Burton enters the splitboard market with the brand new Burton Tourist boot. The Tourist is based on the Burton Ion boot – which is loved by many. The Tourist boot has many great features that contribute to making it a stand out boot for splitboarding. I will take us through these features and more below. Read on to see what separates the Burton Tourist from the other splitboard specific boots out there this year!
First, the Burton Tourist is a great fitting boot right out of the box. We were surprised by this as many splitboard boots take several (several!) days to break in. This may be due to most other boots being stiffer and having more mountaineering oriented soles. The Tourist still has a nice Vibram sole and a small heel welt to allow semi-auto crampons if you would like. These are by no means as pronounced as other more serious boots, but they can get the job done. The boots offer great comfort and pliability instead.
Second, these boots are not stiff, at all. I am used to splitboard boots being stiff for several reasons and the Tourist are getting around this by offering a responsive boot for us that does not hurt to wear. The liner (Life Liner with DryRide Heat Cycle lining) is super nice and forms right away to your feet. Below the liner and above the sole – is a layer of mylar (Sleeping Bag reflective foil). This is designed to retain heat in the foot box and keep it from seeping out through the bottom of the boots. I did notice this feature. Our feet stayed toasty all day, though we did not get any tours below 10 degrees.
Third, the most intriguing feature is the negative flex in the back of the ankle. Other brands have similar functions, but require a BOA system or straps to initiate. The Burton Tourist has a neoprene-like material that allows the back to flex enough to allow for a more natural and elongated stride. I liked this feature but did not like it as much on the way down the mountain. There is no way to keep the back of the ankle from flexing the material – through the binding highback can help keep the back of the ankle in place – this was not always the case. Sean learned to appreciate it and enjoyed the forgiving flex of the boot.
Overall these boots are the most comfortable split boarding boots we have used yet. I could wear them all day without wanting to take them off. These are great boots for anyone getting into split boarding as well. They may not be as stiff as others boots that are geared more for alpinist/mountaineer / splitboarding, but for the average user, these will be just fine.