Shoes, new guy?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by badgopher, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. badgopher

    badgopher n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Hi all. So quick run down: got my M license the other day (texas), ride a suzuki 250 tu, wasn't really in love with the bike feel, the manual transmission screwed with my head on downshifts and I need felt comfy on hard turns.

    SOI bought a Vespa. It's a daily commuter for me, about 3 miles each way. Right now I'm riding in a full helmet, a jacket (motorcycle, with skid plates etc) and a pair of jeans and some steel toes.

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good comfortable boots that would look good enough to pass as business casual (long sleeve button downs and khakis, type thing), would be safe for a ride at 40-50 mph, and would be comfy to wear all day.

    Ps: I love the Vespa. Everything I wanted from a bike, none of the stuff I didn't, and it's amazing to ride. 2007, 150LX
    #1
  2. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Nothing is going to offer 100% protection, and most armor only offers protection when sliding down the road (asphalt abrasion) not in a direct head on collision. My best advice is to wear anything fairly sturdy, that has decent abrasion resistance, and most importantly will not come off in an accident. If it comes off, it is worthless. I often ride to work and back wearing steel toes, because they are required by the job. I do not wear them anywhere else, they are simply too heavy and uncomfortable.

    Be aware this is a touchy subject. Some people believe you should wear nothing less than an Apollo moon suit to ride a scooter, while some just wear everyday clothes. I believe the answer is somewhere in between, but it will have to be up to you. A full face helmet and jeans are something I always wear, I usually wear an MX Jersey and thin gloves here in the summer, something that breathes, and will protect me from sunburn, where temperatures out in the sun can easily pass 120 degrees. You would develop hyperthermia wearing leather in that kind of heat in no time.

    Also take a look at what bicyclists are usually wearing while riding in traffic. Shoes that are clipped to the pedals, spandex shorts and jersey, and a helmet that offers almost no protection at all. I have been riding on the street for 36 years without an accident, and still make it up as I go along. A full face helmet and jeans are mandatory (I wear jeans 99% of the time anyway) I am not an atgatt, and never will be.

    I don't own one, but I also ride a horse once in a while. Wearing Tony Lamas, jeans, and a Stetson. No protective gear of any kind. This is after all Arizona, cowboy country. And while I am not a cowboy, it feels nice to dress the part while riding a horse. I have ridden and crashed and crashed bicycles all my life, and never wore a helmet, and never got injured beyond sprains and road rash.

    Use your own judgement, and enjoy your Vespa. If you don't enjoy it, you will give up riding it.

    It sure would be a shame to ride all day wearing two hundred pounds of gear, get home, then get killed in the shower from falling and hitting your head, just sayin....
    #2
  3. gunnabuild1

    gunnabuild1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    906
    Location:
    Ipswich Queensland
    Thongs[flip flops?] are comfy for the ride at 50mph it's the crash you dress for.
    These are some of your options
    http://www.motorcyclegear.com/street/boots/sport_street_touring_boots/
    50 mph is 50 mph doesnt matter if your on an R1 or a Vespa the road grinds bits off at the same speed,they do have shoes they call bike shoes nowadays but I personally would seriously make sure you had some ankle support/protection as well.
    If your steel caps are slip on boots just remember slip ons, slip off even more easily at the worst possible time.
    There are other options look around there are a lot of variations on the theme.
    Like Jerry says use your own judgement,I'm usually atgatt but not religous about it myself but be aware sometimes consequences suck.
    Personally I believe your brain is the most effective safety device but secondary protection is handy because a lot of people on the road seem to have their brain disengaged.
    #3
  4. toolshed

    toolshed Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I wear Doc Martens boots when I ride. They go fine with khakis, especially if you keep them clean and/or polished.



    #4
  5. badgopher

    badgopher n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Thanks for the replies so far. I should have been more clear, I do ride in gear (physics says 40-50mph is the same regardless of wether its on a scoot bicycle or magic carpet).

    I was just wondering if anyone had a 'never buy these' or 'these are great' kind of recomendation. I do actually wear steel toe boots most of the time anyway, and I'm just looking for a way to dual purpose so I don't have to carry a full change of clothes and shoes to work.

