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