Tha Van’s Aura is an interesting boot that allows a little more adjustability than most Double BOA boots and also offers up a softer flex. So I found that most major boots like Burton, Nike, Salomon ect fit me in a size 9 but the Vans 8.5 fit’s a little better and after it packs out it works well.
Not much has changed from 2012-2014
Flex: Pretty medium soft.
Comfort: Very comfortable. Van’s boots work well with your feet.
Heel Hold: There are BOA boots that lock in the heel more but to me those are varying shades of excellent. This clamps down on my ankle more than I need while still allowing me upper/lower adjustability.
Adjustability: The Aura also has a complete separation between upper and lower BOA coils so you can have the upper super tight and the lower loose without sharing the ankle. For most of us at The Good Ride we like this separation because isn’t that the point of having 2 BOA coils?
Flex Retention: Van’s runs a bit softer than many other boots and they get softer over time. The stitching and boot holds up just fine but they can get pretty soft. We like that the Aura has a lot of articulation in the ankle and almost two seperate pannels to help maintain the flex that you start out with.
Response: Pretty mellow response. Its forgiving but you can make a good turn or two.
Traction: The 2014 Van’s Aura has one patch in the front with good traction rubber. The rest is more slippery EVA foam. I liked the older Van’s soles better. They are heavier but not as slippery. Snow can stick to your boots and if it does to that traction patch the boot becomes incredibly slippery.
Shock Absorption: The Aura also has very good shock absorption for a boot of this price. There is a lot of EVA foam going on.
Footprint: The Van’s runs about a half size smaller for my feet but the footprint is not reduced. It’s not the largest length from toe to heel but it’s nothing you want to buy to help size down in bindings or waist width.
On & Off Ease: The Aura has 2 BOA’s and a speed lace for the liner to get in and out of. It’s a little slower dialing out the BOA’s to get them on but pretty easy to get off.
2011 and below
The biggest issue with the 2011 and below Aura is the very soft toe. This can really suck if you ride with over the toe straps because the boot just collapses, makes you crank it down more and cause pressure on your toes. This can make you un happy with your bindings as well. Since 2012 the Aura fixed this soft toe issue and the toe is stiffer than before. The boot also feels a little more stiff than last year making this a very good medium/soft flexing BOA boot.