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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I'd consider myself an intermediate/advanced rider. I really enjoy riding groomers, trees, and a bit of side country. Unfortunately I don't get a ton of time on the hill each year, but up until this point i've been riding K2 Maysis with Cartels/ Jones mountain twin for the past 3 seasons. I'm thinking that I want something a bit stiffer. My foot seems to fit Burton boots well in my mondo size, but I'm having a tough time deciding between the two boots.
After doing a bit of reading I see a lot of conflicting opinions on the Ions for someone who isn't riding 30+ days per season, so I thought I'd ask around here which boot sounds like it would be the better fit for my riding.
Thanks!
 

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Ions over Photons all day, every day. I have a massive bone to pick with the Photon's boa cables around the heels. But all foot shapes are different so yours may not mind them too much. Still, the Ion design has been honed to perfection, over many iterations. Available in speedlace or boa, wide anf regular. So what if you don't ride 30+ days a year on them. They will last you longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ions over Photons all day, every day. I have a massive bone to pick with the Photon's boa cables around the heels. But all foot shapes are different so yours may not mind them too much. Still, the Ion design has been honed to perfection, over many iterations. Available in speedlace or boa, wide anf regular. So what if you don't ride 30+ days a year on them. They will last you longer.
Can you elaborate on your issue with the photons a little? As for the days I ride, I was more concerned about them being too stiff for my riding more than anything, I’ve never ridden a stiff boot before.
 

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Photon's upper boa cable loops around the ankle sides and tighten/pinches the boot shell around your heels. The tighter you crank the upper, the more it will constrict your heels. I tried the trick mentioned in the above post but to no avail. Hurt too much, ended up giving the boots away and got Ion Wides.

I wouldn't call Ions too stiff.. they could probably be called the industry standard mid-stiff-to-stiff, if that makes sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Photon's upper boa cable loops around the ankle sides and tighten/pinches the boot shell around your heels. The tighter you crank the upper, the more it will constrict your heels. I tried the trick mentioned in the above post but to no avail. Hurt too much, ended up giving the boots away and got Ion Wides.

I wouldn't call Ions too stiff.. they could probably be called the industry standard mid-stiff-to-stiff, if that makes sense?
Interesting, I was always curious how that mechanism worked. Guess it's something that would make a lot more sense to feel rather than read. I may have to roll the dice on the Ions. I've tried a pair on and, I can definitely flex them, like you said not too stiff, and I don't have the stiffest board/binding combo so it may work out on the hill better than I'm thinking. I really just didn't want to take the boots out and spend my time eating shit because they're too stiff for my riding! But I just never felt supported enough in my K2's.
 

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The maddening thing with Photons for me was that the heel boa mechanism felt really good on flat ground, ie in the store, at home, etc. It only became problematic on the hill as the feet settled into the boots, requiring tightening of boa dials and bam, the heel bite begins.

Afaik, Photon wearers seem to feel this pinch to varying degrees. Some don't find the pinch too bad, but oh man did it kill me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The maddening thing with Photons for me was that the heel boa mechanism felt really good on flat ground, ie in the store, at home, etc. It only became problematic on the hill as the feet settled into the boots, requiring tightening of boa dials and bam, the heel bite begins.

Afaik, Photon wearers seem to feel this pinch to varying degrees. Some don't find the pinch too bad, but oh man did it kill me.
The only heel problem I've ever really experienced was from what I'd call super aggressive jbars. That feeling you get from lying on crumpled up sheets for too long and the leave indents in your skin for a bit! But that seems to go away as the j bars break in. I'm also considering molding whatever boots I decide to go with, whereas I usually dont and just let them pack normally. Idk, after hearing about the photons I'm leaning towards the Ions. People that ride them seem too love them, like I said the biggest fear was having too much response, but I guess that's more of something you learn to ride with more than anything. Just did not want to be spending my time this season fighting new boots!
 

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I have photons and had 20days with them so far. The ankle mechanism is great for heel hold. I have 0 issues with that so far. However i would buy ion if i have to choose again because i think photons went soft too fast imo. At shop they were mid-stiffish but now they feel medium stiffness at best. I think ions will last longer and better choice if they fit your feet. If you are okay with medium stiffness after break in photons isn't a worse option honestly.(again the ankle hold is perfect with photons.)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have photons and had 20days with them so far. The ankle mechanism is great for heel hold. I have 0 issues with that so far. However i would buy ion if i have to choose again because i think photons went soft too fast imo. At shop they were mid-stiffish but now they feel medium stiffness at best. I think ions will last longer and better choice if they fit your feet. If you are okay with medium stiffness after break in photons isn't a worse option honestly.(again the ankle hold is perfect with photons.)
It's unfortunate, I went to my local shop today, tried on both pairs, the Ions in my mondo feel INSANELY short compared to the Photons, like undomfortably so. The photons feel like they should. I can definitely feel how soft they are compared to the ions, and your comment definitely worries me about them going soft.
 

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if your looking for comfort PHOTONS no question. Ive owned 3 pair. HOWEVER, they dont last a season for me! They get soft too fast and certain spots wear which shouldnt. Ions are great all mountain deep pow riding boot. They are built incredible but stiff as shit. A year ago returned a pair for they wouldnt break in.. I have them again as backups to my photons, they just dont last and I really take care of my gear. Photons for resort riding, Ions for back country pow trips in my opinion.
 

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I've owned multiple Ions and Photons and I'd go Ions. They are stiffer and hold their stiffness well, as well as have generally higher end tech.

My Photons after ~10 days start to significantly soften and I no longer consider them stiff at all, they're almost park boots for me.
 

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Not sure if the varients are different for the step on versions which I ride.

Overall for me I like minimal to zero play on the upper boot and I feel having the upper boa on the photon I can control that better than on the ion. I guess because of that the photon feels stiffer to me.

Comfort they were both similar to me but slightly better in the photon. To be honest I think the k2 maysis was my favorite boot. It really fit my foot better than the burton boots and had zero pressure points as I do with some of the j bar areas in the burton. After they break in it get better though. As for the maysis I did feel it fell apart a bit quickly. The burton boots definitely last longer.
 
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