Hello and welcome to my Burton Photon boots review.
In this review I will take a look at the Photon as all-mountain snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Photon a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain boots.
Boots: Burton Photon
Price: $399 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium
Flex Feel: Medium (6.5/10)
Rating Score: 84.8/100
Compared to other All-Mountain Boots
Out of the 31 all-mountain boots that I rated:
Overview of the Photon’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Photon's specs and available sizes.
A little lighter than normal
Who are the Photon Most Suited to?
The Photon are best suited to anyone looking for a boot that's just on the stiffer side of medium - someone who wants a boot that can be versatile across a range of boards, but want to get good response of carves, but nothing overly stiff.
Matches best to boards with a flex between 5/10 and 7/10.
The Photon in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Photon are capable of.
Boots: Burton Photon 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: 30°F (-1°C). Apparently as cold as 19°F (-7°C) with wind chill but didn't feel that cold.
24 hour snow: 1.2" (3cm)
48 hour snow: 3.2" (8cm)
7 day snow: 10.2" (26cm)
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: 30.2cm (mondo 28cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 2.2cm
Backstay Height: 11.9" (30.1cm)
Weight: 2lbs 1oz (940 grams)*
* Average of a sample of boots I've weighed was 1018g (2lbs 4oz), so a bit lighter than average - and you can feel it when you pick them up too. Heaviest were 2lbs 15oz (1320g) and lightest were 1lb 10oz (740g).
Width: Just a touch wider than medium. So, I would say medium bordering on mid-wide. Probably not wide enough for those with really wide feet, but for regular width or a little wider than normal feet.
True to Size?: Yes, IMO. I'm typically a 10 and the 10 fit me perfectly. Toes just touching the end but without pressure on them - and the boot fit really well all round, not just length-wise for my feet. I wouldn't buy this boot in any smaller a size but also wouldn't buy it in any bigger a size - so just right with the 10.
High or Low Arch: Average in terms of the pressure on the tops of my feet. Just right in the normal range.
I tested the Photon against my control boots (as always) and also against the Burton Ion. The Photon gave a little bit more when leaning into a hard carve than the Tactical ADV (my control boots) but not quite as much as the Ion.
When it came to short/sharp turns at slower speeds, the Photon wasn't as agile as the Tactical ADV but more agile than the Ion. Always amazes me how much difference different boots can make to these factors.
Had more heel lift than I'd typically get - and more so than on the Ion and the Tactical ADV. Still nothing too major, but heel hold not as good as I'm used to. That caused a little bit of rubbing on inside of my heel. Didn't cause any problems, but potentially could have caused a blister with continuous use. Heel hold does largely depend on the foot though - and I do have fairly skinny ankles.
One speed lace clip tightens the bottom 3 ropes and the other does the top 3. They are completely separate. So that allows for good independent adjustment of upper and lower sections of the outer boot. Not as much as traditional lacing but still good adjustability for the outer boot.
The liner has a standard lacing harness - with a better quality feeling clip than I've seen on a lot of boots lately, which was nice to see - and has velcro to help secure the top of the liner around the shins. I like how the velcro for the top of the liner works on these boots.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
This one's for the Photon BOA, but apart from the lacing system is the same as the Photon Speed Lace.
I found these boots really nice and comfortable from the get go. Right from when I tried them on. And then they got more and more comfortable as I rode them.
The only small thing was the slight rubbing on inside of heel from that bit of heel lift. It didn't cause any comfort issues to me for the day I rode them, but could have been a long term thing, if I was riding them a lot. But otherwise one of the more comfortable boots I've ridden, from the moment I put them on. Nice and snug but without discomfort.
Didn't absorb shock and chatter quite as well as the Ion - and certainly not as well as the Tactical ADV (which is the most shock absorbing boot I've ridden). The Ion and Tactical ADV outperformed the Photon in both the stomp test that I do in office and on snow. Not like super lacking in shock absorption or anything, but not amazing either.
On sole inspection the sole of the boot had very little flex. There was some flex towards the toes (there's always more there than the mid-foot and heel), but even at the toes not a lot.
And on snow that did translate to less board feel. The Ion even had more board feel - and typically a stiffer boot wouldn't have as much (the Ion is stiffer than the Photon) but in this case the Ion outperformed the Photon for board feel. Again though, it wasn't terrible or anything.
The sole seemed good quality - with average tread depth and a good variety in tread pattern. And felt like it had good grip when walking in them.
Nice and low profile. That combined with the Bevel in the toe, gives this boots a nice small footprint.
My foot was able to slip into the boot quite easily - and then had a snug feeling once it was inside. And with the speed lacing, it was really easy and fast to get the outer boot on. So, overall really easy entry/exit.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
The Photon are a really solid choice of boots and a great choice for anyone looking for a boot that's better quality than the average boot and just that little bit stiffer than average, without being super stiff or unforgiving.
Someone looking for something that feels comfortable right out of the box will appreciate this boot too (noting that comfort will vary as all feet are different - but I found them super comfortable from the get go).
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Photon compared to other all-mountain boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.