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Burton Ruler Step On 2019 - 2018 Review by The Good Ride
The Burton Ruler Step On and Binding system was something I tried to demo last season but for many reasons, filled with sighs, I didn’t. Thanks to helping from Gravity Sports at Mt Bachelor I finally got on them. They didn’t have my size 9 but I said fuck it and gave a size 8 boot a go. Here is my take with what I had to work with.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
The 2019 Burton Ruler Step On is not any different than the 2018 but this is our evolved opinion after more time on it in the right size. The more we try this the more we feel like going for the Ion or even the Photon with better ankle support is the call. If you can live with the issues we mentioned below it’s still one of the best quick release systems we have tried.
Size Tried: 9
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs)
Bindings: Burton Step On
Boards: A few different Burton boards at the Demo including the Stun Gun, Speed Date, and Trick Pilot.
James’ Foot Specs
Foot Size: Right 9 and Left 8.75
Foot Width: Right and Left between a D and E
Arch Length: Right 9.5 and Left 9
Calves (Widest Point): 17”
Calves (At top of boot): 12”
Flex: The boots actual flex is not that stiff and it feels pretty soft for the Ruler boots I’ve known
Adjustability: There is minimal adjustability and this combo is plug and play. You pretty much put on the boot with a liner lace, single BOA and then step on the binding. The binding doesn’t have much either. You just attach the Re:Flex base plate to the board and that’s that. If you like tweaking the binding to work for you then their standard binding is the better call.
Comfort: Not having ankle straps or toe straps on a binding is super comfortable. If the boot works well with your feet then your set. There are no pressure points coming from the binding which is a huge plus. So for me, Burton boots fit my semi-wide feet really well and I’ve almost always had a comfortable fit with their boots so super comfortable for me but that’s me. You might be different than me.but if you run on the wider side foot wise this might work. Even size 8’s weren’t uncomfortable in a way of having pressure points. They were just too small and tight so my feet fell asleep because I was in a size too small.
Turn Initiation: Super quick edge to edge. Super quick. If you flexed the boot or binding you would not think the two working together could get this kind of response. It’s the kind of response that makes you re-think how bindings are made. Like I said in the vid it’s almost up there with the Adidas Tactical ADV/Union Falcor and I was surprised how close it was while still feeling pretty smooth. I think it’s because the attachment to the high back helps keep the response going as you lean into a turn when it would normally peter out with just an ankle strap. It’s really next level when it comes to balancing response and comfort. I’d probably give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and will when we update the site.
Buttering: I like the standard Re:Flex bindings like the 2018 Cartel, Genesis and Genisis X etc a little better for a butter but the Re:Flex design on the Burton Step On is pretty close.
Boot Support: There is no support but somehow there is tons of support. I didn’t realize that a little hook holding you into the back of a binding and two little attachments near where your toes begin would make this combo have such a supportive feel. It does feel super weird the first run or so because your feet keep telling your mind that you haven’t strapped in and any minute you are going to slip out and be hospital bound. After getting past that you start thinking is this ok that I feel as unattached as a 60-year-old jiggalo? Did I step in right? I would ollie and stomp down hard to make sure it’s all clicked in but it is.
Shock Absorption: The shock absorption in the binding is good and the boot is ok.
Fit: The boots fit me really well with day one comfort.
Flex Retention: I’m not sure if this comes into play as long as the spine that holds the hook holds up and the hooks on the side’s of the boot hold up as well. That being said I’m curious about how the soft boot will hold up.
Footprint: Didn’t check the footprint but will try to follow up on that if I get more time on them.
Heel Hold: Single BOA isn’t usually ideal for heel hold but the Burton Ruler Step On has some extra wrap around BOA lace set further back on the boot to secure the heel more.
Traction: So glad there wasn’t a cost-cutting effort here and that the whole bottom has rubber.
On & Off Ease: So this is about as easy on and off as it gets. It’s not just getting in and out of the boot but in and out o the binding. It’s easier than almost any quick release binding I’ve tried except for with K2 but I like the response of this much better. The one weird thing is stepping forward after you step out because most riders, like myself, always step back. So that feels weird but it’s a small price to pay for the response you get.
So, all in all, everyone jerks off to easy in/out boot/binding combo’s but often times the reality is not like the fantasy. In this case, the only sacrifice is adjustability. So for the first time, I felt like you are sacrificing adjustability for response and getting the bonus of a quick release. I’m not a fan of proprietary tech like this but this response and feel is undeniably good.
Burton Ruler Step On Images
Burton Company Information
Burton Ruler Step On User Reviews
Love the system, hate the pain
The step on system is magical. I always wanted the old clickers to work well but they just didnt. These however are a step above anything I've used in a traditional binding. Extremely responsive, easy in and out of the binding, and super secure.
