Traveler, Nimbus 3000 and Squidbeak are some of our favorites. The team’s skating is definitely unorthodox but there aren’t guidelines in skating so have at it. Pretty creative moves..