The K2 Maysis boot has been a mainstay of the K2 boot line now for over a decade. For all that time, the Maysis has had a Goldilocks approach for its design, with a medium stiff flex and a feature set that is ‘just right’. It is labeled by K2 as ‘the best selling snowboard boot in the world’, a claim that has credence if you consider that it is also a very popular boot in rental fleets around the world.
The last few years I have been riding K2’s high end soft boots, jumping between some Taro Tamai Snow Surfers and Renins. The Maysis is a modest step up in stiffness from the Renin (only +1 on the stiffness scale) and I thought it would be good to see if I was missing anything from a slightly stiffer boot.
Fit & durability
Just like the other K2 boots I have used, the Maysis fit true to size. My US size 10 feet (10.5 street shoe) fit perfectly in size 10’s. They felt comfortable right out of the box, but they did need a day of riding to get past the bulk of the break in, to get from a boxy fit to a molded fit. By the end of the third day of riding the molding was done. I did get sore ankle bones for a day from rubbing against the cored ankle pockets and surrounding internal and external j-bars. However, by day two, the fit was on point and my ankles were happy. One day of sore ankle bones seems par for the course with K2 boots. However, if you get the boots heat molded before day one, you’re likely to avoid the break in period completely.
The Intuition Control Foam 3D liner is comfortable and has the cored ankle pockets I’m a big fan of. They are surrounded by internal and external j-bars, which combined with the Boa Conda heel retention system ensures there is no heel lift when riding. The Intuition liner is heat moldable in store for a custom fit, or it will naturally mold to your foot after three to four days of riding.
The top of the liner tongue is kept in place with Velcro zones. I’m not a big fan of these as I can never get the tongue to be snug against my shins. I’d rather have a strap to keep things tight there.
Under the liners there is reflective foil to keep the heat generated by your feet from escaping and it seems to work. I haven’t had cold feet all season and yet, now that it’s spring-like conditions I don’t find them too hot. K2 have found the temperature sweet spot, at least for my feet.
Boa H4 Coiler system
The K2 Maysis feature the new double reel Boa H4 system. This features a dial that ejects on hard impacts (instead of breaking), which can be reinserted afterwards. I haven’t had any hard knocks to the boots this year so I haven’t been able to test it out, but anything that mitigates the risk of boot failure is a good thing. Boot tightness is regulated via two Boa dials. The one on the top of the tongue is for the entire outer boot. The second Boa coiler on the side of the boot is for the Boa Conda heel retention system. It’s a piece of plastic that cinches down on the front of the ankle for a snug fit and to eliminate heel lift. It’s larger than the Boa Mobility Conda in the Renin boot, and I was worried it would cause pressure points. However, I didn’t find it restrictive and it worked well. It is held in place with Velcro so it’s possible to adjust its position. I tried bringing it higher, and then lower, but in the end the default location in the middle worked best. If you have any boot fitting issues around the instep I would recommend playing with the Conda location first.
For some people, having only one Boa coiler for the entire outer boot brings to mind images of entry-level offerings, and they’d prefer a two zone system. Personally, I don’t mind it – it works well enough with the solid heel hold of the Conda system. I wouldn’t object though to one more cable loop on the lower boot just to keep the material in place better in deep flexes.
As always, figuring out how to best tighten the Boa system is the key to getting a good fit. After trying a few different things I have settled on the following system for the best fit. When I put on the K2 Maysis in the parking lot, I stop tightening the inner Boa the moment I can feel it on my ankle. The outer Boa is only tightened enough for me to walk comfortably. By the time I’ve walked to the lift, my foot has warmed up the liner and I tighten the inner Boa a tiny bit more while pushing my knee forward. I keep this as loose as possible as long as there is no heel lift. Before tightening the outer Boa, I push the top of the tongue against my shin and then turn the Boa coiler. This seems to tighten the top of the boot at a greater rate than the lower zone and leaves me with a snug fit with no heel lift, all without crushing my instep. I don’t need to release it at lunch and can go all day without my foot cramping up.
Under the boot is a This grips! premium rubber outsole. It wasn’t something I thought about much all season until I had to scramble around on a steep melt-freeze pitch, where a slip would have been disastrous. The Maysis kept a good grip, and they do so without compromising board feel. When riding, they don’t feel thick under foot. They come with K2’s proprietary HarshMellow dampening foam, which absorbs vibrations to leave a smooth ride.
K2 calls this the best selling boot in the world and it’s easy to see why. The stiffness is a middle of the road 7, which is a perfect general flex for all mountain riding. I have grown used to softer boots the last few years but it was easy enough to adapt to the Maysis as they are not overbearing. They have a rich feature set and have solid construction. The durability is on point and I have nothing to complain about them after 30 days. Apart from a little inevitable scuffing, they still look great – no one wants boots that look haggard halfway through the season! The Boa system is simple to use, and even more so to release. I love being able to get out of my boots in 30 seconds flat at the end of a long day. The K2 Maysis is ideal for riders who need a higher end boot that offers great support without being too stiff, and is comfortable without being too soft. In other words, “just right, just right”.