The Burton Ion has been around for years and I’ve been riding this boot since the mid 2000’s. It’s one of Burton’s signature boots and really integrates well with almost any mostly mountain set up.
2017 Burton Ion Review
Bindings: Union Atlas, Burton Genesis X,
Boards: Yes Optimistic 2016, Jones Ultra Mountain Twin,
James’ Specs Relevant to Boots
Shoe Size: 9 with most boots/active shoes and 10 casual.
Calves (Widest Point): 17”
Calves (At top of boot): 12”
Foot Width at Widest Point: 4”
Mid Foot Width: 4”
Heel Width: 2.5”
Foot Height (Highest Point): 3”
Widest Point Arond My Ankles 11.5”
Flex: The flex dropped a bit when on your foot. With the Infinite Ride liner from 2015-2016 it had a stiffer forward flex and felt all around a little more stiff but with the new Life Ride liner it’s got a softer all around flex. Now it feels medium and just a touch stiffer on the forward flex than the SLX and Almighty. I’d like to see them add some of that closed cell foam or some kind of stiffer material to the liner next year to stiffen it up a little bit.
Comfort: The trade off with the softer flex is the comfort factor is really high this year from almost day one. Heat molding use to be recommended with the Infinite Ride liner from the past 2 years if you want it comfortable day one but now I’d say don’t do it unless you have a few uncomfortable days on it first. Heat molding isn’t usually as good as the boot slowly conforming to your foot. It fits around a medium sized foot width really well.
Heel Hold: Burton isn’t known for it’s amazing grip around the ankle but with the change to the lacing system it’s improved a bit. There are also still Velcro J-Bar mounts on the inside of the shell if you want a more snug fit. If you like that Focus BOA or even Triple BOA then this will feel loose. However it’s a common problem with people to overcrank or freak out on how tight the boot goes around the ankle. Most of us at The Good Ride have found that by not over cranking around the ankle and foot it leaves room for your foot to keep circulation but even more important have a little room to flex your foot. That makes for a more responsive because you can use the muscles in your feet much better. That being said if you have a really small ankle you might still be better off with BOA boots.
Adjustability: Speed lace in my humble opinion has some of the best adjustability because the upper and lower are completely separate. I love having a tight upper and moderately loose lower. Only a few BOA boots can do that.
Flex Retention: This isn’t like the SLX or Allmighty when it comes to flex retention but it should keep a good amount of flex compared to other boots in it’s price range. I would like to see more flex retention though. It use to have a little more with the Infinite Ride Liner from past years but with the new liner it doesn’t last as long. Still 100 days is no problem without the boot becoming a sock.
Response: The Ion has a nice response that helps get a board to spring from edge to edge very well. It’s a little more response than you would think for it’s flex and it doesn’t have a twitchy feel. Even with the softer flex this year it doesn’t disappoint and it’s great to pair up with a board that likes a more responsive boot/binding combo.
Traction: Great traction and rubber combined with EVA is a great thing. It’s sad to see that it’s not always the way manufacturers do it now days. Great for anything from icy parking lots to long hikes.
Shock Absorption: It’s a trade off here between feel underfoot/set up integration and shock absorption. There isn’t much here and it’s really minimized.
Footprint: in past years Burton was the best but this year Adidas now has a much more reduced footprint. It’s still on the upper tier of being reduced but there is now better out there for reducing toe and heel drag.
On & Off Ease: Very easy on and off. It’s faster than Double BOA getting em on and only a little slower getting them off.
So all in all the 2017 Burton Ion is still one of the best Mostly mountain boots for more responsive set ups out there. It’s not super responsive but smooth and springy edge to edge. It’s built around the foot really well.
2015 – 2016 Burton Ion Review
The Burton Ion is an expensive but very well made boot. It’s got a feel and conformity with the common foot that is hard for other boots to obtain. Is it worth the price? That’s a hard question to answer. If you ride a lot it might be but you might get just as much satisfaction with a boot similar to it like the Imperial. It’s a boot I’ve worn off an on over the years and it keeps drawing my feet back into it.
