Burton Step on, Ruler, Custom-min
Burton Step on, Ruler, Custom-min

Burton Ruler Step On review


Alright, let’s try a different format and get straight to the point!

Background info

Here are some background info about my experience so you can compare and see where I am coming from:

  • I’m a resort rider in the east and I do a lot of side hits and terrain park (jumps) when I can
  • I do switch, carves, and even go through trees
  • I basically go through as much experience as I can
  • Previous boots: Burton Moto then Burton Concord then this
  • Personal boot flex preference: Medium (around 4 to 7 out of 10)
  • I have been using this boots for less than 10 rides so far
  • My pair is specifically the SO version. I think the gen 1 of Step Ons they had a certain stiffness to their boot line for all Step On boots then I believe people said everything’s too stiff so Burton released the SO (soft) versions to replace the default ones. You can tell with the boots when they have the small tab saying SO in it (zoom in on the main image)


My pair is really really snug and fit yet still comfortable. I was surprised to get a size very close to my casual shoe size. Strictly from the size chart I should be 8 but I got an 8.5. When I tried the 8.5, it actually feels perfect. I can touch the tip of the boot, heel’s in the right place, no pain everywhere even when walking with it. I can tell that any smaller than that it would be very cramped.

At the time of writing too, in the Burton website there are a lot of “wide” options out there for wide feet people like me!

Also surprising enough is that I naturally have wider right foot than left. With my football cleats it’s very evident that either my right is cramped or needs more break in time or my left feels like there’s lots of space. With my pair of Rulers, I didn’t need the “wide” option.


Definitely comfortable. I haven’t had uncomfortable boots and I didn’t start having one with this pair. It’s definitely warm inside and it even has the fuzzy lining inside. It doesn’t give you that feeling of your feet sliding around inside though.


I always confuse myself which is the softest of all, if it’s the Ruler or the Swath. Either way, both of them are in the soft side of the flex spectrum. For my Ruler, it’s definitely soft but it’s not like “there’s 0 ankle support” type of soft. It honestly feels like the same stiffness as my Burton Concord.

Side to side flex is definitely doable. There’s softness there that allows you to butter but still some stiffness in it that it’ll still raise your nose when you butter/tail press. It’s more comfortable to do any pressing with it compared to my Concord and compared to a strapped binding.

Forward flex is also comfortable to do. The boots are soft enough that it’s so easy and comfortable to press your boots forward (bend knees and move it past your toes). It’s forgiving and it definitely helps my riding (forgiving flexes in parks).

Add in there also the fact that there is no straps. I find that with straps, the straps acts as a filler on top of your ankles/boots. Basically, it’s wedged in there on your boots so if you lean forward (knees past toes), since it’s there it can only flex so much and if you drive your knees forward still, it then forces your board to engage.

The good side is it’s easy to flex your ankles for deeper carves via angulation (not inclination).

tldr: if you’re the sort of person who wants/needs edge engagements (you want it really responsive) with your slightest knee/hip direction, this boot is not for you lol.

Edit (Dec 31, 2023: yup): Forward flex

I’m slowly considering the Burton Photons (just window shopping, not trying to actively replace my pair) due to the softness of the forward lean flex. I’m trying to find out if the Snugger Straps (the fake binding strap in front) is stiff enough to make the boot more responsive when I’m pressing my knee more forward, over my toes when doing toe edges.

I had an incident in my last snowboard trip whereby my calves were burning after day 1. I figured it was because my boots where (accidentally) looser, so if I wanted to do toe edge, no only do I have to bend my knees forward, I had to engage my calves and “tippy-toe” a little bit more than usual.

Of course the following day I tightened everything and it solved 70% of the problem. I’m in this dilemma because I actually like the stiffness/flex of this pair as it is, especially when I’m having to do park or tight spaces. I just find it tough and fatiguing when I’m doing this long traverse on toe edge. I’m traversing properly and there’s appropriate edge hold but I feel like I’m pressing down too much already just for an appropriate edge hold. I feel like if I had to turn a bit more uphill, my knees/ankles won’t bend any more to do that. More inclination/body leaning works but I feel like that’s a cop-out or last resort already. Anyways…

Edit (Apr 3, 2024): Forward flex

I went to Chamonix, France (specifically Vallee Blanche) with my entire Burton Step On setup. While I’m proud to say that it held up and performed 8 to 9/10 during my entire trip (not just Vallée Blanche), I really felt the soft/medium-soft flex of the boot and where it shines…and where it doesn’t lol.

In proper backcountry, it’s totally fine. Everything is fine: the boots, response of the boot and with the binding, etc etc, but maybe get the stiffer options 😅 It was really tiring to do long traverses with your toe edge lol.

