The Burton SLX can arguably retain it’s flex longer than any boot we have encountered. It also has a response/flex that will work with a wide variety of boards. If you are willing to part with all that cash you generally get your money back over time because of how long this lasts. It’s just a lot of cash up front.
2015 Burton SLX Review
Bindings: Burton Diode,
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin
Set Up: Slightly set back, 15 front -15 back approx 23″ wide
Approximate Weight: Size 9 SLX 2.6 lbs and 5.2 lbs for the pair.
What’s new with the 2015
1. The Shoeller material described on the outside is new and very scratch proof/durable.
2. There is a little orange/red eva foam or gel insert wedge you can put in under the liner to give you more shock absorption in the heel. It also gives you more forward lean and therefore a little more response edge to edge.
3. There is a dual density foam tech thing going on that isn’t quite an auto cant going on like the Ion but it’s easier than previous models roll to the inside of your feet than it use to be. It helps alleviate a little stress on the joints from the stance required to snowboard and it’s a big improvement over the 2013 and 2014 models. Before the boot felt stuck and didn’t want to roll to the inside or outside of your stance. Now it rolles to the inside of your stance a lot easier and it’s a really nice improvement.
Fit: My size 9 feet fit the size 9 boot pretty well but it’s a little shorter from heel to toe inside than all other Burton boots. Usually with Burton boots my left foot is a little shorter and my right boot fit’s perfect. With the SLX my right foot is a little tight and my left fits perfect. With a little heat molding the right will fit perfect. Like almost all Burton boots it has a wider toe box that works well for the mechanics of turning as well as keeps your toes warm. It’s not super wide like it’s good for wide feet but it’s got a little extra room for my foot to expand to the sides when I lean forward on a turn. Also because my toes are pressed together and they never go numb like they do with other boots that have a tighter toe box.
Flex: The SLX is always softer and less responsive out of the box than the Ion but this year and last there is even a more noticeable difference between the two. The SLX feels softer than the older models and I’d say it’s more medium to bordering on med/stiff. The good part is that flex will stay the same for a long time. It’s not going to start out Med to Med/Stiff and go really soft. It starts out medium to medium stiff and pretty much stays that way.
Response: Like the Ion the SLX has more response than you would think for it’s flex. It feels like a nice smooth edge to edge transitioning that can handle a wide variety of boards. It’s a great boot for a diverse board quiver. It definitely pairs up with more responsive boards but you would be surprised how well it pairs up with med/soft flexing and easier turning boards as well.
Comfort: So the more I ride these the longer it takes to break in. The new infinite ride liner has denser foam than the standard Burton boots andi it’s not as comfortable as the older liners. It takes longer to break in and I experienced a little pain in the Achilles heel of my right foot because it was a little tight and the fom is a little more dense. I found that I needed to go into the shop and heat mold these. The toe box of the SLX feels a little wider and there is more room which I like because you are guaranteed that your feet will never fall asleep. Well at least I’m guaranteed because as I often say all feet are different when it comes to fit. The length of the fit is a tiny bit shorter than the Ion as well but my feet still fit both very well.
Heel Hold: I’ve never had heel lift in these boots but some with smaller ankles/heels have complained over the years about Burton. With no additional foam customization I’ve never had even a little bit of heel lift.
Adjustability: Burton Speed lace is one of my personal favorites for a few reasons. It’s quick on and off but even better the upper and lower are completely separate. I can leave the lower a little bit loose and the upper moderately tight. Most double BOA boots can’t do that because they overlap on the ankle. Also the articulating cuff wraps really well around your shin. It’s a fit that conforms to feet very well and it’s at the top of the Burton fitting chain.
Flex Retention: I haven’t found a boot that retains it’s flex better than the Burton SLX. Now with the infinite ride liner and the articulating cuff the SLX is even better than before. Jimbo has over 300 days of hard riding on his 2012 SLX’s and they still aren’t noodled out. Yeah the flex isn’t like new any more but most boots should feel like socks after that many days. With the newer tech the SLX should be even better. Also the toe box is massively stiff compared to previous years. The 2014 was pretty stiff but this feels even stiffer.
