Can’t beat the classic Vans Checkerboard colorway. Photo: Courtesy of Vans

For any snow parent out there (with children aged in the single digits) it’s no secret that your definition of a day trip to the hill has changed significantly with kids in tow.

It’s all about the kids at this point, and that’s great. There’s nothing like sharing your passions with your kiddos. But keeping them comfortable is of the utmost importance to make sure that their young experiences are positive ones. However, on the flipside, as the mule for all their gear, snacks and (likely) the kids themselves, as the leader of these wintertime excursions, you need to look after your needs, as well.

No liners? No problem. Photo: Courtesy of Vans

High-quality snowboard footwear is vital when it comes to sending big-mountain lines or charging kickers in the park. However, when you now spend more time out of your board than you do strapped into it, trudging around in tight, stiff and rigid boots can be a bit too much to ask of any adventure parent.

That’s why we were thrilled to see that Vans had announced their all-new Hi-Standard Linerless DX Boots ($149.95) for the 2018/19 season.

They seemed to be precisely what we were looking for, and we couldn’t wait to slip them onto our feet. After a few sessions with the little knuckleheads at some local Southern California ski resorts, here’s what we gathered:

Why We Chose Them

They’re built to the high standard that a company like Vans in known for. Photo: Courtesy of Vans

These are the only boots of their kind that we’ve ever seen. We were looking for something with a feel much like a heavy-duty skate shoe – we’d gladly wear our Sk8-Hi’s on the hill, but that just wouldn’t be practical – so that those long mornings spent running up and down the bunny hill wouldn’t wear too heavily on our feet.

And these looked to be the perfect blend of flexible movement, not feeling too constrictive while walking, and all while still not compromising the performance that we need out of a snowboard boot when we get a chance to hit the park or backcountry like we did back before we had kids. (All at a very affordable price point, might we add. Another thing a parent can certainly appreciate.)

Why We Liked Them

The author: Spending more time out of his board than strapped into it. Photo: Laylan Connelly

They made our feet happy. Our mornings would typically begin with a few magic carpet runs (no boards for Mom and Dad on these laps), followed by a run or two on the “flying chair” (as our kids like to call it) strapped in, tailing the little daredevils down the mountain. After that, it’s time for a snack break. That’s when Mom and Dad got to take turns lapping the park.

These boots transitioned seamlessly between jogging down the hill trying to nab our son before he plowed into the lift line, to hitting the quad lift to the top for some much-needed solo laps. They felt just like any other high-performance boots we’ve worn (with support, as well as flex, in all the right places), and we were also blown away at how lightweight they felt. Wins across the board.

Not to mention that they come in the perfect colorway for our taste: The classic Vans Checkerboard.

The boots catered perfectly to our lifestyle as a snowboarding parent. It’s really as simple as that. When we needed them to flex, they did. When we needed traction and support, they did that too. And when it was time to slip them off at the end of the day? These were certainly the easiest boots we’ve ever slipped on/off of our feet. Huge bonus.

Tester Tip

When the kids are all tuckered out at the end of the day … your feet are gonna be feelin’ fresh. Photo: Jon Perino

These boots aren’t just ideal for parents chasing their children down the bunny slopes on foot. These are highly progressive, capable boots for all types of hardcore riding. They’d be perfect for the streets, and they’d hold up wonderfully in the backcountry. We’d simply also recommend them to anybody that spends their time on the hill molding the next generation of shredders, while still sneaking away for a few park laps in between snack times.

When you can have the comfort of a lightweight snow shoe, with the performance of a top-quality snowboard boot … you’ve hit the jackpot.

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