With all those long traverses, I’ve done everything; even altogether: My calves were burning and/or I’d press my shin against the boot which is the proper way anyways. And you can see and feel that I’m flexing and pressing on it hard.

It’s doable, but maybe much easier with a stiffer Step On boot especially with those fake straps in the way, blocking the fold as you press down on your toes with your shin. I’d assume that’s a more effective (and way less tiring) toe edge press.


Is it the cheapest out of all the Step On boots in Burton? Yes.

I’m looking at the Burton website right now and:

  • Ruler Step On: $419.99
  • Photon Step On: $559.99
  • Swath Step On: $489.99

What I even appreciate more with Burton’s pricing strategy is that the normal Ruler (NOT Step On) is just $389.99. So that’s what, for less than $50 you’ve tiered up with newer tech for your boots?

Yes there’s additional expense for the binding if you still do not have it yet but what I’m trying to say here is: with this new technology, I would’ve expected parts or the entire Step On system to have a wide price gap with it and the traditional boots and bindings. But there isn’t.

Lacing system

My Concords have double Boa while Rulers have only one. I was worried about this at first that I might experience a disproportion like: “tight on the top half of the boot, loose at the bottom. Surprisingly, that was not the case.

Cranking it

While riding, I notice that it take longer to crank them to full tightness though, compared to my Concords. Since I’ve only tried only two Boas so far, I don’t know if the Rulers have more crank turns in them or if my Concords have shorter ones (that just coincidentally was to my liking).

I find that if I’m taking off my boots and I pull out the tongue and let go, with my Concord it retracts to almost 80% from where you let go. With the Ruler, it feels like it’s just around 50% (and I guess this is why it results to me having to crank more).

Tightening it mid-ride

I had this thing while riding wherein I was trying to jump off a side hit while on my toe edge. I’m still trying to learn how to properly do that but every now and then I would take off the wrong way. More specifically I would use more of my ankles to pop off a jump (so that’s me extending my foot inside my boot as if I was jumping normally on the ground).

That result is that it loosens the tightness in the boots after that. In terms of fit, my foot was snug and fit the whole time. After I do that, yes it feels roomy after but it’s not like you’ve loosened up the Boa or something. I just feels like you flattened the cushions inside (thus giving that roomy feel). Over time it becomes ok again and that’s not even the inconvenience I’m trying to highlight.

What I want to highlight is I wish it was double Boa so I can crank and just tighten the lower part of my boot 😀 . It’s still possible to tighten it evenly though even if it’s single Boa.

What you do is just pull/unlock the Boa. Don’t yank your boot to loosen it but rather just let the Boa unwind naturally. After that, you can lock and start cranking again. This’ll feel much more comfortable rather than tightening more when it’s already tight/locked.

I find that if my boots are locked and I made that ankle error again inside and tried to just crank the Boa more to tighten both zones, that’s when it feels uncomfortable. That’s when it feels like the top part is tighter than the lower part as you crank it.

Other (extra) small details


When I (visually) compared my Burton Concord with my new Rulers, it felt like the Concords had bigger and deeper outsole(?). What do you call that: the grooves under your boots? So prior to purchasing my Step Ons I thought that the Rulers would be less grippy and I’d slip and slide on snow. Nope. That’s not the case. Totally feels the same.

Metal clips banging

I have this thing wherein I remove my impact shorts and my snow pants and all the gear at the back of my suv. I call my car the mobile dressing room. Now when I’m about to load up everything and drive out, I make sure that my board’s brushed and dried out as much as I can and I bang my boots together to shake out the snow and dirt underneath it. Now with my Rulers and their metal clips, I always forget about them and it’s so jarring to hear two metal clips bang hard together. Either I just go gentler or just bang them together in a way that one’s angled so they don’t hit each other.

(Edit: Apr 9, 2024) Crampons

If you ride the Alps frequently and you go back country a lot and you need crampons, there might be a problem.

I’ve only done this once and I noticed that there are two types of crampons. There may be more.

There is the traditional crampons whereby you secure the crampons on your boots by means of a strap that loops around and on top of your boot. There is another one which I think is more modern whereby the crampons secure itself on your boot with two levers: front and back (heels and toes). These levers just snap into place and secure your boot. No need to tie anything.

If you have or are renting crampon like the latter, the step on the boot will not work. This is because the heel clip is protruding and conflicting with the heel lever that snaps at the back in that type of crampon.

The good news is you can still use crampons with your Burton step on rulers. It’s just that you have to look for the traditional/strapped type of crampons. That’s what I used at Vallée Blanche.

Don't miss: Check out my more recent review of the Burton Step On and Ruler after a season of use!