Choosing a good snowmobile boot is not an easy task; there are so many, and they all look the same! However, it is well-known that just because they look alike does not mean that they are equivalent. Especially for off-trail riding, a boot must be warm but breathe well. It must also have good traction to maneuver on the snowmobile’s running boards without hindrance and have a rigid top if you hit a branch or a snowmobile runs over our foot when you get knocked for six.
This year, 509 sent me the Raid laced boots to try them out for off-trail snowmobiling. Just by taking the boots in your hands, you can feel that 509 have done their homework in terms of boots. The boot is rigid, solid, and extremely comfortable once the feet are inside.
The 509 Raid laced boots
Putting on the Raid boot is amazingly easy, despite its stiffness. I also notice that it is quite light, which will definitely be a plus in the mountains, especially when jumping from one side of the sled to the other. The inner fabric is very comfortable and does not really prevent the foot from breathing.
The boot’s interior
On and off the trail, nothing to say; I don’t feel the boot. Despite its rigidity, I can move without any problems, and I don’t look like a skier walking when I disembark! During off-trail maneuvers, the boot grips the running board well, giving me good confidence.
Bottom of the boot
The only thing that irritates me about the boot is the laces. Although they are solid, I don’t trust them anymore since they’ve broken a few times, introducing a significant risk of getting caught in the track or a mechanical part. To add insult to injury, when this happens, ice forms on the lace “lump”, and it is frankly painful to break, especially when it is cold. I now tuck them inside the boot, even if it is at the expense of some comfort. I strongly recommend changing them to laces that will grip better.
Despite the inconvenience of buying and changing my laces, I personally prefer this type of boot to the “boa” type. I can’t justify to myself (again, this is personal) the price difference ($100 difference at the time of writing) to save ten seconds in the morning and another ten seconds at night when I put on and take off my snowmobile boots. It also has the advantage of being more of an entry-level boot in terms of price, but not in terms of quality.
If it is only the laces that are, in my opinion, dangerous, the 509 Raid laced boot is top of the class. For off-trail riding, they are comfortable, rigid, warm (but not too warm) and offer incredible grip on snowmobile running boards.
Once again, I want to thank you to 509 for allowing me to try on their gear for the 2019-2020 season! The Raid boots’ success has been unanimous among the members of the SledMagazine.com team who had the chance to wear them.