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Vans Encore Boots

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've got the Snowboard bug, and before I next get out to the fridge or to the slopes in vail I want to invest in my own set of boots. I really like the idea of the boa system on a few of the makes.

I tried some Vans encore 2014 models that I can get for around £150 at my local 2seasons, but just having a quick look online I've found a set of 2013's in black for £105, or grey for £99. If it was a difference of £10-20 then I'd probably go local, but £50 is like a decent set of gloves or a few hours in the fridge.

Anyone had any experience with these and can offer some advice? I've tried some Burtons, but they didn't feel as comfortable. I don't want to rush into anything, but at the same time I don't want to keep going in and trying all different types of boots in stores as they are few and far between where I live. However if this is the best way then I guess I'll have to.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Go for it! Comfortable feet in a good boot make a massive difference. I wouldn't worry about going for the 99£ pair, there won't really be any difference in the two years (although the manufacturer will probably tell you there is) so its £50 to spend on some other gear!

Be careful of those lacing systems. My wife and I have both got Burton speed lace systems, mine are 'ok', but I have to do her boots up myself to get them right. I think my next pair will be a more traditional 'cheaper' pair with normal lacing...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Oh wow really? I found them a lot easier than traditional lace ups, and the burton ones I tried had a strange system where you had to pull them really tight and then lock them off by pulling the strings/cords back against a black clip. I asked the guy what to do with the excess and he said you tuck the handle things that you use to pull them tight into the little pockets on the side. I did this and there was still quite a lot of excess dangling around. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong somewhere or the excess would be covered by the powder gaiters of the trousers, but still they didn't fill me with confidence.
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dont buy anything before you've tried them on!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I had a set of Encores (Boa version) that did me for about four years of reasonable use (8 weeks' on the mountain, plus use in fridges and dryslopes). Loved them. Really comfortable, and the Boa system suits my indecisive nature... I always did them up too tight, and being able to pop them undone, then retighten while on the move was ideal.

It is worth noting that they are a very soft boot - the inner really cannot be done up too tight or it'll be uncomfortable, the outer provides pretty much all of the support, but they're by no means an extreme boot. If that suits you (as it did me) then they're ideal for that money.

I finally got rid after the inner structure failed - wear and tear.
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They're meant to be crap aren't they? Vans and DC? Just poorly constructed floppy skateboarding shoes, in the form factor of a small wellington.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'm not sure I'd say they were poorly constructed... But a welly-type skate shoe is strangely accurate wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mr Pieholeo, hahah fair enough. Which boot would you suggest?
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Well my old BOA Encores have held together pretty well for coming up on 9 years - think this'll be their swansong year though, as they are getting noticeably softer than they used to be. Can't imagine ever going back to trad. lacing though.
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lukeallington wrote:
Oh wow really? I found them a lot easier than traditional lace ups, and the burton ones I tried had a strange system where you had to pull them really tight and then lock them off by pulling the strings/cords back against a black clip. I asked the guy what to do with the excess and he said you tuck the handle things that you use to pull them tight into the little pockets on the side. I did this and there was still quite a lot of excess dangling around. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong somewhere or the excess would be covered by the powder gaiters of the trousers, but still they didn't fill me with confidence.


What I do is wrap the excess string around the pull tab, and then put them into the pocket on the side. Keeps everything tidy and neat.

TBH, I do like the boot, but it takes tinkering to get them right, as I always feel I have the bottom done too tight, but can't get the upper section tight enough. Might just be that Im not a good rider and suffer from heel lift Puzzled

As someone said, try before you buy. You should be able to have a good walk round in them to get a feel for how the shape fits your foot. What fits some doesn't necessarily fit another - for example I can't wear Adidas golf shoes or trainers (even though I get them free!!) as my feet just don't fit the last (shape) that they use.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
lukeallington, I've not used the boa system, so can't comment from personal experience. I note there is only one 'zone' on that boot, so you're going to get one level of tightness across the whole boot. You might find this fine, you might feel the need to adjust. My Salomons have a 'Speedlace" system whereby you tighten the bottom forefoot area as you want, then lace the calf area fixing the lace in cleats so you can adjust the pressure as you go. I like my boots a bit slacker on the forefoot and tighter on the calf.

(edit just to add - this is not the system call me dave describes below)


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 14-01-14 12:32; edited 2 times in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
lukeallington wrote:
Oh wow really? I found them a lot easier than traditional lace ups, and the burton ones I tried had a strange system where you had to pull them really tight and then lock them off by pulling the strings/cords back against a black clip. I asked the guy what to do with the excess and he said you tuck the handle things that you use to pull them tight into the little pockets on the side. I did this and there was still quite a lot of excess dangling around. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong somewhere or the excess would be covered by the powder gaiters of the trousers, but still they didn't fill me with confidence.

