Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Real Motorcycling Boots

So, after motorcycling for almost 18 months and something over 25K miles in that time I finally got myself some real motorcycle boots.

I had, until today, worn old Army boots, both German and U.S models. I'd tried short style motorcycle-styled boots that laced up and a pair that zipped up that I got on Ebay. They all worked well enough but lately I'd realized that skimping on safety gear is not the smartest thing in the world.

These thoughts had come to mind when I found, upon starting my latest work contract, that the guy I work with had been a rider but had given it up after a crash where he had to lay down his motorcycle. In the process of doing so, his ankle was struck by the motorcycle's footpeg and was smashed. He was four months in a cast and he's not ridden since. Now, he was wearing boots but I got the impression they did not offer the protection of modern motorcycling boots.

So now, I am the proud owner of a pair of Oxtar Matrix 2 Goretex Boots that I bought from I've bought other items from newenough before and they've been great in terms of service and pricing. They've a great reputation online at the motorcycling forums I frequent as well. Here's a pic of the boots from their site:

I am glad I paid attention to their sizing notes since I would have ordered one size too small. The size 43 I got are nice and snug and in time should stretch a wee bit. I went for a short ride upon getting the boots in the mail today. (Note: Ordered on Monday, got them two days later!, now that's service!)

The new boots made using the gear shift pedal a bit different, not used to having such high cut boots, the upper portion of which I feel pressing into the motorcycle's fairing as I move to engage the gear shift pedal. But I got used to it quickly enough during the ride and expect it'll be just part of the normal ride process.

The boots' high cut and front cushion make the act of riding on my boot heels to relieve pressure on the knee a more comfortable proposition. Before, with the short boots, I could feel my shins pressing, sometimes uncomfortably, on the motorcycle's fairings.

The boots are pretty flexible right out of the box, been wearing them around the house and they do get a bit "warm" but not hot due to I assume the goretex that the boot has in its makeup. Very nice protection features as outlined on the website, with a noticeable armor point for the ankles. There's pads on the boots where they would engage the clutch lever so that'll save on wear and tear that I'd been seeing on my regular boots.

The boots are supposed to be waterproof, something I am sure I'll be able to prove out during the upcoming winter riding season. I just hope they also keep my feet warm while out riding in the colder temperatures!

The boots add about an inch to your height, maybe a smidge more. I find I can flatfoot my R1150RT easier when stopped, a more confidence-inspiring feeling I gotta tell ya. They also have good gripping soles which are oil and gas resistant according to the manufacturer.

The way the boots are cut at the top, I believe you can tuck in your overpants as well as wearing the pant legs over the boots. I'll have to try that soon, could not do it today since I still had my jeans that I wear at work under my Joe Rocket Alter Ego overpants.

Finally, the zippers on the side make them very easy to put on and take off. I'll be taking normal shoes to work to change into after riding I think. Though the boots seem comfortable enough after wearing them for over three hours now, I think they stand out just enough as motorcycle boots to keep me from wearing them all day at the office.

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