Six great pairs of touring boots to get you on the road.
1. Gasolina Autobahn boots: If you like vintage bikes and vintage gear, you’ll love the look of Gasolina’s Autobahn boots. We’ve featured their Classic boots before, and we’re still enjoying them nearly two years later. Just like the Classic boots, the Gasolina Autobahn boots are handmade in a small factory in Guanajuato, Mexico, by a family who have been making fine boots since the 1920s. The boots are made of thick black “Floater” leather, with a rough, natural texture. The leather is vat-dyed so the color permeates the leather and resists scuffs and wear. Lined in soft glove leather, they use a genuine rubber sole for good grip in a variety of conditions. Featuring a sewn Goodyear welt, these boots can be re-soled in the future if needed, making them boots you can wear forever. Gasolina boots generally take three weeks to have made, and are available in U.S. men’s sizes 6-13. Price: $229, plus shipping. (Check out the Image Gallery for a photo of each pair of boots.)
2. Alpinestars Ridge waterproof boots: New from the folks at Alpinestars are the 3/4-height Ridge waterproof boots. Great for commuting and touring, their shorter height makes them comfortable both when riding and walking. They feature a full-grain leather upper, and are waterproof yet breathable thanks to the Drystar lining. They have a removable anatomic foot bed and multi-density EVA foam padding. They also feature a rear reflective insert to improve rider visibility and a vulcanized rubber compound sole for good grip both on and off the bike. We’ve been wearing a pair for a few weeks now, and we like how easy they are to get in and out of thanks to the Velcro panels on each side of the upper boot. Think of these as a really nice leather boot version of the Velcro tennis shoes you wore as a kid. It’s really that easy. And one day of walking around the office was all it took for them to break in. Price: $149.95.
3. Joe Rocket Sonic R touring boots: New from the folks at Joe Rocket are these Sonic R touring boots. Waterproof yet breathable thanks to a DryTech membrane and an inner waterproof gaiter, the Sonic R boots are double-stitched in high-stress areas, offering all-season protection and comfort in an all-leather boot that’s sharp-looking yet fairly restrained in appearance (except for the shiny toe sliders, though they’re replaceable if you wear them out). The top of each boot features a reinforced gear shift area, and there are hook-and-loop calf and ankle adjusters, along with a large zipper entry covered with soft suede. The back of each boot has a reflective stripe for nighttime visibility, and the boots feature both composite inner soles and streamlined, no-slip bonded outer soles. We’ve been testing a pair for the last couple of weeks and have been impressed with their quality and comfort. Available in men’s U.S. sizes 7-13. Price: $129.99.
4. AXO Q GT WP boots: We’d never tried out anything from AXO before, but our friends at Competition Accessories hooked us up with a pair of AXO Q GT WP boots and we’re glad they did. Featuring a water-resistant leather upper, these boots are constructed with a breathable, anti-bacterial and anti-sweat mesh lining bonded to a Watertech membrane that makes the boots completely waterproof. Plastic ankle inserts guard the ankles and polyurethane guards protect the shins, while anti-abrasion nylon fabrics are used on the instep. An anti-slide rubber sole provides grip, even in the wet. We also like the shift pads on both boots, perfect for riders with a mix of left-shift and right-shift bikes. Easy to get on and off, the pair we’re currently wearing is breaking in nicely after a few rides. Comfortable, good-looking and affordable. What more could you really ask for? Available in U.S. men’s sizes 3-15, women’s 6-10.5 and youth 10-6. Price: $124.99.
5. Tour Master Solution 2.0 WP road boot: New from Tour Master is the Solution 2.0 WP road boot. Waterproof thanks to a water-repellent leather upper combined with a HiPora waterproof, breathable membrane, the boots feature a molded nylon shin and ankle guard, a leather shift pad on each boot, a TecnoGI thermoplastic heel cup and toe cap, and a pre-formed orthopedic vibration-absorbing foot bed. The boots have 3M ScotchLite on the rear for added nighttime visibility and a rubber compound sole for reliable grip. We didn’t get a chance to try these out, as they’ve proven to be so popular they were back-ordered. But fear not, more were being made available just as this issue went to print, and our experience with Tour Master suggests they’ll be an excellent value. Price: $119.99.
6. SoubiraC Tarmak II boots: Check out these Tarmak II boots from SoubiraC, a leather goods brand from Montauban, France. Well-known in Europe, SoubiraC has made high-quality leather goods since 1886. Made in France, these waterproof leather boots feature a Damotex membrane to stop moisture from coming in while letting perspiration escape. Reinforced gear shift pads are sewn into each boot, and a top-to-bottom zipper on the inside of the ankle with an integrated stretch panel makes them easy to take on and off. They feature oil-resistant welded sole construction. Classic European touring boots, the fit and finish is very nice, and while they were quite stiff at first, they broke in after a few rides and are getting more comfortable by the day. Available in EU sizes 37-48. Price: $285. MC