BOA & the Death of Buckles? 23/24 Ski Boot Design | Blister Summit 2023 Video

Ski Boot Design: how did we get here, and where are we headed?

We brought together ski boot designers, Tom Pietrowski (K2), Christoph Lentz (Fischer), Riccardo Bonaiti (Dalbello), and Ross Herr (Dynafit) for this conversation — and pro skier / designer / obsessive tinkerer, Hoji, joins the conversation, too.

We get into how and why BOA dials are taking over ski boots for the 2023-2024 season; the role that weight plays in the development of boots of all types; the balancing act of designing a walk mechanism; the challenges presented by the boot-binding interface, and more.


Learn more about the Blister Summit here


  • Intros & Brands’ Latest Products 00:00
  • Weight vs. Downhill Performance 8:35
  • The Rise of BOA 20:25
  • Walk Mechanisms 29:10
  • Boot-Binding Interface Challenges 39:58
  • Evaluating Fit Across the Whole Boot 50:13
  • Women-Specific Boots 55:21
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6 comments on “BOA & the Death of Buckles? 23/24 Ski Boot Design | Blister Summit 2023 Video”

  1. I’ve had BOA cycling shoes, golf shoes and hunting boots. The cycling shoes it worked great because it’s adjusting a smaller area. The BOA system broke within months on the hunting boots and golf shoes. I wouldn’t trust it for my ski boots. Just my opinion.

    • I’m not a boa fan by any stretch, but I think it’s important to note and realize that like many mechanical systems boas can be scaled in size and robustness. AFAIK there is no inherent reason why one couldn’t be made strong enough for a ski boot (or hunting boot, or golf shoe).

      The question then becomes whether the boa still makes sense from a weight/size/etc perspective once you’ve made it burly enough and given it enough leverage to truly replace a boot buckle.

    • One additional remark: The system that Boa (the company) developed for ski boots is notably burlier than the ones they’ve been selling in the past for conventional footwear.

      • Adding to that: One of the nice and unique things that Blister does is to provide information about how the ski performs at multiple mount points, and that’s only really possible with a “true” demo binding with movable toepiece.

  2. I hear this all the time- “no one asked for BOA” or “no one needs BOA”. Sure no one specifically asked for/needs BOA, but skiers do ask for/need better fitting boots, which I do hear all the time. This is the distinction between “solutions” and “needs”. A buckle, a BOA, a power strap, a foam liner, etc. – these are all solutions trying to address the need of FIT. No one needs buckles, no one needs BOA – what they need is a well-fitting boot that is durable, repairable, and performs. BOA is a solution to all these needs and especially takes “fit” to a new level.

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