I’m a sucker for novel inventions that solve real problems. Enter the Endurus XCR Boa by The North Face. It may not solve a problem that a whole lot of people face, but it’s a real innovation for long distance runners.

In The Perfect Human, Dean Karnazes — a man who ran 50 marathons in 50 days — shares his 12 secrets for success. Among them: Go laceless.

One of the biggest annoyances in long-distance running is lace management. After banging out 50 miles, it can be hard to squat or even bend over long enough to tie your shoes. The North Face recently responded to Karnazes’ complaints and came out with the $130 M Endurus XCR Boa. Its laceless upper is enmeshed in thin steel cables that connect to a tension dial at the back. A simple turn cinches the shoe onto the foot. No more slowing down to fiddle with laces.

Boa lacing system

I love it. Turn the dial to tighten or loosen the shoes. Neat thinking. And according to The North Face, “This unique closure automatically micro- adjusts with foot movement to eliminate pressure points, kind of like a suspension system.” Further reading about the lacing system if you’re interested.