Trail runners searching for an edge in performance need look no further than a new study from Boa, the creators of high-performance dial-based fit solutions. That’s because, according to the company, its Boa Fit System offers runners performance gains from 1.5 to nine percent.

That should certainly appeal to trail runners at all levels.

Boa’s says that its recently released trail run-specific footwear study scientifically shows that the Boa Fit System and its PerformFit Wrap improves speed, stability and efficiency on varied trail terrain, over traditional laces.  

The Boa Performance Fit Lab, established in 2018, has conducted more than 2000 scientific tests and has now published three white papers that validate the performance benefits of the Boa Fit System — specifically, the application of the Boa PerformFit Wrap. The micro-adjustable Boa PerformFit Wrap configurations achieve gains in speed, agility and endurance by integrating the shoe upper to wrap and conform to the midfoot, delivering superior heel lock, enhanced connection to the midsole and greater forefoot freedom. 

Speed, Endurance and Stability

The latest peer-reviewed Boa white paper published by Frontiers, titled “Evaluating footwear in the wild: Examining wrap and lace trail shoe closures during trail running,” highlights the performance advantages of the Boa PerformFit Wrap. Athletes who participated in the study experienced enhancements in their trail running performance and confidence, including:

• Increased Speed and Endurance: Achieved up to 1.5 percent faster speed with the same level of exertion.

• Improved Stability: Experienced a reduction of up to seven percent in ankle rotation velocity, resulting in enhanced stability and consistency.

• Efficient Energy Transfer: Improved connection to the midsole and enhanced heel hold by up to three percent.

• Explosive Direction Changes: Demonstrated up to nine percent more efficient change of direction, enabling rapid acceleration and deceleration.

“Our objective is to collaborate with our brand partners and elite athletes to combine rigorous scientific testing, innovative product design and robust development support, aiming to create high-performance products that seamlessly integrate the Boa Fit System,” explains Dan Feeney, Ph.D., Boa senior director of partner product design and innovation. 

“The findings further reinforce the significant benefits of integrating Boa in high-performance trail shoes and translates to other performance products across a range of activities, including court sports, road running, training, hiking, snow sports and workwear,” he adds.

Trail runners can further elevate the specific benefits of the Boa PerformFit Wrap by utilizing dual-dial Boa configurations. These configurations offer micro-adjustability to multiple zones of the shoe’s upper, providing a secure fit tailored to the unique foot shapes of each athlete and increased space in the toe box — particularly beneficial for maintaining a natural foot position during longer distances. 

“Boa is non-negotiable at this point,” says Dylan Bowman, Boa athlete and professional ultra trail runner. “Fit is everything. I wouldn’t help design or run an ultra in a trail shoe without it.”