Adidas The Parley Road Cycling BOA Shoe review – Road Bike Shoes – Shoes

The Parley Road Cycling BOA Shoe is an update of the Adidas Road Shoe, the German brand’s first cycling shoe in 15 years when it was launched in 2020.

This new shoe sets another precedent by being the first Adidas road shoe to feature a Boa dial instead of laces.

As with the Adidas street shoe, the midsole is made of nylon and is glass fiber reinforced rather than full carbon. Bow inserts are not included.

The move from laces to a single, unidirectional Boa dial helps push the price up from £130/€150 to £170/€180.

The Parley Road Shoe BOA’s flexible upper makes it look and fit like a sneaker (or sneaker for our North American readers).

But after a while in the saddle it feels like riding in sneakers. This means that the Parley Road Cycling BOA Shoe falls short of several claims made by Adidas.

Specifications and options of the Adidas The Parley Road Cycling BOA Shoe

The nylon and fiberglass sole is much less stiff than carbon.
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Adidas doesn’t rate the Parley sole for stiffness, but since it’s not carbon it’s on the flexible side.

The sock-like inside makes it easier to put on and take off the shoe and ensures a comfortable fit.

The single Boa dial also makes it easy to slip the shoe on and off. However, because it only turns in one direction, if you overtighten it, you’ll have to pull up to fully release the tension.

According to Adidas, the shoe is unisex and available in sizes EU36 (UK3.5) to EU55 ⅔ (UK19). The shoe is available in half sizes up to size EU49 (UK14), but only in one width.

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The two color options are black-on-black or green and white, with three reflective stripes serving as Adidas’ trademarks on both.

My pair in size EU46 weighs 776g. This is fierce when compared to the Shimano RC7 (580g in size EU45) and especially when compared to the Fizik Tempo Decos Carbon (540g in size EU45).

Unlike the similarly priced Shimano RC7, the Parley Road Shoe Boa’s three-bolt lug holes are not adjustable. This gives less leeway when installing and adjusting wheel cleats.

Adidas The Parley Road Bike BOA Shoe fits

The insole and the upper merge almost seamlessly.
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When you slip into the shoe, the extremely comfortable synthetic lining wraps around your foot.

Featuring a yarn that Adidas claims is a 50/50 blend of Parley Ocean Plastic and recycled polyester, the upper is very soft and pinch-free.

However, I found the inside didn’t live up to the brand’s claim of being breathable and supportive (more on that later).

While these supple materials make for a comfortable shoe off the bike, they contribute to an overall lack of stiffness – I’ll get to that in a moment.

Heel security is good, however, thanks to the textile collar that prevents the arch of your foot from lifting when you step out of the saddle.

The Boa Wheel adjusts the cord laces that run down the tongue of the shoe, ensuring tension is well distributed across the top of the foot.

The lack of a Velcro strap or other tightening mechanism further down the shoe means you can’t purposefully increase the tightness over the toe box like you can with the Giant Surge Pro shoe.

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As a result, I found that my forefoot and toes tended to lift off the insole when I was pedaling in an aggressive position.

Performance of the Adidas The Parley Road Bike BOA Shoe

Aesthetics and eco-friendliness are not achieved through the driving experience.
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The suppleness of the Adidas Parley BOA road shoe creates a shoe that is more comfortable than on the bike and much easier to walk on than stiffer road shoes.

As such, I found the shoe to work best on shorter journeys (up to an hour) – for example, boarding and disembarking the train to work by bike.

But on more strenuous rides, the Parley BOA road shoe unfortunately falls well short of its mid-range price of £170/€180.

When you step on the pedals, the sole bends a lot.

While I didn’t notice a decrease in average speed, the increased stress on my leg muscles and tendons resulted in a strange ache that I can only attribute to the shoe.

Good heel hold is undermined by poorer support elsewhere.
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In addition, the Parley Road Cycling BOA shoe is a bit unstable when you get out of the saddle.

Since you sink into the sole easily, it took me a fraction longer than usual to get my balance.

I also felt my foot slide from side to side while standing, I believe due to the reduced stiffness offered by the flexible upper.

As for ventilation, longer rides proved to be a game of two halves.

Up until two hours later, I didn’t notice the lack of gauze or mesh in the upper, or vents in the sole.

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But on hot or hilly days it got muddy quickly as my feet were sweaty and the sweat had nowhere to go but into the spongy upper layer of the soles.

On the other hand, rain takes time to penetrate the Parley BOA road shoe. But once through, it stays there and the shoe slowly dries out.

Bottom line, the Adidas The Parley BOA road shoe

Better equipped shoes are available for a lot less.
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Despite my criticisms, the Adidas Parley Road Cycling BOA Shoe isn’t a bad shoe, and I love its clean, timeless aesthetic.

The adjustment system makes it easy to put the shoe on and off while allowing you to fine-tune the tension.

If you are looking for a road cycling shoe that is comfortable for short rides and that you can walk and sit in, the Adidas Parley Road Cycling BOA shoe is for you.

And of course there is also the style that might be important to you. But for £170/€180 there’s not much substance if you’re serious about performance.

No carbon sole, poor ventilation and a lack of foothold in and out of the saddle – other shoes in this price range offer all of this far better.

If weight is an issue, the shoe is also 200g per pair heavier than its competitors.

That means I couldn’t justify spending that much on a shoe that falls short on faster and longer rides. It’s likely that other shoes for the same money or less will fare significantly better.

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