Hello and welcome to my Burton Swath Boa review.
In this review I will take a look at the Swath Boa as freestyle snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Swath Boa a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freestyle boots.
Boots: Burton Swath Boa
Price: $349 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: All-Mountain
Flex Rating: Medium
Flex Feel: Medium (5/10)
Rating Score: 87.8/100
Compared to other Freestyle Boots
Out of the 33 freestyle boots that I rated:
Overview of the Swath Boa’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Swath Boa’s specs and available sizes.
Freestyle, All-Mountain, All-Mountain Freestyle
On the lighter side of normal
Who are the Swath Boa Most Suited to?
The Swath Boa are a great option for riding the park, but also for riding the whole mountain, particularly if you're looking to ride the freestyle over the whole mountain.
A great match to all-mountain freestyle or freestyle snowboards - something with around a 4/10 to 5.5/10 flex is ideal.
You'll need a healthy boot budget to get them, but they give back good performance and great comfort.
The Swath Boa in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Swath Boa are capable of.
Boots: Burton Swath Boa 2020
Size: 10.5 (US Men's Sizing)
Date: January 24, 2020
Conditions: A little rain with warmish temperature. But didn't feel super warm, with the wind.
Visibility was relatively bad but not terrible.
Snow was well groomed with a hint of slushiness on groomer and a little slushy off.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Board Demoed With: Rossignol One LF 2018
Bindings Demoed With: Burton Malavita 2017
Outersole Length: 31.3cm (mondo 28.5cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 2.8cm
Backstay Height: 29.8cm
Weight: 920 grams*
* Average of a sample of boots I weighed was 1006 grams, so a little lighter than average.
The Swath Boa feel about what the Ruler feel, but maybe just that touch stiffer, but pretty close overall. They have a more snug feel to them, but still without any pressure points that I found, and even a bit more comfortable. Overall, I would say a solid 5/10, pushing 5.5/10.
Width: Before heat molding I felt that they were about a medium in terms of width, but after heat-molding they felt more like the mid-wide that I would usually feel from Burton. Good amount of room for toes.
True to Size?: The 10.5 fit me really well - and I would usually be a 10, so going up half a size isn't a bad call for these. I haven't tried them in a 10, so I don't know if those would work too, but this fit so well in the 10.5.
High or Low Arch: Not particularly low or high I felt. Before heat molding I felt a bit of pressure on the top of my right foot (which has a higher arch than my left foot) but that went away after heat molding and riding.
I liked the feeling of the liners in these boots - and the velcro around the sides of the liner, which I felt gave a nice snug but comfortable fit, even before tightening the harness around the liner.
The shock absorption is good without being great. Vs the Ruler, which I also rode that day, it was a little better. Flat landings weren't as uncomfortable. Vs my testing boots (Vans Aura), they were just a little less, but not far off.
I found I got really good board feel out of these boots. Feeling the sole before riding, they do have good flex in the sole, and then when riding I felt they were a little better vs the Ruler and about the same vs the Aura.
I found the Swath Boa to be a little more responsive than my test Auras and the Rulers. Subtly so, but just that bit more. I felt they allowed me to get a little deeper in a carve. But still ride well at slower speeds.
Burton's double boa system provides good separation between the lower and upper sections. I like to keep the lower looser, so that was nice to have. But overall just a little better in terms of adjustability vs a boa system that has both boas focus around the ankle.
Really comfortable boots. Even before heat molding, these boots were comfortable, then after heat molding they were ultra comfortable. I could wear them all day for a week! A really snug feel, but without any pressure points at all. Some boots it feels like you can feel the shell through the liner, but the Swath Boa just felt like your feet are wrapped in snuggly formed foam.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
The Swath Boa give really good heel hold. It's not epic. I found some lift in the heel, but nothing that was that noticeable - certainly not while riding.
The Swath Boa measured 2.8cm longer than their Mondo. That's pretty good, without being super low profile. However, they do have more boot bevel in the toe, typical of Burton boots, which helps give you more leeway on the toe side. Whilst I would probably give them more like 3.5/5 for the length alone, they are made more low profile with that bevel.
The soles aren't super grippy and not that much in terms of tread. And there's some flex in them. Certainly better for boardf feel than for traction, IMO.
You've got to deal with both velcroing and tightening the harness on the liner. That extra step with the velcro really adds to the feel though, so worth the couple of seconds of extra time - and certainly not difficult to do.
With having two boas on the outer boot it's a little more to do than a single boa - but again it's worth the very small extra effort to get that adjuatbility.
Easy to get the boot opened out enough to get foot in and out fairly easily. I found that I didn't really have to loosen the lower boa (not that I had it that tight as I like it looser down there) to get my foot out - so was just really dealing with the one boa, getting in and out, which made it a little easier.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
The Swath Boa is a great buy for someone with a reasonable budget.
I tested them on the same day as the Burton Ruler Boa and compared, the Swath Boa was a little bit better in most areas. Wasn't massively better in any one factor, but adding up all the little things, overall a reasonable step up, IMO. With a tighter budget the ruler are a good buy, for sure, but the Swath Boa are just that step up in performance and comfort.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Swath Boa compared to other freestyle boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.