Unclipping Boas?

Does anyone know if there is a tool to help weaklings like myself unclip a Boa? I’m looking and can find anything. I just want a little extra grip to help out.

Any suggestions?

one of these maybe?

Are you currently stuck in your cycling shoes?


Haha, not stuck. But, they did cut my hand trying to undo them.

I was thinking more something for the Boa. I can’t bulk up my upper body!

How old are your shoes? Are they dirty and gunked up causing them to stick?

Also, if your upper body strength is the limiter in getting out of your boas then I’d say you’re about 20lbs away from anything considered a ‘bulk’! haha

But seriously, if you’re not strong enough to undo a functioning boa then I imagine strength training of any kind would make you a better cyclist and a much healthier and capable person.


I think there’s a technique to undoing BOAs that I just haven’t nailed down yet. Sometimes mine come off really easy, other times I struggle to get them undone.

I do like the natural reaction of any online forum to not answer the question and blame the person asking for their own problem. (I say this while laughing)

I consider myself to be plenty strong, even if I weren’t, bulking up your hands isn’t a solution for everyone. My Boas are indoor use only so i assume clean enough, my other pair come out more easily.

Is anyone aware of a tool that helps unclip them? For me and anyone with arthritis or low grip strength.


Do you mean to remove the BOA from the shoe? If so, I think I used a flat head screwdriver.

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that there are multiple styles of BOA dials, with different release functions. Make sure you understand your particular model and the intended release method.

If grip is an issue, you could consider adding some silicone or other grippy material to the dial to increase friction for easier grip.

I know mine tighten one way, and loosen one click the other, but to loosen them completely you need to pull the round b it up and away from the shoe, and it pops up completely loose.
…are ya doing it right?

Is it an issue of not being able to pull hard enough or getting grip on the dial?

If you have purchase on the dial and just can’t pull hard enough then I would imagine that something is wrong with the dial and maybe shoot Boa a message.

If you can’t grip the dial then (as @mcneese.chad said) you could try to add some silicone or maybe even a lip of hot glue or something.

It’s possible you’re maybe trying to pull it up at an angle without realizing it and its binding.

I’m trying to loosen them not remove them from the shoe.

I think they are the kind you need to pull out/up to untighten, but if I’m wrong that would explain a lot.

I like the silicone idea, I’ll try this. I had thought about a rubber band, but was worried about it falling off and causing more of a problem.

It just seems strange to me that a key, or bottle opener like device doesn’t exist.

Thanks for the help.

  • Would seem odd to me to make a shoe that requires a tool to take it off. :man_shrugging:

This should be possible to do by hand with minimal effort. Problems with manual use seem to indicate a failure of the dial or potentially lower than normal grip strength.

I just looked on Boa’s website and didn’t see any sort of opener device.

I’ve never had an issue unclipping except after a muddy MTB ride but once I cleaned it out it was back to normal. I would have no issue using just 2 fingers to pinch and pull with little enough force that I’ve never really thought about it. And I’ve never actually hear of anyone having this issue. It makes me think that there’s something wrong with your dials.

Is it the dials on both shoes or just one dial that is giving your issues?

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We’ll if you look at it from that perspective… it does seem crazy to need a special tool to get out of your shoe.

It seems to be an issue for both shoes on this set, but not an issue on my outdoor pair (different brand of shoe).

I appreciate the help and discussion.

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What shoes are you fighting with?

Maybe we can look up the dial type to confirm the proper release method.

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Does Boa make dials that unclip by something other than just pulling up? I know they make lower end ones that don’t ratchet to loosen but I think they all (other than the ones on helmets) unclip by pulling up.

Here’s the “How it works” page from their site:

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Good grab, I was searching for just that. I need to rewatch, but I think they are missing an older style that released via pushing the center of the dial, but I could be wrong (bad memory?).

Definitely possible, I haven’t been into cycling that deep for long enough to know that. But it’s possible that OP is trying to rip these things off their shoes when they should be pressing to release.

I’m not understanding the problem. Can you be more specific about what is not working and on what shoe? For every BOA I’ve ever owned, you either twist the dial or pull the wheel up to release.

The shoes are shimano, not sure the exact style name.

They tighten by twisting and loosen by pulling out. I just checked and without my foot in them I can easily pull them up and loosen them. Once my foot is in the shoe and the Boa is tightened and under strain it becomes much harder to pull up.

Based on y’alls feedback I’m guessing this is an issue with the Boa.

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