It’s the time of the year when you put those shred boots on again after months of being barefoot and free. They may go on easily . . . or feel awkward and uncomfortable, which is exactly what you don’t want your customers to experience. Instead, let’s give them the best of the best. Do you want to get closer to the perfect fit and flex? Are you ready to dive into what could be the most advanced snowboard boots season of all time? Let’s glance into the crystal ball and see what’s on tap. Ladies and gents, this is next winter’s Snowboard Boots 24/25 Retail Buyer’s Guide, brought to you by Matthieu Perez.
Newcomers are always welcome in the field and when it is a legit brand that’s two-decades-old, such as Bataleon, bring it on! Rubby Kiebert, sales director is dropping: “It appears that the current snowboard market is ready for a fresh boot brand, and that’s precisely what we’re bringing to the table”. He adds, “We will have sufficient boots for all Bataleon dealers to participate in our upcoming boot launch season. This initiative reflects the culmination of our efforts over the past few years. We have actively pivoted our strategies to accommodate this venture, emphasizing effective coordination between manufacturing, sourcing, and logistics”. Adventure ahead!
Burton reports that it’s continuing to push the envelope and heavily promote its Step On® system.
The focus at DC–whether for apparel or boots–is comfort, technical innovation, proprietary designs, and fresh collabs. As an example, look at this season’s Andy Warhol capsule collection, which includes boots and outerwear. The brand is also continuing its partnership with Burton for the Step On® system.
At Deeluxe, the snowboard boot specialist, the up-and-coming ATV Pack can be seen as its own collection-in-the-collection. This lineup of boots will consist of three different unisex highlight boots with different lacing ways and different flex rates, but they all share the same idea and color story. Flo Heim, marketing manager explains, “Our idea here was to create a pack of boots that perfectly work in any terrain. They all come in an outdoor-inspired team-highlight colorway with special logo prints on it. They all feature the Quantum sole – our next level all terrain sole and will come in a special ATV boot box. And last but not least – they all will be made with RISE by Bloom, which replaces a significant portion of the traditional EVA required for footwear foam”.
Northwave is developing a new generation of boots. This is due, in part, to the new product team the brand hired less than a year ago.Product & Marketing Manager, Davide Smania shows us the ropes: “[The snowboard] market is not increasing, but for Northwave, which started in 1991 as a snowboard boot specialist brand, there are great opportunities to gain market share. This is why we just renewed half of the boot collection”.
One area Vans is excited about is the Hybrid system (Boa and Lace). Vans will have an all new Infuse SnowSurf model for the 24/25 season. This new boot allows for the flexibility of the two lacing system design but with on-the-fly adjustment. The design team was inspired by the free flow and pure expression of Japanese riders in the mountains of Hokkaido, bringing the fun and joy that happens on a board no matter the conditions. Christopher Reed, global product director explains, “The Infuse SnowSurf was designed to expand the use cases with the successful Infuse model. The Infuse SnowSurf has an oversized PleasureCuff™ (with hook and loop strap for extra adjustment), which helps increase the boot’s range of motion. With its asymmetrical flex pattern, the boot ensures fluid edge to edge transfer and enhanced mobility. This new boot is all about having just the right amount of mobility and freedom of movement, no matter the terrain or conditions. And with The North Face Flashdry boot liner, you can stay out for one more run”.
Thirty Two announces a Volcom Collaboration on a complete line. More as the story develops.
Head is traditionally strong in boots with mid to entry-level price points. Yet in the last two years, the brand has experienced a shift towards upper price points–in all categories. Therefore, it has extended the line and developed new boots with new technologies and features serving this target group. Katharina Acham, operative marketing manager explains, “We are introducing our most sustainable snowboard boot yet–the Team BOA Hybrid Liquid Fit. With this boot, we launch a snowboard boot for riders who demand the most, and that contributes to more sustainability by using natural and recycled materials in the production”. These boots embody the brand’s full commitment to its Rethink program, through which the brand addresses sustainability in every decision it is taking and keeps working to improve year after year.