    I know this is a hot topic, but what about the old staple of cowboy boots? They're light, can be dressy, and have tall leather cuffs for abbrasive resistance, but no ankle protection? I'm more a fan of pull on style boots, hate laced boots. And there's no way I could get 'real' riding boots to pass muster here.
    #5
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,780
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Wear something reasonably sturdy that goes over your ankle and won't come off in a crash. I usually wear hiking boots or work boots on my scooter.

    Like everything else in life, riding gear is a compromise. If you go for maximum protection it won't be comfortable or practical when you get off the scooter. Only you can decide exactly which compromise to make.
    #6
  7. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,331
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Red Wing makes motorcycle boots now. As mainly a work boot company, they know how to make boots that are all-day comfortable. I've been happy with mine.

    PhilB
    #7
  8. lmychajluk

    lmychajluk Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,134
    Location:
    Meadowlands, NJ (just east of the USA)
    For around town, I wear a pair of Sidi Doha boots:
    http://www.revzilla.com/product/sidi-doha-boot

    The boots are actually all black, not 'two-tone' black/grey as they appear in the pics. They're not leather, but they'll go with a pair of khakis without having buckles and whatnot sticking out from under the cuffs of your pants.

    Protection isn't ideal, but there's some, as well as decent ankle support. I lowsided in them at around 50 with no foot / ankle injury, though I did partially tear my ACL and PCL, and still wear the same pair.
    #8
  9. Kennon

    Kennon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    323
    Location:
    Oxford, NT Hong Kong, Moscow
    #9
  10. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,162
    Location:
    Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
    Cowboy boots were something I was going to suggest provided that they are fairly tall ones so they won't come off easily in a fall. They were one of the boots suggested for the MSF class when I took it up at Awesome Cycles off Kirkendal. Having said that I sometimes ride with short cowboy boots but they have a zipper and don't come off without unzipping. I also ride frequently in a pair of Rockport waterproof boots I've had for years. They are pretty thick leather and fit close to the ankle with a zipper. Look great under pants when polished but have been discontinued for years. I also have the converse high top type referenced. Cracks me up when I'm wearing them, kevelar lined jeans and a GoGo Gear hoodie and get lectured by someone who tells me I should wear gear - when I am but just doesn't look like it.

    Come ride with USR this weekend for Chicken Fried Bacon and see what other folks riding scooters in Houston wear http://www.meetup.com/unitedscooterriders/
    #10
  11. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I have tried to wear my cowboy boots while riding (motorcycles), and they are just not comfortable. The slip. and yes, they are sized correctly, all pull on boots slip to some degree. On dirt bikes I prefer lace up lineman's boots, because they fit tight, give great ankle support, and do not slip. But riding a scooter and a motorcycle are 2 different things when it comes to footwear. Scooters have no foot controls, so having to have a perfect fit on the outside (like to fit under a shift lever) is not as important. I also prefer boots with a tapered heel in front, so they don't get caught on things as easily. I wore tennis shoes on my EX500 Ninja, because I could not find anything suitable that would fit between the shifter and the peg. The pegs were so far back that your feet were almost vertical (toes pointing at the ground) while on the pegs. But that was not my type of bike, and I was not going to spend $200 on a pair of roadracing boots to ride it. I sold the bike instead.

    My main problem with wearing too much gear on a motorcycle (other than here in the summer, where you will die of heat stroke long before an accident gets you, or heat exhaustion and hyperthermia will cause disorientation (getting too hot usually happens much faster than getting too cold) is that it limits your ability to control the bike. In the winter, you have to stay warm, but if you are all bundled up like the Michelin Man, you may not be able to move around and operate the controls properly. That is especially true of your arms and hands. I wear electric gloves so I can get away with much thinner gloves. Operating the clutch, throttle, and front brake properly requires very precise articulated movements, very difficult to do when wearing several layers of clothes.
    #11
  12. Mucka

    Mucka Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I keep shoes at work. I wear boots on bike then change at work.

