Traditional Laces vs. BOA vs. Hybrid Lacing

Libertine Closeup

Which System is Best for Snowboard Boots?

Ever found a boot that fits well but you don’t like the lacing system? Or one that’s almost perfect but you don’t dig the color? Been there, done that. That’s why we’ve made every Rome boot available in regular laces, BOA or a hybrid system; and to keep things simple there’s only one colorway (black) – so when you’re trying them all on you can focus on what’s really important: comfort. 

 

Regular Laces

Traditional laces have been the default option on snowboard boots since the 90s – and they still rock. 

Laces give the boot a classic, sneaker-style look and offer a natural, smooth flex that feels, well… normal. Sure, it takes a little time to tie them, but the advantage is you can decide exactly where you want your boot to be tighter or more relaxed. Plus, lacing up those kicks when you hit the parking lot on a powder day is one of snowboarding’s cherished rituals, right?

Classic laces are super easy to replace if they break – although that’s unlikely with Rome’s boots since we only use the strongest cord. The final advantage is cost: traditional laces make boot a bit more affordable. So, lace up and save a buck. 

 

BOA

Launched in 2001, the BOA system offers a quick and easy alternative to wrestling with boot laces. It works using super strong stainless steel wires that are coiled and uncoiled via a small dial. Simply click the button down and twist to tighten the whole cable at once; to release it, you just pop the button out and push the tongue open. 

20 years later, BOA has firmly established itself as the most popular speed-lacing system on the market. Some brands offer their own fast laces, but trust us, nothing is as simple, as reliable or as durable as BOA. In fact so many manufacturers license it that on the rare occasions a dial or cable does break, it’s easy enough to pick up a spare at your local store. 

Aside from the speed – and sparing your hands the pain of cranking laces – the main advantage of BOA is that you can tighten or loosen your boot on the fly. You can achieve a super tight and responsive hold if that’s your jam, though with a single dial you’re limited to controlling the feel across the whole boot. 

Our high-end snowboard boots therefore feature a dual-dial system called Focus BOA. Each dial operates a separate lacing area for the upper and lower part of the boot, which you can fine-tune as you wish. 

 

Hybrid Lacing

Many of our team riders love the classic style and smooth flex of laces, but they appreciate the locked-in feel you can get from a fully cranked BOA. For riders like that, we’ve developed a Hybrid-BOA system.

On these boots, the side dial operates a cable across the ankle area – giving you extra hold where you need it and eliminating heel lift – while regular lacing takes care of the overall feel. In short, it’s the best of both worlds.

 

Laces vs. BOA vs. Hybrid Lacing – The Bottom Line

Each lacing system has its advantages:

  • Traditional laces offer a natural, smooth flex and look dope
  • BOA is super convenient, feels a little stiffer and is easy to keep tight all day
  • If you want to adjust the upper and lower part of the boot separately, laces or a dual BOA system is the way to go
  • Hybrid-BOA is a great compromise between the two