Rome’s current strategy is maintaining its existing collection while expanding its ‘Pro Collection,’ offering and reshaping key models. Matt Stillman observes, “We have seen strong growth with our boot collection since restructuring into the family layout, and for the 24/25 we are expanding those collections with key ‘Pro’ offerings to add new energy into the higher-end performance side of things”.
WHAT’S INSIDE THE BOX
In its first and brand new collection, Bataleon has incorporated premium components sourced from Vibram, Boa, and Thinsulate into the boot line. This addition is complemented by the same intelligent and aesthetically appealing design that has become synonymous with its boards and bindings. Bataleon’s creative director, Danny Kiebert, has infused his distinctive flair, familiar to all Bataleon enthusiasts. According to Rubby Kiebert, “Anticipate a vibrant, playful boot collection, inspired by sneakers, setting itself apart from the multitude of black boots currently saturating the store displays”. Hot stuff part two.
Nidecker Product Manager Julien Lefrançois claims, “We’re stoked to introduce our new KPU construction on the Rift APX. It’s a brand new shell construction that’s never been seen in the market before and brings durability, simplicity, and consistent flex. We basically replaced the 3-4 parts in the lower section of the shell with just one injected piece of material”. At the top of the boot line, Nidecker is also launching an upgraded Index, its freeride workhorse. It still features a protective Storm Cover, but for 24/25, it’s made from a super strong engineered knit which wraps the outer and shelters your feet from any snow that collects on top of the boot. It’s also paired with a feature called Custom Calf, which allows you to fine-tune the shape of the top of the boot for narrower or wider calves. Lefrançois exults, “In short, this unique platform has shot to popularity and this new iteration of Index is incredibly exciting”.
According to DC Marketing Lead Emmanuel Labadie, the brand has been hard at work refining and developing its boot collection. Liners have been updated and improved, through the use of Primaloft insulation and the development of a 360° power strap that improves 360° internal support, stiffness, and fit. DC has also incorporated heat mouldable eva foam that moulds to your foot for a personalized fit . Expect heritage designs and new packaging to further amplify things. And finally, DC will roll out some eco-conscious actions with Algae-based insoles and recycled fabrics and insulations.
In 2022, Deeluxe became the first brand to introduce a snowboard boot that was made with Rise by Bloom. Rise is a bio-based foam derived from algae harvested from compromised ecosystems. This approach leverages algae’s ability to sequester carbon while helping clean water and restore aquatic habitats. To take this to the next level, the brand will have several models that are made with Rise by bloom in the 24/25 line. Thirty Two keeps things exciting as well with new design improvements including a brand new toe-box one piece on most of the models. Entry line models got upgraded with gum outsoles and the upper range with Michelin outsoles.
K2 is using sugarcane EVA within its line to start incorporating more eco-friendly materials. Nico Steidle, snowboard marketing coordinator, explains,“The Orton, one of our strongest boots in the line, experienced a total makeover. The Rubber Lower Construction is a single formed piece of rubber that eliminates all stitching from the lower portion of the boot. This provides increased durability and extended life to the boot. A lace cover with a snow gaiter clip adds protection from snow and water”. K2 also added wide boots to both its male and female collections. These wider offerings will be available in the Maysis and the Hanford models for men and the Trance model for women.
Stillman at Rome tours, “For 24/25 our boot collection has some subtle but impressive material and tech improvements. Perhaps the most innovative is our new DuraFuse shell material”. This innovative welded TPU material is used on boots’ outer shells for advanced waterproofing and abrasion resistance. It also increases the boot’s overall structure. He continues, “We also went back to the drawing board and completely redesigned our HeelLock Harness system. The system is built into the boot’s shell for a more locked-in feel and easier removal of the liner itself for drying”.Rome will also be offering the HeelLock Pro Harness, which uses the same design but is made out of the robust DuraFuse material for additional stability and a locked-in feel. Rome will also debut its HotBox Foil next season. Found in higher-end boot models, it’s an innovative, heat-retaining foil built between the boot’s shell and midsole to keep riders’ feet warm without adding any weight or bulk.
