Six Motorcycle Riding Boots
Alpinestars’ Soho Gore-Tex motorcycle riding boots.
Price and availability confirmed at time of publication. Subject to change, please visit the product website for the latest prices and availability.
The staff at Motorcycle Classics recently tested and reviewed the following pairs of motorcycle riding boots:
1. Introduced to the market about six months ago, Alpinestars’ Soho Gore-Tex Boots are a mid- to high-priced entry in the motorcycle touring category. We ordered a pair in the spring, and I’ve been wearing them day in and out for the past three months. My use has been varied, including in-town riding, a daily 60-mile commute and a 1,500-mile blast to Road America. Grip on the soles is excellent, and I particularly like how easy they are to step in and out of thanks to a large and beefy Velcro closure on one side and a full-length zipper on the other. Although predictably stiff at first (they’re made from full-grain leather reinforced at critical stress points), once broken in they’ve maintained their trim and tailored looks, and so far have proven to be very comfortable. They’re also completely waterproof, as my Wisconsin trip proved following three hours riding through a pounding the-earth-is-ending downpour. My gloves and riding suit were soaked, but my feet were perfectly dry. Niggles? A minor tear in the left boot’s liner where it joins the Velcro flap is disappointing in an otherwise excellent set of boots. Price: $329.95. More info: www.alpinestars.com — Richard Backus
2. The Orbit Boot by Joe Rocket is a little bit of everything. At first glance, their chunky look reminded me of something Peter Boyle would have worn as the cinder-block-footed monster in Young Frankenstein. Dark and substantial with reinforced leather shift pads, these motorcycle riding boots feature a lace-up design that won’t be confused with anything worn at the race track. But when I laced them up and took my first steps in them, the boots made me want to dance like the monster did in the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” number in the aforementioned movie. With leather construction and a padded ankle area (and the added bonus of molded plastic side impact protection), the boots looked clunky but felt comfortable and safe. After waterproofing them with some Pecard leather dressing, my ride in hours of rain left my feet dry. If my wife is any indication, chicks dig them, and I can wear these bad boys all day long whether riding or walking. My only complaint is that the laces need to be replaced with a stronger pair, but that’s an easy fix. Price: $109.99. More info: www.joerocket.com — Andy Sherman
3. Held’s Highlander II boots are exactly what you’d expect out of a set of well-made motorycle touring boots. Sharp, handsome and comfortable, they feature an outer shell of cowhide, a soft polyester lining and a HydroGuard membrane, which renders them waterproof and windproof, yet still breathable. They feature a zipper on the inside of the boot for easy entry and egress, plus Velcro panels for adjusting the sizing of the boots at the calf and an anti-slip oil and gasoline-proof sole. Shift pads, ankle protection on both sides, shin protectors and hard plastic protective shells all give the boots shape and stiffness, which add a secure yet comfortable feel to them. Price: $199.99. More info: www.heldusa.com
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