I’ve been trying to find the ideal splitboard specific boot for the last few years. The ThirtyTwo MTB Jeremy Jones splitboard boots pack a lot of tech into a great product. Let’s go over some of the major details and see if these are the right boots for you and your needs.
ThirtyTwo has been making snowboard boots for 20 years, so they know what they are doing. Jeremy Jones was heavily involved with helping to create this boot, so you know it’s going to be a seriously good product. Let’s start with what some will see as the most innovative idea yet in backcountry boots – Walk Mode collar. This is a panel that opens up to allow for longer strides when touring. It utilizes a BOA system to control how far out it goes. We found it to be helpful on our testing. I had it open just a bit to allow for a nice range of motion.
The boot uses traditional laces over speed laces or BOA – so they can be replaced if they break much easier than the other systems. The laces are then covered by a flexible zippered panel of Cordura waterproof fabric to keep the laces from freezing or getting damaged. Plus they keep things nice and streamlined. The liner is a dual power hook and loop closure and comes with a few inserts to help with dialing in the right amount of heel hold – a nice bonus. They are also heat moldable. We did not mold them before using them. I wore them at home for 6 hours to break them in.
The sole is Vibram (of course!) and has a small heel welt to attach crampons. We did not test this feature out yet… The boot is very stiff, probably the stiffest boot we have used yet. It features a Progressive Flex shank that is stiffer along the toe (we had to get used to this – it is really stiff!) Speaking of toes, there are significant amounts of tuff rubber reinforcing the toe cap – great for kicking into the snow. The footbeds are Level 3 and ventilated for temperature regulation.
These boots pack a lot of punch and should be at the top of your list if you are looking at splitboard boots. These are much stiffer than the other boots we have testing this year. They flex comfortably when skinning up and are very responsive on the way down. The stiffness also helps transfer power to the boards when touring up as you have lots of stiffness from the side – not quite hard boot, but getting close! I usually keep my boot uppers loose to allow for more articulation – even with them loose the boots were very stiff. Perhaps the stiffest part of the boot was towards the toes – they did not give at all there and were hard to get our feet into the first few times. (Note – I have bad feet that don’t bend well anyway.)
After a few days of touring and several evenings of wearing them, they have broken into what we think is a supportive, stiff (yet flexible enough) and functional boot. The build quality is top-notch. The profile is reduced more than any other splitboard boot and the streamlined profile is a nice change of pace from having steps/laces/adjustments everywhere. This might just be the best splitboard boot yet.