Boots for someone who hates boots...

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Tremelune, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    I grew up riding in the dirt. I wore sneakers or hiking boots with the laces taped or tucked in for well over a decade. I fell off a lot and I never hurt a foot (that's my anecdote and I'm sticking to it!). At one point I had a pair of motocross boots and I absolutely hated them. I couldn't feel the shifter. I couldn't feel the pegs. I couldn't feel the brake pedal. I couldn't move around. I simply would not wear them. It is very possible they were just shitty boots, because they were the cheapest you could buy...

    Now I'm pushing 40, getting back into dirt, and I'm trying to be more mindful of destroying myself. My riding is (very) likely to be dirt roads and rocky trails with occasional idiocy in the dunes, as well as street riding around town and between trails. I'll still go for a spin in whatever I'm wearing, but it seems increasingly stupid to do so.

    Is it straight-up just a compromise between comfort/feel and protection, or is their a group/class of boots that are just superior in both? After countless variety of tumbles, I've never bashed a shin, but I know it hurts to get hit in the damn shin. How important are high boots? There are no more kickstarts in my future.

    So far people are recommending Rev'It Discovery, Gaerne Balance, Forma Adventure...Klim? O'neil? Sidi? I'm hoping to hear some anecdotes about boots that offer good protection with maximum "bike feel" if that's even a term...
    #1
  2. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer Supporter

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    TCX Infinity EVO Pro are very comfortable. They have two buckles so not as stiff as a real MX boot but they're still very protective. Waterproof too.
    #2
  3. brianpc

    brianpc Long timer Supporter

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    I have a pair of the Forma Adventure oiled boots, they are comfortable and feel like hiking boots, but I have doubts about their ability to provide ankle protection. I usually wear Gaerne SG-10s for dirt riding (they replaced my old but reliable Sidi Crossfires), and they are comfortable but I know what you mean about lack of "maximum bike feel" in a boot like those - you just get used to it, I guess.

    I would give high marks to both Sidi and Gaerne for comfort and protection, so maybe the Gaerne Balance is a good way to go. I think Sidi makes an Adventure boot that a lot of folks here have recommended.
    #3
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  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Walmart carries a ~$30 black lace up high top boot that is surprisingly supple and padded, with leather on the ankle bones and foot. Looks and feels similar to many boots I've seen for a whole lot more money at dealerships.
    #4
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  5. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Sidi Armadas are very comfortable.
    Can be converted from road boot to moderate off road duty in a couple minutes,but are comfortable enough for road use with all the protective bits in place.
    Anything strenuous and you need to step up to Sidi Adventures,Forma's or a dedicated off road boot.
    Have you priced an ER visit,Orthopedic surgery and Rehab:yikes

    JR356
    #5
  6. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    Am I correct that trials boots might as well be sneakers and shin guards?
    #6
  7. DirtyOldMan

    DirtyOldMan Long timer

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    As much as I like my gaerne balance I cannot put forth much of an argument to this statement. They are however, waterproof and incredibly comfortable.
    For real trail riding I wear SG12s. I’m constantly amazed at how violently I can smash my feet into stuff without injury.
    #7
  8. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    You know. I think I'm just gonna get some monster motocross boots and deal with it. I was on crutches for a month or two, and that is to be strongly avoided. I keep reading stories from people that busted their feet and knees up during a "boring" tip over. I don't need rain protection, I don't need road rash protection, and I don't plan to walk around in 'em.

    If people can win races in these things, I should be able to saunter down a trail with them...
    #8
  9. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I got back into dirt riding
    I had a pair of combat touring boots, essentially a pair of trials boots, or old style MX boots

    Two rides off road on a reasonably fast, normal modern dual sport made me understand right quick why good dirt boots are so nice to have around.

    I twisted my ankle and rotated it, in what up until that point seemed like a decent mellow dirtbike boot,
    Like it matched my mellow dirt riding.

    A couple of bangs and twists and a few low hanging rocks grabbing my feet in the rock guards made me rethink everything

    Having crashed a couple times on the street and having dealt with plenty of fallout from those crashes, (physically and fiscally)

    I made the mental leap to good protection.
    I went out and got Sidi Crossfire TA
    A very dirty boot, and a great boot at that.

    Sure as snot in cold season these boots were clunky and hard to get used to...

