Model: Jones MTB
Our take ThirtyTwo continues to excel in the splitboard boot market, adding mountaineering-specific features to the Jones MTB while maintaining the natural feel of a traditional soft boot. To compliment its dialed-in walk mode, beefed-up rigidity in the shank beneath the forefoot adds more power and precision, which we appreciated when kicking steps up a firm couloir on Alaska’s Turnagain Pass. The toecap is also slimmer, using less material to save a few ounces. But the big upgrade this year is MTB’s switch to a fully injection-molded liner, rather than standard foam and stitching that breaks down after a season or two of hard use. The heat-moldable Intuition liners form a snug bond around your foot, and these boots also have plenty of ventilation holes on the toe, ankle, and calf to dump heat when you’re really putting in the miles.
The details Two plastic recoil flex rods on either side of the ankle act like the collar stays in a dress shirt, providing extra rigidity and stability for a stiffer, more responsive ride. Slide the medial rods out for a more asymmetrical flex pattern on the inside of your stance. Other upgrades include a large flap on the lace gaiter and rubber loop on the zipper pull, both of which are glove-friendly. A customizable footbed comes standard with four different arch support options.
Trail cred “This is definitely the stiffest snowboard boot I’ve ever owned,” says one splitboard mountaineering tester who rode big lines off the north face of France’s Aiguille du Midi. “My foot has never felt so secure while railing fast turns, and the semi-automatic crampon compatibility saved my ass on more than one steep, icy approach.”