Shock Absorption: So without the little wedges the shock absorption is pretty good and it’s definitely a step up from the Ion’s. However there is a decent amount of Vibram tread that detracts from feeling the full effects of the Gel between your foot and the binding. As the sole softens up a bit over time you will feel the gel more. With the Wedge in there is some serious shock absorption going on and it’s better than even the Fiend which seems to have the most shock absorption of the Burton line. You don’t feel as integrated with the board as you do the Ion though. It’s a very good fit and has really solid integration but the EST integration is something special though and really has a different feel. It’s s tough call when it comes to choice between the Ion and the SLX. It’s about shock absorption vs board feel and I’ll leave that to you to decide as both have their merits.
Traction: Vibram is the best when it comes to traction and I have never had issues in icy parking lot’s or walking across wind blown rocky peaks or hiking in soft snow. It’s also easy to walk in these boots if you losen the top. The Vibram tread on the SLX is also thicker than any other boot I’ve seen in their line so again they built this to last longer than your average boot.
Footprint: So all Burton boots are really reduced but when you match up my size 9 Ion’s to the 9 SLX the SLX is even a little bit more reduced. It’s the best choice for those that have in between sizing and want to size down. Also the toe and heel ramp up really well to reduce the possiblity of toe/heel drag.
On & Off Ease: The only real slow part (if you can call it that) is in the liner. There is a little speed lace pull tab kind of thing and Velcro at the top. Sometimes it takes me a try or 2 to dial it out but then after that it’s super quick on. Getting the boots off is really easy with speed lace too. One of the best things about speed lace is it’s easier to make on snow adjustments quickly compared to most BOA. For example if you over tighten a BOA boot you can’t just slightly loosen it like you can with Burton Speed Lace. You have to pretty much start over. It’s very easy to tighten and loosen Speed Lace boots. Also the longevity of speed lace has drastically increased. I no longer have to change out speed lace at the end of the season like I had to in the past. It now seems to last as long as the boot does.
So all in all the 2015 Burton SLX is one of those boots that’s got a lot of really industry unique outstanding qualities but you really pay a lot for it. It’s more than many boards out there so it’s hard to say buy this boot. If you can afford it or want to save for it the good thing is you won’t have to buy another boot for a really long time.
A lot of people are considering the SLX and the Ion. They are both great boots but each have their own feel and appeal. Here is a break down on how we see that they are different.
– Has the stiffer more responsive boot for those that want to ride more aggressive more challenging boards.
– It has more feel underfoot than the SLX.
– Better inward roll (aka auto cant) to make a wider stance easier on your joints.
– If you have a quiver of aggressive boards this is the call.
– Fit’s a wider spectrum of boards. It’s almost as good as the Ion with more aggressive boards but it’s better with less aggressive easier turning boards than the Ion.
– Better shock absorption than the Ion and you can add more to it.
– The SLX lasts forever. The Ion retains it’s flex a lot longer these days with the articulation tech and the new infinite ride liner but the SLX is still the clear leader when it comes to maintaining it’s flex and it also holds up to abuse longer than the Ion as well as almost any other boot out there we have encountered.
– If you have a diverse quiver of boards from easy turning to challenging technical camber boards but like to ride one boot then this is the call over the Ion.
2014 Burton SLX Review
Days: 2 days on the 2014 but hundreads on past models.
Riders: James and Jimbo
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Cartel Limited, Burton Diode, Union Force, Flux DMCC, Flux SF45,Burton Genesis, Union SL, Union Contact Pro, Burton Cartel EST, Burton Malavita EST , Burton Diode EST and many many more
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin, Gnu Impossible Series, Yes Greats, Rossignol One Magtek, Lib Tech Burtner Box Scratcher, Never Summer Proto, Never Summer Cobra, Lib Tech TRS, Lib Tech Lando Phoenix, Lib Tech Hot Knife, Arbor Coda, Burton Barracuda, Burton Nug Flying V, Gnu Space Case, Gnu Riders Choice, Slash ATV,Yes Jackpot and many many more.
