Laces, Boa or Velcro? We explore the world of cycling shoe retention

Specialized S-Works EXOS shoes
The battle between Boa, lace-up and Velcro retention is rife within cycling circles. We explore the benefits of each system (Image credit: Aaron Borrill)

When we think cycling shoes, our thoughts are a sequence of colours, grams and stiffness ratings. Very rarely do we consider the feature that makes a shoe work: its retention system.

Cycling-shoe designers have a very challenging brief. They are required to engineer shoes that are light and stiff, yet also comfortable, weatherproof and ventilated.

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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.