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Old 01-07-2012, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nike boot recommendations?

This is long, I tend to elaborate alot, though this describes where I'm coming from with this. If you can't stand to read it all, just skip to the last paragraph, thanks!

Hey all, need some advice about purchasing my first pair of boots, and I plan on going Nike. I've been boarding for 9-10 years now, but I live in SC and only get to go a few days a year (less than 5 most years). So as funds are tight, I haven't been able to justify getting my own setup, and haven't been able to progress much beyond just basic riding. I'm fairly experienced at that, but still a n00b at anything airborne, though I would classify myself as all-mountain/freeride since that's where I'd like to be if I ever had the opportunity to go more often.

Anyway, after a particularly bad experience with some beat-up, packed-out Salomons last year with 3.5 inches of heel lift, I swore I would save up and get my own boots, and a good pair at that (I don't buy "entry/beginner-level" products for most anything, as they're typically a waste of money). Anyway, I've kept up with and lusted after alot of different gear for years, and see that many people feel that Nike boots are the best. I've studied the technologies they employ, read lots of reviews, as well as threads on here, easyloungin, and elsewhere, and I've been extremely satisfied with every pair of Nike's I've owned. I can believe that they really are the best, as not many people know how to make shoes as well as Nike, and they have a ton of cash to throw behind serious R&D. I don't care that they're "big corporate", I care about getting the best fitting, best performing, longest lasting boots I can for the money, and it seems like Nike will deliver.

I don't have much money on hand for this, but am willing to spend what I need to get a good pair. Still, $200 is about my limit, and I'd love to spend a good bit less than that if possible. I have not had the opportunity to try on a pair, or take advantage of in-store deals, as there is only one store in the area that carries any snowboard gear. They're a great, locally-owned store that staffs knowledgeable employees, but they carry mostly Burton gear with just a few other additions (686, Forum, Ride). After talking with them briefly, they highly recommended that I get the Nike boots where I can. So brownie points for them for putting my experience above their sales numbers. Anyway, I have no way of trying a pair on, comparing stiffness/support/comfort of the different ones, or seeing any local sales. So I need help making a decision.

I typically wear 10.5 in street shoes, with a few 11's. I can wear 10's, though my feet are a little wide up front so I tend to prefer 10.5's and just have a bit of space in the front of my toes (3/4" or so). I'm talking Nike sizes here, and confirmed today with a few pairs of running/training shoes. I tried on some Burton Invaders in size 10, and they were quite snug all around but no pressure points, and weren't cramping my toes. I know Nike's don't tend to pack out much, and run true to size, and I've never had a pair of sz 10 Nike shoes of my own, so I first need to know which size I should get, 10 or 10.5.

Also, I'd like some advice on which boot. It's looking like I'll just get the Vapens, since they look to be more than enough in terms of features for my needs, and they're the only ones I can afford to buy the 2012 model, unless someone knows where 2012 zf1's or dk's are $200 or less. People say the Kaiju is super-comfy, and they're apparently based on it, which is good, and I admit I love the varsity red/black colorway, since its my school colors (South Carolina Gamecocks). I just worry that it may be too soft, or that something else may be better for my needs? I've seen a few places where I could get last year's ZF1's for a bit less than $200, and 2011 DK's for just a hair more, but it would be hard to track down my size by next weekend (when I'm going), and I'd rather have the extra year of warranty if there aren't any major advantages with a different boot.

Sorry that was so long, but to wrap up, $200 is my limit, and even that is a bit higher than I feel like I should pay, but I want a good product that will be comfortable and durable. I simply don't have the ability to try any Nike boot on, or even see them in person, anytime before I go, and am not even sure what size I need. I like the Vapens, but don't want to be disappointed in the flex or lack of a feature or something compared to a higher boot. And it goes without saying that the lowest price possible is a huge plus. So what would you people recommend in my situation?

Thanks again, especially if you took the time to read the whole thing!
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Didn't read through it all. You should never cheap out on the most important part of your setup. Nike are great boots and personally the only boot my narrow foot has been truly comfortable in (like pillows on my feet), but you need to try them on first because everyone is different. I tried on Vapens and settled on ZF1's. The vapens have a good bit more flex to them. I wear Nike shoes and ended up with a half size smaller than my shoe size. Remember though; everyone has different feet and wears shoes bigger/smaller. You need to find a place to try them on or risk them not fitting or feeling right.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As Tech420 mentioned, they fit great for his narrow feet. I recently tried on Nike Kaijus and they were quite uncomfortable for my wide feet.

Since it sounds like you don't have a store nearby where you can try on some Nikes prior to purchase, I would suggest that you order them from a site with a good return policy.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have Kaijus and they were comfy from day 1.

I bought them the same size that I wear nike trainers and I'd say they are the same size. But I wished I'd got a half size smaller because you will probably want them more snug that you wear trainers.

