Choosing the perfect binding set-up can be an intimidating step for new snowboarders. You’re bombarded with millions of technical terms you have no clue of, while no one answers the real questions.
Do Snowboard Boots Fit All Bindings?
In short: No. Snowboard bindings must match with the corresponding boot sizes. Some bindings even require specific boots to ride. Aside from that, most combinations of snowboard boots and bindings will work together.
- What Size Bindings Do I Need for My Snowboard?
- Are Snowboard Bindings Universal?
- Do Snowboard Boots Have to Match Bindings?
- Snowboard Boots Types And Styles
- The Different Types Of Binding Straps
- Which Snowboard Size Should I Chose?
What Size Bindings Do I Need for My Snowboard?
To figure out the size of the bindings, you should pick, you need to consider both the sizes of your board and boots. If your bindings only match your feet size, they might hang off the board. If they only match your board, you might not even be able to strap your boots correctly.
Make sure your bindings fit your feet correctly when choosing the right size bindings for your boots.
Which Bindings Size for My Boots?
As mentioned above, snowboard bindings generally come in three sizes: S, M & L; which aren’t universal. To give you an idea, here are the average boot sizes across the more popular brands:
- Small–sized bindings mostly correspond to 6 to 8 boot sizes, but they can go as far as 9 for Arbor boots and as low as a size 2 for K2 boots.
- Medium-sized bindings are mainly for 8 to 10 boot sizes, but they can suit up to 11 for some brands like Burton.
- Large-sized bindings are for 10-12 boot sizes. Some brands have an XL size to fit up to size 15 boots.
All of this was to prove how different bindings sizes are depending on the brand. Always check the specific brand size chart before buying bindings.
Are Snowboard Bindings Universal?
Manufacturers design snowboard bindings to secure and match your boots perfectly. There are specific models for men, women, and kids. Men’s snowboard bindings have a wider base plate to accommodate bigger boots, while women’s bindings have a narrow baseplate and shorter straps. Unlike the incompatibility between men and women snowboard boots, kid snowboard bindings are universal and fit smaller boots with a central strap.
If you’re a man with small feet, don’t be ashamed to look in the women’s binding section, they could actually have better fits, especially if you ride a thin board.
Kids and pre-teens with large feet might already want to pick men or women bindings – as long as it fits their board length.
Do Snowboard Boots Have to Match Bindings?
It all depends on what model of boots and bindings you’ve selected. Some match different bindings while some bindings require specific boots to go with.
Snowboard boots come with different flexibility depending on the style of snowboarding you want to specialize in.
It all depends on what model of boots and bindings you’ve selected. Some match different bindings while some bindings require specific boots to go with. Snowboard boots come with different flexibility depending on the style of snowboarding you want to specialize in.
Generally, bindings come off with three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large – each corresponding to a range of shoe sizes. However, be aware that these sizes aren’t universal across brands. That’s why you should always check out a size guide to see which size corresponds to your boots.
Besides the size, you need to make sure your boots match the bindings straps you’ve chosen.
Snowboard Boots Types And Styles
Strap-in and rear-entry bindings will fit most boots with the correct adjustment. Burton Step-On bindings will only fit the Burton boots that come with or some rare other models that bought the patent from Burton. Only DC boots come to my mind at the moment, but this technology of bindings should gain in popularity in the years to come. The different boots brand surely will release step-on model eventually.
Freestyle Snowboard Boots
If you like to spend most of your time at the snow park, grinding ledges, sliding rails, and sending jumps, you’re definitely a freestyle snowboarder.
The most fitting boots for freestyle snowboarding have high flexibility. Being soft, they bend easily, giving you more control and maneuverability over your board. However, this softness comes with disadvantages. They offer less support and responsiveness than stiffer boots, making your legs work a lot more in steep terrain or powder.
All Mountain Snowboard Boots
If you like doing a bit of everything or don’t know which type of snowboarding you want to partake, then you should absolutely choose all mountain snowboard boots.
These boots come with medium flexibility and will do the job on any terrain. This makes them the ideal boots for new snowboarders who have yet to explore all the the facets of snowboarding.
Freeride Snowboard Boots
If you’re the type of snowboarder in constant search of fresh powder and fat lines, then you should definitely get stiff freeride boots. Their hardness and low flexibility make the boots shine in challenging and steep terrain. Be aware that there’s less room for error with stiff boots. If you’re a freeride beginner, I would recommend starting off with polyvalent snowboard boots and build your way up to stiff ones.
The Different Types Of Binding Straps
Currently, you will find three different mechanisms of straps on the market and they all come with advantages and disadvantages.
The Strap-in is the standard when it comes to snowboard bindings. Simply place your boot in the footbed and wrap the ankle and toe strap around it. Convenient and responsive, they come at the cheapest price of the bunch. Be aware that they’re the least resistant and can become loose while riding loads of puff. Ice tends to get stuck on the dent of the straps quite easily on freezing days.
Rear-entry bindings come as the reinforced version of the strap-ins. With its two straps joint together and its solidified high back, these bindings bring more security and less discomfort than the strap ins. Even if one of the straps break, you won’t risk your foot slipping out the baseplate. However, they generally come as more pricey and heavier than the strap ins.
Burton Step-On Bindings
The Step-On is the latest technology of bindings brought by Burton. With a simple click of the heel, you’re ready to go. A clit and lever mechanism placed on the heel-cup and on the toe side make your boot locked in place. Easy to remove, amazing in powder. They come with a price though, they’re expensive and require you to have the adapted boots to go with the bindings.
Which Snowboard Size Should I Chose?
Nowadays, your ideal snowboard length can be calculated via an algorithm factoring in your gender, size, weight, level, and type of snowboarding.
However, I don’t believe in an ideal length for a set size or morphology. The common rule I was told is to start out with a board roughly 20cm (7.5 inches) smaller than your height and downsize/upsize as you figure out how you like to ride.
Like in skateboarding, snowboard sizes ultimately come down to personal preferences. I’ve known snowboarders who were crushing it riding boards as tall as them.
The last thing, if you have large feet for your size, you may want to take that into consideration when picking a board. You don’t want your feet hanging out the board, imagine the struggle carving front side! Pick a slightly wider board to fit the most feet you can on the board.
Snowboard Bindings and Board Compatibility
Once you’ve selected your snowboard, you need to make sure the bindings can actually be mounted on the board. Aside from being fixed to the board, having the correct mounting system for your bindings will let you adjust your stance without limitation. There are 4 main snowboard mounting options:
- The 2 x 4 cm: which comes with 12 holes by feet, that are 2 cm apart
- The 4 x 4 cm: which comes with 6 holes by binding, that are 4 cm apart
- The 3D: which come with 8 holes in a diamond pattern, reserved for Burton Bindings
- The Channel: which comes with no hole but a straight line, ideal for Burton and disc bindings.
Most bindings with bolts will fit both 2 x 4 and 4 x 4. However, the 3D and Channel mounts are Burton designs only fitting a few bindings outside of Burtons’. Bindings with disk will fit most mount but as always, check the mounting system of your board before buying new or replacing your bindings.