1999 Boot and Binding Buyer’s Guide

You’re only as strong as your weakest link, or so the old saying goes. And while snowboarding is no World War II battle, the credo still applies. Just as a snowboard is your link to the snow, bindings are your link to the board, and boots your link to the bindings. Any weakness betweenlinks, or within a link, compromises your whole ride-and nothing can sabotage an epic powder day likeblisters or a broken strap.

Performance has come along way since Sorels doubled as snowboard boots, butthe combination of high technology, mega-marketing, and the proliferation of choices bewilders manyconsumers come buying time. In addition, not only have the choices between categories grown from two tothree-step-ins have joined soft boots/strap bindings and hard boots/plate bindings-but choices withincategories have also multiplied.

Ultimately, all this is good; specialization increases the likelihood of finding agood match between you and your equipment, and competition lowers prices. There are a multitude of newfeatures and improvements in today’s boots and bindings-the key is to take time to explore some options andtry out different styles. Another good measure to take once you’ve purchased your boots is to custom-fitthem using a special liner or footbed. Comfort is one of the joys of snowboarding, so no matter what yourtaste on the mountain-spinning, carving, steeps, whatever-find a setup you’re happy with so your mind’s onwhat’s in front of you, not what’s on your feet.