Don't be fooled when you try them in the shop either if they fit before they've been heat moulded, they don't fit. If you are trying any boot in the shop, make sure you take the liner out, your sock off and place your foot in the shell. Move your toes up to the end and see how much space you have behind your heal. If it's only a few mm they are too small, if it's more than 8-10mm they are too big. I learned this too late.

Also (the kaiju anyway) comes with a very flat insole that you will need to replace if you have anything approaching a high arch.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiserdude View Post
experience with some beat-up, packed-out Salomons last year with 3.5 inches of heel lift

I care about getting the best fitting

my feet are a little wide up front

something else may be better for my needs?
So after reading the whole thing, these statements stood out.

From what I've read here about Salomons, they're well suited to a foot shaped like yours. My foot is shaped similarily, wide up front with a narrow heel (I am assuming you have a narrow heel?). But the pair you wore were packed out so probably not the best gauge of how a new pair would fit you. Maybe you want to give them another try?

I tried a pair of Nikes last season. Even with J bars, the heel lift was too much and the toe box was way too snug. ThirtyTwo boots seem to fit a wider foot well while still having enough hold to prevent heel lift.

I tried Salomons, too, but the only pairs were BOA and that created pressure points for me.

I went with the ThirtyTwo Lashed (fasttrack) and they are the best boots I've tried or worn. So much so that I didn't have to sacrifice anything in fit or comfort.

If you can try both those brands, I think you might have a better chance with them than Nike.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well thanks so much for the quick replies everyone. I simply cannot find any places within driving distance that have them, from what I can tell there aren't any in the state. As much as I love the south, there are no boardshops around here. Anyway, I need these by thursday, so location is important. I went with Vertical Urge, since they're mentioned on Nike's site and are located in Raleigh, NC, MUCH closer to me than any of the other shops. I went ahead and ordered a pair of the Vapens in sz 10, they didn't have 10.5's, but from my own experience and what Slush Puppie said, I should be fine with a size 10. Also, I know Nike boots are the same size shell for the next half size up, so 10's and 10.5's are the same size outer boot, just with different liners. So if my optimum size is somewhere between 10 and 10.5, hopefully the liner may pack out just enough to give me a perfect, snug fit.

Anyway, I am still a little concerned that it won't fit my foot, and don't know what all I should do to determine if I should keep it or not, as I won't get it till Tuesday or Wednesday, and am leaving Thursday. But they assured me that I can return it with no problems or restocking fees. They actually offered to send a pair of 32 Prions as well since they are also quite comfortable and a good bang for the buck while having a slightly different fit, which jives with what EatRideSleep said. But I wouldn't know which size to get in those either, and don't want to order 3 pairs of boots and have to pay to ship at least 2 back. Besides, I can probably find some 32's locally.

So I'm just hoping and praying that the size 10 Vapens will do the trick, but I need to know some basic tests to make sure I don't end up committing to a pair of boots that don't fit properly. Also, I'd like to know how much Nike's tend to pack out, and if I try to heat-mold them myself with a hair-dryer, would that make the toe box a bit roomier? If they work, awesome, if not I'll just suck it up and go with rentals one last time and start looking more at 32's.

Thanks again, been a lurker here for awhile now and appreciate the help on my first post here.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dumb choice, find out the hard way.....better yet why not buy them at a shop wherever you are going?
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cruiserdude View Post
Well thanks so much for the quick replies everyone. I simply cannot find any places within driving distance that have them, from what I can tell there aren't any in the state. As much as I love the south, there are no boardshops around here. Anyway, I need these by thursday, so location is important. I went with Vertical Urge, since they're mentioned on Nike's site and are located in Raleigh, NC, MUCH closer to me than any of the other shops. I went ahead and ordered a pair of the Vapens in sz 10, they didn't have 10.5's, but from my own experience and what Slush Puppie said, I should be fine with a size 10. Also, I know Nike boots are the same size shell for the next half size up, so 10's and 10.5's are the same size outer boot, just with different liners. So if my optimum size is somewhere between 10 and 10.5, hopefully the liner may pack out just enough to give me a perfect, snug fit.

Anyway, I am still a little concerned that it won't fit my foot, and don't know what all I should do to determine if I should keep it or not, as I won't get it till Tuesday or Wednesday, and am leaving Thursday. But they assured me that I can return it with no problems or restocking fees. They actually offered to send a pair of 32 Prions as well since they are also quite comfortable and a good bang for the buck while having a slightly different fit, which jives with what EatRideSleep said. But I wouldn't know which size to get in those either, and don't want to order 3 pairs of boots and have to pay to ship at least 2 back. Besides, I can probably find some 32's locally.

So I'm just hoping and praying that the size 10 Vapens will do the trick, but I need to know some basic tests to make sure I don't end up committing to a pair of boots that don't fit properly. Also, I'd like to know how much Nike's tend to pack out, and if I try to heat-mold them myself with a hair-dryer, would that make the toe box a bit roomier? If they work, awesome, if not I'll just suck it up and go with rentals one last time and start looking more at 32's.

