Hardboots vs Softboots for splitboarding!
Here are some more tips on boots for splitboarding. This time comparing hardboots vs softboots.
Hardboots makes for easier hiking and is a lighter setup overall, in the beginning it might feel like it miss a bit of the surf feeling on the way down. But the riding style will adapt to it after a while. Can be a bit hard on the feet on hard snow pack. Takes less time to transition from hike to ride mode with. Specially hiking on side traverses and steeper terrain the hardboots setup goes further and is easier to use. When first riding hardboots the board bounce feels very different, but after a while the riding gets really spot on. Carving and powder turns are really responsive and feels nice. The hardboots gives good support for the feet on boot packing and hiking with crampons. Hardboots fit automated crampons.
Softboots makes for a softer ride feeling and is easier to do freestyle tricks with. Splitboarding with softboots gives a more similar riding style to regular snowboarding. If preferred the same boots can be used for splitboarding and snowboarding. Softboots gives more dampening on the feet on hard snow pack. The softboots setup is heavier and takes more time to transition from hike to ride mode with. Specially hiking on side traverses and steeper terrain the softboots setup gives less support for the feet and is harder to use. Softboots will give more the same surf feeling in the beginning as riding a regular snowboard setup. Carving and powder turns has a softer feeling than with hardboots and almost feels like riding a regular snowboard setup. The softboots are more comfortable to walk off hill with, but gives less support for the feet when boot packing and hiking with crampons. Soft boots fit strap on crampons.
Specific splitboard soft boots has some extra features compared to regular snowboard boots. As a feature for more movement that makes it easier to hike with, normally have a more solid vibram under-sole that gives a little bit more support for the feet and fit semi automated crampons.
For more info and tips on what option is the best to choose, check the blog post about "How to choose splitboard boots"