The 2016 Burton Ion has a few changes this year but the general ride is the same.
- The Lacing system is a little bit improved. I’m not sure on the exact tech but it does tighten the boot a little better around the foot than it use to. It also seems a little more sturdy with the plastic barrier on the sides of each pannel.
- The Rad Pads that prevent the tongue from folding aren’t as thick or sturdy this year.
Other than that it’s got a very similar ride and feel to the 2015 and it makes for a great boot for those that prefer more aggressive boards.
2015 Burton Ion Snowboard Boot Review
Bindings: Burton Diode
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin
Approximate Weight: Size 9 Ion 2.6lbs per boot and 5.2lbs for the pair.
There are a couple of new things I’ve noticed with the 2015 Burton Ion.
1. There is a little extra padding between the sole and liner in the form of a thin eva foam pad.
2. There is a little more articulation in the ankle that helps the outer material maintain it’s flex.
3. The toe box is much stronger than past year models (same with the 2014). They keep stiffening it up each year which is really good. It looks like it would be really hard for this to break down. In the past the older Ion’s would start to get a little soft after 40 days or so. Now it doesn’t seem like that will happen. I can’t even get the toe box to bend when I push down as hard as I can.
For those of you who geek out on weight one size 9 weigh’s 2.6 lbs.
Fit: Nice fit that’s true to size. The size 9 boot matches my size 9 feet. The toe box is a tiny bit more narrow than boots like the SLX and other Burton boots but it’s still got some extra room width wise to let your feet expand on a forward lean that’s typical with all Burton boots.
Set Up: 23″ wide 15 front -15 back centered.
Flex: The Ion has a pretty stiff flex but it’s not un-bendable like the Driver X but a little stiffer than the SLX.
Turn Initiation: There is more response going on for the flex than you would think even though it’s flex is on the stiffer side. It feels quick but at the same time smooth compared to many stiff/responsive boots out there like the Driver X.. However if you are use to softer boots you might find them overly responsive and they can over steer the board you were riding with the same lean you had with softer boots. It takes some getting use to. It’s not as responsive as the Driver X but it lives at the bottom end of the fast response spectrum.
Comfort: The Ion’s move to the infinite ride liners increased the longevity of the flex but it doesn’t break in as quickly. It use to feel like day 1 was day 15 but now day 1 can feel like day 1. The denser foam of the Infinite Ride Liner caused discomfort around my Achilles heel and in order to break it in more quickly it would need heat molding from a local shop. After heat molding other infinite ride liners it went away. So the Infinite Ride liners aren’t as comfortable as before but if you take the time to heat mold them you should be good. I’m ok with a little heat molding for a little extra longevity.
Heel Hold: Iv’e never had issues with Burton’s heel hold but some have. If you have a narrow heel/ankle these boots might not be the best for you.
Adjustability: Burton Speed Lace is great when it comes to adjust ability. The upper lace and lower lace is completely separate which is great for those that really like to dial out how the boot wraps around your toe to calf. For me I like it not too tight on the lower and tight on the upper so this lacing system is ideal for me. I’ve never cared about heel lift except for when I was just starting out but these days all day comfort is way more important.
Flex Retention: This model has a little notch as well as different material in the flex point that will help the 2015 model retain it’s flex longer than previous models. That combined with the new infinite ride liner makes the flex life of this boot really good. It will soften up over time but not to the extent that the older boots did. You can get a few seasons out of this if you aren’t rough on them. There isn’t much packing out going on with these boots either.
Shock Absorption: Now you pay a little bit of a price here as it has less shock absorption going on than other Burton boots that don’t have the EST optimized insole. For 2015 they added a little bit of eva foam between the liner and the sole but it’s not going to completely change the ride. With Footprint Game Changer insoles in there it’s better but it’s not like the Burton Fiend or even SLX when it comes to shock absorption. It’s a really unique feel that’s much more connected with the board and it rocks back and forth much more easy than normal soles. There is one thing that’s interesting here and I think that because there is less hard rubber tread than non est optimized soles you can feel the shock absorbing material give a little easier under foot and it feels better for smaller slow speed shock absorption. So it’s a give and take between shock absorption and feel under foot. I usually lean towards more shock absorption but I have to admit the feel underfoot is special and it’s a pretty cool feeling. I just don’t like wearing these boots with bindings that don’t have much shock absorption. If I pair them with Burton Re:Flex bindings though I’m more than fine.
