After reading this I had a look at my Burton Rulers when I got home. They have a line down the back of the calf/heel that looks like its designed to try and grip the ridges in the heel cup. No idea if it actually makes any difference to riding.
Yep. That ridge down the back of the boots is called a backstay. It's a polymer or co-polymer that adds some rigidity to the boots so the don't break down as fast with boots without it. We put those ridges in the highback to interlock with the ridges of our boots for better heel hold.
It's unfortunate that other companies don't use such backstays because it does drastically pro-long the life of a boot. However, I can assure you that we didn't put them there to sabotage your non-burton boots.
Also, they've been in our highbacks for several years dating back to 2007.
I have 2012 Cartel Restricted bindings and 2012 Ruler Restricted boots and they go great together. The only issue I've had is something is tearing up the rubberized material on the left side of my right (rear) boot. From what I can tell, the only thing rubbing that spot is the ankle strap, so maybe my riding technique is a little sloppy...
BurtonBindings - appreciate the info on the reasoning of the ridges and backstay. How come no ridges on some of the newer bindings like the Malavita, Genesis, or Diode...because of the hammock back? Also, is the backstay on ALL burton boots? Thanks!