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Ankle cups, crush, puncture or decoration?

melensdad

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So I have to admit, these boot discussions have been pretty educational. They have lead me to do some investigation on my own boot inventory. The only boots I have with “armor” over the tibia area are my BMW gortex touring boots but it is a hard flexible plastic insert. All my others only have extra layers of leather over the ankle.
That hard plastic inset is exactly what is lacking from most touring boots and is one of the 'must have' features I am looking for. Either semi-rigid or rigid. It doesn't matter if it is applied to the front of the boot or covered over with leather, I just want it there to offer some shin protection.

I also want real ankle protection, high on my list are boots with both "pucks" and with some sort of hard plastic at the ankle, ideally protecting both sides of the ankle.

Honestly I believe most "European style" touring boots from low priced brands to super premiums are actually just fashion boots when you look at actual protection. Expensive versions are Gore-Tex, lower priced versions use something else if water proofing is offered. Most have only very modest heel and toe protection, and most have a soft puck, some have a puck on only 1 side of the ankle. Footbeds are often too flexible to protect the foot from a crush/crash too.

The same concerns about lack of serious protection can be levied against riding shoes, moto-specific chukkas & hiking style boots, and most moto-specific engineer style or work style boots. Zero hard shin protection, generally too flexible soles, generally light heel/toe protection. Some give less protection than most of the Euro style touring boots, some may give more, depending upon the design and construction. My current Forma boots fall into this category of only offering modest protection.

Moving up to an ADV-Touring boot seems to bring some real protection. Many of those have both pucks & rigid or semi-rigid plastic on the ankles and pretty much all have semi-rigid or rigid shin protection. Most all have serious toe and heel protection combined with a fairly rigid footbed for protection. Many use an eco-skeleton buy some use internal had parts.

BELOW is personal opinion, feel free to ignore my opinion, its just mine, no rule says it has to fit the mindset of anyone else here. My opinion is based on my observation and consumer level research. There clearly are OTHER boots that fit into these 3 grouping. There are also boots that are called ADV-Touring boots that I would not consider acceptable. I'm not posting to argue but simply point out what I've found.
The low end of what I consider acceptable protection would be Forma's ADV-Tourer, the Rev'it Trail H20 and Sidi Canyon. Despite lightweight production both of these use some hard plastic at ankles & shins, fairly beefy in the toe/heel and remain "walkable" off the bike.​
The Sidi Armada is probably a good middle range ADV-Tourer but it has a funky removable upper protective cuff design. Forma's Cape Horn and Rev'it Gravel fit into this mid-range offering more protection without giving up the ability to use as a daily rider. These all offer a step up in protective parts.​
On the high end of protection (and price) for ADV-Touring boots would be Sidi Adventure 2, Dianese's Centauri or Rev'it's Discovery ... but soles on those may be so rigid that using them off the bike may be cumbersome on a long distance tour or for daily riding. These boots could pretty easily cross over as off road boots and may actually be somewhat more suitable for the ADV part of ADV-Touring and less practical for the Touring side.​
 

Rabbit

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That hard plastic inset is exactly what is lacking from most touring boots and is one of the 'must have' features I am looking for. Either semi-rigid or rigid. It doesn't matter if it is applied to the front of the boot or covered over with leather, I just want it there to offer some shin protection.

I also want real ankle protection, high on my list are boots with both "pucks" and with some sort of hard plastic at the ankle, ideally protecting both sides of the ankle.

Honestly I believe most "European style" touring boots from low priced brands to super premiums are actually just fashion boots when you look at actual protection. Expensive versions are Gore-Tex, lower priced versions use something else if water proofing is offered. Most have only very modest heel and toe protection, and most have a soft puck, some have a puck on only 1 side of the ankle. Footbeds are often too flexible to protect the foot from a crush/crash too.

The same concerns about lack of serious protection can be levied against riding shoes, moto-specific chukkas & hiking style boots, and most moto-specific engineer style or work style boots. Zero hard shin protection, generally too flexible soles, generally light heel/toe protection. Some give less protection than most of the Euro style touring boots, some may give more, depending upon the design and construction. My current Forma boots fall into this category of only offering modest protection.

Moving up to an ADV-Touring boot seems to bring some real protection. Many of those have both pucks & rigid or semi-rigid plastic on the ankles and pretty much all have semi-rigid or rigid shin protection. Most all have serious toe and heel protection combined with a fairly rigid footbed for protection. Many use an eco-skeleton buy some use internal had parts.