Thanks again, been a lurker here for awhile now and appreciate the help on my first post here.
If this helps, I'm a size 8 1/2 in a regular shoe. Both size 8 and 8 1/2 fit me in the ThirtyTwo Lashed. I went with the 8, considering heat molding and packing out.

If you can get ThirtyTwos locally, why not go that route? At least to try them and get an idea of fit and a basis for comparison?

I get that you dig Nike and have done a lot of research on Nike boot construction, plus there's the whole colorway that is the same as the Gamecocks haha, but IF the Vapen comes in and doesn't work for you, maybe you can pick up a back up pair of another brand (if you find them locally) so you'll be set for when you leave? That way you won't have to rent a pair and you'll have another option if needed.

I guess what I'm saying is try not to get hung up on the hype of Nike. Sure, it's a great boot...for those whose feet fit the design.

Good luck! I hope the Vapens end up working out for you but if they don't, having back up plans might be a good idea.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If this helps, I'm a size 8 1/2 in a regular shoe. Both size 8 and 8 1/2 fit me in the ThirtyTwo Lashed. I went with the 8, considering heat molding and packing out.

If you can get ThirtyTwos locally, why not go that route? At least to try them and get an idea of fit and a basis for comparison?

I get that you dig Nike and have done a lot of research on Nike boot construction, plus there's the whole colorway that is the same as the Gamecocks haha, but IF the Vapen comes in and doesn't work for you, maybe you can pick up a back up pair of another brand (if you find them locally) so you'll be set for when you leave? That way you won't have to rent a pair and you'll have another option if needed.

I guess what I'm saying is try not to get hung up on the hype of Nike. Sure, it's a great boot...for those whose feet fit the design.

Good luck! I hope the Vapens end up working out for you but if they don't, having back up plans might be a good idea.
Thanks for the in-depth reply. My local shop can order ThirtyTwo's, but not Nike. When I was there last week they had a pretty limited selection of ThirtyTwo, and nothing in my size (again, they carry mostly Burton). What I meant by getting them locally is I could support a local shop, and likely have the chance to try them on if I wait a few weeks. It's nothing about the hype of the Nike brand, its that everything I have read and everyone I've talked to has raved about the comfort and quality of Nike boots, and I've had great experiences with other Nike products in the past. I simply haven't put the research time into other brands of boots, though I know ThirtyTwo has been around awhile and seems to know what they're doing.

So thanks for the well-wishes, I really hope these Vapens work out. A size 10 or 10.5 Burton works great for me, and I understand they're pretty similar size-wise. I'm going this Thursday, so if the Nike's don't work I'll check again at my local shop to see if they got more ThirtyTwo's in, and of course will check a few places near where I'm going, but hate to ride in them without even wearing them for a few hours on the ride up. I've been waiting a bit for prices/availability to improve, and just found out about this trip last week, which explains the super-short notice. Hopefully I can work something out and not have to rent again, haha.

Any tips as to how they should fit out of the box, and how much they'll break in if they feel a little too snug somewhere?
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the in-depth reply. My local shop can order ThirtyTwo's, but not Nike. When I was there last week they had a pretty limited selection of ThirtyTwo, and nothing in my size (again, they carry mostly Burton). What I meant by getting them locally is I could support a local shop, and likely have the chance to try them on if I wait a few weeks. It's nothing about the hype of the Nike brand, its that everything I have read and everyone I've talked to has raved about the comfort and quality of Nike boots, and I've had great experiences with other Nike products in the past. I simply haven't put the research time into other brands of boots, though I know ThirtyTwo has been around awhile and seems to know what they're doing.

So thanks for the well-wishes, I really hope these Vapens work out. A size 10 or 10.5 Burton works great for me, and I understand they're pretty similar size-wise. I'm going this Thursday, so if the Nike's don't work I'll check again at my local shop to see if they got more ThirtyTwo's in, and of course will check a few places near where I'm going, but hate to ride in them without even wearing them for a few hours on the ride up. I've been waiting a bit for prices/availability to improve, and just found out about this trip last week, which explains the super-short notice. Hopefully I can work something out and not have to rent again, haha.

Any tips as to how they should fit out of the box, and how much they'll break in if they feel a little too snug somewhere?
Sure! Oh okay I thought the ThirtyTwos were more readily available to you locally.

Don't get me wrong - the Nike hype is justified. I would have picked up a pair if they fit me, even though I wasn't thrilled with the available colorway. (Side note I have a Nike shell pant that I really like.)

As for how they should fit out of the box...for me it's just been "knowing" right away - but that's after having tried a lot of different boots. You can search around here for better explanations than I can provide of how they should fit, but I will say remember to flex (like you would in your stance) and see how the fit is when doing that.

Whatever boot you end up using for this trip, hope you have fun!
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