Hello and welcome to my ThirtyTwo Diesel Hybrid review.
In this review I will take a look at the Diesel Hybrid as freestyle snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Diesel Hybrid a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freestyle boots.
Boots: ThirtyTwo Diesel Hybrid
Price: $339 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: All-Mountain
Flex Rating: Medium (6/10)
Flex Feel: Medium (5/10)
Rating Score: 90.2/100
Compared to other Freestyle Boots
Out of the 26 freestyle boots that I rated:
Overview of the Diesel Hybrid’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Diesel Hybrid’s specs and available sizes.
Felt LIGTHER THAN normal
HYRID - TRADITIONAL LACE WITH BOA
US MEN'S SIZE
Who are the Diesel Hybrid Most Suited to?
The Diesel Hybrid have a middle of the road flex, which will appeal to a wide variety of riders. But they are particularly well suited to freestyle riders. They have exceptional board feel and are just the right flex for most freestyle boards, IMO.
They would also work really well for intermediate riders, giving a little more performance than beginner/softer boots, but still quite forgiving and easy going. Not quite beginner friendly, but close - and for bigger riders would work as beginner boots.
Or finally, for an all-mountain or all-mountain-freestyle rider who likes to ride more playfully/casually and prefer not to charge down the mountain super fast.
Best suited to snowboards in the 3/10 to 6/10 flex range, and even more ideally to boards in the 4/10 to 5/10 flex range.
The Diesel Hybrid in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Diesel Hybrid are capable of.
Boots: ThirtyTwo Diesel Hybrid 2024
Size: 10.0 (US Men's Sizing)
Date: January 24, 2024
Overhead: Moderate rain, heavy at times. Low Cloud.
Temperature (°F): 34 (25 with wind chill) morning and 34 (27 with wind chill) afternoon.
Temperature (°C): 1 (-4 with wind chill) morning and 1 (-3 with wind chill) afternoon.
Wind: 12mph (20kph) morning and 9mph (15kph) afternoon.
24 hour snow: 0.75" (2cm)
48 hour snow: 0.75" (2cm)
7 day snow: 21" (53cm)
On Groomer: Soft packed with slushy patches and a very small amount of fresh snow. Not overly smoothly groomed.
Off Groomer: Very similar to groomers.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Board Demoed With: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Bindings Demoed With: Burton Malavita, size M
Control Boots: Adidas Response ADV, size 9.5
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 180lbs
Outersole Length: 30.4cm (mondo 28.0cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 2.4cm
Backstay Height: 12.0" (30.5cm)
Weight: 2lbs 4oz (1020 grams)*
* Average of a sample of around 50 boots I've weighed was 1028g (2lbs 4oz). Heaviest I've weighed were 2lbs 15oz (1320g) and lightest were 1lb 8oz (680g). While the Diesel Hybrid were pretty much right on average on the scales, they felt lighter than normal on snow.
When I first tried them on, they felt a touch stiffer than my control boots, but nothing much in it. My control boots are well worn in, so are a little softer than when I first got them.
They had a kind of "square" feeling flex, if that makes any sense. As in, you could feel the stiffness in a couple of distinct different spots done the shin, as opposed to a rounded flex that feels even across the shin. Thankfully it lost that square flex feeling very quickly when riding in them.
On snow, after a break in process and some laps, they felt softer than my control boots (Adidas Response ADV) but only by a little bit. They would likely soften up a little more with a full break in, but I'd say they would settle in at around 5/10 flex with a margin for error of 0.5 (so could be anywhere from 4.5/10 to 5.5/10, I would say).
They felt considerably softer than the other pair of boots I was testing that day - the K2 Evasion.
Easy of Entry/Lacing Up
When first trying them on, they were a little easier than average to get my foot into. But pretty close to what I would consider typical. Once I got my feet in, they felt nice and snug. But not too tight.