BELOW is personal opinion, feel free to ignore my opinion, its just mine, no rule says it has to fit the mindset of anyone else here. My opinion is based on my observation and consumer level research. There clearly are OTHER boots that fit into these 3 grouping. There are also boots that are called ADV-Touring boots that I would not consider acceptable. I'm not posting to argue but simply point out what I've found.
The low end of what I consider acceptable protection would be Forma's ADV-Tourer, the Rev'it Trail H20 and Sidi Canyon. Despite lightweight production both of these use some hard plastic at ankles & shins, fairly beefy in the toe/heel and remain "walkable" off the bike.​
The Sidi Armada is probably a good middle range ADV-Tourer but it has a funky removable upper protective cuff design. Forma's Cape Horn and Rev'it Gravel fit into this mid-range offering more protection without giving up the ability to use as a daily rider. These all offer a step up in protective parts.​
On the high end of protection (and price) for ADV-Touring boots would be Sidi Adventure 2, Dianese's Centauri or Rev'it's Discovery ... but soles on those may be so rigid that using them off the bike may be cumbersome on a long distance tour or for daily riding. These boots could pretty easily cross over as off road boots and may actually be somewhat more suitable for the ADV part of ADV-Touring and less practical for the Touring side.​
The Cape Horn and ADV tourer are both CE2 across the board if that helps. The A* toucans are very protective but 500$. Forma Terra Evo are 380$ and also extremely protective. Atomic Moto actually said the Cape Horn are very good choice as the Velcro can be cinched down very tight and a tight boot helps prevent torsion
 

melensdad

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The Cape Horn and ADV tourer are both CE2 across the board
To my mind the ADV Tourer doesn't have the same shaft stability as some of the other boots so possibly more likely to suffer twisting injuries. Cape Horn would be more stable up the leg. Honestly between the Forma Cape Horn and the Sidi Armada I'd lean toward the Armada due to the very rigid hard hinge & vertical parts going up the leg offering additional crush/impact protection over a larger area. The thing I do NOT like about the Armada is the fact the velcro opens on the outside of the leg but the zipper is on the inside of the leg. Getting the Amarda on/off the foot is not going to be a quick/easy task.

I think the Forma Cape Horn the Side Armada and the Rev'it Gravel probably compare pretty well. Each takes a different approach. Each has a different look. All 3 offer good protection. In some ways one may be better than another but I think all 3 work as protective daily riders and protective long distance touring.
 

melensdad

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Y'all need to stop. I'm signing up for lots of overtime just to buy accessories and gear. The wife would like me home for a bit...


Glad to help

In the same Mid Category of Cape Horn/Armada/Gravel group I forgot to mention the Stylemartin Matrix at $360. It’s got a vintage look but ticks off the safety features.
 

melensdad

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Just tell her it’s for your safety. I’m sure she’ll understand...
Didn't at least one member's wife say that SAFETY is SEXY? I'm still thinking Volvo might enter this market to fill an underserved need. Or maybe just buy a VOLVO badge and stick it on the side of you new boots, Hmmm ... that is sexy :rolleyes:
 

Rabbit

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Didn't at least one member's wife say that SAFETY is SEXY? I'm still thinking Volvo might enter this market to fill an underserved need. Or maybe just buy a VOLVO badge and stick it on the side of you new boots, Hmmm ... that is sexy :rolleyes:
Mine did!
 

dduelin

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There are risk management judgements we all must make. To ride a motorcycle or not, where to ride it or not ride it, what motorcycle to ride, what to wear when riding, whether to ride on sunny days now and then or ride enough to stay on top of skills and ride intentionally, to take skill improvement courses or not, to practice skill improvement drills, to challenge one's limits or not, to choose riding partners upskilled or downskilled from us. There's a lot to being safe.
 

melensdad

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A quick 3 min video on what makes a boot safe.
The problem with his top 2 choices, and which applies to some of the higher end boots I mentioned is they are essentially unusable for walking. That makes them hard to consider for daily riding protection and for long distance touring where there will be walking in towns during stops.

I may consider something like his top pick Toucan if I was spending much of my life off pavement. But this discussion has been, from the start, about upgrading a daily use boot that offers protection.

Objectively very few Touring boots offer very much real world protection. Riding shoes and chukka are even worse. Some of the engineer and work style boots look rugged but lack more than very basic protection. All the above lack shin protection, most offer zero ankle stability. The next level up are the ADV-Tourers and those, as we can see, come in a wide range of protection
 
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Gripanimal

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When I first talked to my wife about accessories, she asked $500? I said no, more like $2000. I've gone past that, and that was just accessories. Gear is above and beyond. She is very much in tune with the necessity of safety, and has gone along with enhancing bike longevity features (mud guard, chain oiler, etc). I am actually the one beginning to get a little stressed over how much I'm spending. But, the overtime is still there, so onward and upward! I just had to see the end of the list. And for now, gloves is the last item. (Summer gloves is a separate list :rolleyes: )

After thoroughly deconstructing melensdad's post, I decided to order the Cape Horns. The only item left to purchase (for now) is a pair of warm gloves. I've researched that half to death, time to research it to full death.
 

Rabbit

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The problem with his top 2 choices, and which applies to some of the higher end boots I mentioned is they are essentially unusable for walking. That makes them hard to consider for daily riding protection and for long distance touring where there will be walking in towns during stops.

