The Lace Race

May 6th, 2009

Balancing comfort, speed and convenience

By Cameron Parsons

 

We took a look at three main snowboard boot lacing systems on the market and highlight some of their advantages and disadvantages.

THE BOA SYSTEM
Score: 7 out of 10

 

The Boa System is one that consumers often rush to stores to buy. The appeal of the Boa system is it’s simple and effortless to use. A few simple turns of the disc and hey presto your boots are done up.

However, it is not a suitable system for everyone. It provides even distribution throughout the boot but this may be restrictive for some types of feet. For those with high foot bones or a high arch, this can inhibit blood flow and cause serious pain. If you loosen the tension to alleviate the pressure you inturn lessen your control, as the boot is not sufficiently tightened around the ankle and calf.

 

The Double Boa was invented to battle this problem and it provides two points of tensioning, but is a little more expensive. It makes sense to try before you buy! If you get no foot pressure or pain around the foot with a Boa System, it can be an extremely good boot to buy.

BURTON SPEEDZONE LACING SYSTEM
Score: 8 out of 10

 

SpeedZone is Burton’s response to the Boa System. It is a good one too. The immediate advantage is that it has two zones of lacing – one for on top of the foot and one for around the calf. Each zone is pulled tight using a thin but strong cord attached to two handles. Then it is just a matter of pulling the cords to the desired tension and locking the cord back into the clamps on the side of the boot.

Our only gripe with the SpeedZone lacing system is that the handles tend to fall out of the pockets provided and the amount of control in tightening is still somewhat limited because of the two zones. Overall though, it is an impressive very fast system.

 

*TRADITIONAL LACES*
Score: 9 out of 10

Conventional laces may not be as quick as its convenient counterparts, but what it lacks in speed it gains in control. The traditional lace up system is by far the most custom of all the lacing systems. It allows you to tighten and lock off (using the correct technique) at any point of the boot.

 

For example if you have a high arch you can leave the laces loose around the foot, lock off around the ankle and then do the boot up sufficiently tight around the calf. Traditional laces tend to become loose over a day’s riding and will require your attention on the mountain but if your willing to tough out the cold with exposed digits, you cant go past the old faithful.

{mwimageembednohref:http://knowledge.mountainwatch.com/download/attachments/3311614/Burton-Ion-SpeedZone-Lace.jpg} The 2009 Burton Ion SpeedZone Boot {mwimageembednohref} \\

*The Burton Ion SpeedZone Boot*

The 2009 Burton Ion SpeedZone Boot $549.95

The K2 BOA Access combines both traditional and BOA lacing. $494.95