It felt like a tighter than normal squeeze to get my foot in, when out on snow, but I mustn't have loosened them as well.
The liner lacing was a typical liner harness. There is hook and loop (aka Velcro® fasteners) fastening on both sides of top of liner, which I really like, to get a nice secure fit around the tops of the shins and getting the liner in a good position to get nice and tight.
The liner felt nice and plush and the way the boot’s shell’s tongue wraps around the outside of the sides of the liner (which overlap with the tongue of the liner), it really reduces any chance of shin bite (see video if you didn't understand that sentence!). The liner harness lacing and tightener felt relatively cheap though but were easy to use.
The liner harness doesn't go very high on the shin - and this likely gives it a softer flexing feel than it otherwise might have and a bit more freedom of movement. That said, the shell does wrap nicely around the liner and gives you the ability to get it tighter at the top of the shin that way (assisted by the hook and loop closure).
The Shell is fastened with the use of both Traditional Lacing and a Boa. But this one does work like a typical Lace/Boa Hybrid.
Usually the BOA on a Hybrid would operate a harness that wraps around the ankle area of the boot (with the goal in mind to increase heel hold) either on the inside, around the liner, or on the outside, around the shell.
On the Diesel Hybrid, however, the BOA works on BOA cables that go across the toe end of the foot – just like how the side BOA works on a Double BOA boot. Only really the top boa cable goes anywhere near the ankle. This is the first time I've ever seen a Hybrid like this.
My initial impression of this was that it felt really redundant to have the BOA cables do up and then having traditional lacing right on top of those BOA cables. It felt like two things doing the same thing.
But when I took them out on snow and was putting them on again, I realized that I could more easily get the laces tighter around toe end of foot, after the BOA had first been tightened. And something with the design of the boot meant that I could go quite tight on the lower foot, tighter than I normally would, but do so without pressure and still with plenty of room for the tops of my toes.
I think I'd still prefer those cables to come around the ankle area, but it was less useless than I initially thought. And overall the boot felt very comfortable and secure on.
Boot to Foot Fit
On first impressions, once I got my feet in, they felt nice and snug but not too tight. They felt like the right size from the get go and had no sense that I would go either 1/2 a size down or up.
I found them to feel right about medium width when I first tried them on, which surprised me, as ThirtyTwo typical feel more mid-wide to me. They felt a touch wider than the K2 Evasion and narrower than the Response ADV (my control boots).
But breaking them in must've stretched the width a little as they certainly felt mid-wide during the on-snow test day.
There was plenty of space for my toes in the toe box a just a touch of space on the outsides of the widest parts of my forefoot.
Length/True to Size?:
I would say they are true-to-size. At first try-on they felt quite tight, but not to a point of being painful. My toes were just brushing the ends when untied but there was no real pressure at the ends of my toes. I felt like a 10.5 would be too big and a 9.5 would be too tight a squeeze. I'm typically a 10 in most brands and the 10 in this case felt just right.
During the on-snow test day, there was a bit of gap at the end of the toes, but definitely didn't feel like they would get too big or anything. After the break in process, they had packed out just enough to be just right. When finished riding in them, they felt just as tight as when I had first put them on.
At first I felt quite a bit of pressure on my in-step, which made me think I would have to loosen the BOA on the on-snow testing day, which would defeat the purpose of that BOA even more.
But during the on-snow day, that pressure had gone and there was plenty of room and comfort around my in-step. This let me crank that BOA quite tightly and allowed me to get the laces tighter more easily. In the end I felt like the BOA made it easier, and perhaps I wouldn't have been able to get those laces tight enough without first cranking the BOA.
By the time I took the boots off, there was a bit of pressure back, but nothing too bad.
At first there was some pressure around the ankles, but during the on snow test day, there was plenty of room while still being snug - really comfortable around the ankles and no pressure points.
Boot to Binding Fit
They were a little bulkier than my control boots - and I had to adjust the ankle and toe straps 1 hole longer to give them the best fit in my bindings.