Regarding Reduced Footprint: The Burton SLX has a reduced footprint that is more reduced than the rest of the Burton line. Most Burton boots are a full size smaller on the outside but with the SLX a size 10 boot is more like a size 8.5-8.75 on the outside with the SLX. I haven’t come across a boot with this kind of reduction and it’s even evident in the pictures. It looks so stumpy. It’s coming to the point where it’s hard to recommend a boot without a good reduced footprint because for most in the size 10+ range there is such a huge advantage because suddenly a guy with a size 10.5-11 boot can now easily fit into most medium bindings and ride normal waist boards with minimal heel or toe drag.
Flex: So the flex of the SLX is medium/stiff but unlike most boots out there it never really gets much below medium even after 100+ days. Even boots like the Driver X start out stiff but eventually they will become soft. The SLX doesn’t. It also has a nice supportive feel.
Comfort: Incredibly comfortable. Jimbo and I felt like we have been wearing this boot for months the first day we put it on. It’s one of the easiest boots we have ever had a first time wear. I can’t guarentee you will have the same expereince because every foot is different but my guess is most will have the same easy break in free experience. One thing I would like to see with the SLX is the Auto Cant that the Ion’s have so it’s a little easier on the knees and hips but this is a nit pick. I’ve personally enjoyed the fatigue free auto Cant and angled design of the Ion’s and Imperials that I mainly ride those boots these days but the SLX is still an amazing boot.
Heel Hold: The SLX really wraps around your ankle and doesn’t let your heel rize very easy. It doesn’t have that cranked down feel of BOA boots but it hold really well. It’s very close to excellent.
Adjustability: Same great BOA lacing system as all their boots but the SLX usually has the strongest laces in the line. The last few years the laces we had held up for the life of the boot. When you combine speed lace with the articulating cuff
Flex Retention: This is what separates the SLX from other boots out there. I have had SLX’s in my quiver for many years and so has Jimbo. If I don’t have injuries I get to about 100 days but Jimbo can break 200 days on a good season in Mammoth. Jimbo rides the SLX exclusively and only rides other boots when I make him. He often uses the same SLX for 2 seasons. There are many other great properties about the SLX but it’s ability to retain it’s flex as long as it does without turning into a sock is pretty incredible and we haven’t seen anything like it. If you ride a lot or want to keep one boot for a long time the SLX is a great choice. So the 2014 Burton SLX upped the flex retention even further with the new insole that breaks down even less than the 2013 and below boots. Before it would start out medium stiff, break down a bit and hold at medium for a really long time. Now it seems like it might not break down to far from it’s original flex for the life of the boot. We can’t say for sure but it seems like a nice improvement. This combined with the articulating cuff make this boot exceptional when it comes to flex retention. This is why I think Burton can get away with this excesssive price tag because this boot really performs twice or 3 times as long as most boots.
Response: This has smooth but excellent response that has almost an auto complete to the turns you make. It’s very hard to describe but the SLX makes turning easier. It’s very quick edge to edge. It starts out a little less responsive than the Driver X but after about 50 days this is the more responsive boot. So it goes back to flex retention here. If you want a boot that will stay responsive throughout the life of the boot the SLX is the call. That is why you could easily argue that the SLX is the most responsive boot in Burton’s line if you factor in flex retention.
Traction: Vibram soles are outstanding and it’s easy in everything from icy parking lots to walking across frozen exposed rocks on a ridge line.
Shock Absorption: The SLX has a pretty minimized sole but it still has pretty good shock absorption while still having a lot of feel underfoot.
All in all the Burton SLX is a very expensive boot but it’s a really great boot. It’s just too expensive to add to the favorites list but many people will enjoy this ride for a long long time.
2013 to 2008 Burton SLX Review
The design hasn’t changed much but this year the Burton softened up the flex just a little bit making it a little more like the 2011.
