Mid-level, XC-oriented clip-in shoe from Scott
Scott knows a thing or two about XC. When you have riders of the quality of Olympic champions Nino Schurter and Jenny Rissveds giving you feedback then you can’t help but develop market leading products. The MTB Team Boa is mid way in the US brand’s XC range of shoes, between the more expensive MTB RC and the lower tier MTB Pro.
Taking the advice from both its professional athletes and sports scientists, Scott has designed the Team Boa to be a combination of stiff performance and comfort. As per every other shoe of this type Scott has lavished the shoe with numerous technologies; we have the Power Zone, Ergologic Insole System, X-Traction and an Anatomic Centering Strap. De-coding all of these technologies gives us a stiffened nylon/fibreglass sole, customisable insole, aggressive outsole and a velcro strap.
But all these technologies mean nothing if the shoe isn’t comfortable. Fortunately Scott has created a shoe that is a very pleasant environment for your feet to live for both racing and riding. The first thing that is noticeable is the spacious toe box. It’s not too cavernous though; your toes still remain in place and don’t scrabble about if, for example, you need to run a section of trail.
The other important factor is how well the shoe grips at the heel. Pedalling with clip-ins enables you to pull up through the pedal stroke and this makes it doubly important that the shoe holds your foot securely in place. The MTB Team BOA has a reinforced heel cup, but I found it a tad wide to sufficiently cradle my heel so some movement was noted. This is particularly noticeable when walking up steep climbs. It isn’t enough to really question the ability of the shoe, but if you have a lower volume foot (I have a relatively high arch) you will need to crank down the BOA dial considerably.
I tested these back to back with several other shoes and it felt like I had left a bit of packaging in. Something was pushing the centre of my foot up. On further investigation I discovered the insole has a series of velcro’d, swappable segments intended to tune the fit.
These include a metatarsal button that gave way too much support for my foot. As soon as I took this off the shoe felt infinitely better. Oddly, Scott only supplied the supports in ‘medium’, so I had to contact them to ask me to send me an alternative size.