They were a tighter fit in the heel cup of my Medium Burton Malavitas, but fit well in there overall - not so tight that they had to be forced in or anything.
They didn't absorb shock super well. They weren't terrible but not as good as the Response ADV and not as good as the K2 Evasion that I also tested the day. The soles are pretty simple on these boots, and there's a good it of flex in the sole. This may not have been great for shock absorption, but was certainly good for this boots best quality - board feel.
The Diesel Hybrid had exceptional board feel! Some of the better board feel I've felt in a boot.
The sole is really flat (no big arch in the middle or anything - maybe some but only very subtly) and there is a good amount of flex in the sole too. As is typical there's more flex at the toe end of the sole and it gradually becomes stiffer as it goes down. This is the case for these boots, but even in the heel you can flex it.
These two things likely contribute to how good a board feel these things produced.
Felt good on slower speed tight agile carves and could handle moderate speed carves ok, but not as good for high speed carves. Can't hold them as deep and don't give the support necessary for those higher speed/deep carves.
Slow Speed Response
Quicker and easier turns at slow speed than my control boots and by far vs K2 Evasion. These things were able to make setup noticeably more nimble.
Really good adjustability here. Traditional Lacing on its own offers really good adjustability in terms of how tight you can make different sections of the boot. The BOA only ads to that adjustability - all be it helping out in an area that already has lacing.
Like most 32 boots, they also come with a heel hold kit (essentially foam rings that you can insert into a liner pocket around the ankle area of the liner). In my case the heel hold was good, so I didn't need to use them, but good to have if you find you're getting more heel lift than you'd like.
When I first tried them on, there was some pressure around the ankles and on the top of the foot, but otherwise comfortable.
On the on-snow test day I felt a pinch around the Achilles initially when walking to the lift, but didn't notice again after that, not even walking back from the lift - and right at the end of the test, when I was sitting down taking notes, I noticed some pressure on the tops of my feet returned, but nothing too bad.
Overall really comfortable and would only get more comfortable.
Felt good - very similar to my control boots. Some lift, but nothing significant. And the heel hold felt as good after riding in them as they did when I first put them on, which isn't always the case.
They're actually decently low profile - just 2.4cm longer on the sole than the mondopoint of the boot. Which isn't ultra low profile, but a good bit lower than average.
Because of they're flat soles, they didn't have a lot of toe bevel and very minimal heel bevel, so that doesn't help in terms of their overall angle to the snow, in terms of boot drag, but because they are a good bit shorter for their size, even with that low bevel, they are still better than average.
They have a very simple and quite cheap looking sole. It's really flexible. This sole is great for board feel, but it's overall quality is on the cheaper side and traction not going to be amazing.
While the tread depth is reasonably deep, there is no tread variety and I don't think there's any rubber content, so not likely to be super durable.
It's ThirtyTwos STI Evolution foam sole. It helps to keep the weight down - and is great for board feel, but not really designed for traction/durability, IMO.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
The Diesel Hybrid have impressive slow speed response and exceptional board feel. While they have their weaknesses, they could be the ideal boot for the right rider and those particular weaknesses may have no noticeable effect for their style of riding.
When I first tried these boots on, I got an impression that the BOA part of the boots was redundant, that they were fairly low quality in terms of the lacing harness and the sole and honestly I didn't think these boots would be all that when riding in them.
But after riding them, I was pleasantly surprised! Didn't have much hope for these boots but they were really nice to ride in.
I initially thought I would have these boots in our all-mountain category, but the way you could feel the board flex under these boots and how you can just rip slow speed turns/carves and the fact that they weren't great for higher speed stuff, they just feel really like they are best suited to freestyle - and that's where I had the best time in these boots - buttering, ollying, spinning, jumping etc.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you’re interested in learning more about the Diesel Hybrid, 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 Diesel Hybrid compared to other freestyle boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.