Platinum Picks: The best boots of 2012

Editor’s Note: The 2013 Snowboard Platinum Picks are here. Check ‘em out now! Boots and Bindings coming soon…


*After you've glanced at the 2011/12 Platinum Picks below, be sure to check out a sneak peek at tons of 2012-13 gear, as displayed at the 2012 SIA Snow Show in Denver.

First, you wake up. Second, you look outside to see if it’s blue or grey, if it’s snowing or if it’s windy. Next, you peer over at your boots. This is the part of the morning where you either get that first spastic jolt of excitement or wish upon high heaven that today will be the day your feet finally fall off, so the misery of that malicious boot trauma will come to an end.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you are likely trapped in a vicious cycle of self-mutilation and unnecessary torture. Because we care about you and want you to love snowboarding, not despise it, we have chosen six options for self-empowerment, healing and enlightenment. Forget the riding, these are six boots that might just change your life. OK maybe we’re being melodramatic, but even if they keep your feet from rotting off, we’ll feel like we’ve done our job. These are the Platinum Picks.

Check out our other 2012 Platinum Picks: Snowboards | Bindings

Nike Vapen

nike_2.jpgEver wonder if Müller achieves timeless style despite severe foot pain? Do you think E Jack likes his heels to lift as he drops critical lines in Terrace, British Columbia? Does Kass like to worry about whether he has enough support to kick the Dingo upside the head? If you think you know the answer to these questions, then you know that these three phenomenal pros enjoy the progressive support and comfort of the Vapen. A heat moldable liner and legendary internal lacing system outfitted with the magnet-like response of the outer shell make for a boot that the best riders in snowboarding bank on in the powder, pipe, and up your ass!

Burton SLX

final_burton.jpgIt’s not the Vibram outsole or the Level 3 EVA footbed that make the Burton SLX boot appealing. It’s not that its profile is about a full size smaller than most of the competition. Nor is it the Speed Zone Lacing System with Rad Pad cushioning and lace bite protection that will draw you to this boot. It’s not that the stiffer support and suction like fit lend benefits against all sort of ankle tweakage. It’s the fact that they can be worn as house slippers providing superior warmth and coziness when you get done shredding, this is the real reason we back the SLX.

Vans Andreas Boot

final_vans.jpgFor the rider that means business, still rides a camber board and whose confidence defines his snowboarding, the Andreas is the boot for you. This boot embodies the quote: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The responsiveness of the Andreas turns your feet into a brutal dictator that wills the rest of your setup into submission through simple intimidation. With a variable flex control system that leans toward the more aggressive side met with a custom forming liner and Outlast foot beds; ruthless as this boot may be, it gets results.

Salomon F4.0

final_soloman.jpgWith the exception of a hollowed-out puppy, running shoes are the most comfortable things you can put on your feet. Keeping this in mind, the boot nerds at Salomon designed the F4.0 beginning with a light and cushy sole that focuses on impact absorption. Then they engineered the 3 Power Panels to simultaneously converge on the foot with one yank of the 3D Web Lace. The result is a low profile boot that is super responsive and user-friendly. This medium flexing, sharp looking number has one more thing we should mention–it’s light.

Deluxe Spark R&D

final_deluxe.jpgFirst, you’re claiming there is a snowboard that turns into skis. Then you’re sayin’ you make specific bindings for these “splitboards.” And now you expect us to believe that you’re making boots that compliment this hybrid mutation? Skeptics behold, the Spark R&D x Deeluxe is a boot built with backcountry in mind. The Vibram outsole, long recognized for its superior grip, is enhanced with and engraved shank and a toe bumper for added protection when scaling icy shale fields in between skinning and shredding. Matched with an asymmetrical flex that allows for lateral flex between the feet with beefy support outside, where you need it most, all you need now is a portable cloud seeder and total backcountry manipulation is yours!

Flow Hylite ZipFit

final_flow.jpgIf the Hylite boot could give Facebook updates, like everyone else, they would try as hard as possible to let you know how rad they are. Updates like, “Just got Zip-Fit Lacing closure system!” or “Oh yeah, my new OC Kush pressure reducing inner harness and Z-Pattern tightening system are unlike anything in the industry… Gonna try it out today in the pow,” would fill your News feed. Other updates might include; “Can’t believe no one else has these self molding foot beds,” and “Oh, I  almost forgot to mention all the weight I lost!” But unlike most people’s self-serving cries for attention, the Hylite would actually be telling the truth.

This post brought to you by The House Boardshop.
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