Hello and welcome to my DC Judge review.
In this review I will take a look at the Judge as all-mountain snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Judge a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain boots.
Boots: DC Judge
Price: $379 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium (6/10)
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (6.5/10)
Rating Score: 87.0/100
Compared to other All-Mountain Boots
Out of the 31 all-mountain boots that I rated:
Overview of the Judge’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Judge's specs and available sizes.
Double Boa (independent upper and lower sections)
Who are the Judge Most Suited to?
The Judge are best suited to those looking for boots that can give them a good balance between performance at slow speeds and performance when you're looking to ride more aggressively, with higher speeds and deeper carves.
Too stiff for beginners, IMO, unless you're a particularly big or particularly strong/athletic rider. Otherwise should work well for intermediate and up within a board flex range of 5/10 to 8/10. Ideally 6/10 to 7/10, if you're being fussy.
The Judge in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Judge are capable of.
Boots: DC Judge 2023
Size: 10 (US Men's Sizing)
Date: February 2, 2023
Cloudy but high cloud. Very good visibility. No rain or snow.
Temp: 32°F (0°C) and with wind chill was 25°F (-4°C) though it didn't feel like that much wind chill. Wind around 12mph (20kph) SSE.
24 hour snow: 1.2" (3cm)
48 hour snow: 6.7" (17cm)
7 day snow: 7.5" (19cm)
On groomer: Groomers were real nice. Hard packed with some nice soft on top. Even though there was a decent amount of traffic, nothing got too messy. Nicely groomed.
Off groomer: Not too bad. Hard underneath but with enough soft on top to make it decent and nothing icy/crunchy
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Board Demoed With: YES Greats
Bindings Demoed With: Union Falcor
Outersole Length: 30.5cm (mondo 28cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 2.5cm
Backstay Height: 11.9" (30.4cm)
Weight: 2lbs 9oz (1160 grams)*
* Average of a sample of around 50 boots I've weighed was 1028g (2lbs 4oz), so the Judge was a little heavier than normal on scales but felt about normal on snow. Heaviest I've weighed were 2lbs 15oz (1320g) and lightest were 1lb 8oz (680g).
The Judge felt like they were a 6.5/10 bordering on 7/10 flex to me.
Width: Good bit of room for widest part of forefoot. Narrows a little at the toes, but still fine. Overall I would say they are mid-wide. Not as wide as the Tactical ADV (my control boots) but a little wider than average.
True to Size?: True to size I would say. I wouldn’t go any smaller, but I also wouldn’t go any bigger than the 10. My toes just barely brushed the end. They have a little bit of wriggle room. Can’t wiggle them too much up and down or anything but a little bit. Not as much as in Tactical ADV's (my control boots). But not so tight that there's pressure points or anything.
High or Low Arch: Felt them a bit on the top of my right foot. I always do, but a little bit more than normal. Loosening off the side boa (which controls the cables for the top of the foot) definitely helped – and easy to do when you have that complete separation of boas. And the pressure gradually got better after heat molding and riding.
Around Ankles: Again a little pressure around ankles, but again it was short lived. After heat molding and riding in them for a while, hardly noticed it anymore and would only get better with time.
In terms of short sharp turns and slower speeds, I felt like the Judge did as good a job as my control boots (Tactical ADV). They were pretty good overall when riding at slow speeds.
For higher speed carves, the Judge were a little better than my control boots. I felt I could hold a carve a little deeper.
I felt the heel hold was pretty comparable to my control boots, with maybe just a touch more heel lift. But overall pretty good.
Full separation of upper and lower sections of boot shell. The side Boa operates the 4 bottom cables and the front Boa operates the top 4 cables.
Otherwise nothing special, but good to have that upper and lower boot separation.
Overall super comfortable and just got more and more comfortable to ride in the more I rode them. Any pressure points that I noticed in the beginning were all but gone - certainly not noticeable unless I really focused on them.
Got comfortable really quickly for me and would have only gotten more comfortable.
No cramping and just felt like I could've left them on all day without complaint.
They provided OK shock and chatter absorption, without being super shock absorbing. Enough for most, but if you're looking for extra shock absorption, these were only really a touch above average in that department.
Quality of the sole felt really good. Tread depth a little lower than typical but pretty much typical. Good variety of tread pattern and overall just looked and felt like good quality.
Heel of sole quite stiff - as was the mid-foot (with just a touch more give than the heel end), with quite a big difference in the toe, being quite a bit more flexy. That's normal in any boot, but the difference was more pronounced than usual.
The Judge are lower profile than normal. The average from the boots I've measured is 2.93cm over mondo, the Judge being 2.5cm, so get some decent footprint reduction with this boot.
Before heat molding had to give it a pretty decent push to get my foot in, but nothing too hard. After heat molding it was considerably easier and felt normal after that.
Initially, trying to loosen the boa cables, it was a bit of an effort – they don’t loosen out super easily, but part of that was them being new and that got easier the subsequent times I opened and closed them.
Typical in terms of the liner lacing and the double boa closure system.
The top of the tongue seems like it doesn’t wrap that much around the top of the line, but it does a good job, when you position it right and crank it enough. The top of the liner is quite plush, which means it’s a little bulkier. But no shin gap or anything which is good.
There are 2 velcro pieces, one either side of the top of the liner. This is an extra step but worth it for the extra feeling of support. This is getting pretty common these days and is a feature I typically like, with the Judge being no exception.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
The Judge are a well made boot that fit my foot well. I found them comfortable and whilst that's largely subjective, they have enough adjustability that they should cater to those with medium to mid-wide feet quite well.
They also strike a great balance between carveability and quick turns at slow speeds.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Judge compared to other all-mountain boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.