If you have ever been snowboarding before, you already know how important it is for you to prevent any type of heel lift from happening. Luckily for you, there are actually several different ways that you are able to avoid it from happening. You can do some very simple alterations to your current snowboard boots that will help to hold your heel much better. If that doesn’t seem to work, it may be that the boots you are using are not fitting very well or are simply too big for you. Here is everything that you need to know about heel lift and how you can prevent it from happening with the boots that you are using.
What is Snowboard Boot Heel Lift?
When you wear snowboard boots, they only have one job to do. This job is to securely hold your foot to your snowboard while you make all sorts of different movements. In fact, having your movements translate to your snowboard is how you can achieve maximum control over it. So, when you have boots that are sliding to the front and back, roll from side to side, or even allow your heel to lift up slightly, that is not a good thing.
Whenever your heel is lifted off of your board, you are giving up some sort of control and responsiveness. This is due to a delay in the movement you are making with your body being translated to your board. If you are suffering from heel lift, it will be more noticeable while you are on toe edge. As you start to turn into your toe edge, you will notice that you also start to rock forwards with your boots, effectively shifting the bulk of your bodyweight onto the balls of your feet. Once this happens, your weight will be on the front edge of your board and your board will begin to be left behind. Essentially, this all means that your board will not be as responsive as it should be, meaning that you are potentially in for a very large number of different problems.
What Causes Heel Lift?
There are actually a few different factors that cause heel lift to occur. They include:
- Using boots that are too big or too wide for your foot size
- You are not using boots that fit your foot correctly
- You have not tightened your boots properly
- Your boots are too old and worn
Correcting Heel Lift
Now that you know what heel lift is and why it happens, you may be wondering how you can correct it and prevent it from happening again. There are several different things you can try to correct any heel lift that you may be experiencing.
- Try Tightening Your Boots
One of the most obvious fixes to heel lift is to simply try and tighten your boots. Start by double checking that your inner boot is tight. Be sure that you do your best to tighten the inner boot to your outer boot so that there is no sliding around at all. Next, be sure that you make the outer boot lacing of the lower section as tight as you can as well. Be sure that you do your best to make sure all the laces are nice and tight, ideally limiting any potential movement from occurring at all. Just be sure that you do not over tighten any part of your boots, as this can potentially cut off some blood flow, eventually leading you to start experiencing cramps.
- Try Tightening Your Bindings
One of the other more common causes of heel lift is going to be that your bindings are not as tight as they need to be. Be sure to double check that your bindings are setup on your board exactly as they need to be in order to make your ankle strap as tight as it can be. If you have older bindings that have been overused, you may notice that your boots will move around more. If this is happening, a very inexpensive fix is to replace the old parts that are on your bindings. This is the cheapest options to get those old bindings working like new again. The good thing about this method is that most binding manufacturers will have replacement parts available that are either free or only cost a few dollars. Perfect if you are on a limited budget.
- Replace Your Old Boots
If you have tried to tighten your boots and your bindings but are still experiencing heel lift, the problem may be that it is simply time to get new boots. If you have had your boots for a while and have suddenly started to experience heel lift, it is more than likely a sign that your boots simply need to be replaced. In order to make sure that it is your boots being too old and not a different heel lifting problem, try to move your foot around your boot in every direction. If you notice that your foot is moving around, it means that your boots are too old and will need to be replaced.
When it comes to snowboarding, there is no other way to really get out there and enjoy the mountains how you are intended to enjoy them. However, when your equipment starts to go bad, it can not only affect how you are able to enjoy that mountain, but also put you in potential danger. This is why if you do notice that your snowboard has started to become less responsive or your feet are sliding around much more than they do normally (that being in the form of your heel lifting up), it is time to try and fix the problem.
While you can always go out and purchase a new pair of boots, it is not necessarily going to be in everybody’s budget. That is why you can follow the checklist of things to look for with your boots to save some money.