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I bought some end-of-season-sale boots this weekend. Actually, I bought several things, but this is a boots thread :D .

My old boots are Ride Jackson Boas. Second set that I've owned, and I liked them just fine. However, they've had it, and it's time for a replacement. So I went to the Boardroom Clearance Centre at W. 4th and Burrard. They still had enough boot stock for me to be able to try on many different types of boots. I've been a Boa Bigot since day one, but the Rides are a one-boa system and I've been meaning to try a dual-zone boa.

Finally settled on the Thirty-Two Focus Boa, from the 2012-2013 season. They are a dual-zone boa -- one dial tightens down on the top of the foot, and the other tightens across the shin. The liner has a lacing system with a pull-tightener for the bottom half of the liner. The top half of the liner uses Velcro as a fastener. GOOD Velcro.

The boots also come with a spare boa cable and a number of inserts and j-bar-like spacers for adjusting fit.

Impressions
The boots are surprisingly hard to get into -- I almost decided I had too small a size, until I managed to get my foot in. That may be a breaking-in issue. I'm able to alleviate the problem by making sure that the boots and inserts are as open as possible. Taking them off is no more difficult than with my other boots.

Once I got them on, they are very comfortable -- significantly more so than the Jackson Boas, which pisses me off just a bit. Because there are two boa dials, it is much easier to tighten the boots to an appropriate level. Paradoxically, because I can adjust the tightness so well, I find I don't need to have the boots as tight as I'm used to, to get the same level of hold.

Heel lift, at least for me, is non-existant. I mean really non-existant. I don't think I really realized how much movement my Rides allowed until I had these babies on.

These are also a stiffer boot than I'm used to, and I felt the difference the moment I started riding. Dynamic riding was immediately improved. In fact, all my toeside turning is better.

Cons?
I already mentioned that the boots are hard to get into. The only other thing I could come up with is that this boot has a slightly larger profile than my old boots. That required some adjustment to my Flows.

Overall
I like'em. Won't be buying Ride Jackson Boas any more. If you aren't a boa-hater, the two-zone system is definitely worth springing for the extra bucks.
And I really like how the stiffness of the boot contributes to the degree of control over my board.
 

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hey Donutz, i wear the same boots except its the 2011/2012 sz.10. though my foot is 10.5. I agree about the getting your foot in is hard and i thought i bought the wrong size. I did all the heat molding(twice) but it was still tough. few weeks went by and it was still an issue UNTIL.... i reach deeper down inside to loosen the laces more and walla!!! problem solved:yahoo: no more struggles:thumbsup: these boots are stiff at first,felt like i had ski boots on.
anyways, i love them and hope to use them till i stop boarding,probably never:)
 

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I bought the same boots about a week ago from Dogfunk but they'll have to wait a year since my local hills closed over the weekend and I didn't have time to go.

Totally agree on them being hard to get into. I loosened them up as much as possible and still had a hard time getting them on. As far as comfort level goes they feel about the same as my Burton SL-10's which surprised me a bit - I thought they'd feel a lot better. The fit is definitely better and I've felt no heel lift at all when wearing them around the house.

I also wear Flow's (NXT-FRX) and will definitely need to adjust them to fit. I'm pretty happy with my purchase and can't wait to use them next season.

These boots were a full size smaller than my normal shoe size.
 

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Like the 3rd season of focus boas...love them, they pack out and you got to add bits, stiff but u get improve performance and infact now my legs/ankle/calf is the weak link, inner laces you got to really reach down and get them loosened and then you foot will slide in/out with out problems...but the inner-lace really works well.
 

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I was thinking about getting these boots. Did you guys downsize?

I normally wear 9.5 sneakers/shoes. Should I get a 9.5 focus boot?
 

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I was thinking about getting these boots. Did you guys downsize?

I normally wear 9.5 sneakers/shoes. Should I get a 9.5 focus boot?
I downsize from 10.5(my sneaker size) to 10 on this boots. It will pack out(break-in) and it will be good.
 

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I was thinking about getting these boots. Did you guys downsize?

I normally wear 9.5 sneakers/shoes. Should I get a 9.5 focus boot?
Normally I wear a men's 7 shoe size....so the past 3 years used a women's 8 focus boa and my new pair are now a women's size 7.5 because of the amount of pack out....once they pack out it should be great....but initially they will be tight. So get at least a half size smaller and maybe a try on a full size smaller to see how it feels.
 

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If you guys with flows like the focus boa, you should try out the flow hylite dual boa boots. Very similar boots, a little more comfy, smaller footprint, a little easier to get into, you can buy 1/2 size smaller(I've never been able to do that).

32 focus boa is probably my #2 favorite boot behind the flows. The flows design also works better with the flow bindings. I pretty much only ride nx2-SE
 

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I wear a 9.5 shoe and my previous boots were 9.5 Burton SL-10's but I had to go down to 8.5 on the Thirty Two's. I would have bought the Flow Talon boots instead if I could have found them at the end of the season but the Thirty Two's should be fine once I tweak my bindings a bit.
 

