The Scott MTB AR Boa Clip Lady Shoes may not have the coolest name but what they lack in the title they more than make up for as a rugged and comfortable clipless mountain bike shoe for wilderness adventures and short pedals alike.
AR stands for all-rounder and that is exactly what the Scott MTB AR Boa Clip Lady Shoes are, a foot companion for all kind of adventures. The shoes are aimed at riders who are looking for a stylish shoe for any activities, to look at they have a clear ‘enduro’ or ‘all mountain’ vibe.
The upper of the shoe finds a midway point between super stiff (like the Specialized 2FO Cliplite Lace shoes) and flexible, providing a great deal of support whilst not feeling like you have just stuck your foot into a block of wood. It's relatively well protected from water and wind too with just a handful of small holes on the outer foot and inner arch for airflow. The MTB AR Boa Clip shoes aren’t waterproof but they make a good stab at it, fending off the worst splashes with ease. I teamed them up with waterproof socks and waterproof trousers for the ultimate weather beating set up. I can’t comment on the breathability of the shoes as I tested them in winter, without much passing wind being allowed into the shoe I suspect they might be rather warm in the summer but I’ll withhold judgement. Whatever the season, the upper material will provide robust protection from trail debris and dirt ingress.
The shoe is closed by two Boa® IP-1 dials, the latest evolution of the closure. It’s easy to get a precise fit over the whole top of the foot with the Boa’s even if the skinny laces might look like they’ll exert pressure, they don’t. Pull the dial out to release, push in and turn to tighten, it’s quick and easy. The system really works well in muddy conditions too, it's easy to keep clean but does get a tad stiff at times. I did find the dials popped open when walking but only if wedged open by a stick at the right angle, it has happened a handful of times in three months of use.
The EVA (ethel vinyl acetate) midsole sandwiched between the upper and the outsole provides cushioning and has been manipulated well into a comfortable shape for the foot. There is plenty of room in the toe box too - if you’ve got wide feet then it’d be worth giving these ‘sport fit’ shoes a look. I’ve got, what I think, are fairly regular width feet, meaning I fit well into most footwear and found the Scott’s on the roomy side.
The sole uses Scott’s Sticki rubber, which has gripped the pins on my Crank Brothers pedals extremely well. And whilst the sole pattern is pretty flat in design with no lugs to dig into the ground they are head and shoulders above similarly designed shoes in terms of grip on the ground, footholds are secure in these shoes, only sipping in the worst of the mud. The cleat recess is pretty deep though, I had to place a Crank Brothers metal spacer in addition to the plastic one between the cleat and the shoe, this sat the cleat a proud, away from the shoe and enabled me to get it into the mechanism of my Mallet DH pedals. This will be pedal specific though, the concave shape of my pedals and the grip of the pins used on the platform a contributing factor here too. The Scott shoes aren’t the stiffest but they do provide a good pedalling platform when putting down the hammer and dispel any vibration well. The flex felt makes these shoes super comfortable for a day’s worth of hiking and biking.
The MTB AR Boa Clip shoes aren’t light at 944 grams for my pair of size 38’s (with Crank Brothers cleats), it’s a bulk you might expect on a hardy all-mountain shoe like this though. It’s a mass that you would notice on cross-country sprints but that isn’t really the shoe's target market, on an all-day ride you won’t worry about the heft as the comfort and pedalling efficiency they provide will outweigh any negatives. At £150 the MTB AR’s are up there competing with other high end shoes such as the Shimano ME7’s (£160) and FiveTen Kestrel’s (£140) but they are a worthy competitor and one that will be staying put on my feet for some time. Overall they are a stylish, hardy, robust shoe that are super adjustable, only adding to the comfort levels.
In one last bit of housekeeping, men can get the MTB AR Boa shoes too in yellow for the same price and you can order all Scott kit (aside from bikes) from their website now.
An all-round shoe for most trail uses - erring towards the 'enduro' end of riding
Product construction extra:
Great build quality as expected from Scott
Product performance extra:
Durable shoe that is efficient without being too stiff for all way rides
Product weight extra:
They are a tad heavy (944g) compared to competition
Product comfort extra:
Just enough give in the upper makes them really comfy. Food bed is nicely shaped and with plenty of room in the toe box
Product value extra:
Near the top end of products for MTB shoes but worth the price I think
Previously Editor here at off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. In the past Rachael has written for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding, she has been equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories or doing the site admin. When she's not busy with all the above she's roasting coffee or coaching mountain biking in the Forest of Dean.