Hello and welcome to my Burton Ion boots review.
In this review I will take a look at the Ion as all-mountain snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Ion a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain boots.
Boots: Burton Ion
Price: $559 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Stiff
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (7.5/10)
Rating Score: 90.2/100
Compared to other All-Mountain Boots
Out of the 30 all-mountain boots that I rated:
Overview of the Ion’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Ion's specs and available sizes.
Who are the Ion Most Suited to?
The Ion are great for anyone looking for a boot that's on the stiffer side, but don't want to go super stiff. Someone who values speed and carving more so than slow speed maneuverability, but that doesn't want to reduce their slow speed agility too much.
They are suited to those with a higher budget. These things don't come cheap. But they also seem high quality. I can't attest to how they hold up in the long term, but from my experience with them, they certainly seem to be good quality.
Best matched to boards with a 6/10 to 8/10 flex. But can work for 5/10 or 9/10 depending on your preferences.
The Ion in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Ion are capable of.
Boots: Burton Ion 2022
Size: 10 (US Men's Sizing)
Date: February 4, 2022
Snowing. But quite a wet snow. Cascade concrete for sure. Visibility iffy in places and OK in others.
Temp: -1°C (30°F). Apparently as cold as -7°C (19°F) with wind chill but didn't feel that cold.
24 hour snow: 3cm (1.2")
48 hour snow: 8cm (3.2")
7 day snow: 26cm (10.2")
Snow conditions on groomer: Soft, with fresh wet pow. Some well groomed other parts cruddy. Slow. Cascade concrete for sure. But not the slowest cascade concrete I've been in.
Snow conditions off groomer: Some good soft building on top. Still felt some crust in patches but pretty good all round.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Board Demoed With: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker 2021
Bindings Demoed With: Burton Malavita
Outersole Length: 30.3cm (mondo 28.0cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 2.3cm
Backstay Height: 30.3cm
Weight: 1100 grams (2lbs 7oz)*
* Average of a sample of boots I've weighed was 1018g (2lbs 4oz), so a bit heavier than the average, but not overly heavy. Heaviest were 1320g (2lbs 15oz) and lightest were 740g (1lb 10oz).
They felt stiffer than the Photon that I also rode that day and my test boots (Tactical ADV) and certainly stiffer than average, but with some flex - not as stiff as the stiffer freeride boots I've ridden. Not quite an 8 for stiffness, but more than a 7.
Width: Plenty of room in the toe box width-wise, but not overly wide throughout the boot. But certainly not narrow. I'd say a mid-wide - a little wider than average, but nothing super wide. Good for regular width feet or slightly wider than normal feet, IMO.
True to Size?: Yes. I'm typically a 10 and the 10 fit well. Just the right length and everything else about it fit well. If I was being fussy, could maybe fit in a 9.75, but that would be really fussy. The 10 fit pretty ideally.
High or Low Arch: Normal in terms of the arch. When first putting them on my right foot (which has a higher arch than my left) there was some pressure there, which is the case with every single boot I wear. But it was minimal and got less and less the more I wore them - which was also typical.
Fit very similarly in my Medium Burton Malavitas as my Tactical ADVs. Felt like they were a little bulkier around the ankle but not so much so that I had to lengthen the ankle strap. Fit very similar width-wise in the binding and very similar on the toe strap.
As expected from the boot - it allowed me to carve deeper and harder compared to my control boots and made my board more carvy. On the flip side, also as expected with a stiffer boot, they weren't as as good for quick turns at slower speeds. Made the board feel less nimble at slower speeds. Not to a great extent, but noticeable.
I found some heel lift, but that's case for pretty much every boot. But the heel hold overall was really good. I've had boots that had better heel hold, but the heel lift was minimal enough that I didn't notice it when riding - only when actually trying to lift the heel up in the boot.
