Snowboard mountaineers have to make a choice between two major types of boots for their backcountry expeditions– either hard boots or soft boots. “Hard boots” are the plastic-shelled, uncomfortable stiff boot of choice for the traditional ski mountaineer. But snowboarders, ever intent upon evolving existing snowsports technology, have come up with their own special brand of backcountry boot.
The Driver X is the perfect compromise between a stiff mountaineering boot (yes, it works great with crampons), and the cozy goodness of those boots you take resort riding. It’s a stiff, yet comfortable, softshell boot that rips it up in the pow and also lets you keep your footing on a steep face.
Thanks to the Vibram sole and stiff shell, these boots perform as well on the uphill as they do on the down. The preferred, and always responsive choice for most splitboarders, Burton’s stiffest boot (it’s rated to a 10 on their 1-10 scale), has remained relatively unchanged for the past four years for a reason.
Besides generally great performance, these boots are made ever more comfortable by the stock-provided heat-moldable liners. Kyle also loves Burton’s “Speed-Lacing” System because it allows him to be in and out of his boots within seconds.