Product Review: K2 Snowboards Raider Boot mtnweekly.com
First Impression: The Boots are easy to get into comfortable with a decent amount of flex, but still rugged and stable. I like the color, cant go wrong with black. I was amazed at how easy the Boa system was to use and get the perfect amount of tension without cranking down too hard on the foot. I love that the Boa wont slip and will stay tight all day.
Weight: The weight feels about the same as my previous boots, but I like that there are no laces to get caught or snagged on stuff while transferring my gear from house to car etc. the boots feel light on my fit due to the snug fit.
Construction: The Boot is has a rugged outer material that held up in various conditions, in Utah, Colorado and Argentina. The sole has great grip when hiking in the backcountry or with in the ski area boundaries. The liner has Intuition Control-Form that allows it to be Thermo fitted to your foot. I have not done this, as I loved the boot from the start, but think I might get it fitted for this season to see if it makes a difference. The Internal J-bars keep my heel in place when riding, these is a great feature for riders like myself with narrow feet. The single pull system on the boot liner is an cinch with the Boa tightening the outer boot. The Boa is easy to use with one hand and can be tightened or loosened with gloves or mittens in a matter of seconds.
Riding: The first day it took me a couple runs to get used to. But since that first day they have been some of the best boots I have ever ridden. The K2 Raider is easy to adjust, is flexible and allows me to grab and do tricks with out being too soft. The boots are stiff enough to lay down some deep carves without washing out, the perfect amount of flex and stiffness in my opinion. The durability of the boots is great and is perfect for those of use who are hard on are equipment. Noting is worse that breaking your boot while on the backside of the mountain or in the backcountry. These boots flew to Argentina with me and handled the humidity of the region, thanks K2 Aegis antimicrobial treatment, the boots didnt get funky in the humidity. Being in Colorado that is not such a big deal, but in Argentina you gear stays wet for the duration of the trip. Last thing you want on a multi week snowboard trip is boots that smell like a locker room or worse. I have put over 150 days on these boot and they have held up with only minor signs of wear and tear. The Harshmellow cushion in the foot and heel area is great for landing on less that perfect conditions or when you over shoot the powder and land in the hardpack.
Style: The K2 Raider Boots come in both Black and White. The stylish look is classic and comfortable. I prefer black, but this years white leather model look pretty pimp. If my old ones ever wear out I might consider the white ones. I have worn these boots for 12 hours at a time without my feet hurting, these is key when the conditions are prime and you want to make the day last until last chair. I like the cut of the boots as they fit in my binding flawlessly and do not have any toe drag. The sleek design makes them easy to hike in as well as climb stairs and rocks to get the right vantage point for photos or to pick out your descent.
Fit: The boot fit like a glove, with the thermo molding option you can customize them to you specific foot. The J-bars keep your heel in place, which is great for icy days, laying down phat carves, and stomping your latest trick. The Boa system allows you to put the perfect amount of tension for each rider, after riding Boa you notice the difference when you got back to traditional lace systems. The inner liner system has a single pull system that allows you get the boot snug around the shin.
Overall Impression: The K2 Raider is one of the best boots I have ever had, if not the best. The durability is top notch, the Boa system allows for the perfect amount of tension and the blending of flex and stiffness is exactly what I look for in a snowboard boot. K2 rates the flex at a 3 out of 5. These boots have traveled across the country with me and also to Argentina; I know these boots will handle whatever I need them to. I can hike, ride and chill in them and my feet stay warm and comfortable. These boots are also comfortable for Après food and beer after a long day on the mountain.
Colors: Black or White (Black for Testing)
Locations: Argentina, Colorado, and Utah
Snow and Weather Conditions: Blizzard Conditions, Spring Conditions, Back Country, Hiking and Standing on the lip of the pipe to shoot photos.
Boot Features: Intuition Control-Foam 3D Thermo-form Ultralon liner, Aegis Anti Microbial, Boa Coiler, Harshmellow shock-absorbing foot and heel cushion, J-Bars to keep heel in place