They don’t make the Hail anymore, but I would look at the very similar Burton Fiend instead.
The Burton Hail is a surprisingly good boot for someone who rides everywhere.
Back when I bought my first pair of Hails, they had a 4/10 flex rating. For a couple of seasons they slowly increased the flex rating until they got to the current 6/10.
I have owned 3 pairs of Burton Hails, with over 100 days of riding on each pair, so I think that I am in a good position to know how they ride and feel through their whole life.
The Hails are designed to be a comfortable freestyle boot, that is still fine for riding all over the mountain.
For me, from the first time I tried them on I knew that they were going to be good. I wear size 10 shoes, and the size 10 was perfect. I had decent pressure on my toes, and good heel hold, and overall it was a very snug but comfortable fit.
The traditional laces are easy to add pressure to areas that need extra tightening, but I never had to do any fancy lacing to get a good feel.
It only takes a few days to break in, and the pressure on your toes backs off. I have spent a lot of time riding these boots in all kinds of conditions, light pow in the rockies, hard groomers, park laps and hot Australian slush.
The medium flex is soft enough that you can press and tweak without a problem. There is still enough support from the boots to handle more aggressive all mountain riding and hard carving, which makes it a good boot for riding everywhere.
There are only a few downsides to the Hails that I list in the Cons section below. After about 100 days they have completely broken in and are super soft. I know that that is past their expected lifetime, so I can’t complain too much. I also have pretty skinny calves, and eventually when the inner gets older, you are unable to make it tight enough as the lace loops start to touch each other. Although this is a problem I have with any boot after riding them for a long time.
- Nice medium flex
- Comfortable from the start
- Traditional laces
- Around 100 days of use they get really soft
- If you have skinny calves eventually the liner will not be able to tighten enough
I wouldn’t have any problem recommending the Hails for someone who wants a comfortable boot to ride anywhere, and who doesn’t mind having regular laces. The Hail is discontinued now, so you might be able to find them pretty cheap in the links below, or else it looks like the Burton Fiend (new model) has almost exactly the same features as the Hails had.
Features of the Burton Hail
- Medium Flex 6/10
- Traditional Laces
- Synthetic Upper
- Heat Moldable Liner
- Shrinkage Footprint reduction
- Level 2 Footbed
- Imprint 3 Liner
- 1 year warranty