Although a larger and larger percentage of people are “stepping in” to the future of snowboarding, let therebe no mistake: that future will also be full of riders enjoying the performance and comfort of soft boots andhighback strap bindings.

Soft boots and strap bindings have been in a constant state of refinement since the mid 80s, and as a result, they work pretty darn well. A full range of stiffness variations is available within the soft-boot market. Are you looking for super-flexible, low-cut boots for heavy tweaking? Trusty do-it-allfreeriding boots? Ultra-supportive, high-cut big-mountain boots? Check, check, and check-you’ll find themall in the soft-boot category.

Bindings are also dialed in. They’re strong, light, and supportive, with improved ratcheting systems, more ergonomic baseplates and highbacks, adjustable everything, and many feature dampening pads for a smoother ride. Binding baseplates and highbacks come in many different sizes-discussthese options with the sales staff to insure a good match between a binding and your riding needs. Someindustry prognosticators see the sport going entirely to step-ins within ten years, but until step-inmanufacturers figure out how to make their systems as comfortable and responsive as the soft-boot/highbackcombo, many riders will continue to strap in, even if it means bending over momentarily after getting off thelift.

Look over the many options presented here, then head down to your local retailer and start shopping. Fitand comfort take the top priority when buying boots. The most technically advanced boot in the world isuseless if your foot isn’t happy in it.