Scott MTB Team Boa Review
Cons: Minimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment range
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Scott MTB Team Boa
$169.99 at Backcountry
|$24.95 at Backcountry|
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|$89.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Lightweight, reasonable price, good power transfer, comfortable||Stealth rubber soles, excellent power transfer, significantly lighter than previous version, great toe and heel protection||Durable construction, comfortable, great traction and walkability||Lightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkability||Inexpensive, comfortable, great off the bike|
|Cons||Minimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment range||No medial ankle protection, short break-in period||Heavy, no ankle protection||Roomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stability||Minimal protection, limited cleat adjustment, below average power transfer|
|Bottom Line||A quality shoe that offers high-end cross-country performance at a reasonable price||Awesome power transfer, foot protection, and off the bike traction with a mid-pack weight that expands this gravity shoe's appeal to trail riders||A beefy and rugged shoe that should stand up to multiple seasons of abuse||An affordable, lightweight, casual-looking trail riding shoe with good power transfer and off the bike walkability||A well-rounded, budget-friendly option that's just as comfortable off the bike as it is on|
|Rating Categories||Scott MTB Team Boa||Five Ten Hellcat Pro||Ride Concepts Talla...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Giro Gauge|
|Power Transfer (20%)|
|Traction Walkability (25%)|
|Specs||Scott MTB Team Boa||Five Ten Hellcat Pro||Ride Concepts Talla...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Giro Gauge|
|Closure||Boa iP-1 dial, plus velcro strap||Laces plus wide velcro strap||Laces plus velcro strap||Laces||Laces|
|Measured Weight (per shoe)||359 grams||452 grams||539 grams||375 grams||452 grams|
|Size Tested||44||10 (44)||11||43.5||45|
|Upper Material||Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Airmesh||Synthetic with DWR||Bonded Cordura mech with TPU toe and heel protection||Synthetic Leather and Textile||Synchwire on-piece composite|
|Footbed||ErgoLogic||Five Ten padded foam||D30 High Impact Insole||Specialized Body Geometry||Die-cut EVA|
|Sole||Nylon/Glass Fiber Composite||3/4 length Dual-density TPU shank/Compression-molded EVA||RC Powerdrive Nylon Shank||Stiff Lollipop nylon composite plate||Injected nylon shank|
|Outsole||StickiRubber||Stealth Marathon||Clip Grip||SlipNot FG||Rubber outsole|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Scott MTB Team Boa was designed to meet the demands of cross-country and light trail riding, with a decisively XC look and performance. The Swiss company Scott has come up with a well-thought-out design that incorporates high-quality materials and features at an affordable price. For those looking to get the most out of their dollar in an XC-style shoe, the Scott MTB Team Boa is our recommendation.
The MTB Team Boa offers excellent power transfer. These shoes are stiff enough for most riders, with minimal and hardly noticeable sole flex unless you compare them side-by-side with the stiffest shoes we tested like the Giro Empire VR90.
While hardcore XC racers would likely prefer the Giro Empire VR90 and Enduro-focused athletes would be better off picking the similarly stiff Five Ten Hellcat Pro, the majority of riders should find the MTB Team Boa suitable for the demands of everyday XC style trail riding and even light-duty racing. This shoe has a decent cleat adjustment range, though limited compared to most all-mountain/gravity shoes, that should allow most XC riders to find their optimal position.
The MTB Team Boa is a very comfortable shoe. The high levels of comfort are a result of the quality footbed, supple Microfiber uppers, and a closure system that wraps snugly around the foot. We never experienced hot spots and had no problem wearing these shoes for 3+ hour long test rides, even when they were brand new.
The MTB Team Boa is only offered in whole European sizes, and our size 44 test pair felt true to size. Unfortunately, they don't come in half sizes, so some riders may not get the exact perfect length they need. The fit of this shoe is slightly slimmer and more performance-oriented than most of the all-mountain/enduro shoes we tested. The result is a precise fit that may feel somewhat snug the first time you try them on, but the uppers conform nicely to the feet after a short break-in period. The shoe is tightened around the foot by a single Boa dial which pulls a flap over the top of the foot and tightens over the upper and mid-foot. A well-placed velcro strap finishes the task at the bottom of the foot. The tongue wraps over the foot under the outer Boa flap and it really feels like it hugs the foot very securely and comfortably. Additionally, the Boa dial allows for quick and easy tension adjustments on the trail. The ErgoLogic footbed provides good support and offers just enough cushioning for all-day rides without being too cushy.
The synthetic uppers are a leather-esque material with a number of perforated ventilation holes throughout that help make these shoes comfortable in even the hottest conditions. There is minimal protection on the shoe, except for cushioning around the ankle cuff, making it less adept at the bike park or enduro duty than burlier, more protective models.
Traction and Walkability
The MTB Team Boa is an XC-style shoe, and they can't really compete with the new crop of trail/all-mountain shoes on the market in terms of walkability. Sure, they are fine to walk around in, but they aren't the shoe we'd want on our feet for serious adventure rides with extended hike-a-bikes. The patented StickiRubber that comprises the lugs of the outsole gives them decent grip on most surfaces and in the majority of weather conditions. The stiffness of the sole, however, doesn't allow for much flex through the toe.
Unlike shoes with full coverage rubber soles, the smaller size of the sole lugs bite well into loose, dry, and wet dirt, but they don't inspire as much confidence when hiking up uneven or steep surfaces such as rocks or through deadfall. The toe of the shoe has mounts for toe cleats, which are included, and make traction significantly better if you find yourself in muddy or loose conditions often or intend to use these shoes for cyclocross racing.
The Scott MTB Team Boa weighed in as one of the lightest models we tested at 359-grams per shoe in a size 44. They are far lighter than most of the trail and gravity-focused models in this test, which is to be expected. We feel these are a great option for the rider looking to shave some weight from their kit without shaving too much weight from their wallet.
Costing about half as much as the ritzy Giro Empire VR90, the Scott MTB Team Boa is similarly lightweight. From a price-to-weight ratio standpoint, these shoes are really tough to beat.
With reinforcements at the toe and heel and a tough synthetic upper material, the Scott MTB Team Boa has proven to be a reliably durable shoe when used within its intended purpose. These are XC-style shoes, they are not the shoes you want to ride at the bike park or take on extended hike-a-bikes which may cause them to wear out much faster.
Our biggest concern with the longevity of this shoe is with regards to the thickness of the sole lugs, which are thinner than other shoes in this test and will wear down faster accordingly. When used in an XC/trail capacity, this shoe can hold its own against occasional rock and stump strikes and short sections of hiking. Bike park use or enduro racing has a much higher likelihood of tearing the uppers or damaging the Boa unit. Fortunately, the Boa unit is replaceable in case of damage.
The MTB Team Boa is a value buy given its features and performance. This shoe delivers quality construction, a secure and comfortable fit, and great power transfer in a sleek-looking package. There are less expensive options, but none that can touch the price to performance ratio of the MTB Team Boa. We would recommend this shoe to anyone looking for a quality XC-style shoe who doesn't want to break the bank.
While they may not be the least expensive model in our test, the Scott MTB Team Boa packs XC features and performance into a mid-priced package. With a very comfortable and secure fit and excellent power transfer, we feel these are a great option for the XC or trail rider looking for a quality shoe that won't break the bank.
— Dillon Osleger
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