Vans V-66

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Vans has been making footwear for 50 years, so it’s no surprise they deliver boots that meet the demands of most, if not all, riding styles. This includes satisfying riders still stoked on traditional lace-up boots. The V-66 has the classic Vans look, and the designers clearly didn’t skimp on the outer materials, which felt rugged and held up to much abuse throughout testing. The toe resembles oiled nubuck (cowhide leather), and Jamie Lynn himself did the artwork on the side panels. It’s not a bulky boot, but it feels solid, and it’s definitely not heavy, tipping the scales at just 4.45 pounds a pair (US size nine).

The outer lacing system uses traditional laces with a loop at the ankle flex point to keep the lower laces locked down while tightening the upper zone. The inner liner has a cinch cuff closure and the Reach Around strap can either be closed around the inner liner or around the outer tongue to change the flex from mid-soft to mid-stiff. This was a standout feature of the V-66, and testers claimed that all-mountain freestyle riders would appreciate the versatility this boot offers. The Response liner was a bit cramped coming out of the box and took a while to break in, but that makes us think they won’t pack out as quickly. The Ultracush midsole provided soothing impact absorption, and the four-zone tread on the outsole minimized slipping during hikes.

All told, the V-66 is a comfortable, responsive, and versatile freestyle boot that excelled in the park but also rode like a champ all over the mountain.

Price: $240.00
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Freestyle Boots



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RAD: Jamie Lynn’s artwork instantly makes the classic Vans look even cooler. BAD: Liner took time to break in.

Product Showroom




Good Wood


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RAD: Jamie Lynn’s artwork instantly makes the classic Vans look even cooler. BAD: Liner took time to break in.

Tested And Approved 2017 Presented by

Best snowboard gear of 2016-2017? We've got you covered. Going into winter, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, goggles, gloves, helmets, splitboards and powder boards, and other backcountry gear and accessories in every snowy corner of the country was a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff couldn't handle alone. So we sent the latest developments in snowboarding goods to our team of testers spread across the country. With so many unique features in the lineup and different opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there was plenty worth discussing. Some gear broke. Other pieces spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here you have it: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it's in here, it's been beat up and bent every which way – and tested, and approved.

Meet Our Testers:

Adam Broderick

As Gear Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding, Broderick spent last season directing tests around the country when he wasn't testing gear himself. He administered the Good Wood board test, powder board test, and backcountry test, while leading the glove test and coordinating the others, plus editing all Gear Guide text. He is the point of contact for all things gear-related at TWSNOW.

Mike Horn

Mike Horn's first backcountry pack had bungee cords for snowboard straps. That's a far cry from the innovative gear he tested in his Crested Butte backyard this winter. Mike's been writing about snowboarding for a decade-plus, and he tends to get crusty when reviewing gear that's not quite up to snuff.

Devin Silverthorne-Lillie

A New Hampshire transplant, Devin's Ice Coast roots provide superior edge awareness, and with Breckenridge's Park Lane in her backyard, she practically falls from bed to her board. She put freestyle bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rail jams to sidecountry booter sessions.

Billy Brown

Billy Brown covered new tech for this year's guide. The California native grew up riding the terrain parks in South Lake Tahoe, but for the past few years his career as a freelance editor has allowed him to snowboard around the world—from heliboarding in Whistler to riding post-storm powder in Valle Nevado, Chile.

Alex Showerman

A freelance writer based in Vermont, Alex took his powder hunt on the road last winter. He schlepped freeride boots, backcountry boots—and enough shells, puffies, and base layers to open a small gear store—around the globe in search of snow in locales like Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iceland.

Morgan Tilton

Reared in the San Juans of Southwest Colorado, as soon as Morgan could walk her dad strapped her in, and Telluride Ski Resort became her babysitter. Over the past 13 years, snowboarding has taken her through Wolf Creek's whimsical powder days, USASA Slopestyle Nationals, and the cliff-riddled backcountry of Colorado and Wyoming.

Heather Hendricks

From the jagged peaks of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies to the overt opulence of Aspen, the steeps of Alaska, and the striking faces of the La Sals, our contributing editor spent the season traveling to summits near and far. Heather toted along a bin full of boots and tested them all along the way.

Chris Brunstetter

From loitering shop kid to 22-year industry insider, Chris has spent most of his life in the snow and skate industries in Utah, even experiencing firsthand the rise and fall (and second rise and fall) of Forum. He tested freestyle boots and bindings in the man-made and natural parks at Brighton, Snowbird, and Jackson Hole.