    Russ
    #12
  13. Chindog

    Chindog Old Guy

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Dallas, GA
    I do this, too. It's much more comfortable to wear my deck shoes all day at work, and just slip into the boots for the ride.
    #13
  14. heinlein

    heinlein Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Snowbirding in Yuma, AZ
    #14
  15. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,244
    Location:
    BC
    Icon make ok shoe / boots. Also consider aplinestar roomer boots for 129 or less. Online places to look. ironpony motorcycle super store http://www.motorcyclegear.com/ competition accessories revzila . Most have good deals. Really you should be looking and ask in the gear part of adv. Lots of posting there. try shoe "advride.com" in google with the "" . That way google searches just adv for it. also boots
    #15
  16. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,168
    Location:
    Midwest, West Oz
    I rekn you would obviously have a set of something similar where you live (local shopping, supporting local workers, etc, etc ), but I wear boots from these people as a matter of course. I don't need safety boots where I work (only electrical and height safety stuff), but have been wearing this brand for a decade because they are he most comfortable thing I have ever worn, runners, hiking shoes the lot.

    http://www.steelblue.com.au/steel-blue-footwear/hiker/

    You can also get them with safety toes made of plastic (just as strong as steel caps) so they don't set off alarms at airports and are very light, riggers boots 1/2way up your calf, chemical/electrical boots a few inches past your ankle (what I prefer personally), and of course hiking shoes.

    Hiking shoes have thick padded leather coverage and support for ankles in a get-off, are light to use, and flexible enough for all day use. It's all good.
    :deal
    #16
  17. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Maryland
    I've been looking at buying a stealth gear set thats passable for light social events (lunch/mall/grocery stops/etc.) where my super duty gear doesn't fit well.

    For footwear, Dainese Nighthawk Gore-Tex & TCX's Urban Waterproof boots are the top contenders I've been able to find using the criteria of safety, walk around wearability and "stealth" (not in your face motorcycle boots).

    You'd have to really check them out for everyday/all day walking use at the office, can't advise on that issue. Neither of them are inexpensive but its a tough nut when you combine serious protection with stealth and walkability.

    I'd vote with the other guys that keep a pair of regular shoes at the office, simpler & way less expensive. JMO
    #17
  18. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    central valley, california
    Like many of us, I've been going throught the same thing. I am an elemetary school teacher so i need something semi professional and comfortable enought to be on my feet all day.

    I bought this pair of boots from cycle gear when they were on sale. I wanted something easy to get on and off but also would offer protection. After commuting for a couple of weeks, and changing into a different pair of shoes at work, I wasn't crazy about doing it everytime. As for the boots themselves, they aren't the best fitting; too loose around the ankle, too tight around the toes when walking around.

    http://www.cyclegear.com/eng/product/bilt_pro_tourer_leather_motorcycle_boots/web1010140

    So, after some looking around I ended up buying the following Dr. Martens. I can wear them on the scoot to work and not change shoes. While they are slightly less protective than the cycle gear boots and don't have a zipper, they are useable every day. They do come up over my ankle and are quite comfortable for work.
    http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Martens-8-...=sr_1_3?s=shoes&ie=UTF8&qid=1362843188&sr=1-3
    #18
  19. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Maryland
    Personally I think its inadvisable to try and mix quality protective riding gear with off the bike all day walk around usability. It just doesn't work folks (IMHO), but hey - whatever floats your boat.

    If you go down, the medics might comment that heel/toe box or real ankle protection might have saved your foot. That might occur if they are riders and maybe have looked at accident reports and injuries. But - its your foot - so wear whatever. JMHO
    #19
  20. 2WheelDuende

    2WheelDuende Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    just S of the cheddar curtain (Grayslake,IL)
    I keep a pair of shoes in a drawer and usually change shoes at work. At times I have had early meetings and no time to change when I get in the office. The Alpinestars Articolo 80 Sportivo boots will pass for dress boots. Some of the boots I have seen at the Dainese store will work too. Check out perfmoto.com for their boots.
    #20