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I recently bought my first pair of snowboard boots. They are Ride Riot snowboard boots, and I am not sure if I should take them back or not. I should probably mention that I have not yet worn them on the hill (once I do, I won't be able to return them).

They fit quite snugly. My toes are just millimeters from the end if I am sitting down or in my snowboard stance, but if I stand normally or walk around, my big toes hit the ends.

An immediate problem is that these boots are a men's size 13, and since these are larger sizes, it's highly unlikely that I'll find a size 13.5, so I'll probably have to jump up to a size 14. I wear a size 13 shoe, but I think I must work them in a little because according to the measurement I got at the store, my left foot is actually a size 13.5 (my right is a size 13).

So I guess what I want to know is, is it better to stick with these slightly small boots, or jump up to a size 14? For those more experienced in buying snowboard boots, do you find they get slightly larger after being worn on the hill a few times?

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Snowboard boots should fit tight around your entire foot, ankle, and calf. Ideally you should feel about the same pressure against all parts of the inside of the boot with laces tight. The only exception to this is around your toes which should have relief both in the long direction and upward. You need to be able to move your toes freely otherwise they'll likely go numb with your laces tight.

All boots will break in. Whether they fit better or worse after break-in mostly depends on the quality of construction and how well your bindings fit your boot. The heavier you are and the more aggressive your riding style, the more critical construction and fit will be. Bad fit with the bindings and poor construction will result in distortion from break-in that causes pressure points and discomfort.

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Whenever you go to buy boots, bring two of your thickest pairs of wool socks. Throw them on, get your foot inside the boot and shift around. I've found that if they fit me really well with that, they wind up fitting really well with a nicer snowboard sock or just wool socks. Enough room not to rub or be uncomfortable in a hard toe-side turn, but not so much room that you're sloshing around in them.

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