However Burton seems to make extremely narrow boots. I bought a pair in my standard size 11. I've never had an issue previously with heel lift, and the break in wasn't necessary. I've had Ride, Liquid, and Vans boots, no issues in 22 years of riding. The Burton Ruler was extremely painful though. When I put the boot on, it was pretty comfy. I little tight which I hoped would break in, but no discomfort just walking around. However I step into the system and start shredding, and halfway down the hill I feel like my lead foot was put in a vice grip and is tightening down a little behind and and to the side of my small toe. It's excruciating. I went to the burton store at Vail, they let me try to Photons and I had the same issue. So I went to the Santa Monica location to see if there's anything that can be done. He suggested new insoles, and said if that didn't work he'd see what options for sizing up or replacing them we could explore. No need. I took the liner out of my old Ride Orion boots, slipped them into the ruler and PROBLEM SOLVED!
Burton, I think you should pay closer attention to sizing. I don't have a wide foot, and you don't offer a wide for this boot, but given a wider lining from Ride fits perfectly inside, you have room for adjustment and improvement. Anyone else having this issue, I recommend trying to get a liner from another brand that has a better fit. Cheers!
Great boots and bindings - forever changed.
Riding the 2018- 2019 ruler with large bindings. Tested on my bsod, and ns west. I felt huge difference in performace compared to my union super force and cartel bindings. I feel that I have much quicker response going edge to edge. I normally set my bindings with a very high forward lean so I get the response I want. With the Step on i find it not really necessary. I get better response with a less of a lean compared to regular bindings. And it's more comfortable riding cause of it. (U can still set the lean on the bindings)
The 2019 boots I have havent had any hot spot issues like many others have previously mentioned. They are very comfortable boots. Personally I find them more comfortable than my thirty two. But definitely not as comfortable as my deelux boots. The deelux boots are just a dream to wear. But that a different review.
Getting in and out of the bindings is super easy. It took me 15 min to figure it out the first time. You have to twist your feet etc. But once i figured it out, I now get in and out of my bindings in a few seconds. Now I would skate off the lift and step on to my bindings and continue riding without having to stop.
If you are someone that rides a lot of groomers or someone starting to get in to snowbaording I suggest giving them a try. I remember when I was learning most of my enery was spent getting in and out of bindings. This save so much more time and energy.
For advanced riders it's really preference in riding. It's a great setup burton has created. It's all up to user preference. I personally got them to casually ride on groomers cause I'm too lazy to strap up. But I think this has replaced my previous setups.
I'm giving this 4 stars becuase I sometimes have to put extra pressure on my right foot so that my top pinky toe clip would snap into the binding. But besides that no complaints. My feet feels fully secure and no differance even when that part isnt fully clipped in. And when I dont bother putting pressure on it for it to clip in my first toe turn will do the trick.
Not going back
I rode my Burton Photon Step On boots and bindings all season and overall, they are really good. The boot/binding combo is way more responsive than my previous setup. The performance difference is huge. There's no way I would go back.
Did have a couple of problems though. One of the heel cleat locking mechanisms wasn't working very well, resulting in me coming out of the binding a few times. They swapped the part out at the store and I've had no problems with the binding ever since.
The bigger issue I had was foot pain. There was a nasty hot spot just behind the baby toe of my lead foot. The problem was fixed by going up a half size on the boots. Burton exchanged the boots I had for a larger size, no questions asked. New boots work great.
As a 50+ yr off rider, I too appreciate the fact that you don't have to continually bend down to strap in or get out...but it was the overall ease in many different situations that really impressed me...contrary to many reviews getting in and out is very easy, even upside down in powder! Heel hold down is not great but I didn't feel it was an issue as the use of weight transfer and boot retention nullifies this very effectively...response is phenomenal. A few times it felt like the boot wasn't properly engaged but after a few turns it was rock solid and no issues...at this stage I cannot imagine going back to a standard binding...and my skier buddies love the fact that I am ready to go a few seconds after getting off the lift!
I tried the Photon set up and had issues with the boots. Perhaps I had too small a size but I'm not convinced by the single BOA setup - great if that works for you in terms of fit, for me it was either too loose around my calves or crushing my feet.
The issue I had with the bindings was that unless you are on flat or near flat ground you either have to be comfortable heading downhill with only one foot in or having to sit down to get in that you lose any benefit. I did have the bindings pop out twice on me even after ollying a couple of times. The reason they popped is that if you don't put your heal in first due to being on steeper ground, the binding feels secure on the toe cleats but isn't fully engaged on the rear.
Response was really good but for the above reasons I decided to go back to straps (previously I was using flows which I really liked but got fed up of the highback trying to rip the heals from my boots).
i purchased these purely because i am getting a bit old for snowboarding and don't like bending over or sitting on my butt all day.i expected to compromise on performance in favour of ease but i have to say i found them super responsive as well as easy to get on.I use the teather on the lift for fear of it coming off but no such issues .
i would recomend these to anyone what ever age or ability ,apart from stepping out i found every other aspect better tham my old malavitas/ruler combo