The Burton Hail has been around for a while and is well liked. It’s a soft, long lasting freestyle boot that is great everywhere from the Jib park to even all mountain freestyle adventures around the mountain. The 2013 and 2014 Burton Hail is set up with what they call an auto cant which is a great thing and makes it easy on the body.
Burton Hail 2014 Review
The Burton Hail is the only boot in the softer freestyle to all mountain freestyle world that offers up what Burton calls Auto Cant. What this means is the boot rolls in easier than most boots so it’s easier on your knees, ankles and hips. This auto cant is subtle but effective and still works well with other canted bindings.
Regarding Reduced Footprint: Burton’s foot print is almost a full size smaller on the outside but the same size on the inside. So a size 10 boot is still a size 10 on the inside but more like a size 9 on the outside. This really reduces toe drag and Burton is the best in the industry when it comes to this. The warmth and feel of the ride is unaffected and all you have is a boot less likely to catch the snow on a hard turn or in steep terrain. This is great for those that have big feet, ride narrower boards, or are in between board and binding sizing.
Approximate Weight: The size 9 Hail weighs in at 2lbs per boot and 4lbs for the pair.
Fit: A size 9 boot Fit’s my size 9 feet perfectly.
Flex: The flex is very forgiving and moderately easy. It borders on medium and makes for a pretty balanced in and out of the park kind of ride.
Comfort: The Burton Hail 2014 has a lot of comfort going on and it’s pretty good even at Day 1. After a few days it should be as comfortable as it will be after 30. Burton makes increadibly comfortable boots for most feet.
Heel Hold: Burton has pretty good heel hold but it’s not the industry leader. For most of us the heel hold is fine but if you need lots of grip around the ankle BOA might be better.
Adjustability: This Burton lacing system is traditional for even traditional lace. Many boots these days have locking systems at each rung but these have rungs that make it easier to pull it all tight easy. If you know how to do a mountaineers knot at the ankle you can have separate upper and lower adjustability. Needless to say Traditional lace is more work than Speed Lace and BOA but some like the ability to control each rung and like the ability to be able to replace a lace quickly if it breaks which you can’t do as easy with Speed Lace and it’s even more difficult with BOA.
Flex Retention: The Hail keeps it’s original flex rather well thanks to the articulating cuff that is very similar to the Burton SLX. It’s one of the better boots for people who ride many days a year on.
Response: Pretty middle ground response that allows you to have some freestyle freedom but it will also allow you to lay into a carve rather well.
Traction: The Traction of the Burton Hail is pretty good in all conditions.
Shock Absorption: The Burton Hail has a thinner foot bed than Burton boots of old but it still has really good shock absorption and paired up with good shock absorbing bindings like the Malavita or Genesis you will find that bad/flat landings will be better than most set ups out there.
Burton Hail 2013-2010 and below Review
In 2010 the Hail was made much softer. In 2011 Burton stiffened up the boot but not as much as it was before 2010, made it more comfortable and worked on the sole cushioning. Aside from a little added comfort the 2012 Burton Hail pretty close to 2011. We are huge fans of the articulating cuff and this will help the boot retain it’s flex for a long time. The sole cushioning is also border line excellent and has an air bag that runs almost the whole bottom of the boot. We have to say that despite its un-sexy lacing system this is a great boot and will work well with most soft flexing freestyle boards.
The 2013 Burton Hail is similar to the 2012 but it has one huge upgrade. It’s called an Autocant and it’s basically a sole that allows you to roll the boot easier to the inside of your stance. They say it makes for pressure relief on your knees, ankles and possibly even hips due to the wide stance most people use in the park. It makes the 2013 the call in the park.