I guess being skier when snowboards happened I already meshed with plastic, used supercomps to ski on a snowboard (always consider them the same sport) thru the late 80s, they were a far better board boot than anything made at the time including alpine mountaineering (kolflac, raichle etcl) that spawned hardboots. I used the original plastic tele, scarpa teminators also for a bit, big change from the leather, before buying nodica SBH (modified TR9 A.T. boot). then on to my 1st "ground up" hardboot, UPS asyms.
I'd put the leather/plastic merrels up against any stiff modern softboot
Regardless of boots, nobody stands perpendicular to their skis but you can on a board, not that I'd ever want to.