Scott MTB Team Boa Review
Cons: Minimal protection, not the most durable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Scott MTB Team Boa was designed to meet the demands of trail or all-mountain riding, but we found it to be best suited for everything from XC to more aggressive all-mountain riding. 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, the Scott MTB Team Boa is our recommendation, winning the "Best Buy Award" on account of both function and fashion.
For the price, these offer 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 XC racers would likely prefer the Giro Empire VR90 and Enduro focused athletes would be better off picking the similarly stiff Five Ten Kestral Pro Boa, the majority of riders should find the Team MTB Boa suitable for the demands everyday XC style trail riding and even light-duty racing.
The comfort is a result of the quality footbed, supple Microfiber uppers, and the even tension of the Boa closures.
The fit of this shoe is slightly tighter and more performance-oriented than some other brands. The result is a precise fit that may feel somewhat snug the first time you try them on but breaks in quickly. The ErgoLogic footbed offers just enough cushioning for all-day rides without being too cushy. The Microfiber uppers are a leather-esque material with a number of ventilation holes 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 our Top Pick for Enduro Racers, the Five Ten Kestral Pro Boa. The shoe is tightened around the foot by a single Boa dial adjusting the upper and middle of the shoe, while a well-placed velcro strap finishes the task at the bottom of the foot. The Boa closure pulls tension evenly around the middle and upper part of the foot, and it can quickly and easily be adjusted out on the trail. The shoe feels incredibly secure and comfortable when the dial and velcro are tightened down.
Traction and Walkability
The patented StickiRubber that comprises the MTB Team Boa outsole makes it at home walking on most surfaces and in the majority of weather conditions. They aren't as confidence inspiring as some of the trail/all-mountain shoes in this test, but they perform admirably.
The one caveat with these shoes is the smaller size of the sole lugs, resulting in a larger ordeal 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 sold separately but would 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 on the lighter end of the spectrum in our test, being as equally light as the Bontrager Foray and only 20g heavier than the Giro Empire VR90. They are far lighter than the more gravity focused models in this test, 150g less per shoe than the Five Ten HellCat Pro.
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 a great deal.
With solid rubber rands and a resistant upper material, the Scott MTB Team Boa has proven to be a reliably durable shoe when used within its intended purpose.
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 strikes and strenuous hike-a-bikes; however, 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, so much so that we've given it our Best Buy Award. At only $150, this shoe delivers quality construction, secure and comfortable fit, and performance 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 to save a bit of money without compromising on performance.
While they may not be the least expensive model in our test, the Scott MTB Team Boa packs features and performance into a mid-priced package. While the styling is more reminiscent of a cross country shoe, the MTB Team Boa can handle trail duties across the spectrum making it a great choice for budget conscious riders looking to get the most out of a single shoe.
— Dillon Osleger