The K2 Ender lives up to its name as testers’ favorite freestyle boot for 2017. It’s a lightweight, low-volume, mid-flex killer with about everything one could want in an all-around playful boot. It employs traditional lacing on its outer with a locking loop at the flex point to keep the upper and lower zones as tight or loose as desired. The park-oriented Vibram outsole and Harshmellow midsole combine forces to do equal duty, dampening impact and powering up a bootpack with trusting traction. The Pro-Foam liner has reinforced ankle support and a fleece-lined collar, which fits great out of the box and even better after heat-molding or a few days on-hill.
The best feature, however, may be the Boa Conda inner lacing system. The molded plastic piece that tightens over the foot to hold the ankle in place is the most comfortable, functional innovation to inner liners in recent memory. The ability to adjust the internal lacing from outside the boot is one of those functions that seems so simple, yet until this point hasn’t been properly executed. Pop it open on the chair to let your dogs breathe, and with a few clicks at the top, you’re locked, loaded, and ready to rock. Foot fatigue? Forget about it. Like a modern sports car with a manual transmission, the K2 Ender is a perfect blend of technology-driven performance with tried-and-true features that make it the freestyle boot to beat in 2017. It’s called the Ender for good reason: It lays the competition to rest.