For what it’s worth, I frequently found that the lower half of my boots had loosened up because the lace locks hadn’t stayed locked. This didn’t prove to be a real issue, however, since I prefer to adjust my laces throughout the day. Know that Burton is also tweaking the Ion’s lace system for 2016 a little, introducing new lace guide and cleats.
The most unique aspect of the Ion’s Infinite Ride 4 Liner is the fact that rubber covers nearly the entire outside of it. This provides additional waterproofing and also means the liner works as a great hut bootie on multi-day tours.
Burton says the liner’s DryRide Moisture Wicking Tech and DryRide Heat Cycle Lining aid in moisture wicking. However, I feel the rubber on the liner traps more moisture in than it lets out, leaving you with quite a soggy liner at the end of a warm day. To be clear, the liner does not get wet from exterior moisture, it’s just that I haven’t found its breathability to be all that great. This is really only a problem when riding super hard, or when you’re overheating, and it wasn’t an issue on most days. With a bit of heat and airflow, the liners dry out just fine.
Every time I pulled the Ion’s liner out of the shell, I didn’t see one sign of moisture that had worked its way inside. In terms of waterproofing, this version of the Ion is, again, the best I’ve used.
After 40 days of riding, the Ion is showing very few signs of wear. The Speed Zone lace system is still solid on both the liner and shell and the boots’ soles are still in great shape. The plastic toe cap is a great innovation, as it keeps one of the most hard-wearing areas of the boot much stronger and more durable. There is one tiny piece of rubber that has torn underneath the toe of the right boot, but this happened as a result of hiking on sharp rocks and I don’t consider it to be a durability issue. I am confident I could get at least a 100-day season out of the Ion.
If you’re an intermediate, advanced, or expert riding at least 20 days per season, I think you’ll be very happy with the Burton Ion on your feet. It’s been around for years, but this latest version of the boot may be the best yet.