Bike/hike/office/highway boots? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Bike/hike/office/highway boots?

I didn't even know there was such a thing as motorcycle footwear, but the issue is being pushed a bit by the fact that the MSF classes I want to take require "over the ankle boots" to even take the classes.

Since snowboarding boots won't cut it, I need to take a realistic look at things:

I want to be safe, but not look like I'm stepping out of a UFO. Part of safety is wearing them all the time, and I would like to commute to the office on the bike. We're pretty casual, but professional, and I would ideally like something that would look decently office-appropriate with jeans, and be comfortable. Maybe even wear them out on a date or with friends.

I also don't want to spend $200 on some sort of crazy boots when I really haven't formed a sense of what my needs even are yet...
...but I do know it's going to be some combination of off-road riding (and hiking) functionality, office-appropriateness, and potential on-road safety.
Too much to ask for?

THAT being said, I'm browsing Amazon for reasonably inexpensive boots, with these made-for-riding boots as my upper-benchmark:


(meaning: if I'm spending this much, I might as well get these)

My question is -
With the above in mind, what do you think of these - in price order:

I saw a few tactical boots with zippers, which seems versatile and easy-
Least expensive, least crazy looking, probably not the best for hiking:



Taller (not an advantage for the office or hiking), also cheap:



Slightly lower, more expensive:



A little taller, most office-appropriate, crappy picture:




Any thoughts on an inexpensive first boot?
Other suggestions?
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post #2 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 12:15 AM
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Hi Geo,
Of all those I personally like the Icons. I think they probably off the most protection.

I don't mess around with gear. I wear some pretty serious boots to work and change when I get there. I keep a pair of shoes under my desk to change into.

I'm not recommending what I wear since I know you want something in the lower price range but I wear some Sidi Adventure Rain's and love them. To me they were a compromise for comfort and different types of riding.

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post #3 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 12:28 AM
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A guy at work bought some Bilt boots at Cycle Gear. They look great in the office and he says they feel great on the bike and walking.
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post #4 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. The Icons seem like a bit of a pain to get into is all.
I like the idea of the boots with the side zip, because that means I could keep them tight, and then use the zipper to get in and out, and keeping them tight seems like good protection.

These actually are the most office-appropriate that I've found, might even pass as shoes under jeans or pants, steel toe might be smart for shifting, and pretty inexpensive:
http://www.sears.com/genuine-grip-me...5000P?prdNo=14

I don't know, I'm not a boot person. This is a hard one, I'm in love with none.

[edit:]
Thanks, I'll check out the Bilt boots for sure.
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post #5 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 12:53 AM
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I too am big on wearing the proper gear. A lesson you don't want to learn the hard way. That being said, I rode many hundreds of hours offroad wearing hiking boots with no problems. When I started racing motocross I bought all the gear and it served me well both on and off track. My helmet literally saved my life in one particularly severe off track crash.
I think for the street a decent helmet, armored coat and pants, decent gloves and above the ankle sturdy footwear are the minimum. The footwear must fasten on securely. Thats why it must be above the ankle. Slip-on footwear comes off in a crash leaving no protection. Think road rash on your TOES! Don't laugh I saw this once. The gloves too should fasten on.
Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 01:11 AM
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I wear those black nylon "tactical" boots (as noted in your post) to work and walk around in them for 8 hours a night. They're pretty comfortable and they serve well as "road boots" but I wouldn't do any serious off-roading wearing them: not enough ankle support.

I'm currently wearing some side-zip boots and like them. They won't come off unless you're, say, hit by a train or something.

That being said, from the choices you listed, if I didn't have to wear them to work, I'd choose the Icons. I can't change boots, so have to ride wearing what I'll wear once I get to work.



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post #7 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 11:26 AM
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My .02: Tactical type boots don't offer the protection that's needed. The ankle is complex joint that is hard to repair if it gets damaged. Real riding boots have pading and support to protect it. Go try some on and see the difference in protection vs. street shoes.

I ride in Alpenstar Scout boots now used to ride in the Tech 6. I keep a pair of shoes at work.

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post #8 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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I understand there's a big gap between "ideal" and "none", I've been down that road before in other hobbies with regard to safety- I'm trying to strike the right balance, the most practical one. Practical is important in safety - it'll be the most effective, because even a few times not having ___ piece of "ideal" (but inconvenient and expensive) equipment is a greater risk than having a 'just decent' piece of equipment on you all the time.

I say this as learned experience from a good portion of my life dedicated to action sports- from skateboarding and snowboarding to skiing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding, and there's safety equipment for all those things... (and ankle damage is a prime consideration in them) There's not only compromises in quality and protection, but also appropriateness to consider-
I look at this as being a bit like skateboarding, in that there's different sub-genres. Riding on the street isn't the same as riding on a path or dirt road isn't the same as forging your own path off road. I believe there's probably a "best" for each of those, and I don't have a feel for it yet, much less to make a statement of knowledge that materializes itself through the spending of big dollars.

In the meantime - I'm looking for a practical, intelligent option.
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post #9 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 10:08 PM
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geolemon -

In this activity a 400 pound machine can land on your leg; that's one difference between motorcycling and the aforementioned sports.

Here's a picture of my leg after the bike landed on it. It got much larger and more colorful in the following days.


The lower part of my leg was trapped under the frame just aft of the footpegs with much of the weight of the bike having hit it and then resting on it. The big bruise above was just from the upper part of the bike landing on my knee.

That part of my leg that was encased in boot had nary a mark on it though it took the brunt of the hit. No broken bones or sprains, either.

I'd ride in boots and change into shoes at work. I don't think there's a better option.

T

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post #10 of 42 Old 03-30-2013, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
geolemon -

In this activity a 400 pound machine can land on your leg; that's one difference between motorcycling and the aforementioned sports.

Here's a picture of my leg after the bike landed on it. It got much larger and more colorful in the following days.


The lower part of my leg was trapped under the frame just aft of the footpegs with much of the weight of the bike having hit it and then resting on it. The big bruise above was just from the upper part of the bike landing on my knee.

That part of my leg that was encased in boot had nary a mark on it though it took the brunt of the hit. No broken bones or sprains, either.

I'd ride in boots and change into shoes at work. I don't think there's a better option.

T
And THANK GOD that picture never went any higher!!
jj

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