Hey, sunrisesky and padennis, thanks so much for answering! Yes, I've been considering the spring straps too. sunrisesky, the buckles I'm talking about are the new generation ABS side release buckles, not the ones with the red sliding lock feature, and the pull-up release. These buckle clips, need to be pressed with finger and thumb on either side, similarly to our BCD buckles.
padennis, how long does it take for the Mares spring straps to start to dig into the side mounting nubs? Does it bother your foot any?