Our take For those who aren’t ready to snowboard with the full-on stiffness of a mountaineering boot but still need some technical chops for legitimate backcountry terrain, the Aspects sit right in that sweet spot. Their Vibram sole’s deep, star-shape lugs provide serious traction that came in handy while traveling in steep, icy, exposed conditions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. K2’s Conda plastic ankle harness secures with a BOA lacing system to keep the heel locked down more securely than regular laces ever could, and three power straps on the liner and shell gave our testers extra drive on aggressive descents. (Loosen the power straps for extra forward flex while touring.) Testers appreciated a rigid urethane molded piece in the calf that offered more response on heelside turns than standard glue and stitching construction without breaking down as fast. While it performs well on the ascent, this boot is made for a fun, fast, and furious ride down.
The details One Alaska tester reports that the Aspect’s heat-moldable Intuition liners broke in much faster than those found in other high-end splitboard boots and that their deep heel pocket kept his whole foot snugly in place while riding. Some boarders are still hesitant to trust a BOA lacing system not to break on a long, multi-day mission in the backcountry, but we never had any issues and K2 does repair all broken dials whenever you do make it out of the woods.
Trail cred “The burly sole is a huge confidence boost when kick-stepping up steep slopes or scrambling across rocky ridgelines,” says one tester who toured all over Iceland for a week with the Aspects. “It also interfaces well with crampons for a sure connection.”