Boot Design Input Needed

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by FPC3, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. FPC3

    FPC3 n00b

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    Hi everyone, my name is Freddie and I'm working on my industrial design senior thesis project at Cal State University of Long Beach. The whole idea of adventure riding is such a cool lifestyle to me and I would really like to contribute to it by designing an adventure boot.

    I've surfed this board a bit and my research found that boots from Sidi or Gaerne seem to be pretty popular. These boots seem amazing with great detail, style, and function. But what I really want to know is what the rider really wants and needs. So, if possible I'd love to get some feedback on what works best for you all!

    So what is your boot of choice? What is it that you like the most about the boots? Any problem or feature stand out over other boots through your past experiences? How easy is it to pull on and take off?

    Any info is greatly appreciated! I'll gladly post the process of my project as it progresses.
    #1
  2. HeatXfer

    HeatXfer Bad knees

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    I won't offer styling tips, but a technical feature I'd like to see is a boot that's flexible at the ankle for walking but becomes rigid when the toe is either suddenly forced up (toes toward shin) or pulled down. Kind of like the shoulder belt in your car that's loose enough to let you move around when your driving, but cinches-up in an accident.
    #2
  3. Chico Ryan

    Chico Ryan noslo1

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    I would like to see a boot that has some walking comfort but also the rigidity of a motocross boot all while being waterproof and breathable for very long days.
    #3
  4. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

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    Gore-Tex liner integrated into the boot material....then all the usual stuff; hinged ankle, lot's of rigid plastic parts etc.etc Oh and a replaceable VIBRAM-type sole that won't disintegrate on a foot peg. This list could get long AND expensive :)

    Here's an idea - p.m. Brian @ Atomic-Moto....there's nothing he doesn't know about ADV Apparel, infact, he probably has a "dream" prototype sketched on a napkin or something :)

    Also, google "JETT 1" boots
    #4
  5. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    in addition to the ideas already posted . . . .

    Welt construction, so the boot can be easily and locally resoled . . . .

    Using zippers as a primary fastening system is likely a mistake.
    #5
  6. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    I want a set of Garne SG-10's or Sidi Crossfires but waterproof. I have the Sidi Adventure Goretex... love them, but would like more protection. I have the SG-10's love them, but want them to be waterproof. I also have wondered if a mechanism like the one found in backcountry ski boots could be incorporated.. you know a ride/walk lever.. more support, less flex for riding... flip the lever down.. now a walkable boot. Bottom line, a mechanical hinge, 4 buckle goretex boot.
    #6
  7. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Everything is a compromise. The more walking comfort, the less protection. Trade one thing and lose another.

    My choice is the BMW Santiago. I moved up from the BMW All-Around and am VERY happy for the kind of riding I do. Most of my riding is commuting and I keep street shoes at work. I can afford good boots but can't afford to have multiple boots so I needed something that was easy to take on and off, had good protection for the light duty off-roading that I do from time to time and it needed to be waterproof. I didn't want zippers since I have had them stick when they get dusty. I wanted something I could walk around in since I often stop at my kid's sports activities on the way home from work.

    I had purchased a pair of Sidi Discovery Rain and returned them the next day (thankfully, my dealer allowed it). The boots were clearly superior in ankle protection but were very uncomfortable to walk in and squeaked a lot. They were so stiff that downshifting from a seated position required lifting my foot from the peg (not an issue when standing on the pegs though). For a commuter who just wanted something that offered better protection on a rare off-road adventure, they just didn't work.

    The Santiago boot also happens to be one of the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. That includes non-motorcycle boots. My feet are happy in them. The Sidis were badass but just not right for my use.
    #7
  8. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    #8
  9. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    I think this would be a good idea if executed correctly. You'd have to get a bit more articulation than in a ski boot, 'cause even with those, walking is still kind of clunky and wouldn't be great for hiking around for too long.

    This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth (probably not much), but as I see it, you need two things for decent walking comfort - good ankle articulation, and at least some degree of flex at the toes/ball of the foot. That's my experience, and I've worn a lot of different styles of boot from hiking boots to work boots to ski boots and full-shank plastic mountaineering boots. The most comfortable to walk are 3/4 shank boots with decent ankle flex.

