Alright, let’s try a different format and get straight to the point!
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 board is not for you lol.
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.
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.
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.