Hello and welcome to my Salomon Launch BOA SJ review.
In this review I will take a look at the Launch BOA as freestyle snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Launch BOA a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freestyle boots.
Boots: Salomon Launch BOA
Price: $339 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: Casual All-Mountain
Flex Rating: Medium
Flex Feel: Medium (5/10)
Rating Score: 82.8/100
Compared to other Freestyle Boots
Out of the 26 freestyle boots that I rated:
Overview of the Launch BOA’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Launch BOA’s specs and available sizes.
Freestyle or Casual All-Mountain
Double Boa (one for ankle harness and one for outer boot)
Who are the Launch BOA Most Suited to?
The Launch Boa are best matched to boards around the 4/10, 5/10 flex range and are a great option for freestyle riders or high-end beginner to intermediate all-mountain riders, who are looking for a boot that isn't too stiff, or for someone who prefers to ride more casual than aggressive.
Also great for those who don't get on with laces and/or tend to have issues with heel lift.
The Launch BOA in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Launch BOA are capable of.
Boots: Salomon Launch BOA 2020
Size: 9.5 (US Men's Sizing)
Date: January 18, 2021
Sunny as! And no wind. Perfect visibility.
Quite hot with atll that sunshine.
24 hour snow: 7cm (3")
7 day snow: 16cm (6")
On groomer: Hard pack. Hard but not icy except in the occasional patch. Got softer as the day went on.
Off groomer: Very much like on-groomer.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Board Demoed With: YES Greats 2019
Bindings Demoed With: Burton Malavita 2017
Outersole Length: 30.2cm (mondo 27.5cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 2.7cm
Backstay Height: 28.3cm
Rider Weight: 175lbs (79kg)
Boot Weight: 960 grams*
* Average of a sample of boots I weighed was 1006 grams, so a bit lighter than the average but pretty close to average. Heaviest were 1320 grams and lightest were 740 grams.
The Launch felt around a 5/10 flex to me, bordering on 4.5 - and would likely break in to more of a 4.5 over time. A good bit of flex to them, but stiffer than boots I would typically view as a 4. Softer than my control boots, which I consider a 6/10.
Width: They're on the narrower side of medium (typical of Salomon boots). Not ultra narrow but narrower than normal. They were still fine for my "normal" width feet though. Not overly uncomfortable in terms of the width but ideally I would have a little more room there width-wise.
True to Size?: The 9.5s were certainly snug (I'm typically a 10), but toes just brushing the end when standing and pull away when bending knees, so just right – and based no how 10s in Salomon pack out slightly too much for me, I think these would pack out perfectly in the 9.5.
I'm still happy to demo a 10, but if I was to buy Salomon I would go 9.5, as I think they would fit better in the medium to long run and aren't so snug to start with to be unbearable or anything, in the 9.5. Toes definitely tighter than in my Adidas Tactical ADV 9.5s, but still comfortable and ultimately right in 9.5 I would say.
High or Low Arch: Could feel the boots on the tops of my feet to start, but that's typical with 90% of boots when I first try them. That very quickly dissipated and that pressure went away. I would say average in terms of people with high arches.
Versus the DC Mutiny I also rode on the same day, the Launch BOA didn't provide as much shock absorption. And doing my stomp test (with my control boot on one foot and the test boot on the other), the shock absorption was considerably less than in my Tactical ADV (though those things are super shock absorbing).
Really good board feel through these boots. Certainly more than my Tactical ADVs. When inspecting the sole they felt pretty flexy through the middle of the sole and at the toes (as little stiffer in the heel as is typical), so I expected they would have good board feel and they didn't disappoint on snow.
Very close to the Tactical ADV in terms of being able to get deep into a carve and charge. Maybe just a hair less carvability. At slower speeds, they were easy to maneuver in. Again very similar to my control boots - maybe a hair better.
Upper lower separation: One Boa controls the entire outer boot, so in that sense not that adjustable, but the other boa does allow you to get extra heel hold on the fly without opening the boot up, so that’s pretty cool.
Ease of tightening the inner boot: Easy as it comes, with the Boa on the outside. Though there is also a lacing harness on the inside that yo need to open up the outer boot to access. However, not as necessary to have to do that with that boa harness being there.
Really comfortable when first trying on. No major pressure points but with a good snug fit overall. Had some discomfort when first walking in them from the car park to the lift, but that quickly dissipated and were very comfortable riding in them. And the walk back to the car, that discomfort was no longer there.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
I found I had really minimal heel lift. The only real heel lift I got was from trying to really wrench my heel up and even then there wasn't much. And the advantage of having that internal harness controlled by the outer BOA is that you can very easily tighten that as you go, if you feel your heel starts to lift more as the day goes on.
Unlike a lot of Salomon boots, the Launch (and the Dialogue now too) are quite low profile. They're not super reduced like my Tactical ADVs, but they're pretty good - lower profile than average. I measured these to be 2.7cm longer on the outersole versus there Mondo. And if you can get in 1/2 size smaller, then that's another 0.5cm you can shave off too.
The sole isn't great on these boots to be fair. If you're not doing any hiking or anything, shouldn't be an issue, but there's pretty low tred depth and the sole looks/feels fairly cheap. More focused on board feel than traction with this sole, IMO.
Quite difficult to get foot in initially. Enough so to make me worried that it would be too small. But then once I got my foot inside it works. Certainly snug, but toes not pushed up against edge, just brushing. So feel just right. And from previous Salomon's I found them to be the same (hard to get on, but once inside they're fine).
The latch for the inner lacing harness isn’t amazing, but it’s fine. There are 2 BOAS then to work with but they're nice and easy and fast to work with.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
The Launch are a really solid boot with no real complaints apart from a slightly cheap feeling sole.
They don't look anything special either (though I was comparing them with the DC Mutiny that I also tried and I really liked the look of those (which is of course in the eye of the beholder) but they fit and function really nicely and work well for freestyle or casual all-mountain riding, and area great option for high-end beginners to intermediate rider's looking to progress.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you’re interested in learning more about the Launch BOA, 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 Launch BOA compared to other freestyle boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.