    Of course, that would compromise protection for the types of impacts where the foot catches on something and folds up toward the shin. A 3/4 shank will not protect the toes very well, and a flexible ankle will obviously not protect the ankle joint. I think to get around this limitation, you'll need some kind of mechanical solution like mentioned above to "lock" the boot in for riding and "unlock" it for walking. Possibly a shear-thickening fluid/gel could be used as well to provide armor that is soft and flexible under normal conditions but hardens in higher-impact situations. It's been a while since I was in engineering school and I haven't used any of it in years, so I'm just making slight WAGs here.
    #9
  10. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Boots break in,much like any boot you would have to use them a while before they become easier to walk and shift with.
    Walking in boots and having a protective boot are two very different things.
    #10
  11. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I had some Crossfires,100% waterproof in creek crossings.
    But once they broke in there was little or no resistance to my my foot bending up and touching my shin,after some extremely painful instances they are gone.
    #11
  12. Bogfarth

    Bogfarth Fridge Magnet Safety Tester

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    What would be great are boots available in standard US shoe sizing, including wides and extra wides. I can go from Danner to Redwing to Wolverine to Nike and buy the same size, give or take a half. Get into cowboy or moto boots and forget it; neither industry has any sense of standard. The motorcycle boots at three stealerships and two Cycle Gear shops all looked great. Several brand/style combos were damn tempting to buy. Except my 11EE Danner Quarry boots did one thing none of those track-day, motocross, or Harley-crowd boots could do: they fit.
    #12
  13. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    Interesting.. I was not aware.. I just figured they were essentially the same as the SG-10's.
    #13
  14. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Boots that actually stay friggin' waterproof for more than a few weeks would be nice... I've heard of this happening, but haven't yet experienced it.

    As long as we're dreaming here, how about the ability to customize fit and shape? Different insoles, maybe "sock" liners in different configurations. Or perhaps a custom fit thermoplastic foam footbed, sort of like the custom mouth guards in football -- get it hot, step on it for five seconds, and it molds to fit. This could be a great way for people with old injuries or different-size feet to find comfort.

    Maybe some sort of sci-fi nanotech material where you can flip a switch to allow breezy venting, flip the switch the other way and the boot seals up watertight.

    As far as safety, how about materials that are limited in deformation rate? Perhaps an accelerometer in the heel turns the shell stiff under impact. Sidi's roadracing boots incorporate many different mechanisms for limiting hyperextension -- how could these be applied to adventure boots? How could you make the cables and such reliable when exposed to mud and rocks?

    Another thing I'd love to see is a consumer-replaceable soles, available in different tread patterns, etc. I know some MX boots have these.

    Or, perhaps a boot with a built-in compression ability, perhaps with an air chamber. Many of us with old ankle injuries have problems with stability and swelling.
    #14
  15. bobzilla

    bobzilla Dirty Old Man

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    +1000
    I hate them narrow boots that fit them damn foreigners. I got hobbit feet (10 G in redwings WIDE toe box) and after 4 hours of riding all i can think about is my feet. It really sucks by the end of week two of a trip.:lol3
    #15
  16. sleak

    sleak TANSTAAFL

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    Most of the ideas in the other items above are great, but if they don't fit, who cares?
    I'd have Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex if they came in 14E (EU 149). They don't.
    #16
  17. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it.

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    Is it a blue-sky design or something that could really be commercialized? If it is the latter, here are a few thoughts:

    A plastic support structure with a mechanical pivot is the best way to achieve movement at the ankle. As it is not attached to the sole structure, it is probably also the most viable way to innovate. Example: different / multiple designs, heights, calf circumferences, integration with knee braces, etc.

    AFA widths, most real projects follow human factors data. However, you can see here that many still have need for addl width. Much of this is actually due to dimensional goals for a low toebox height, not actually the width. This is an opportunity for innovation, a modular system for footbed height (and possibly width).

    Regarding large sizes, you will likely bump into restrictions for the cost of tooling on addl plastic mold sizes vs. low size sales stats. Don't know if there is a way around that.

    If it is a real-world project, you'd better look at patents. There are a lot of them out there. Many are BS ones, not even being used, more to limit innovation, err, competition.

    The most clever design - not the most widely sold, but certainly the most innovative - is the Jett J2 motocross boot. It completely breaks from normal footwear construction, which is a highly skilled technique, lots of pieces, and lots of labor. The Jett uses molded technology, with far fewer pieces and much less labor. However, the market is very, very resistant to all-plastic boots, as they break too much from how the market perceives the product "should" be. This opens up a 90 degree approach to the project.

    Hope that helps.

    BP
    #17
  18. 35xj

    35xj Been here awhile

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    comfort and waterproof like my gearne balance oils, with the protection of my crossfires!
    perfect!
    #18
  19. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    googled Jett J2.. came up with Jett J1's but no J2's ??
    #19
  20. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    #20