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By Megan Janssen
Perhaps you haven’t yet worn trail-running shoes with the Boa Fit System. But you may remember trying snowboarding boots in the early 2000s that had a cool new dial based fit system that provided a fast, effortless, precision fit. Don’t remember that? That’s okay; we’re all trying to forget things from the early 2000s.
That same technology, created by Boa® in an effort to improve fit and performance, has now landed in trail running.
After numerous prototypes to create a better solution to standard laces, Boa was born in the Rocky Mountains using a dial, durable, synthetic, cable-like laces, and low-friction lace guides. Push the dial in and twist to tighten. Pull up for a quick release. The micro-adjustable system wraps the foot and provides a snug and even fit to help athletes perform at their peak.”
With the launch of their state-of-the-art Performance Fit Lab, Boa is investing time and energy into testing how their technology can impact athlete performance as it relates to the mechanics of the shoe’s upper. In cooperation with the University of Denver, Boa is conducting independent studies with Division-1 athletes to track differences in performance between lace configurations and Boa-powered configurations.
With these studies, Boa is looking to directly impact athlete performance through measuring the “biomechanical impact of fit.” The athletes in the studies performed five movements and, by studying the impacts of different uppers and lacing systems, Boa was able to use the results to develop a new, tri-panel configuration. Boa has released the study results, saying, “the tests show that the Boa Fit System tri-panel configuration improves strength, speed, and power transfer of the athlete by 1.5-5% across five key movements.”
Bradley Davidson, PhD, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Denver, said, “By tracking movement biomechanics of multiple high-level athletes, we were able to examine speed, power, explosiveness, and energy efficiencies. Typically, changing equipment has almost no effect on athlete performance, but in this case the evidence shows clear improvements with the Boa Fit System. For these athletes, even a 1.5-4% performance improvement following a multi-week training program is quite significant and they gained the equivalent improvements simply by changing shoes.”
Running brands like adidas Terrex, Saucony, Asics and New Balance have adopted the Boa Fit System on some of their models. The latest New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro Boa is the first to adopt the dual dial system. This provides more adaptability whether you are looking to pick up the pace or change in elevation.