If you ride allot and/or have allot of money then the Burton SLX of the best boots you can ride. After 200+ days on this boot we haven’t found any major flaws and it continues to ride close to how it was when it was new. It’s taking snowboarding to the skiing price levels. Another issue for some but not for others is the shrinkage tech with this boot. If you are a size between 11 and 10 then the SLX is awesome to help you fit into a smaller board and binding. The SLX has a low profile so a size 9 shoe looks more like a size 8 wich makes a difference if you have big feet.
Flex:They are not supper stiff and now they are on the medium side. In the old days before 2010 the SLX was pretty stiff. The 2010 boot was the first attempt at making the boot soft and in our opinion it was a time for learning. This is the only year we won’t back this boot. The tongue would fold on a forward lean causing a pressure point on the front part of your ankle which should never happen for a boot of this price. In 2011 and 2012 this issue was fixed with a little stiffer flex and rubber guards on the liner where it use to fold. We were skeptical with this tech but after close to 100 days in 2011 we aren’t any more.
Comfort: The Burton SlX really fits like a glove and is pressure point free on the first day. This goes for every year we tried except for 2010 and aside from that one pressure point the boot was very comfortable. You don’t have to bring your old boots up on the first day like you do with many other new boots because most riders will not have a break in period with them. In 2012 the SLX has newer tech to make this break in period even easier. No matter how hard you crank the laces down it seems to have the least pressure points of almost any boot we have ever tried so if you like to crank your shit down then you will be ok here.
Heel Hold:For all burton boots the heel hold has vastly improved from past years but the SLX was always pretty awesome when it came to keeping your heels in place. Before you needed the J-Bars to completely eliminate heel lift but now you almost don’t need them unless your ankle is really tiny. It allows the Burton Boot to cater to many different riders.
Upper and Lower Adjustability:The dual zone lacing system is the best out there so you can pretty much adjust the upper and lower however you would like. The only thing you cant do is individually adjust the top rungs like you can with some traditional lace boots but this is pretty minor because the SLX’s lacing is so good you won’t really think about that. The 2011 and 2012 models laces are much more durable. The 2009 SLX’s laces had to be replaced every 50-70 days but now the new laces are good for at least 100 days without any sign of wear.
Response:This boot can adapt to many different conditions depending on how you tighten it. The edge to edge response is incredibly predictable. It doesn’t have the Ion’s almost magical create the next turn for you kind of feeling but it really is a joy to turn with these. There isn’t a boot out there that can respond like these. The only boot that could have better edge to edge transitioning is the Ion but its a coin toss and up to your personal preference. The rebound rods in the boot liners are actually worth mentioning. They are supposed to help you transition from edge to edge. We put an older Burton liner without rebound rods in the boot and noticed a huge difference in edge to edge transitioning and realized his is not a gimmick.
Traction:This boot’s traction does fine in any type of snow or ice but will not perform as well as the driver x if your hiking back country. This boot is also really light compared to other boots.
Sole Cushioning: The one complaint for these boots is the sole cushioning. It is no where near as cushy and forgiving as the Ions but that is not their intention with this boot. They want more feel but they have made improvements over the 2009 and below models when it comes to cushioning. They are no longer using an air bag and cover the entire foot bed instead of just the heal. Good choice but this isn’t made to be super soft. It’s made to be low to the board and provide shock absorption when needed. They aren’t chattery or tough on the feet but they just aren’t super paded.
The Burton SLX boots of almost any year integrate perfectly with any bindings and any board. If you have the cash or can find a closeout go for it. I haven’t met anyone yet who has been dissapointed with the boot except from people who had the 2010 model. You’ll get some looks and comments but it’s worth the social bullshit.
2012 Burton SLX- They have have improved comfort, a slightly lighter design, dryride liners and a new sole. The ride is still like the SLX of 2011 but just has the latest and greatest tech.
2011 Burton SLX- Burton stiffened it back up a bit and added some plastic/rubber reinforcement in the liner to counteract that pinch that happened in the 2010 models. The lacing was also improved as well as a bit of comfort
2010 Burton SLX- The SLX became so soft they would fold and pinch at the flexing point of the toungue. This is one of the only years we wouldn’t back this boot.
2009 and Below-the Sl’s had a rather firm supportive feel and no heaters