I wasn't expecting to be loaded up with free product at the Scott launch, I mean a trip to Switzerland to ride new bikes was enough to make me happy. But for the seasoned product launch attendee, leaving with a complete new kit has become the norm and with a company like Scott (that makes pretty much everything), well that will have you leaving with new shoes, shorts, gloves and even a helmet or two. Pity though, as it turned out for me and the one other tall journalist, that none of the promo product came in XL. And then it turned out the shoes were stuck at customs. Well the nice folk at Scott decided to post the shoes out, and they arrived on Monday. One of the pairs had their maiden voyage yesterday morning. Problem is the launch was back in June, and I was listening when we were told all the details, but recalling that info is proving a bit of a challenge. But like all Euros, luckily they write pretty much everything on the finished product. For example The Premium BOA model above features Scott's HMX Carbon Fibre soles; they are super stiff, in fact the sole says they have a Stiffness Index of 9? I'm guessing 10 might be the road shoe, so yeah, stiff soles.
The other big deal with the Scott Premium BOA shoe is... the BOA closure. Each turn on the BOA's dial pulls 1mm of cord; even the best quality ratchet pulls around 4mm so getting the perfect fit in the Premium shoe is pretty easy. They have a really nice inner sole as well with an adjustable/removable arch support and a removable metatarsal button under the ball of the foot. There's a few other rad little features, like 3M protective tape pre-cut to go on the exposed carbon on the sole of the shoe, as well as a waterproof bit of tape to cover up the SPD mount holes on the inside of the the footbed.
But the shoe that really tickled my fancy was the Elite Boa. It's a shoe designed to gel with the whole Genius bike vibe, hence the similar colourway. Unlike the high end XC Premium model the Elite uses a combination of Velcro and BOA for fastening.
Having worn them for half the day yesterday for four runs down Makara Peak I can tell you that the adjustability and fit is fantastic. They are ludicrously quick to remove; pulling the BOA loosens them off almost instantly.
There's no carbon sole here, a flexier nylon sole is used for the Elite and they are designed for the modern rider who may just be keen to smash out a tricky section over and over again. They have a real hike-able sole with great traction for climbing rocks and roots. They are still well stiff enough for some solid time in the saddle and we will be giving them hell over this tail end of winter. Unfortunately though I can't let you know what their stiffness index is, as in a very un-Euro move they didn't write it on the shoe, dammit! If I had to say, maybe a six or a seven? Regardless they will be getting their full baptism next week when they have to hike for 4+ hours.
The Sole of the Elite Boa is impressive, full coverage from heel to toe, and colour coordinated to match your new top-of-the-line Genius LT bike.