Hello and welcome to my Vans Viaje review.
In this review I will take a look at the Viaje as freeride snowboard boots.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Viaje a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other women's freeride boots.
NOTE: The 2023 model was the last model of the Viaje, it would appear. However there is a Vans Viaje Range Edition, which has walk mode for walking up hills.
Boots: Vans Viaje
Price: $369 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium to Stiff (6-9, depending on removable tongue stiffeners)
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (5-7/10, depending on tongue stiffeners)
Rating Score: 93.6/100
Compared to other Women's Freeride Boots
Out of the 12 women's freeride boots that I rated:
Overview of the Viaje’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Viaje's specs.
Felt a little heavier than normal
Who are the Viajes Most Suited to?
The Viaje are best suited to those who want a stiffer than average boot but nothing ultra stiff. Someone who likes to carve at higher speeds a lot, but still wants some forgiveness and flex for slower speed riding as well.
Particularly well suited to those who want one pair of boots for a varied quiver of boards. For example, if you have a soft flexing and stiff flexing board in your quiver, you can remove the tongue stiffeners for a softer board to ride on your softer board or have them in for your stiffer board.
Not for beginners, even with tongue stiffeners out, unless you're particularly strong/athletic or a bigger rider. But great for every other level.
The Viaje in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Viaje are capable of.
Boots: Vans Viaje 2023
Size: 8 (US Women'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: +12/-12
Stance Width: 19.5" (49.5cm)
Board Demoed With: Ride Saturday
Bindings Demoed With: Ride DVA
Rider Height: 5"7" (170cm)
Rider Weight: 125lbs (56kg)
Rider Boot Size: Women's US8.0 Ride Hera
Outersole Length: 28.4cm (mondo 25cm)
Difference between Mondo & Outersole: 3.4cm
Backstay Height: 10.6" (27cm)
Weight: 2lbs 8oz ( 1120grams)*
* Average of a sample of women's boots I've weighed was 1lbs 15oz (880g). Heaviest I've weighed were 2lbs 10oz (1200g) and lightest were 1lb 10oz (740g). So the Viaje were certainly on the heavier side and felt that way on foot too.
The Viaje comes with removable tongue stiffeners, which allow you to adjust how stiff or soft you want them to feel.
With tongue stiffeners all in feels a little stiffer than medium. But definitely not as stiff as the 9 that Vans has them rated at. And without the tongue stiffeners more like a 5. So more like a 5-7 range by my feel.
Width: On first try on, they felt narrower than normal with quite a bit of lateral pressure on the pinky toes and a touch of medial pressure on big toes. After heat molding and riding in them still felt cramped on both sides, but more significant on the lateral (pinky) side.
So, I would say narrower than normal, but this might have been different if I was in the 8.5, which would have been a better size for me, IMO. More on that below.
True to Size?: If I was trying this on in store I would ask for an 8.5. The 8 was all round too small for me, IMO. I'm typically an 8, so they run half a size small, IMO.
Upon first try on toes were pushed up against the edge - particularly the big toe. Not to a point of having to bend toes, but to a point where there was definite uncomfortable pressure on them. Top of toes was OK. A little tight, but doable.
After heat molding and riding in them still felt too short length-wise. Top of toes was OK but cramped length-wise - big toe, pinky and toe next to pinky all had pressure on them. As above, tight on the sides of the toes as well. Top of toes was fine.
Top of Foot (Instep): Some pressure on top of the boot but not more so than normal. And not uncomfortable. Felt good top of foot both when first trying on and when riding in them.
Around Ankles: When I first tried them on and was standing up straight, there was pressure around the side of the calf. But not really noticeable in snowboard stance - only noticeable when walking and standing up.
In riding position though, noticed pressure on the outer ankle bone. But not in a standing position.
However, neither of these issues weren't noticeable when I rode them, after heat molding.
Fit with Bindings
I had to loosen the ankle strap one notch vs my control boots, to get the best fit, so a little bulkier around the ankle area of the boot. The toe strap fit at the same setting.
Around the heel area this boot is wider than my control boots too. It was a tighter fit in my bindings - but not so tight that it was awkward to get the boots into my bindings though.
The Viaje were better at short/sharp slow speed turns than I was expecting. Still not quite as good as my control boots (Ride Hera) but decent enough.
For higher speed carves, they felt like they offered a little better support and that I could carve a little deeper with them.
Very good heel hold. Heel lift was minimal - as in pretty much not noticeable at all, certainly not when riding.
The two boas are completely independent of one another. The front boa controls the upper half of the outer boot and the side boa controls the lower half of the outer boot.
There are also removable tongue stiffeners, which allow you to adjust the level of flex as well. This is unique to Vans, as far as I know.
Apart from the pressure points on the ends of toes and sides of toes, these boots were otherwise very comfortable. In the 8.5 I think these boots would be super comfortable for me.
Really really good shock absorption. Considerably better than control. Not hard to be better than my control boots, which don't absorb shock that well, but these were a few steps better and better than other boots I've been testing.
During the stomp test (which we do before the on-snow test) you could really hear the difference as well as feel it.
Really hard to get foot in initially. Had push down and twist to get in. To get the zipper shroud done up had to tighten the lower half of outer boot tighter than was comfortable, zip it up and then release the boa and readjust.
Once foot was in, there was a typical lacing harness which was easy to work with and the double boa was easy and fast for the outer boot, though a bit more effort if you wanted to get the zipper shroud done up - well for me anyway.
Was still quite hard to get in after heat molding.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
With those removable tongue stiffeners, the Viaje are very versatile boots that offer up great performance for a wide range of styles and a wide range of board matches.
They do run 1/2 size small, IMO, so you may want to go half a size larger than you normally would, when choosing this boot.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Viaje compared to other women's freeride boots, or want to check out some other options, check out the link below.