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review

Scott Road Team Boa Shoes

7
£139.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Comfortable for long, leisurely rides but a little expensive for the specification and performance
Very comfortable
Boa closure
Pricey for the spec
Weight: 
558g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Scott's Road Team Boa shoes are exceptionally comfortable, the uppers offering a snug fit with no pinching or hot spots. The soles lack the stiffness of carbon alternatives – and you can get carbon-soled shoes for less – but they are perfectly sufficient for a range of road riding, with a focus on comfort over performance.

The Road Teams fall between Scott's Road Comp at £109.99 and its new Road Vectec Boa at £164.99. You get a carbon composite sole with the Vertec, so stiffness is bound to be better, though differences in weight between the three aren't huge: on the road.cc Scales of Truth the Road Team Boas are 10g lighter than the claimed weight of the Road Comps, while the Road Vertecs are 20g lighter (claimed weight) than the Road Team Boas.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Fit and ride comfort

I've been testing a pair of size 42s (Specialized road shoes are my go-to, always a 42) and the length is spot on. I have a wider than average (for a female) foot, and love the suppleness of these shoes; I had no pinching or hots spots.

The placement of a mesh panel at the inner edge of the shoe might not be the most effective for ventilation, but it gave my protruding big-toe joint the space that some shoes don't. It's worth noting that a female-specific model is available, though only in white, and disappointingly only up to a size 42.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa Shoes - instep.jpg

Previous versions of the Road Team shoes have had a central opening and tongue. This latest has a lateral opening, reducing the number of seams sitting directly, or indirectly, on top of the foot; I found it contours well to the upper foot.

I initially had a bit of digging in from the corner of the flap, but within a couple of rides the material had softened, and I've had no issues since.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa - tongue digging in.jpg

The heel cup is well judged in both shape and height. It's supportive without nipping.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa Shoes - heels.jpg

The Boa system is also good, if a little poorly aligned with the tongue: the lace frequently caught on the seam when tightening, but it's easy to flick it over the seam. It cinches the uppers up tightly and evenly, and any adjustments needed are easy to make on the move, with a full release of the dial and retightening.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa - lacing catching.jpg

In addition to the Boa lacing, the shoes have a single Velcro strap; I could set this at the start of my ride and not need to touch it again.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa Shoes - toe.jpg

The uppers are a combination of synthetic polyurethane and 3D Airmesh, with plenty of ventilation holes (and one on the sole, under the toes). I found the shoes sufficiently breathable in recent conditions. Admittedly, we're hardly having a great summer, but I certainly wasn't close to suffering from sweaty, swelling feet.

> How to choose the best cycling shoes for you

The outer sole is a nylon/glass fibre composite, and is no match for carbon in terms of stiffness – the difference when pressing on, sprinting or giving it some welly on a climb is noticeable. I couldn't feel the cleats when on the bike, though – which can be a drawback of cheaper composite soles and a potential cause of hotspots when riding. Scott has rated them an 8/10 on its stiffness scale; I'd argue that, but then I guess it depends how you are setting up the scale.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa Shoes - sole toe.jpg

Cleats are three bolt only and there are plenty of markings to help with cleat alignment.

The grippy rubbers at the heel and toe are substantial and seemingly very durable. I've never felt like I was about to slip when crossing café patios or wooden floors. The soles are showing superficial signs of wear but the rubberised heel and toe caps still look good.

2021 Scott Road Team Boa - scuffs and heel rubber.jpg

The white version I've been testing has inevitably become off-white, but they do come up quite clean with some Vanish and an old toothbrush. At least the mesh vent, which is most prone to discolouring, is relatively hidden when on the bike. They're available in Metallic Blue and Matt Black as well, more practical choices for year-round use perhaps.

Value

Compared with something very similar, such as Bontrager's Circuit Road Shoe with an RRP of £129.99, the Road Team Boas look reasonably priced. However, they may struggle to compete with other manufacturers' similarly priced shoes in terms of performance.

> Buyer’s Guide: 24 of the best performance road cycling shoes

Stu raved about Boardman's Carbon Cycle Shoes, which are £55 less than the Road Team Boas, and dhb's Aerons, which Mat tested back in 2017, are similar to the Scotts but also have a carbon sole and are £120 (currently discounted to £80).

Van Rysel's RoadR 900 Carbon Shoes have two Boa closures and a carbon sole, and undercut Scott's £139.99 price tag by a tenner.

Conclusion

The Road Team Boas aren't the stiffest of shoes, and you can certainly get better specced shoes for less, but fit and comfort have thoroughly impressed me, particularly given that I frequently struggle to find a pair that fit well. If you value comfort and fit over stiffness, they're worth a look; no one wants a super-stiff shoe if it causes hotspots or pinching.

Verdict

Comfortable for long, leisurely rides but a little expensive for the specification and performance

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Scott Road Team Boa Shoes

Size tested: 42

Tell us what the product is for

Scott says, 'Performance-oriented cyclists will find the SCOTT Road Team BOA® to be a perfect shoe for serious pedaling response and long-distance comfort. The shoe features a sleek, asymmetric, conforming microfiber upper and a close-fitting adaptive fit pattern with a BOA® IP1 Fit System at the top. Combined with a lower anatomic fit strap, it articulates to best fit the shape of the rider's foot. For all-day sole support, the ErgoLogic insole features arch support and a metatarsal button. The injection composite sole has an increased range of cleat adjustment with a stiffness index of 8.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Scott lists:

ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: BOA

RANGE OF USE: Road

COMPOSITION: Outsole: Nylon / Glass Fiber Composite, Sticki Rubber / Stiffness Index 8

Upper: Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Airmesh

CLOSURE: BOA® Fit System IP-1 & anatomic fit strap

FEATURES: ErgoLogic removable insole

SIZE: 40-48

APPROX. WEIGHT: 290 g (US 8.5)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Neatly finished all over.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Very comfy with a level of stiffness that would be expected of a non-carbon sole.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Wearing well; scratches are superficial on the sole with the rubbers protecting it well.

Rate the product for fit:
 
10/10

A big thumbs up from me, though this will be very personal.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Stay true to size. Women with narrow feet may like to try the female-specific shoe, if the design is to your liking.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

Acceptable at this price point, considering the composite sole.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Once the tongue had softened, they were great.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

Considering other options, the Road Team Boas seem a touch overpriced; you can certainly get a lot more shoe for significantly less money.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

They've had a serious scrub after a mucky, rainy ride without overshoes. Vanish and an old toothbrush brought them up like new, with only the mesh vent slightly off-white.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Great for rides of any duration, with a good balance of comfort and performance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fit and comfort.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really. Nowhere near as stiff as a carbon soled shoe, but that's expected.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Bontrager's Circuit Road Shoes are a tenner less, as are Van Rysel's RoadR 900 Carbon Shoes, while dhb's Aeron Carbons are £120, and Boardman's Carbon Cycle Shoes are £85.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The composite sole is a performance compromise that some will be happy to make for the exceptional comfort. They're very good, but the price is quite steep for a shoe of this specification.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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