What a shame! Less than 20 days riding and I see what I had thought were great supportive snowboard boots fall apart. I had purchased these Vans Cirro snowboard boots (£165) from the Board Basement’s ebay site to replace the Vans Encore Boa boots I’d been riding since 2005. The old Encore’s had been super comfy and I’d worn them out, the ankle support had finally given up and I had to replace them at the end of the 2013 season. After looking around for a suitable replacement I settled for the older 20011 model of the Vans Cirro boot for a couple of reasons.
- They look great
- They have dual BOA for adjustable fit
- They had RECCO® fitted
- They support POW, with part of the profit going to Protect Our Winters
- The current (2013) models wasn’t my style
I found a good deal and the correct size 7 UK on the ebay store for The Board Basement. Delivery was prompt, although I wouldn’t be using them till the following season.
Roll on season 2013/14 and Scotland kicked off with great dumps of snow. However the season was blighted by storms, and the high winds meant the numbers of skier days was not a reflection of the amount of snow there was. I squeezed in 12 days on Scottish snow, and 6 days in Les Trois Vallées, France.
After one of my final sessions at the wonderful Glencoe Mountain Resort, which involved a short hike back to the chairlift since the snow was retreating, I had to clean the mud from my boots. It was only then that I noticed the fault. As I was running fresh water over the boots to scrub the mud off, I felt the water coming through. On closer inspection the heel-cup was standing off the leather. In fact it looked like it didn’t fit properly. I took a look at the other boot, and to my disappointment noticed it was suffering from the very same problem. At the ball of the foot the outsole was also peeling away from the leather. This was a disaster. I hadn’t noticed while riding, but on closer inspection, it looked like the rubber outsole had never been well bonded to the leather upper.
I sent off an email (21st May) to The Board Basement, to their credit they did reply, but also told me the year-long warranty was up, but if I sent pictures they would contact Vans. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I sent them pictures anyway showing the extent of the issue. These are the photos above where you can see for yourself.
In the meantime while awaiting a response, I took the boots around to my local cobbler. It turns out his son snowboards and he’d seen these type of boots before! I left them with him in the off-chance he’d be able to fix them. 3 weeks later I go to pick up the boots. He hasn’t done anything with them. After discussing with his brother, he advised that I should return them as they were just not fit for purpose. He thought that the leather heel section popped off because it was a different shape from the corresponding rubber section. Also that the correct amount of adhesive was never used, hence the midsole coming away.
So 14th June, I sent another email to the Board Basement since they haven’t bothered following up my email with photos. I’ll wait to see what happens. Whether they will replace them (I saw size 7s on their ebay site still) or will they refund me the £165 that I paid for them, who knows, we’ll wait and see.