Even though women’s gear has become more and more common in snowboarding over the years, it’s still a lot easier to find men’s snowboard boots. That’s because there are just more of them. Snowboarding was originally a sport dominated by men and that means that some of the more established brands have been churning out men’s gear a lot more than women’s gear. A lot of women can get frustrated by this and might consider buying men’s gear for any number of reasons. But there are a few things to consider before buying a men’s boot for a woman’s foot.
It can be very tempting for many girls to buy a men’s snowboard boot. For whatever reason, many companies think that girls only want pink butterflies and purple stars on their gear. If you’re looking for something a little more gender neutral, men’s gear is where you’re most likely to turn. Men’s gear also tends to have a wider range in terms of function. Almost every company offers more men’s snowboard boots than women’s; some companies even have twice as many men’s boots! Sometimes that lack of selection can make finding the right boot almost impossible for a female snowboarder.
So just get a men’s snowboard boot, right? Not so fast. Unless you have feet and legs suited to men’s boots, you might regret your decision to buy boots made for the other gender. At the anatomical level, women’s feet and legs are quite a bit different than men’s. One of the biggest problems with getting a men’s boot is that women tend to have narrower feet and may experience significant heel lift if they step into a men’s boot. That can cause not only a performance problem, but pain and discomfort. In addition, women tend to have lower calf muscles than men. The higher back on a men’s boot may dig right into the middle of the calf muscle on a woman and cause quite a lot of irritation during a full day of riding.
But the differences between the foot and the boot aren’t the only reason you should reconsider buying a boot outside your gender. The way the boots fit with the bindings is crucial. If you have women’s bindings, but a men’s snowboard boot, you may have trouble getting the boot to fit in the binding properly. This is because boots are made to fit specifically with bindings and mixing men’s and women’s gear can throw off the fit. Not only might you have poor performance, but you could be putting yourself at a safety risk if your boots don’t fit into your bindings.
The truth is that it really isn’t the end of the world if you’re a woman who wants to buy some men’s boots. But you may not get all the fun out of your experience that you would if you had a boot better designed for your foot. It’s always a good idea to buy the boot that was designed the best for you. If you’re still set on getting a men’s snowboard boot, you may want to shop around a little longer to see if you can’t find a women’s boot that you like.