I dont want this to turn into a Nike discussion, this is a 2014 gear thread.
However, Nike, with all their money and smart people, could have and should have made an amazing product. Instead they spent a mere 3 months designing the Zoom and left the rest up to the swoosh on the side. While brands like 32 and DC have large outside marketability, they have also both been in the industry for over ten years. They have tenure. That means something. 32's are good now but 3 years ago they were shit, thats clear. 7 years ago they weren't. DC sucks now but next year it seems they have put a ridiculous amount of effort into the boot line and I have high hopes. What has Nike done in 5 years? Added 2 new models and one with a new midsole. Their liners are the same as year one, so is the awkward shitty liner lacing, they do not offer a single fast lace boot, and they still don't last a hard rider more than 30 days. Holy balls lets shit bricks over the innovation.
While Adidas is currently blowing it with their boots in that none of their athletes have any yet, they have spent something like 12 times longer designing them than Nike did. If they get their act together I see success for them in the sport.
Good post...finding a reasonable critique on different boot brands on here is difficult because the stock answer to "who makes the best boots?" is usually, "whatever boot fits you the best, go try on a few"...etc. etc. While that is indeed good advice, actually finding out which boot manufacturer makes a quality product is a bit trickier. If it's possible to rank boot brands in terms of quality, I'd be interested to see that if only to use as general guidance to what to try on first.