Today’s reader question:
My friend has some snowboard boots he’s willing to sell me for cheap. Should I buy them?
Honestly, used snowboard boots are usually not worth it (unless you’re getting them for basically free). In almost all cases you’re better off saving up and buying a new pair of boots, but here are the things to consider if you do want to buy second hand snowboard boots:
1: How many days riding have the boots seen?
You don’t want to buy boots that have been overused already. The padding in old, well ridden boots has been compacted and turned to mush. In addition, the heel and ankle support in old boots is usually pretty poor.
So check the padding inside the boot and in particular, check the ankle area of second hand boots. A common symptom of old boots is they bend and fold easily at the ankle support region. You don’t want to buy boots that offer no support.
2: Have they been heat molded multiple times?
Snowboard boots with heat moldable liners can usually be molded about 3-ish times. After that, you’ll be ruining the padding inside the boot. Ideally, it’s a nice bonus to be able to heat mold second hand boots after you buy them.
Boots mold to the shape of whoever has ridden in them. It’s nice to be able to heat mold second hand boots to try to make them mold to your foot better, instead of retaining the previous owners foot shape.
3: Do they fit well?
Possibly the most important but overlooked part of buying second hand boots is many people think they can save a few dollars buying cheap second hand snowboard boots off a friend, but they never properly try them on and make sure they fit.
You want to try them on for at least 5-10 minutes. Make sure you aren’t getting any pressure points and also don’t expect them to compact as much as new boots. The foam liner inside second hand boots has already been compacted by the previous owner, so you won’t be getting that 1/2 size to 1 size increase in the boot’s fit.
Remember, boots have to be a nice snug fit, but without massive toe curling and they shouldn’t have painful pressure spots when you’re wearing them. It’s better to save a little longer and buy new boots than buy second hand boots that don’t fit properly.
That said, if they meet all the above criteria above and they fit well, you may have a decent pair of second hand boots on your hands.
Hope that helps answer your question!