Hello and welcome to my K2 Raider review.
In this review I will take a look at the Raider as freestyle snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Raider a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freestyle boots.
Boots: K2 Raider
Price: $249 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: Beginner, Casual All-Mountain
Flex Rating: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Flex Feel: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Rating Score: 75.6/100
Compared to other Freestyle Boots
Out of the 27 freestyle boots that I rated:
Overview of the Raider’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Raider’s specs and available sizes.
Freestyle or Beginner/Casual All-Mountain
On the lighter side of normal
Who are the Raider Most Suited to?
The Raider are best for freestyle riders who want a boot that's not too stiff. Not for extreme freestyle, but great for playful freestyle riding.
Also well suited for beginners. A great beginner boot option.
Or simply for anyone who wants an affordable boot for casual groomer riding or someone who just prefers softer boots.
Not for someone who wants to ride aggressively, fast or carve deep.
The Raider in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Raider are capable of.
Boots: K2 Raider
Size: 10 (US Men's Sizing)
Date: December 18, 2019
Conditions: Snowing quite heavily. Snow wasn't super dry and fast, but not slow and sticky either.
Quite windy and relatively cold.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Board Demoed With: Rossignol One LF 2018
Bindings Demoed With: Burton Malavita 2017
Outersole Length: 31.3cm (mondo 28cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 3.3cm
Backstay Height: 29.2cm
Weight: 920 grams*
* Average of a sample of boots I weighed was 1006 grams, so a little lighter than average. Note that softer flexing boots do tend to be lighter.
The Raider's are rated 2/5 by K2. And I'd say that's pretty accurate (translates to 4/10). They're a little softer than medium, but not ultra soft.
Width: Medium - they're not narrow but not wide either
True to Size?: I found them to be definitely true to size. I usually wear 10s and 10s were the perfect fit for me
High or Low Arch: Normal
They've got a good bit of shock absorption, without out being super cush.
Feeling the sole and looking at it, I thought the board feel would be worse, but after getting them out on snow, I was pleasantly surprised. Nothing epic, but there's certainly some decent board feel there - and a good balance between board feel and shock absorption.
Decent hold on carves, and edge-to-edge speed was pretty good too - without being anything epic. But didn't expect epic from the flex-level.
There's not much you can adjust. It's a single boa, so you can't adjust the top and bottom sections of the outerboot separately.
There's a standard harness pulley on the liner - which if you want to adjust it, you need to open up the boot to do it, so no bonus points there.
And there isn't anything else that helps with adjusting to your foot - no heel hold kit or anything like that.
It does have a heat-moldable liner though.
Really comfortable. Even before heat molding, it felt comfortable to try on. Then after heat molding and getting out on snow, it was super comfortable. Hardly noticed them on, which is saying something for new boots.
They don't have anything super plush about them, and the shock absorption isn't epic or anything, but otherwise I felt no pressure points or anything and just fit well. No cramping whilst riding or anything.
Remember of course that comfort is fairly subjective as every foot is different, but for me they were very comfortable.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
I found a bit of heel lift in these boots. It wasn't devastatingly so, but more than I would personally prefer. Again, this could be different depending on your feet, but I could have done with a little more heel hold.
They aren't really reduced at all. They are 3.3cm longer on the outersole compared to the mondo of the boot. Average I have found to be around 3cm longer than mondo, so a little longer than average.
It doesn't have a high quality sole on it - and I wasn't expecting it for the price. The tread is pretty shallow and doesn't feel super grippy or high quality. I had only soft snow to walk on in the car park, so I couldn't really tell for sure, but doesn't look or feel like the traction is great.
Super easy to get in and out of. One of the easiest I've experienced. Easy to open the boot right out to get the foot in and quick and easy to do the boots up and take them off.
Single Boa has the disadvantage of a lack of adjustability, but they are typically super easy to get on and off, and the Raider are no exception.
Was thankful for the ease as I was changing boots in a snowy, windy car park.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
The Raider are very comfortable boots and do a great job for beginner or intermediate riders or those that are a more casual or playful all-mountain rider - as well as for those who want to ride playful freestyle.
One of the easiest boots to get on and off that I've ridden.
The biggest downsides are lack of adjustability and the heel hold could be better too.
Otherwise very good boots for the price, if they're suitable for you. If you can get past the adjustability, they are better boots than what the overall score suggests.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Raider compared to other freestyle boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.