Outer lacing: Speed Zone: The bottom zone (3 laces) are controlled by one "puller" (not sure of the technical name of those plastic things you pull on to tighten the laces!) and the top zone (top 3 laces) is controlled by the other "puller". From what I could tell the zones were both completely independent.
Inner Lacing: Has a standard lacing harness on the inside, with velcro straps that help to tighten and keep in place the top of the liner. I liked how the velcro worked - got a nice secure feeling around the shins. The "puller tag" for the liner lacing harness felt good quality - which seems to be a rarity these days, even on higher end boots from some brands, so that was nice. And it was easy to get that lacing harness really tight - in fact I had to loosen it a bit after I initially over tightened it - something I find I can't do with some boots.
To readjust the liner lacing, you do have to open up the outer boot, so it's not as convenient as having a BOA that controls an liner ankle harness or anything like that, so you lose some convenience there compared to a system like that, but all round I liked the lacing system on these boots and felt I could get a nice custom fit fairly easily.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
The Ion comes it at around 6:19
Really comfortable from the moment I put them on. Which is not something that's always the case, particularly with stiffer boots.
I didn't experience any foot cramping in these boots which is pretty much the main thing for comfort next to any major pressure points. Which I didn't have any of with these boots either.
I could feel some very minimal shin-bite and initially quite tight around the ankles, but in terms of the shin bite, this is something I typically get to start with with stiffer boots. The tightness around the ankle got less and less noticeable - without the heel hold worsening or anything like that. As they molded to my feet, they became even more comfortable.
Note: Comfort can be quite a subjective thing with boots as everyone's feet are different. Your comfort level in this boots won't necessarily be the same as mine.
Felt pretty good both in my stomp test in the office and on snow. I always hit a couple of ollies with flat landings when I test boots on top of thinking about the overall feeling of shock absorption as I ride and the Ion absorbed that shock well.
The stomp test I do in the office involves wearing one boot on one foot and another on the other and stomping the ground to get a feel for the shock absorption before riding. I stomp tested against both the Tactical ADV (my control boots) and the Burton Photon).
Versus the Photon, they absorbed shock a little better, both on snow and during the stomp test.
Versus the Tactical ADV, they weren't as good, but nothing I've ever tested has been as good as the Tactical ADV, so wasn't surprised there.
Not amazing, being a stiffer boot, but actually better than I thought they'd be. Was confident hitting ollies, butters and spins in these boots. Part of that might be down to the "EST Optimized Midsole" which Burton claims to give you a lower center of gravity in the boots.
The other part that may have helped is that there is some flex in the toe end of the sole of the boot and down the mid-foot section of the sole. More so than on the Photon. Not quite as much flex in the sole as the Tactical ADV or the Vans Aura Pro, which I also tested them against, but a reasonable amount there.
The tread isn't super deep on these boots (which may have also helped with board feel) but there's good tread variety and the sole feels like really good quality (which you'd certainly expect for the price-point!) - a good amount of rubber in the sole.
Didn't have anything super slippery to test them on - the snow was pretty soft and no icy carpark or anything, but felt like they gripped pretty well.
They're nice and low profile. Just 2.3cm difference between the mondo and the outer sole.
Foot just slid right in, super easy! But foot feels snug once in – so foot didn't get in easy because it’s too big – just easy to open it right out so that it is easy to just slip in. Speed lacing pretty fast and easy once you get used to it.
You've got the velcro straps to deal with on top of the standard lacing harness on the liner - but that little bit more time setting those up is well worth that extra snugness around the shins.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
The Ion are great quality boots that were comfortable from the get go and had that kind of response and feel that made my board a better carver. That did come at the cost of a little maneuverability at slower speeds, as expected, but it's a subtle decrease in that area.
They're one of the pricier boots going around, but if you can afford them and you think they would suit your style of riding, then they are an awesome pair of boots!
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you’re interested in learning more about the Ion, are ready to buy or want to research current prices and sizing availability, check out the links below.
If you want to see how the Ion compared to other all-mountain boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.