Snowmobile Boot Durability Test | Mountain Sledder
September 2nd, 2021

Snowmobile Boot Durability Test

Each winter, Mountain Sledder staff are lucky to be provided with new snowmobiling gear to be reviewed on behalf of our readers. Unfortunately, we rarely have the opportunity to test these products for more than a season, and that means long-term product durability isn’t something we can usually assess. Yet, we know that durability is an important factor in choosing gear. So we decided to simulate a snowmobile boot durability test using powers tools and other implements of destruction!

Our subjects are: FXR Helium Lite Boa Boot, TOBE Nimbus Boot and 509 Raid Boa Boot.

So, with no further preamble, here’s our poorly-conceived (yet hopefully entertaining) snowmobile boot durability test!

Snowmobile Boot Durability Test

Angle Grinder

Snowmobile Boot Durability Test_

We started out testing the integrity of the hinge area of the forefoot—using an angle grinder, obviously. Not surprisingly, none could resist the grinding disc, which made quick work of the hinge area. After ten seconds, the disc didn’t make it through any boot, but the 509 Raid had the least material left.

Winner: None, they all didn’t stand a chance


Snowmobile Boot Durability Test_-2

In a test to simulate wear and tear on sharp running boards, we hacked away at the arch of the boot sole with a machete. Despite a sharp edge, 30 strokes did almost nothing to the TOBE Nimbus boot, while the FXR Helium Lite’s big lugs suffered the worst damage.

Winner: TOBE Nimbus


Snowmobile Boot Durability Test_-5

Unsatisfied with the lack of carnage in the machete round, we spontaneously decided to administer the sawzall, which chewed easily through the sole and arch of each boot. We’ve got to hand it to the spunky 509 Raid boot though; it managed to keep wiggling its way out of our clamping system’s grasp, thereby avoiding as much damage as the others.

Winner: 509 Raid

Nail Board

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Continuing our frenzy on the sole, we decided to get post-apocalyptic with our own version of the Walking Dead’s Lucille. Our board and nail weapon managed to penetrate the sole of all three boots. But the 509 Raid suffered the worst of it, allowing the nails to just poke through into the foot bed area.

Winner: TOBE Nimbus

Flapper Disc

Snowmobile Boot Durability Test Flapper Disc

In our final test of the boot sole, we applied a flapper sanding disc to the heel of each boot to simulate the effect of walking over time. The TOBE Nimbus suffered the most damage, but it was still a disappointingly small amount of wear. Basically, you’re never going to wear out the sole of any of these boots.

Winner: FXR Helium

Belt Sander

As for the top side, we used a belt sander with 100 grit on the toe box to see how well the protective material will hold up to a lifetime of toe stubbing. After 10 seconds, the 509 Raid boot had the least damage. Both the TOBE Nimbus or FXR Helium showed larger wear patches, but neither were fully penetrated. However, the FXR patch did feel the softest, so we’re calling it the loser in this case.

Winner: 509 Raid

Scissor Jack

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To test the strength of the BOA system cable laces, we placed a car scissor jack inside the boot, snugged up the BOA and got to cranking. After 15 full turns on the jack, all three of the boots looked like they were ready to explode, but surprisingly, none actually did. Imagining a high-tension amputation situation about to unfold, we determined the cable portion of the Boa system to be invincible and backed off the pressure.

Winner: FXR Helium and TOBE Nimbus


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The Achilles heel of the Boa system is known to be the dial. To prove this true, we smashed the dial with a hammer repeatedly, and not softly. Amazingly, the TOBE and FXR Boa dials survived all 15 hits and still worked afterwards! Sure the cosmetic little plastic covers died a horrible death, but the mechanisms held strong. Unfortunately the 509 BOA only lasted 9 whacks before calling it a career.

Winner: Boa closure system


Snowmobile Boot Durability Test_-10

For our last test, we chose trial by fire! The idea was to simulate what might happen if you leave your boots too close to the furnace overnight to dry (and, well, because we’re pyros). Well—big surprise here—all three boots are flammable! Regardless of material, be it rubber, faux leather, canvas or whathaveyou, it’ll burn if you apply blue flame.

Winner: Propane

So, it turns out that these boots are really tough! While we never really expected any of them to resist an angle grinder or a propane torch, we were surprised by some things, like the strength of the Boa system and how well the soles resisted the hacking of a sharp machete.

Admittedly, the way we performed this snowmobile boot durability test makes it pretty meaningless. But it was fun to do! And we’re now pretty satisfied that any of these boots will last a long time. Leaving just one question:

Anyone need a size 10 left boot?


– MS

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