    For about three rides, then it was great to ride with them

    Now my dirt/dual sport riding, is dirty i'd rather be out in the woods on single track then anywhere else.
    For me it's protection, comfort, function.

    I wouldn't go back to lessor boots for the bulk of the riding I do.
    #9
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  10. Be Gone For Good

    Be Gone For Good Been here awhile

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    I have the Gaerne All Terrain GTX boots and I absolutely love them. They are super comfortable, totally dry and look really good paired with riding pants or jeans.

    I have a dark wash Rokker pair and I can ride to a restaurant, ditch the jacket and helmet and stroll inside looking like everyone else. The boots just flat out work.

    My riding is much less adventurous than yours but for me the Gaernes are top shelf boots and I would recommend them with two enthusiastic thumbs up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #10
  11. explodingmouse

    explodingmouse Been here awhile

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    Revit Discovery Outdry ?
    #11
  12. solitary1

    solitary1 Been here awhile

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    now you"re being smart,would you ride without a helmet because you lose some field of vision/hearing? are the medical costs worth it? how much income would you lose over 6-12 months recovery time? theres a thread on advrider from a bloke who broke his leg from a simple tip over on his Africa twin (maybe 8mph) describing how it affected his entire life,from going to the toilet to how he interacted with his beloved and steadfast wife and the mild state of depression it took him to,read that thread,its humbling (I"ve been there myself).so what if it slows you"re riding slightly,you"ll get over it quicker than a smashed limb.get the sidi"s,coolest looking boot out there,at least that's something:super
    #12
  13. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    it will always be a compromise, your right that you cant feel pegs, shifters ect at first,,, but you will over time get the feel back.
    #13
  14. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    The most comfortable offroad boot I have ever worn is a Sidi Adventure. They took some, OK a lot, of breaking in but now feel like sneakers. That is as minimalist as I will go with rebuilt ankles.

    At least they still have the ankle hinge I won't ride without because of my ankle situation. I switch to Crossfires for hardcore. But the Adventures are my go to boot for street and dual sport.

    I have been wearing riding boots so long shifting and braking feel are a non-issue. The toe box is high on the Adventure. So, there is a momentary mental adjustment going from one boot to another.
    #14
  15. BaldKnob

    BaldKnob I Wanna Ride

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    Luv the Crossfires but I couldn't imagine having to walk any distance with them. If you have a narrow foot and don't mind some squeaking with every step, give those a try. For ADV use, I have a set of AStar Toucans that are going into a 4th Season and love the comfort, protection and Goretex they have baked in. Again, a squeaky fkr but a good compromise of comfort and protection.
    #15
  16. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    The Crossfire TA's are decent for walking around. Not hiking, not walking around the town square.
    But typically I'll put them and ride in the morning, come back to camp for lunch spend a couple of hours at camp and then head out again and I don't take the boots off. and for walking around while riding, during rest stops, helping other riders, exploring things we find, totally fine for that kind of walking.
    #16
  17. cjohns

    cjohns Adventurer

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    Same problem. Haven't really liked much in the typical dirt bike boot category, have tried a couple pairs. I ended up with the Gaerne Balance boots. I think if you hit a lot of jumps/dirt track and are pretty aggressive (or maybe accident prone) you might just have to go to a harder boot. I mainly ride street/trackdays with Sidi Vertigo's, so I have a hard time putting on dirt boots that seem to make it hard to shift/brake in comparison. I'm sure I don't get the ankle protection that a true dirt bike boot offers, but the Balance boot seems to be a decent alternative. Also not super expensive in comparison. I'd like to try a good pair of Sidi dirt boots, but for the risk of spending the dough and ending up with a boot that is something I don't like. A lot depends on your type of riding.
    #17
  18. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    I broke in my Sidi Adventures by wearing them on my nightly two mile dog walk. They are that comfortable. A little heavy for two miles. But plenty comfortable enough for it.

    But I don't even like walking from the truck to my bike in Crossfires. They disappear when riding because they articulate so nicely. But they are like walking in my surgical boots.
    #18
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  19. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    Sidi Adventure, not as bulky, can feel the shifter, walk around and some pant legs will slide over them for a night on the town.
    #19
  20. Novanglus

    Novanglus Adventurer

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    I just got them, but so far my Forma Adventures are awesome. I smashed my ankle on a rock last year in Red Wing leather boots, got these, already had the bike fall on my ankle and couldn't even feel it. They were recommended by a guy with a lot more time on trail.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    #20