Boots for RTW - Help me decide

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by JakobDK, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. JakobDK

    JakobDK Been here awhile

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    I'm going to travel around the world, starting this spring and I have a hard time deciding on what type of boots to bring - Adv boots or hiking boots.

    The trip will go trough the Middle East in springtime, Central Asia and Siberia in summertime / fall and later America and on. The trip will take two years as a starting point, maybe more. The bike is a BMW R80GS and I intend to leave the tarmac a lot:
    IMG_5776.JPG


    I have two boots in my home to try out at the moment:

    One is the Alpinestars Toucan.
    53006815_10156794968873819_2772851682529247232_n.jpg
    I have researched and tried all the different Adv-boots (not touring, not full MX) available, Forma, Falco, Alpinestars, Sidi and TCX and found these the best compromise between comfort and protection + support in the lateral movement (which I was looking for when wearing a big boot in the first place). It's furthermore Gore tex which can be both good and bad depending on conditions.


    The other boot in question is a set of Meindl Engadin hiking boots.
    2863-15.jpg
    They are category B/C meaning they are quite stiff. They are non gore-tex.


    My thoughts towards going with the Alpinestars boots is:
    - More safety to the angle (better protection in the lateral movement).
    - I will bring along a pair of running shoes + sandals for extra footwear.
    - Nice dry in the rain on the highway trough germany...
    - Hot in the summertime and longer drying-time after submerging in river crossings or the like.
    - For use on the bike only. Comfortable boot yes, but not a boot for walking around for longer time

    My thoughts on the hiking boots:
    - Generally less protection, but do I really need more. Its a stiff boot yes, but the lateral ankle movement is definitely less stiff than the Alpinestars Toucan.
    - I will only bring sandals as extra footwear.
    - More suitable boot to live in for a long time.
    - Non goretex means a "cooler" and a quicker drying boot.
    - Will need to bring waterproof over-boot protectors.

    It's my first big trip, where I intend to go off-road loaded with luggage - so it's difficult to know what I actually "need" and what I think I need.
    I previously travelled just in regular footwear, on 70's BMW's on the road here in Europe and on light bikes on- and off-road around Asia.

    I guess the questions leaving me indecisive is:
    Is the extra protection of the Alpinestars adv boot needed at all or is it "overkill" (I'm not going to race the Dakar but on the other side, I'm 24 and like to go fast) / does the hiking boot offer protection enough.

    One pair will need to go back to the store, so I don't have to possibility to start using both of them, before making a decision.
    #1
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  2. SeanF

    SeanF Long timer

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    Hi,

    What I did: Wore high protection boots for riding (Alpinestar Tech-3), and brought along lightweight, low-top shoes for off-the-bike wandering.

    My 3 weeks in Mongolia (of a 10-month RTW) had me under the bike a few times, alone, far from anyone, and even further from modern/western medical care. I was thankful to have real foot & ankle protection.

    Riding a relatively heavy bike, loaded to the gunwales, offroad, in strange places...I consider the chances of dropping the bike to be fairly high. Even a fairly benign get-off could mean trouble for an unprotected ankle.

    Another factor: If you've been riding in hot or rainy weather all day, it is so very nice to change out of boots and into comfy lightweight shoes once at camp/hotel/other lodging for the night.

    Safe travels.

    PS: Post up a link to a blog or ride report, if you're doing one!
    #2
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  3. JakobDK

    JakobDK Been here awhile

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    Great with input from the real world! Thanks.

    I don't plan on running any social media during the journey, would like to stay focused on myself and whats going on around me.
    #3
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  4. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    How come you don't consider a pair of MX boots? They are pretty comfortable these days, hinged designs that one can walk in (though not far).
    If you're travelling away from tarmac you'll probably spend quite a bit of time on the pegs, not sure how long the hiking boots would cope with that. Another side to the story is protection - it doesn't take much to mess up a foot, I learned my lesson during an awkward tipover :lol3


    Awesome bike btw! :thumb
    #4
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  5. NZRalphy

    NZRalphy I'm not half as good as I think I thought I was

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    Slim MX or the Alpinestars boots. You can walk a hill, or walk around the market in them just fine, no multi day walks though...... And You'll have your pants pulled down over them so you won't look like a stunt rider.
    #5
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  6. JakobDK

    JakobDK Been here awhile

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    Thanks again for your inputs, I was I doubt where to post this, so also posted the same question in the equipment section, where more people chimed in, if you're interested in their view look here: https://advrider.com/f/threads/boots-for-rtw-help-me-decide.1370590/page-2#post-37180864

    I took the alpinestars Toucan riding Yesterday, in heavy rain and they were great at keeping my feet dry, never tried this before - what a luxury! I will have to just wait and see how bad it will be with goretex in the heat of Iran and when doing river crossings.

