Ride Hera Snowboard Boots ReviewMarch 16, 2016
- Highly versatile for all-mountain play
- Low-profile close-to-board feel
- Excellent turn initiation
- Great walkability
- Minimal cushioning
- Stiff around the ankles
- Material prone to abrasion
If you love to ride all over the mountain, you’re unlikely find a more suitable “Jill of all trades” than the multitalented Ride Hera. It’s a well-designed all-mountain boot with a bit more flex than typical, so it’s plenty playful for a variety of riding styles and terrain. The dual-zone BOA coiler laces offer an impeccable fit, boosting responsiveness and turn initiation on more technical trails. The cushioning is not as plush or pronounced as other boots in this review, lending the Hera to a low-profile, “close–to-board” feel that some riders may welcome, while others may not. We didn’t have a long enough testing window to comment on long-term durability, but after just a few weeks of riding, we did notice some minor abrasion at contact points with the bindings.
With a spacious toebox, heat-moldable liner and excellently designed lacing system that virtually eradicates pesky heel lift, the Hera sports a great—and highly customizable—fit. The articulated cuffs, engineered specifically the lower positioning of women’s calves, are supremely comfortable. Riders with sensitive ankles may find the Hera a touch too harsh on the anklebones, however.
You might not notice unless you wear this boot side-by-side with a different one, but the Hera does not offer a huge amount of cushioning underfoot, despite being the heaviest boot we tested this season. Some riders may welcome this lower-profile fit, however, if they’re not stomping big jumps all day long and can appreciate the “close-to-board” feel of it.
The precise fit of this boot, paired with a moderately stiff construction, keeps the Hera highly responsive at high speeds on all kinds of terrain—steep, mild, bumps, trees, deep powder, whatever the case may be. Most of its flex, which is what makes it versatile enough to handle some park time, comes from the forgiving upper cuff; the upshot of this is that the lower half of the boot is still rigid enough to maximize its carving precision. This boot shines on the steeps.
Though the lack of pillowy softness underfoot might appear to be a deterrent to the Hera’s walkability, it actually lends some confidence on hike-to terrain to be closer to the ground rather than a bit higher or tippier. It’s plenty comfortable for walking, and the tread grips well on a variety of surfaces. Furthermore, if you prefer to walk with your boots loosened, the quick-releasing BOA coils let you do so in a snap.
When it comes to snowboard boots, it’s hard to beat the dual-zone BOA coiler system that the Hera features. This nifty system allows you to customize the fit of the instep and of the upper cuff separately. It makes for easy on/off, as well as on-the-fly micro adjustments—perfect for tightening up after those first few runs as your feet settle in, or for later in the day, when you want to give your tired feet and calves a little respite while riding the lift.