2017 is the year of the BOA — no, you haven’t missed the introduction of a new Chinese zodiac, this is the year that the BOA retention system looks set to become the dominant choice for keeping your shoes shut on high-end road bike shoes.
Shimano has included BOA dials on its brand new S-Phyre road shoe — the first shoe from the brand to feature the smart, wire adjusters. The S-Phyre carries over the now familiar heat moldable footbed from the brand and weighs in at a claimed 230g for a size 42 shoe.
Giro Prolight Techlace and Factor Tech Lace
If you aren’t happy with just a mere BOA system, you can go full… Well, everything. The patented Techlace is a system in which Giro moulds shoelaces into velcro tabs, combining the ease of velcro with the comfort of laces. Oh, and there’s a BOA dial too, used to adjust tension around the ankle because why not?
The Techlace system is available on either the Factor Techlace or the ridiculously light Prolight Techlace, which Giro claims will weigh in at a frankly ridiculous 150g.
Northwave Extreme RR
We like the look of the Extreme RR from smaller Italian brand, Northwave. The shoes utilise the brand’s own Speedlace Winch dial, which essentially replicates the BOA in both form and function. Interestingly, the shoe uses only a single adjustment dial, keeping things super minimal and the weight down at a feathery 220g.
Specialized S-Works 6
We also like the look of the Specialized S-Works 6 — although the shoe has been around for a while, it’s hard to overlook as it scored extremely highly in a recent BikeRadar review, only really falling down due to its high price. But we’re talking hot shoes here, so we’ll forgive the price in the name of sexy slippers.
And lastly, ol’ man SIDI, once the pre-eminent name in race kicks on either the trail or on the road had us salivating at the sight of the new Shot.
With plenty of high-end shoe options now available, you may see fewer shoes from SIDI in the wild than in years gone by but they’re still hugely popular in the peloton with both Tony Martin and Chris Froome sporting the Shots at this year’s edition of the Tour de France.
As always with SIDI, nearly everything is replaceable on these shoes and while they’re not the lightest, they have won the Tour so you’ll be left wanting when looking for decent excuses for your sub-par performance.