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Scott MTB Team Boa Review

A quality shoe that offers high-end performance at a reasonable price
Scott MTB Team Boa
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $150 List | $149.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, reasonable price, good power transfer, comfortable
Cons:  Minimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment range
Manufacturer:   Scott
By Dillon Osleger ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2021
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 18
  • Power Transfer - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Traction Walkability - 25% 6
  • Weight - 15% 10
  • Durability - 15% 7

Our Verdict

Rarely is it the case that any product including the moniker "Pro" or "Team" comes in at an affordable price, but the Scott MTB Team Boa provides high-end features and performance while leaving enough change in your wallet to buy quite a few post-ride meals. While they aren't the cheapest shoe in our test, the quality of this shoe shines brightly above others in its price class. These lightweight XC-style shoes are impressively comfortable, with excellent power transfer, and sleek looks. They lack the foot protection and walkability of the more trail-oriented competition, but they perform excellently within their intended application.

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Scott MTB Team Boa
This Product
Scott MTB Team Boa
Awards Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $149.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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$130 List
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Pros Lightweight, reasonable price, good power transfer, comfortableStealth rubber soles, excellent power transfer, significantly lighter than previous version, great toe and heel protectionLightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkabilityLugged Vibram sole, versatile fit, stiff but walkableVersatile, robust construction, easy adjustment, casual style
Cons Minimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment rangeNo medial ankle protection, short break-in periodRoomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stabilityLimited on-the-go adjustmentsSingle boa closure, limited traction in wet conditions
Bottom Line A quality shoe that offers high-end performance at a reasonable priceAwesome power transfer, foot protection, and off the bike traction with a mid-pack weight that expands this gravity shoe's appeal to trail ridersAn affordable, lightweight, casual-looking trail riding shoe with good power transfer and off the bike walkabilityThe ultimate backcountry and adventure riding conquerorThis shoe has the versatility, performance, and style to be a reliable daily driver for any rider, and it won't break the bank
Rating Categories Scott MTB Team Boa Five Ten Hellcat Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Specialized Rime 2.0 Pearl Izumi X-Alp L...
Power Transfer (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort (25%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
Traction Walkability (25%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
10.0
7.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Scott MTB Team Boa Five Ten Hellcat Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Specialized Rime 2.0 Pearl Izumi X-Alp L...
Closure Boa iP-1 dial, plus velcro strap Laces plus wide velcro strap Laces L6 Boa and Laces L6 Boa
Measured Weight (per shoe) 359 grams 452 grams 375 grams 419 grams 436 grams
Size Tested 44 10 (44) 43.5 44.5 45
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Upper Material Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Airmesh Synthetic with DWR Synthetic Leather and Textile XPEL Hydrophobic Mesh Recycled Cordura fabric
Footbed ErgoLogic Five Ten padded foam Specialized Body Geometry Specialized Body Geometry Pearl Izumi Insole
Sole Nylon/Glass Fiber Composite 3/4 length Dual-density TPU shank/Compression-molded EVA Stiff Lollipop nylon composite plate Lollipop Nylon Composite Composite shank
Outsole StickiRubber Stealth Marathon SlipNot FG Vibram Vibra, ECOSTEP

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.

Performance Comparison


The MTB Team Boa shoes really shine on the pedals with all-day...
The MTB Team Boa shoes really shine on the pedals with all-day comfort and great power transfer.
Photo: Jason Peters

Power Transfer


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 Boa closure wraps snugly and securely around the foot, and the...
The Boa closure wraps snugly and securely around the foot, and the supple synthetic uppers conform nicely to the feet.
Photo: Jason Peters

Comfort


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.

These shoes have a performance fit, yet they are impressively...
These shoes have a performance fit, yet they are impressively comfortable right out of the box.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

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.

These shoes are okay to walk in, but they are far from the best off...
These shoes are okay to walk in, but they are far from the best off the bike.
Photo: Jason Peters

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, if any, 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.

These shoes are impressively lightweight for a size EU 44.
These shoes are impressively lightweight for a size EU 44.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Weight


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 only a few bucks more than the Bontrager Foray and half as much as the ritzy Giro Empire VR90, the Scott MTB Team Boa is similarly lightweight and provides a higher level of performance than the former and costs half of the latter. From a price-to-weight ratio standpoint, these shoes are really tough to beat.

XC and light duty-trail riding are what these shoes are intended...
XC and light duty-trail riding are what these shoes are intended for, and when kept within those applications they should last a long time.
Photo: Jason Peters

Durability


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.

We feel these shoes are excellent value for a comfortable...
We feel these shoes are excellent value for a comfortable, high-performance XC-style model.
Photo: Jason Peters

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

If you're looking for a lightweight XC style shoe with great power...
If you're looking for a lightweight XC style shoe with great power transfer, a high level of comfort, and a reasonable price, look no further than the MTB Team Boa.
Photo: Jason Peters

Dillon Osleger