There was a craze years ago with the release of step-in bindings. These were a fast way of attaching your snowboard to your feet, as you just stomped your special boot into the special binding without bending down to strap in. They were convenient but reduced the amount of control you had. Now, there’s a new craze, Step-On bindings. These follow the same principle but use modern technology, creating an effective solution to fast entry snowboard bindings.
There are few step-on snowboard binding setups on the market, but we believe the Burton Step-on Genesis bindings are an excellent choice that gives you a traditional binding feel. However, the Nidecker Supermatics allow you to wear any snowboard boots so that you can find the perfect combination.
Step-On snowboard bindings allow you to get underway much quicker than regular strapped bindings. This means they are great if you’re riding with skiers, racing to get first tracks, or just don’t want to bend over. Therefore, we have compiled a list of our favorite step-on snowboard bindings and what you need to know about them.
- Burton Step-On Reflex (Budget Buy)
- Burton Step-On Genesis (Top Pick)
- Clew Freedom 1.0 (High End)
- Nidecker Supermatic
|Binding Name||Overall Score||Bottom Line||Price|
Excellent responsiveness and convenience
|Check Out On Amazon|
Great choice for a traditional binding feel
|Check Out On Amazon|
Clew Freedom 1.0
Great bindings, but you have to walk around with a high back stuck to your boots
|Check Out On Clew|
|66||Excellent option for using any boots, but pricey||Check Out On Nidecker|
1. Burton Step-On Reflex Snowboard Bindings
Overall Score: 72
- Fantastic level of responsiveness
- You get the excellent Burton warranty
- They feel sturdy and secure
- You can’t use them with boots from other brands
- They could be too responsive for some riders
The Burton Step-On bindings are the entry-level model. But don’t let this worry you, as these bindings are massively responsive and well-made.
The way they allow you to initiate turns has been likened to riding with hard boots, depending on your boot choice.
However, they are way more mellow while still providing more precision than most traditional bindings.
Lots of riders love this feeling; however, some people may feel that it’s a little bit too much, as it can make some snowboards feel quite twitchy, which takes getting used to.
Much of this responsiveness comes from the incredibly stiff highback. But Burton makes stiffer and softer versions of this binding.
These bindings are suitable for all-mountain riding but lean slightly toward carving due to their stiffness.
You will be fine using the Burton Step-Ons for freestyle once you’ve got used to the stiffness and responsiveness.
This is thanks to the excellent shock absorption that cushions your landings without damping the ride too much.
Unfortunately, you can’t use any snowboard boots with these bindings. Currently, you need to buy Burton step-on boots, but there are a few options to choose from to suit your budget and riding style.
The Burton Step-On bindings have been tweaked in recent years due to rider feedback and lots of testing.
They have changed the hooks that hold the boots to the bindings, which improves their durability, and how easily you clip in and out.
Once you’ve worked out how to get in and out of the bindings, you will have a reassuring feeling that they won’t come off unexpectedly.
The Burton Step-On bindings look pretty cool, although quite minimalist until you clip in. They come in three colors, black, white, and white, with a psychedelic cloudburst design on the highbacks.
The boots that go with the bindings all look pretty cool, with the higher-end ones being even more snazzy.
The Burton Step-On bindings are pretty pricey, especially when you factor in the price of new boots.
However, this will be an initial cost, and as long as you like them, you will probably just keep buying new boots in the future.
This version of the binding is not perfect. Still, you get an incredible response, good shock, absorption, and convenience.
2. Burton Step-On Genesis (Best for a more traditional binding feel)
Overall Score: 72
- Great responsiveness
- More mellow than the entry-level model
- They give you a traditional binding feel
- Not the best choice for beginners
The Burton Step-On Genesis have a slightly softer highback than the base-level step-on bindings, which gives you a more traditional strapped binding feel.
Therefore, you have more range of motion, less knee stress, and a more mellow riding characteristic.
These bindings are incredibly responsive, but it is best to pair them with Burton Photon or Kendo boots for the best results.
Burton Ruler boots are fine but a little too soft to use with the Genesis bindings; they are also less durable due to their softness.
Burton has given these bindings excellent shock absorption. It is not so damp that it isolates you from valuable information coming through the board.
Still, it is enough to cope with slow-speed shock absorption and annoying vibrations on choppy snow.
Like the other Burton step-on bindings, you need the boots to match, limiting you if Burton boots don’t suit your feet. However, they offer several options that you should try before you buy.
The characteristics of these bindings make them suitable for all-mountain riding and for those who want to maintain the traditional strap binding field.
They also perform well in the park, thanks to the extra range of motion, but you may find them tricky for jibbing around due to their under-foot stiffness, which also stiffens up your board.
The Burton Step-On Genesis bindings are not the best choice for beginner riders. This is due to their high level of responsiveness, making them tricky to get to grips with.
But if you’re an intermediate or advanced rider, it shouldn’t take you too long to adapt to their sensitivity. In fact, you’ll love how they transfer your efforts to the board.
P.S.: If you’re looking for a new snowboard as an intermediate or advanced rider, do check out my recommendations on the best snowboards for intermediate riders.
Most Burton products are known for being high-quality, and this is definitely the case with the Genesis Step-On bindings.
You clip in with a couple of reassuring clicks and experience zero movements, even when you really lean on these bindings.
