K2 and BOA Fit System have partnered for over two decades, innovating around fit and closures on everything from snowboard boots to inline skates. When BOA first discussed ideas around a fit system for alpine boots, the team at K2 saw potential but also had a healthy dose of skepticism. But over the last three years, that internal skepticism from the K2 team has transformed into evangelism.
“Buckles have been reliable on ski boots for over half a century, and there’s a real trust in the standard buckle, ” Elevate Outdoor Collective Ski Boots Product Director Austin Peters said. “I definitely had questions, but through the testing and prototyping phases, our team had this ‘Aha’ moment. We realized that the BOA dial gives you such an amazing feel and precision compared to buckles that it is honestly unbelievable.”
The BOA H+i1 System consists of a dial, steel cable, and guides. The BOA dial sits on the lateral side of the boot, with the cable and guides crossing the lower foot, replacing the traditional two lower buckles on ski boots. The cables pull the boot together from the sides with uniform pressure, wrapping the foot. Skiers can find a precise fit by rotating the dial to tighten or loosen the boot with unprecedented micro-adjustability. According to BOA, the system is strong enough to hold the weight of a four-person gondola (approx. 200 kg.)
“Traditionally, a tight fit is created from ratcheting down your boot buckles with the downward pressure smashing your foot 0into the boot. With the BOA system pulling in from the sides, we realized that existing boot construction limited this wrapping motion. We completely redesigned our lower shell to maximize this idea of enveloping the foot, taking fit and micro-adjustability to new levels,” continues Peters.
BOA versions of K2’s Recon 120 men’s boot and Anthem 95 women’s boot are already in the market. BOA models for their Mindbender boot collection will be available in the fall in various flexes. All K2 BOA boots feature the newly redesigned shell. K2 has also unveiled their new MultiFit™️ last in these boots, which solves many fit issues and should universally please bootfitters. The last ranges from 97 to 104 mm to fit a wide range of feet right out of the box without needing both a low volume and mid volume fit.
Each new K2 boot featuring the BOA system also comes with two heel inserts for the boot board to fine tune the feel. Skiers can choose between a rigid and responsive insert or a softer and damper Harshmellow™️ insert for more impact absorption.
The improved fit was a clear benefit, but the K2 team was continuously surprised by the performance benefits. “I love being able to back off my boots a few clicks to let my feet breathe on the lift,” said Matt Miller, K2 Skis Marketing Manager. “But what really shocked me was dialing them in for skiing. With the improved contact on both the lateral and medial sides of your foot, I could literally feel increased edge-to-edge control.”
“At first, I feared we were just innovating for innovation’s sake and trying to fix something that didn’t need to be fixed,” said Peters. “But between all the tweaks and updates we made to enhance the initial fit and performance benefits of the BOA system, I really feel like this is a huge leap in ski boot innovation for the brand.”