Head keeps capitalizing on its proprietary boot fitting system, Liquid Fit. Katharina Acahm explains, “It provides the most precise and quickest customization by using a 100% flexible, paraffin-based material that can be injected in Liquid Fit-ready liners. The Liquid Fit material then automatically adjusts to the individual foot shape, focusing on the most critical areas of the foot: the ankle and the heel section. This increases precision, performance, comfort, and heel hold. Liquid Fit material can also be added and extracted from the liner multiple times, according to the individual demands.”
Nitro continues to push the Ultimate Fit concept with snowboard boots built from the inside out: softer, thermo-mouldable yet fully constructed liners are supported by various internal lacing systems all the way to the shell, providing the perfect balance of comfort and response. This multi-level construction also allows the brand to fine tune each boot model to the target rider’s response profile. Nasa tech for your feet. Nitro Founder Tommy Delago also proudly notes that “After 7 years of development and extensive testing, Nitro presents the new TLS PowerCord lacing system. It provides more precise adjustment through minimal lace set, reduced risk of accidental unlocking, as well as superior holding force”.
DEDICATION ÜBER ALLES
Every brand in the industry is doing its bit, innovating, monitoring, adapting, supporting and evolving.
Rossignol partnered with its Italian ski boot design center, which has over 50 years of experience, to develop a completely new rental boot program for 23/24. This program combines the precision fit of a ski-boot-inspired liner mixed with the comfort and style of a snowboard boot shell. “We will carry it over to 24/25 and make it shine”, claims Snowboard Category Manager Arnaud Repa.
Northwave moved the production to one big supplier, which was already working for its bike shoe division. This allowed the brand to move its production from China and avoid the related import duties. Thanks to this new development, the brand improved its cost management to keep expenses under control and find technical solutions to reduce labor costs. For example, by using new injected components instead of several layers of materials, the brand is able to better manage expenses and create a boot that is better performing and longer lasting. One stone, two birds.
According to Steidle at K2, the brand sees many opportunities on the horizon: “There are emerging markets like China, which is just starting to develop a snowboard culture. While the male market in Europe is a predatory [i.e. extremely competitive] market, the market on the female side is largely unexplored and has a lot of growing potential. At K2 we have products for all levels and genders, we just need to tell the right people about it”.
At Vans, Reed emphasizes pricepoints: “The current pricing mentality has not changed at Vans. We sit within the boot market nicely. Vans provides amazing design, details, and performance features at a competitive price, so no matter what closure system you prefer or level of riding you are at, Vans has a boot for you at a great price (without skimping on features to achieve that price)”.
For Deeluxe, it’s important to have a deep production collection. The brand is constantly striving to build the best boots in the game for every terrain and every riding level. For the Austrian company, this means investing heavily in all parts of the range and striving to develop the best solutions for every boot and rider. All in.
Talking about terrain and style, Nitro is bringing the Daily Pow Surfing Boot to the market. According to Delago, “After the success of the Nitro x Konvoi Surfer, we also felt it was time to bring our boot knowhow and fit to pow surfing. The Daily boot features a specifically designed soft compound sole for maximum board feel and a naturally flexing construction. The Re/Lace system closes the boot in seconds and is protected by a zippered gusset”.
Flux has been providing exceptional snowboard bindings since 1992 and debuted a collection of boots several years ago. Big Boss Kyosuke Ogata explains, “We changed our logo in the 23/24 season and the 24/25 season is the key year to settle into our new logo in the market. Flux will return to the origin of manufacturing and pursue the fun of snowboarding”.
Often overlooked yet essential, snowboard boots are the foundation of a good day on the snow. Luckily, brands are unleashing their strongest collections yet–and the future looks especially bright. Step in, lace up, test ‘em out, and spread the word!