You also get the Burton warranty, which is notoriously good, giving you peace of mind that you’ve bought a quality product backed up by a reputable company.
The Burton Genesis Step-On bindings come in two colors: black and baby blue. They look great, especially when you choose boots in a color that complements them.
The higher-end boots look better, and of course, they will perform well, being more durable.
The Genesis version of the Burton Step-On bindings is more expensive than the entry-level version, which is to be expected.
They offer more versatility and range of motion with a more traditional binding feel which will benefit more riders making the transition to a step-on system.
However, to get the best out of them, it would be best to choose the proper boots that complement the bindings.
These are a little more expensive, but it is worth paying extra if you are serious about snowboarding.
3. Clew Freedom 1.0 Snowboard Bindings
Overall Score: 64
- You can use any snowboard boots
- A good choice for beginner riders
- They look ridiculous when you walk around
- Very little shock absorption
- Build quality isn’t as good as other brands
The Clew Freedom 1.0 step-on snowboard bindings offer a medium amount of response which is enough for most riders.
However, it is far from the level you get from Burton Step-On bindings, but they give you a traditional strap binding feel that may suit you more.
One of the disappointments of these bindings is that there is virtually no shock absorption, so if you want to take big jumps, ensure you have soft knees for your landings to soak up the force from the impact.
These bindings are pretty unique, thanks to their Quiver feature, which features a base plate attached to your snowboard and a separate piece with an integrated high back that you attach to your boot.
The design means you can have a different base plate on all your snowboards, creating convenience on whatever board you want to ride that day.
The design means you can use any snowboard boots and treat them like a step-on system, which is good news if you are particular about your snowboard, boot, brand, and model.
If you are a beginner looking for a step-on setup, the Clew Freedom 1.0 is a good choice.
They are more forgiving than the Burton options, give you handling characteristics similar to regular bindings, and are cheaper.
When you directly compare the Clew bindings to equivalent models from Burton or Nidecker, you will notice that they are not as well-made.
This is apparent when you look at the ratchets, as they don’t feel like high-end components.
However, once you’ve strapped your boot into them, you rarely touch the ratchets again, so this isn’t much of a problem.
While you are riding, the Clew Freedom 1.0 bindings look like any other snowboard binding.
However, the downside is that when you are not riding, you have to walk around with a high back sticking out of the back of your boot.
A few Clew owners have received negative comments on social media and when in the après bar. Still, if you can get over this, you shouldn’t be too bothered about how they look.
As this is a new technology, these bindings are a little bit more expensive than regular bindings, but not too much.
The great thing about them is that you don’t have to buy special boots to ride with them, dramatically reducing the overall setup cost.
4. Nidecker Supermatic (Best for using any snowboard boots)
Overall Score: 66
- You can use them with any snowboard boots
- Great turn initiation and suitable for freestyle
- Good build quality
- They are expensive
- Not great for buttering
The Nidecker Supermatic step on bindings give you a good amount of response, so much so you don’t feel like you need anything more.
You will find that you can go from edge to edge and make satisfying turns as long as you pair the bindings with the right boots.
You will find that these bindings don’t flex much underfoot, which is fine for carving, but buttering tricks and other jibs are more difficult.
Nideker has given these bindings a medium-soft highback, providing you with enough responsiveness for great turn initiation while still being forgiving enough for freestyle.
They feel less responsive than the Burton options, but this may suit you more, as only some people need or want knife-edge precision.
These bindings are very versatile thanks to their medium stiffness and handling characteristics. Therefore they will perform well wherever you ride on the mountain.
Most riders will like that you don’t need to buy special boots for these bindings.
You can find the perfect boot/binding combination to suit you and your feet or ride in the snowboard boots you already have.
They may be an expensive choice for a beginner snowboarder. Still, intermediate and advanced riders will be able to get their money’s worth out of them.
Nidecker isn’t a high-end brand, nor is it a budget brand. But these bindings are very well-made, and the ratchets are pretty smooth, even if they aren’t the smoothest around.
The Nidecker Supermatics are heavy bindings with a robust feel. Still, the weight may take some getting used to, especially if you spend a lot of time in the park.
The Nidecker Supermatics have a high-tech, almost space-age look, with interesting angles on the highback.
But they look like regular snowboard bindings, and most people won’t be able to tell the difference once you are strapped in and blasting down the slopes.
The other good thing is you don’t have to awkwardly walk around in extra stiff boots or the high back attached to your feet when you are not riding.
These snowboard bindings are expensive, and the price varies considerably depending on where you buy them.
However, you can wear whatever snowboard boots you have and are not subjected to proprietary technology to use them like you are with Burton step-on bindings.
The robustness of these bindings is reassuring, so they should last a long time, making them better value for money.
Modern technology has given us a fast and convenient way of attaching snowboards to our feet. They provide comparable levels of control and comfort while getting you on the slopes more quickly.
These are our favorite step-on snowboard bindings; you’ll see more riders using them in the coming years.
Many industry experts are touting them as the future of snowboarding, and most riders will convert from traditional snowboard bindings.
Currently, step-on bindings and boots are pretty expensive. This is the problem with new technology and the cost of convenience.
However, snowboard brands will hopefully reduce prices when more people buy them.
Also, the patent for Burton’s step-on system will expire soon, allowing other brands to make their own versions and compatible boots. This should significantly drop the initial cost of a step-on setup.