Traction: Very good traction. I’ve never had a problem with any year Ion when it came to traction. It does have less tread than the SLX in thickness and surface area.
Footprint: About a size smaller than the boots of old. Some companies haven’t chose to reduce their boot size and those that didn’t are much longer than the Ion.
On & Off Ease: Speed lace is very easy on and off.
So all in all this is one of the better boots I’ve ever tried for those that want comfort, response and support. It’s pricey but for some (like me) its worth it.
2014 and Older Burton Ion Reviews
The Burton Ion 2014 Review
Days: 3 on the 2014 and hundreads on the previous years models.
Regarding the Burton Ion Auto Cant: Burton has a unique thing going on with a few of their boots and this is one of them. The Burton Ion has a sole that rolls easy inward to line your ankles, knees and hips up better with your stance width. It’s easier on the body and has less fatigue. It’s also doable with Burton’s Auto Cant bindings as well as Canted bindings from other companines.
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 narrow waist boards or are in between board and binding sizing.
Riders: James, Peter, Eli and a few others
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 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 more.
Flex: The 2014 Burton Ion has stiffened up it’s flex and the overall feel of the Ion is a little more on the stiffer supportive side than previous years models. The Ion Leather is even stiffer and closer to the Burton Driver X.
Comfort: All years we have come across are very comfortable and the 2012 plus models offer up almost day one comfort. They break in incredibly easy without breaking you in the process. You would expect this at the high price point but not all high end boots deliver like the Ion. The Ion Leather was not as comfortable as the regular Ion but it’s still pretty comfortable and just needs more time to break in.
Heel Hold: The heel hold is good enough for most and none of us here at The Good Ride have had any issues with our heels lifting. It holds without feeling tight and constrictive which is a great thing. If you have problems with a smaller ankle or a heel that often lifts up the Burton Ion should work but the boot doesn’t have the grip of higher end BOA competitors. You can put in J-Bars around the ankles though to secure the boots even more. Sometimes Burton provides them but if not you can buy J-Bars from other providers
Adjustability: What we love about Burton Speed Lace is it allows you to to have complete separation between your upper and lower lacing. This gives Burton the Advantage over BOA here because even most Double BOA boots don’t have complete separation. They usually share the ankle where Burton doesn’t. So BOA win’s on heel hold but Burton is the hands down winner for adjustability. Also Speed lace is easy and almost as easy as BOA.
Flex Retention: The 2013 and Below Burton Ion’s did very well but the 2014 Burton Ion has a few upgrades that make it the better choice. There is a new liner that has a different material that is made to last a lot longer and retain it’s original flex longer. Before the Flex retention was good but now the Ion can last a lot longer than before without going completely noodle on you. It’s still not like the SLX but it’s a lot better than the previous years models. Also the reinforcement around the toe has been beefed up so it will not break down as easy after many days on the hill.
Response: The Ion is smooth but very responsive and fine for even challenging boards. It doesn’t have the sharp response of the Driver X but it’s got a more well rounded response that is fine with a park board or a challenging to turn Freeride board. It’s hard to describe but it just does an amazing job with just about any board you want to ride. The Ion is best more in the middle but it’s still great with Very challenging and Easy Turning boards. The Ion Leather is a little more responsive and closer to the Driver X but still has more of a smooth ride like an Ion.
Traction: Excellent in just about any condiiton.
Shock Absorption: The last few years The Burton Ion has reduced it’s cushioning by a lot and not it’s pretty thin. It still has good shock absorption but they are going more for feel than shock absorption these days. The older models use to have a pillow under your foot that was un-matched. I’d personally like to see something in the middle closer to the Imperial and SLX .
Regardless of wether you buy the 2014 or 2013 Ion they are all great. The 2014 offers up a little more support, a stronger flex and a longer lasting flex than the older Ion so it seems like there is some improvement going on here.