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I find pretty much all well-fitting boots are really difficult to get on (like you describe), even after they've packed out a bit. Just give'r hell.
 

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I just received the 32 focus boa and I went half size smaller than street sneakers.

It is extremely difficult to get into the first time. I had to loosen up everything and stretch everything out a little bit. After a few times of doing this, it has gotten easier. I didn't get a chanced to heat mold yet so I'm hoping that I can just break them in while wearing them inside the house for a few times. I hope they get more comfortable as they get broken in more.

I get a feeling these will be great once I get them broken in. No heel lift at all and it's still feels very tight around my foot.
 

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I just received the 32 focus boa and I went half size smaller than street sneakers.

It is extremely difficult to get into the first time. I had to loosen up everything and stretch everything out a little bit. After a few times of doing this, it has gotten easier. I didn't get a chanced to heat mold yet so I'm hoping that I can just break them in while wearing them inside the house for a few times. I hope they get more comfortable as they get broken in more.

I get a feeling these will be great once I get them broken in. No heel lift at all and it's still feels very tight around my foot.
cool!, if you can get it heat molded that would be much better but, there is nothing much better than breaking them in while snowboarding:laugh: so you'll just have to wait till then....:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just an update to this. I discovered that there's a "pull-tab" on the liner lacing about halfway down which allows you to easily loosen the liner laces, and I mean really loosen them. Do this, and make sure the Velcro is completely disconnected, and the boots are not nearly as hard to get into and out of. So just needs a little more up-front prep work before putting them on. They're still feeling good otherwise.
 

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have same tab on my flow focus hylites. My only piss and moan was the one cable came loose off the tightener, luckily with help fro folks here I found enough documentation to fix problem quickly. I can confirm with focus hylites you can go down in size, at least from burton
I went from 10.5 to 10 in flow boots. my street shoe is a 10 w and the 10 flows were fine for my wide toebox.
 

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Just curious, would you say that these can be made tighter or looser than traditional laces? I'm concerned about responsiveness being sacrificed because of the looser boa system compared to traditional lacing. Or is it similar to Flow bindings? Loose, but still responsive?
 

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Just curious, would you say that these can be made tighter or looser than traditional laces? I'm concerned about responsiveness being sacrificed because of the looser boa system compared to traditional lacing. Or is it similar to Flow bindings? Loose, but still responsive?
I don't find them loose at all. The Focus is a pretty stiff boot, and you can really crank down the boa. It's dual zone, so you can get the calf really tight without pinching off your foot. Work the velcro and lace on the inner boot and I think they fit great (once get into them! See above). I use them with stiff Flow NXT FRX freeride bindings, and the combination is great, very responsive.
 

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A ways back was using 32 305 traditional laces...focus boas go waaay tighter and easier to do than I could get the laces. in and out really loosen up the inner harness, the velco strap and pull open the shell tongue and boas. When they pack out add some bits of foam and stuff....below what I've done to the liners and after 3 years they still feel like slippers.

http://www.snowboardingforum.com/boots/51066-boots-faq-etc.html
 

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Follow up:

After using the thirty two focus boa for the entire season, I have decided these are not the boots for my feet. I normally wear 9.5 in sneakers/shoes, etc.

I decided to down size for these boots and got 9. I heat molded them and wore them around in the house before hitting the slopes. They were snug and fit pretty good. My toes were barely touching so I thought that would be great. They were hard to get in and out of at first but as I broke them in they were easier and easier. These were great boots as they were solid but I always rode with some sort of pain in my toes. No big deal I thought as the boots will break in and pack out even more as I continue to ride them. Nope!

I ended up getting different soles for the boot, thinking a thinner sole would make it better. Tried Remind, and Superfeet. While the soles make the pain less, there was still some nagging pain in my foot. I then tried thinner socks. That helped a little more but still pain.

So I've come to the conclusion that either the boot was too small or my feet were just too wide for the thirtytwo focus boas.

Ended up trying DC Judge boots in 9.5 and my feet are very happy. I think I found my boot and will not switch out of them for another boot.

So far through trail and error I have found the boots that fit my feet the best.

1) Burton - too narrow for my wide feet
2) Salomon dialogue wide size 9.5 - Great boot but size down for this as they pack out a lot. The foot print is just so big. My 9.5 were the size of 11's in other brands. I think that's why i was able to center them on my Burton Cartel Reflexs in a Large binding.
3) Thirtytwo Focus boa size 9 - a bit narrow for my wide feet. Reduced foot print compared to Salomon dialogues.
4) DC Judge boa - Found my match! Reduced foot print and comfortable and most importantly wide enough for my feet.
 
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