I may consider something like his top pick Toucan if I was spending much of my life off pavement. But this discussion has been, from the start, about upgrading a daily use boot that offers protection.

Objectively very few Touring boots offer very much real world protection. The next level up are the ADV-Tourers and those, as we can see, come in a wide range of protection
I agree. That and the 500$ price tag is why I am not going for the Toucan. I just thought it was a good video that showed the value of various parts of the boot. I started all of this out having no clue on what actually makes a boot good and just going off Manufacturers hype points. This awesome Forum and a few online videos have made a world of difference
 

Rabbit

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When I first talked to my wife about accessories, she asked $500? I said no, more like $2000. I've gone past that, and that was just accessories. Gear is above and beyond. She is very much in tune with the necessity of safety, and has gone along with enhancing bike longevity features (mud guard, chain oiler, etc). I am actually the one beginning to get a little stressed over how much I'm spending. But, the overtime is still there, so onward and upward! I just had to see the end of the list. And for now, gloves is the last item. (Summer gloves is a separate list :rolleyes: )

After thoroughly deconstructing melensdad's post, I decided to order the Cape Horns. The only item left to purchase (for now) is a pair of warm gloves. I've researched that half to death, time to research it to full death.
Warm gloves: https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/firstgear-outrider-gloves
I rock these. They have Knox palm sliders and are good to at least 40. I’ve ridden with them down to 25f. They seem to run a little small and activating my left turn signal is a chore. Other than that I love them.
 

melensdad

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After thoroughly deconstructing melensdad's post, I decided to order the Cape Horns. The only item left to purchase (for now) is a pair of warm gloves. I've researched that half to death, time to research it to full death.
I'm still thoroughly uncertain.

I think, for daily use, the 3 most expensive boots are impractical. For long distance touring they may be good while on the bike but not for tourist stops. So pretty easy to eliminate those.

I'd like a taller boot than the Sidi Canyon and something more rigid than the Forma ADV-Tourer or Rev-'it Trail.

So I am pretty much left with deciding between:
  • Forma Cape Horn
  • Stylemartin Matrix
  • Rev'it Gravel
  • Sidi Armada
Price is not a huge issue for me between these 4 boots.
  • The Gravel has the most rigid sole, that alone keeps it on the bottom my choices
  • The Armada has great ankle protection and stability, but will be cumbersome on/off
  • The Cape Horn is pretty solid on all points but lacks some of the ankle stability
  • The Stylemartin ticks all the boxes but reviews are very scarce
Doubt any one would be a real mistake.
 
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Rabbit

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I'm still thoroughly uncertain.

I think, for daily use, the 3 most expensive boots are impractical. For long distance touring they may be good while on the bike but not for tourist stops. So pretty easy to eliminate those.

I'd like a taller boot than the Sidi Canyon and something more rigid than the Forma ADV-Tourer or Rev-'it Trail.

So I am pretty much left with deciding between:
  • Forma Cape Horn
  • Stylemartin Matrix
  • Rev'it Gravel
  • Sidi Armada
Price is not a huge issue for me between these 4 boots.
  • The Gravel has the most rigid sole, that alone keeps it on the bottom my choices
  • The Armada has great ankle protection and stability, but will be cumbersome on/off
  • The Cape Horn is pretty solid on all points but lacks some of the ankle stability
  • The Stylemartin ticks all the boxes but reviews are very scarce
Doubt any one would be a real mistake.
Looks like the Stylmartin has all the same protection as the Cape Horn. The Matrix does perform better on several points: sewn sole vs molded and Velcro brand for the top closure. Is that worth an extra 60$? Dunno. I really like the Welt sole though
 

melensdad

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Looks like the Stylmartin has all the same protection as the Cape Horn. The Matrix does perform better on several points: sewn sole vs molded and Velcro brand for the top closure. Is that worth an extra 60$? Dunno. I really like the Welt sole though
I'd say StyleMartin's Matrix objectively beats the Cape Horn on ankle protection with the addition of thermoplastic inserts that start at the heel pucks and are sewn in up both sides of the leg.

The Sidi Armada has a bit more protection than the Matrix, but because of the hinge on the Armada users say it's reasonable off bike too.

So of the 3, I think the Cape Horn, very marginally, is offering less protection. It is probably easiest to walk in and it is very well priced. I also trust the fit of the brand.
 

melensdad

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I do, too. That said, I doubt #2.
Honestly I doubt everything when it comes to manufacturer's claims.

Except the sex appeal of a 1984 Volvo 240 GL, of that there is no doubt :cool:

91904051990102.jpg
 
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Gripanimal

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Warm gloves: https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/firstgear-outrider-gloves
I rock these. They have Knox palm sliders and are good to at least 40. I’ve ridden with them down to 25f. They seem to run a little small and activating my left turn signal is a chore. Other than that I love them.
Ok, Outriders are on the way. I ordered XL from amazon because revzilla is no longet carrying the larger sizes. Discontinued? But only $56 from amazon. I also ordered Reax Superfly gloves for summer.
 
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