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I know that this has been talked about many times but I had problems finding something more up to date with what the market offers now as far as the boots are concerned.
We're leaving with my wife for a RTW trip (2 years) next year. We plan to go through the warmer climate zones mainly therefore the compromise between waterproofing and ventilation comes into play as usual for these kind of trips. We would lean more towards something breathable and deal with the rain when it comes. Unless of course there are boots out there that are cool enough and still waterproof. We plan to keep to the roads and minimum offroad therefore I think good road boots would be preferable rather than MX boots.
After doing some research the three makes that sound appealing to us are:
All of these provide a wide range of boots for touring. Could anyone recommend something - make model? Should we go for a boot that goes up significantly above the ankle or something little higher or lower? Something with vents or without? I guess it should be something simple e.g. one zipper and no bloody strings and turning wheels like some of the SIDI collection.
I guess that the boot should be comfortable enough for you to walk in it for a couple of hours and be able to feel your legs after... Then on the other hand you might just take them off as soon as you get off the bike for camping and put your walking shoes on.
If someone could put a couple of words together of what they've used or are using regardless of make we would appreciate it.
I think that we want something with sufficient protection but motorcycle related rather than some sort of construction boots with steel toe cap etc.
I'd take a look at the Albergs (Original, Microlite or Bandog) if you want to avoid carrying two pairs of boots, ie for riding and walking etc. I used HG Tuaregs for my Americas trip which were fine & waterproof but not that comfy when you're marching around a town looking accommodation. I also had to carry a pair of lightweight walking boots for off the bike. The stitching on the Tuaregs eventually gave up after 1 year and I then bought a pair of Army boots in Australia for the ride back to the UK which doubled as my walking boots off the bike (plus I carried a pair of sandals for the hot places etc). I'd also recommend carrying some kind of shoe/foot spray as whatever you wear will really start to honk eventually...
I'd take a look at the Albergs (Original, Microlite or Bandog) if you want to avoid carrying two pairs of boots, ie for riding and walking etc.
Thanks for the info. I'll check these out - I'm only worried (after briefly looking at these) that we'll fry in the warmer pats of the trip. We will carry another pair of walking shoes therefore we need something for riding.
I wouldnt use moto boots, I'd take a pair of walking boots, not expensive. Or ex para boots. Why? because you can't walk far in moto boots, and you'll have to take other footwear anyway, for walking around cities etc. So you increase weight and space taken etc. With these boots and a pair of sandals, you're set up.
As for rain with walking boots - use the overboots such as Spada sell(about £10) - light, pack small and better than so called waterproof boots,where your feet will sweat and suffocate.
Usually people wont do this, because it's been drummed into them to buy this and that. At eye watering prices.
Usually people wont do this, because it's been drummed into them to buy this and that. At eye watering prices.
I won't wear walking boots as I have first hand experience of falling off with the right gear and STILL getting injured. Reckon my foot would have snapped / ground off if I'd been in walking boots - it got trapped under the bike as I slid along.
You wear what ya like, I'll stick to heavy duty protective stuff, even if it is way less convenient!
This last seems right to me, given how common foot and ankle injuries are in any sort of bike drop. I've concluded that more protection is better than less, regardless of the fried feeling, pickled skin and incredible stench inherent in motocross boots. It's not pleasant, but you get used to it. The first thing I do after securing lodging is change my boots for running shoes or flip flops.
The ones I've been using (Alpinestars) are not comfortable to walk in, although I can do it if strongly motivated. I recently came off the bike (in my hometown at 5 miles per hour, no more) and tweaked my ankle; had I not been wearing boots, my lower leg would have been broken and maybe worse. This was as mild and forgiving an accident as you could ever imagine, yet the consequences could've been quite serious. You're never more than a split second from a broken leg riding a bike.
I was glad to have been wearing armored jacket and pants, too, but that's for a different thread.
Caminando makes a good point there regarding how much stuff people tend to carry...
Perhaps a good compromise is what I've used the past couple of years - Alpinestar Tech 2s, which are basically cut down 'shorty' versions of their Tech 3 MX boots... (although some other manufacturers also produce something similar).
They are usefully lighter than full length MX boots, but still offer excellent ankle and foot protection - and are comfortable to walk around in off the bike too (especially Alpinestars, straight out of the box). You can also wear them under jeans/regular riding trousers, so you don't look too storm-troopery...
Mine have lasted tens of thousands of miles, although I did treat myself to a new pair earlier this year...
As Caminando suggests, teamed up with a pair of sandals (I like the 'action sandal' style, as the buckles/straps mean you can wear them on the bike if needs be*) and that is really all you need?
* don't go all preachy on me, I was popping down the road/to the beach and had completed a thorough risk-assessment beforehand x
Well it's interesting the Sidi Crossfires have had a mention - that's what I wear now. With the articulated ankle, I wore them when off the bike for a month in West Africa. Lots of walking - and they were heavy - but no real problem. Them and flipflops did me fine. *BUT* You're on road not offroad, hence I'm not sure that MX is for you anyway.
Thank you for all the responses. We want to stick to the roads (whatever that may be) as much as possible but that doesn't necessary mean that the risk of injury is a lot lower? I wouldn't maybe go as far as MX boots but would really like to have something with suficient protection.
These look quite nice and I think that the protection might be good enough. Although I'm thinking that maybe the best way to go would be to buy something totally air ventilated with very good protection and live with the discomfort - at the end of the day we'll be carrying walking shoes (goretex hillwalking shoes) and sandals for when it's really hot so the minute we get off the bike to camp we will change into the relevant ones. As far as getting of the bike whilst looking for a place to stay and stuff I hope we won't have to walk miles to do that so moto boots should be fine Back to the point: so if we bought good protection highly ventilated boots and added goetex waterproof sox with gaiters and goretex overboots for the rainy bits we should be fine?? As long as you put the waterproofing on soon enough you should be fine I think.
Let me know what your thuoghts are. Maybe this would be a way to go?
Andy - those are exactly the boots I'm talking about above!
They are slightly stiffer than a typical road boot, but you'll probably appreciate that if you are going anywhere other than smooth tarmac...
As I say, the sole/foot area is exactly the same as their Tech 3 (which just comes higher up the shin) so they offer great protection - the are quite stiff, but very supportive, and most of all dead comfy straight out of the box. The shorter length means they are far more comfortable to walk in too - like sturdy walking boots...
The do offer quite good weather protection too (especially as your trousers sit over the boot) but are not technically 'waterproof', so for really crappy weather, waterproof socks might be a good idea - or even over-booties as someone else suggested?
Try a pair on if you can, I think you'll be impressed...
I'll definitely try a pair. The only thing that I'm concerned about are the parts of the trip where the roads might be a "little bad".
Route is: Europe through Iran - Pakistan and India all the way through thailand, malaysia and OZ to South america - Central America and US. Some of these parts do not provide "smooth tarmac" and therefore my concern is these boots simply won't do the job
I'll try a pair and see maybe after putting them on I'll have my mind made up We just don't want to overdo it. I don't want to buy offroad MX boots and then be stuck with them through the US or OZ knowing that the roads weren't that bad. This is our first trip so don't know what to expect really.
My list of priorities would be:
4. Weather performance - cool in the hot, dry in the wet (that's where my idea of air ventilated boots with waterproof overboots come from)
Above all these the boots would have to come in sizes suitable for the missus as well SIZE 37 and SIZE 45 for me which sometimes narrows it down a little to what you can choose from. I would like for my wife to have the same gear I have so she's equally protected in any case.
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