Regarded by many, Salmon snowboard boots are a prized jewel; their fit is second to none, warmth is never in question, and they offer one of the best lacing systems in the business- Power Lace Pro (something that Burton has tried to knock-off with its Speed Zone lacing)-which allows for just about perfect ankle and boot articulation; not too stiff and never too soft, just right.
Salomon has perfected their boot craft with the help of their ski boot history, development teams and a ridiculous team of riders. It is understandable as to why very few other boot manufactures can come close to their offerings. (Continued below)
Salmon's 2010 F22 all-mountain boot features an Exhale Liner which claims to allow the rider's feet to breath continuously via mesh channels and uni-directional valves which eradicate humidity. How does this work-simple, as the rider moves his feet, the feet begin to act as a pump, flushing the stale air and moisture out of the boot. Does this really work-the answer is a resounding yes. I have had my F22's for two seasons, and never once have I encountered sweaty and/or cold feet. The Exhale Liner features a P.U. fur (made from belly lint) lined tongue and upper to eliminate friction burn, reduce heat loss on frigid days, as well as letting the rider tighten his boots as tight as he wants without shin pain.
Through the use of a dynamic fit foam, Salomon's F22 boots adjust throughout the day to varying temperatures which causes feet to expand and shrink-the foam is able to absorb any negative space, providing a nice, comfortable, snug fit. It should also be noted, that this foam is placed around the ankle area which provides the rider with zero heel lift-zero. The liner also features contoured foot beds that thin towards the toe-box, allowing for greater edge/board feel. I noticed that when I removed the Salomon insoles and substituted them with some higher-end insoles there was a substantial difference in both comfort (even more so!), as well as board feel.
Utilizing both lacing systems on the F22, the internal liner features a One-Pull Quicklace Liner and a Powerlace Pro zonal system that gives the opportunity to tighten and loosen different areas of each boot; this works remarkably well and as mentioned has been knocked off by a few other companies but none have come close to Salomon's perfection in this area.
The French snowboard boot maker has also been known to perfect the art of stitching, they do this, for three main reasons; 1. they can sew any materials (i.e. foam) together that would not normally bond well with glue, 2. stitching allows the designers to adjust materials to flex properly (which is very noticeable) and 3. hand sewing materials with heavy gauge thread prolongs the boot's life (as mentioned my F22's are two seasons old/200 plus days and still going strong).
Rounding out the 2010 F22 model are Impact Soles which are composed of a very low-profile Bi-material (blades of EVA are injected into the rubber) which greatly reduce chatter on the heel pad-and I can say, these ''blades'' really do deliver a comfortable ride.
The F22 is more than a worthy purchase, Salmon backs its name up with a well researched and developed boot line consisting of premium materials that DO NOT pack out and allow the rider to size one complete size down! The F22 fit into all makes and models of bindings, not to mention there are some great closeout deals on product right now.
retail: $280 (we paid $190 on sale)
flex: medium (Salomon rates the flex at a 4)
foot bed width: tested in ''regular'' (wide boots are available)