Got this system on my Salomon boots. It's pants, the lock has never been completely... lockable and I can't get them tight enough at the right points and loose in the others. Chronic heel lift if you actually want to be able to feel your toes.

On that basis I'd say avoid like the plague, but obviously there's others that are happier with them.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
call me dave wrote:

Got this system on my Salomon boots. It's pants, the lock has never been completely... lockable and I can't get them tight enough at the right points and loose in the others. Chronic heel lift if you actually want to be able to feel your toes.

On that basis I'd say avoid like the plague, but obviously there's others that are happier with them.



Thanks for this advice. Like you say others are happy with it so I guess I'll have to see which catergory I fall into. Incedentally I think I have talked myself out of the Vans, as after a bit more research it seems they might be a bit soft. I'm probably looking for a boot with a mid range of flex rather than an out and out freestyle boot.

"call me dave", which Salomon boots do you have? As I quite like the look of the Savage Boa Str8 Jackets as well. Also I have read that boots with the twin boa systems, tightening the uppers and lowers separatly, seem to get better reviews. Any experience with this?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Despite the name, I'm a girl so I have the cheapo entry level Salomon Pearl boots from last season.

Bit of background info: I saw a physio for the ridiculous foot pain I was getting (complete numbness in the lead foot and longer lasting soreness), and he was convinced it's the lack of adjustability from the boots and the resulting pressure point that was causing it. He suggested trying some lace-up boots that allowed me to choose which areas of the boot were tight and which were loose. Having thought about it for a month or so, I think he's right.

Taking that specific advice and applying it in a more general way, I guess logic says that the best thing to start with is lace up boots, then as you progress and develop your riding you can adjust the way you lace them accordingly. Then once those boots are knackered, you know exactly how you like your boot and can start looking at the more complex combinations of boa and lace up accordingly.

To be fair to the Pearls, I've been using them 2 days a week for 10 months and they won't die. They were great to learn in, and were great for my wide feet, but now I'm looking for a pair that are lace up.

There's quite a few other board shops around where you are - TSA at Xscape, BBC in MK and Oxford has SS20 as well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yeah, funnily enough I was going to check out SS20 sometime this week as well, and earlier today I checked out BBC. I'll do quite a bit more research and trying on before I buy I think. I always seem to rush into things as I'm quite impulsive but I think in this instance it will really effect my enjoyment of riding, so I'll take my time and sack off the idea of the vans encores for now. At least until I've tried some more on.

Shall I still call you Dave though?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The only thing about SS20 is that I'm not sure they have a specialist boot fitter there whereas I'm almost certain BBC do (according to potentially outdated info from aforementioned physio). Trying to get anywhere near the same level of expertise ski boot fitters have is proving to be properly difficult, ideally you want someone who knows their stock very well.

It's definitely worth taking a bit of time over, especially if you can keep going to the fridge and improving and developing your riding in the meantime. Rental boots aren't as pants as realising you've picked up the wrong boots and it being too late to swap them Wink

When do you go to Vail?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I go at the end of Feb, 20th till the 1st of March, but we'll spend some time (2/3 days) in Texas as well where my uncle lives.

Yeah I agree with you on the fitting and the fact that the rental boots weren't that bad the other day. I'm going to Ellis Brigham on Thursday after work to speak to one of the snowboard guys so hopefully they'll help me out. I quite like the look of the Nike boots as well. The Vapen gets some great reviews. Not so keen on the colours for this season though. I really liked the 2012 ones in black and red.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Vans Encore. A fine boot. Used mine for 6 years, replaced them on the false premis that a stiffer boot would help my ride. In fact a new board helped my ride and I'm contemplating taking the Encores back out of retirement because they are a softer boot and more comfortable than the twin boa Burton I bought this season.

If its comfortable for you, buy it. You certainly won't regret it. Mine did around 30 days on the Scottish snow every season.
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I went with a friend of mine to MK and stopped off in BBC (Bucks Boarding Centre) on the way to Ellis Brigham after work…..we didn't make it to Ellis Brigham. The manager of the store was absolutely awesome, letting us……or rather making us….try at least one boot from all the different manufacturers that they stocked to see which felt the best. They had Vans, 32, Ride, Salomon, Northwave, Nike, to name but a few. He was so patient (staying open til like 19:20 even though they close at 18:30) and gave us a great deal as we both ended up buying boots and socks, and I also treated myself to some new dakine titan gloves.

Having tried so many different boots on all in one sitting I was able to determine that the Nike Vapen's were the most comfortable for me, and my mate bought some 32 86FT's after deliberating for an enormous amount of time.

Thanks to everyone who offered advice and especially to Call me Dave for suggesting to go into BBC, I should have labelled this thread 'New Boots for a Noob'
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