Burton Ion 2013-2010 Review
It’s very similar to the 2012 except it’s lighter and the flex seems a little softer. Both the 2012 and 2013 Boots are a good call.
Flex:What some might like or dislike about the Ion is the flex feels softer on the shelf but when you get it on it’s very supportive. The boot is definitely better for stiff to medium boards but we have had no problems riding this boot with softer boards. It seems to adapt well to the board under foot.
Comfort: The Burton Ion is sooooooo light and sooo comfortable. Each year it keeps getting easier on the feet and staying ahead of the competition in terms of comfort. In 2012 they tweaked the fit a little more to give the Ion Even though the boots have softened up the last few years their aren’t additional pressure points. It’s a boot you can go out at night with too if you want.
Heel Hold: If you are the average rider the heel will be locked in as soon as it’s tightened up correctly. Burton’s boots seem to accomodate the widest variety of users with their boots.
Upper and Lower Adjustability: The dual zone lacing system keeps adjust-ability at its finest. In our opinion Speed Zone Lacing is allot better than BOA if you crank your boots up really tight. It’s very hard to create a pressure point no matter how tight you make them. Its not lightning quick but much easier than lacing. You have four things to adjust and fasten before getting it right. 2 inner and 2 outer. For 2011 and 2012 The Ion has improved the longevity of the Speed Laces. Before the laces would start coming apart at the end of a 100 day season which was frustrating. Now they make it through the whole season without even a sign of wear.
Response: To us response and comfort are the two most important things in a boot. So you know this is comfortable but how is the The Burton Ions are a light mid to almost soft flexing boot that some how creates the response of a super stiff boot. This is hard to describe but the boots seem to help you get ready for the next turn. This is something that we haven’t experienced in any other boot and it’s very unique. We can’t put a finger on what tech makes this boot so adaptive to any condition. It’s probably a combo of forward lean reflex tech and other tech beyond our comprehension. We’ll just give up and say this boot is an industry leader when it comes to response. It’s a great freeride boot but it’s also tweakable for park riding (even jibbing) which again is rather unique.
Traction: The traction is great on just about anything you walk on. The rubber works very well on ice or deep snow.
Sole Cushioning: The sole cushioning is great in the heel with the air cushioning. Its not marketed very much but there is some sort of air spacing between the white part of the inner sole and what ever is inside. What ever it is the result is an incredibly smooth ride. Heel hold is stepping up but it would be great to have perfect fit without having to fu^& around with the J-Bar inserts. When they are in its hard to take out the liners to dry without ruining the J-Bars and your perfect heel hold. That is why its an 8. This boot makes board and bindings feel like they are all one. Especially if you have a burton binding. Burton has allot of competitors now and its hard to stay at the top so give them big ups for this boot. Also bitch at them for making them soo expensive!!!!! For 2012 the large deep padding system has been removed to make the boot lower profile. This is to work better with the est binding system. It’s still good with shock absorption but we liked the older versions better.
All in all the Burton Ion is one of the more diverse all around boots you can buy. We’d like to see this add some better ankle articulation but this boot still blows doors and will integrate well with just about any type of set up you can find.
2012 Burton Ion– For 2012 the stiffness is about the same but the comfort is a little better than the 2011’s. They also added a cant in the sole of the boot. to allow your hips to align better with the board/bindings. It’s not really a cant like you see in many bindings these days. Instead the boot just seems to roll easier to the inside than a regular boot. It doesn’t walk funny or anything. The new low profile set up also removed a majority of the super thick/cush padding most people expect with the older Ion’s. The “auto cant” tech was a nice leap in tech so even though it’s not as shock absorbent in the past it’s still hands down the choice over the past models.
2011 Burton Ion– Burton stiffened things up a bit and but not as much as before 2010. Their boots also have a more solid feel that offers the support we expect from Burotn.
2010 Burton Ion– In 2010 the Ion like all Burton boots was made really soft compared to the 2008 and 2009 models. The Ion wasn’t stiff to begin with so some weren’t happy.