Why Do My Feet Go Numb In Snowboard Boots?
Numb feet in snowboard boots can be a result of a lack of circulation

If you plan to start snowboarding, or you’ve tried it so far, chances are you know how much gear is important. Besides all the equipment, having the right snowboard boots size is a recipe for great adventures on slopes. Unfortunately, some snowboarders have issues with their board boots. A very common question that appears among snowboarding enthusiasts is whether it’s normal for feet to go numb in snowboard boots.

Today’s topic is going to give you more detailed information on what to consider when choosing your snowboard boots. Therefore, you’ll be able to prevent numbness in your feet.

The most common cause of numb feet in snowboard boots is lack of circulation. A lack of circulation can be a result of boot pressure on the dorsal nerves in your feet. So, to avoid this, you need to choose the right snowboard boots of the right size.

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Things To Consider When Choosing Snowboard Boots

Did you know that snowboard boots are one of the most important parts of your snowboard gear? It’s okay to spend some time choosing the right board and bindings type of course, but you shouldn’t neglect boots either.

If you have a limited budget, try investing in some higher-quality boots, and spend less money on other accessories. Beware, board and bindings are pricey and you should keep that in mind when planning your budget. But, to cut the chase, take a look at some important things to have in mind when choosing your boots.

The Boot Feel

Your boots should feel kinda snug, even a little tight. But, you shouldn’t feel pain. Also, bear in mind that your boots will need some time to pack out. It will take from 4-10 days of riding for boots to pack out.

You can expect them to pack out from about 1/4 to 3/4 of the size. That mainly depends on the brand and materials used in the boot liner. When you try out your boots, make sure to walk them around for about 5-10 minutes. That way you’ll be able to feel if the boots fit you.

If you feel instant pain, that may be a bad sign.

But, a little pinching after a few minutes of wearing is acceptable. The place of pinching is also important.

If you get a tingling sensation in your toes, that means your feet are losing circulation, and the right boot size shouldn’t give you that.

Toes Position

The most common part of boot fitting that people neglect is toes touching. When you try out the boot, your toes should touch, but shouldn’t curl. If your toes don’t touch the boot end you may have a problem with your foot sliding inside the boot.

Also, another issue is that you may end up with black toenails, and they are painful, plus they can fall out.

So, make sure you can wiggle your toes around inside the boot. That way you’ll know your feet’ circulation is fine.

Note that snowboard boots’ position has forward lean, so you won’t be able to stand upright.

Heel Position

One more important thing when it comes to the right boots’ size is the position of your heel. When you place your knees forward, boots need to hold your heel. 

During your ride, if you notice that you’re standing on your toes, that means your boots are not doing their job right. 

This can make your heels rub against the inside of the boots and you may end up with painful blisters. In the worst case, you can get bone spurs from this. That’s why it is so important to have the right boots’ size, and not to get a too-big pair.

Always have in mind that boots will pack out after a few rides, they can’t get smaller, they can just get bigger. It is completely normal to feel different pressures in different parts of boots.

Boots are meant to fit tighter around ankles and Achilles tendons. So, a bit of tension in these parts is expectable and should become barely noticeable after boots pack out.

A perfect boot fit should enable you to bend the knees in an active stance, but without the heels moving out of their place.

Your toes should be able to move backward and they shouldn’t be constricted by your boot edge.

Potential Causes For Numb Feet In Snowboard Boots

In order to ease your troubles, we made a list of the three most common causes of feet numbness in snowboard boots.

Of course, always make sure if something else can be the cause of numb feet and toes. Just to know it’s nothing health-related.

Adjusting snowboard boots to ease the numbness

Boots Pressure

If you experienced numb toes in your snowboard boots, you should know two arteries go through your foot. Pressure on these spots may cause numbness because of the constricted blood flow. 

So, whether you feel stressed on your feet, talk to a professional in the snowboard boots shop. Sometimes a heat-moldable boot liner can solve the problem.

Too Big Boots Size

Remember the previous story about too big boots size? Well, here it comes again. People very often opt for a boot size that is too big. So, when they feel boots can’t hold their feet, they crank down an ankle strap. As a result, they get numb feet.

In the worst-case scenario, a person thinks the boot is too small (because of the numbness) and makes another bad decision. They buy a larger size of boots.

So, to avoid all of this, be sure to carefully choose your snowboard shoes, that way you’re going to save your money and time.

Try Out Different Snowboard Boots Brands

Another important thing for some people is different brands of boots. Not all brands will be suitable for every foot. So, if you’re struggling with one snowboard boots brand, try another one.

Sometimes, (besides opting for a different brand) you can choose a half-size larger boot, or you can do a heel lift. In the end, you should have a boot that fits you and lowers your foot.

Don’t Forget Socks

If you wonder why do we have a separate paragraph only to talk about socks, well that’s because this little gear is very important. Socks make a big difference in how your feet will feel. 

They can determine how warm or cold your feet might get. So, here are a few things to have in mind when choosing snowboarding socks.

  • Skip the cotton socks. Have in mind that your hands and feet sweat much more than your entire body. So choosing cotton is bad, as it holds the moisture and dries slowly. Therefore, your feet will probably feel cold in wet cotton socks.
  • Opt for nylon, acrylic, neoprene socks. These materials pull moisture away from the body, and they dry relatively quickly.
  • Try wool socks. Your feet would be much drier in these socks.
  • Choose thin socks. Many people believe the thicker the better when it comes to socks, but that’s not true. Thick socks won’t make you any warmer, they will just add unnecessary space inside the boot and make your foot “float”. And you don’t want that for sure.

So, if you need to layer up your feet with socks, that means you need a new pair of boots or adjust the current. Good fitting boots and proper socks will make your feet warm.

How To Make More Space Inside Snowboard Boots

If you’ve bought the right boots’ size but still have some trouble with tightness, try out some of the following methods. They can help you stretch up the boot insides.

  • Try to naturally mold boots. Your boots need to be at room temperature, or maybe warmer and you should try to flex and bend in them, just like you would do when snowboarding. Bear in mind, that except if you’re using step-ins, your snowboard bindings will support the feet, and will push them into the right spot.
  • Try heat molding. This is a very quick way to get your liner molded by your foot shape. Many snowboarders say you can wear a pair of socks longer than boot height to help with the molding process. Try not to tighten your boot too much. That way you won’t overstretch the boots’ inner space. That’s important because you can’t undo a heat mold.
  • Shave off some liner. If you need to, you can shave off the liner at the toe area in the boot. You can use a box knife cutter to do this.

How To Make Less Space Inside Snowboard Boots

If you have issues with a loose heel, you can get a heel lift or fit aid. This is a small foam gadget you can place in between the outer shell of the boot and its inner liner, above the boot heel.

You can also use this foam for your older boots that are too packed out.

Tip: Have you been wondering why your calves cramp so much in ski boots? There are many reasons behind it!

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right snowboard shoes is very important. You should make sure your boots are tight, but not too tight. Always try to wiggle your toes, that way you’ll know if toes have enough space. If you get numb feet from snowboard boots, adjust them. Note that you can also use the snowboard shoes for walking!

Snowboarding is an extreme sport, but you shouldn’t have any pain while doing it.

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