    As far as protection, it is not an Mx boot but it is way more than I'm used to and it is one of the stiffer adventure boots available - I hope it'll be sufficient. At the end of the day, riding a motorbike comes with a risk and it's all about compromise when it comes down to choosing gear for a trip like mine.

    IMG_5822.JPG
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  7. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    I’ve seen two people break bones in their feet or ankles from wearing Adventure style boots off road. I wouldn’t risk ruining your trip by wearing anything less than off road boots like Sidi Crossfires. Bring a pair of off bike shoes.
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  8. knight

    knight Long timer

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    if you decide on Sidi , bring a along a supply of crazy glue to reattach soles to the boots

    The Sidi boots I bought for my trip to Ushuaia ,didn't even make it through Mexico before coming apart
    #8
  9. Elderber

    Elderber Adventurer

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    One downside to Gore-Tex adv boots is if you happen to get the insides wet (river crossing deeeper than it looked) they take forever to dry out, even in hot weather. MX boots dry out much quicker.
    #9
  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    My vote are the ones with most protection. Was it radioman who broke his foot/ankle when in S America and had to postpone his RTW trip originally. Thats just one of several I have read about. Sounds like you will spend enough time off road to warrant the protection to me.

    I wonder if you had a bad pair or if quality has gone down, my sidi crossfires must be 5 years old and will probably go another 5. My only problem with them has nothing to do with the boots itself, with my klim pants I cannot walk around with them unbuckled, my old pants I could and they were great for short walks, not hiking.
    #10
  11. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    Motorcycle boots don't have laces for a reason
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  12. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

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    #12
  13. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Unimaginative Lab Rat Supporter

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    Broke my leg in Ecuador while wearing MX boots. Trip ending event. Wear the best you can stand to wear, and bring along a pair of sneakers for walking around in the evening. My 2 cents.
    #13
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  14. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    MX boots, All the brands make great boots that are comfortable to wear all day and are comfortable to walk in. Garne, Forma, Sidi, etc.
    #14
  15. The Cone of Silence

    The Cone of Silence Been here awhile

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    @JakobDK I've been having the same dilemma, until I did a long weekend trip recently and worked out an activity-based solution which warrants 3 pairs of footwear to cover 99% of activities.

    1. Riding. I want good protection but I also want to be able to get off the bike and go for a walk to look at viewpoints, interesting sights and visit shops for supplies without changing so for me it's adventure boots over MX boots. I can walk a couple of kms in them easily.

    2. Non-bike activities. Around the campfire, hiking, running or even out to bars and restaurants I chose some Gore-Tex trail running shoes. They're discreet and smart, lightweight, don't take up much room and are very easy to clean.

    3. Non-bike activities in hot climates. For the beach and shared showers, general mooching about in hot climates, I take a pair of flip flops. Easy to replace, cheap, easy to pack, I slip them in the lid of my top box.

    I'd love to take a pair of RM Williams boots with me too for smarter occasions but they're too bulky and have too few uses so they'll be staying at home.


    Current selection

    Forma Adventure Boots
    Forma Adventure Boots.jpg

    The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX
    TNF Fastback Hedgehog GTX.jpg

    Rip Curl Thongs
    RipCurl Splice Thongs.jpg
    #15
  16. knight

    knight Long timer

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    Having D rings sewn on to your boots will allow you to use a cable lock to secure them to your bike when you are exploring a beach or going for a swim

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. wvshoem

    wvshoem Been here awhile Supporter

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    The Cone... How has your experience been with the Forma boots so far? Looking for an alternative to pure MX boots that won't break the bank, and these appear to meet that criteria.
    #17
  18. The Cone of Silence

    The Cone of Silence Been here awhile

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    Mate I think they're outstanding boots. I've ridden in the rain for 4 hours, I've walked a couple of kms up dirt tracks, I've worn them in the heat of the Australian summer, they're comfortable and have good arch support.

    Up on the pegs, the longest stint I've done is about 30 minutes before I've felt like I wanted to move to the ball of my foot but then I've always had plantar fasciitis so half an hour standing up is a long time for me anyway.

    I haven't walked through any deep puddles and frankly I don't expect any boots to be waterproof to that degree - something always gets in somewhere....but I don't know, these could be awesome at keeping water out. Untested.

    If mine got stolen, I'd get a new pair no questions asked.
    #18
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  19. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Just my 2 cents, we found that about half the guys we met riding through central and South America chose the forma adventure boots and they all loved them and would happily choose them again.
    #19
  20. wvshoem

    wvshoem Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the input.

    Ordered
    #20