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What is the BOA lacing system and how does it compare to ordinary laces?

Last update: 05/08/2021

The BOA closure system is a smart and patented system to pull on or out your safety shoes or boots. Classic laces are replaced by stainless steel wires, connected to a turning knob. This knob is used to tighten, loosen and snapping your laces into place.

As with many innovative technologies and systems, the BOA lacing system has its roots from the sports industry. For a very long time, the system is being used by snowboarders, mountaineers, golfers and cyclists.

Right now, the innovative laces are occurring more and more in personal protective equipment such as safety shoes or firemen’s boots.

How does the BOA closure system work?

It is quite straight forward actually: by turning the knob, you tighten or loosen your laces. The pressure gets evenly distributed on your safety shoe. By turning the knob all the way up (quick-release function) you loosen the shoe entirely.

In addition to the simple push/pull principle, the BOA knob repels sand, oils, mud and other dirty materials. This way, you don’t need to take off your safety gloves to tighten your laces and you can focus on the job instead.

In this video, BOA is putting their system to the test in different environments:

How does the BOA lacing system compare to normal laces?


Traditional safety shoes are equipped with ordinary laces. If you really want to tighten your safety shoes, you will have to give quite some force. The turning knob quickly exerts force in just a few turns.


When you need to pull on your safety shoes fast, traditional laces are often too long and you’re just spending too much time tying them. Let’s take firefighters for example, they need to start their intervention immediately. Firefighter boots with BOA laces could help speeding up the process.

Wear and tear

Most laces are made of polyester, a very durable and abrasion-resistant material. However, regularly tightening or loosening laces does not help in any way to prevent fray. The BOA lacing system has stainless steel wires with a strong dirt repellent and water resistant coating.

Preventing risks at work

Comfort and ease of use is one thing, but does a BOA safety shoe help prevent accidents at work?

Here are a few advantages when wearing BOA shoes or boots.

  • Less trip and stumble dangers with untied shoes
  • No entanglement in machines.
  • No more long laces in the way of doing your job.
  • Faster pulling on or off your safety shoes
  • Equally distributed tension which leads to less foot pain
  • It is a durable system which – with regular maintenance – extends the shoe’s lifetime.

So, yes they do!

Is this the end of traditional laces?

We are not that far yet as there are some second thoughts. When you have very small ankles or legs, BOA laces cannot tighten as far as with traditional laces.

Should the BOA closure system be damaged in any way, you can’t tighten or loosen the shoe anymore and you’re stuck.

You can repair your BOA laces with a spare parts kit. However, this can take quite some time.

Looking for new BOA safety shoes? 

Are you looking for new safety shoes and want to try out the BOA system?

uvex 1 G2 - Our best pick for an S3 safety shoe with BOA closure

The uvex 1 G2 is the newest microfiber safety shoe from the German manufacturer and is packed with new technologies:

  • i-PUREnrj: extra shock absorption, stability and energy return
  • x-tended grip: improved outsole stability on wet and dry surfaces

Discover the uvex 1 G2 BOA here