On paper Scott’s version of a BOA shoe is pretty similar to Specialized’s S-Works. Try them on, though, and it’s immediately obvious that the Scott is considerably wider at the forefoot, making them a good choice for people with really wide feet. The hybrid carbon-nylon sole unit is also noticeably less curvaceous, making them easier to walk in, at the expense of outright on-the-bike efficiency.
The upper has been built to last, with additional plastic protection around the toe box, and an externally reinforced heel-cup to prevent heel-lift and provide protection. The footbed has been well thought through and provides a ridge through the midfoot — also known as a metatarsal button — to provide additional support, although arch support isn’t quite as prominent as on the S-Works.
The BOA lacing extends down the shoe through three rungs, with the option of doubling up the lacing at each point. In practice, we found you could only double the lacing at two of the points, and even then we had to unhook the top rung each time to get the shoe on. Not a problem in the warm and dry, but with cold, muddy hands — say during an endurance race — it won’t be easy. We also found the toe box to be excessively roomy, always feeling loose no matter how tight we ratcheted up the BOA.
Scott’s Limited shoes will certainly look the part on the start line of an XC race, but they’re not quite as efficient as the S-Works, nor as robust as the Lakes.
Mbr rating: 7