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The ultimate "daily wear" protective moto boot

melensdad

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No secret I've posted in several threads about boots. I'm still searching.

I want a daily wear boot. Something that is actually PROTECTIVE and COMFORTABLE. Many moto boots, particularly touring style boots offer very minimal protection. The low cut riding shoes and hightops simply don't offer the minimum protection I am looking for. Others are to rigid that they are not practical for daily use.

Price: Something $375 or less
Protection: Minimum of mid-shin height (12-15" tall), with rigid shin plate, ankle protection pads, rigid heel cup, rigid toe protection. Preferably with ankle support for twisting/torsion injuries but not a total deal breaker if it does not have rotational protection. These are all "non-negotiable" items for me. My old boots already have 3 of those 4 features, I want to increase protection, not decrease it.
Wearability: I'm looking for a new 'daily wear' boot so the sole must be flexible enough to allow me to walk around, but rigid enough to protect against a crush injury. Again, serious protection with reasonable walkability is required.
Waterproof: some sort of breathable waterproofing is desirable, but not a deal breaker
Appearance: not looking for a space boot with shiny plastic, lots of odd looking details like many of the minimally protective euro style touring boots. Not looking for GIANT logos in contrasting colors, multi-colors, etc. I want something that fits under casual looking riding pants and looks pretty much like a casual boot.
Entry/Exit: I don't want a half dozen buckles, complicated collars, etc. These are for daily use, if they are a P.I.T.A. to get on/off then I likely won't wear them. A zipper would be great. Velco & Zipper is good. Buckles acceptable but not more than 2.

FWIW, I'm a fan of CE ratings but I'm not blind or stupid. Both of these boots (below) have the same 2-2-2 CE rating but very few people will argue that these two boots offer similar protection. And I don't want to wear either of these. I want something that gives me a lot more protection than the ICON but is not a pure off-road boot like the SIDI while still giving some of the same protection as a motocross boot.

I look at CE ratings as "minimal" ratings. DOT helmet ratings are a joke, most of us know that and understand why. CE ratings are better, because they actually test the stuff before it is certified. Perhaps it would be better to compare CE ratings to MIL SPEC for guns? MIL SPEC is just the minimum standard acceptable. A CE 2-2-2 doesn't mean there is any protection in other areas, there are other ratings for shins, waterproofing, etc that CE certifies too, but generally the marketing people just say something is "CE" rated or certified and don't give us any details. And there are boots of the same model in different sizes that are CE certified to different levels! So common sense and diligent research need to be applied.

FEE52582-2D19-4101-8EBC-DE320C19324F_4_5005_c.jpeg FBC39316-1240-4741-A74B-8B4B67B8B96C_4_5005_c.jpeg



So here is the conundrum. How do I get the functions I desire from a moto boot and which is the ultimate?

Below is my list of candidates, in no particular order. There are a few others, Stylemartin makes a couple that could fit but reviews are slim. Forma’s ADV-Tourer would probably hit all the marks to qualify but the Cape Horn is a better boot so it’s easy to skip over the lower priced ADV-Touring boot since budget allows it. Also skipping over the heavily ventilated ‘air’ boots as I don’t want to be limited to only sunny dry weather, but admittedly I found very few that meet the minimum criteria I set.

Sidi Armada, checks all the safety boxes BUT has a funky entry/exit with the zipper on the inside and the velcro on the outside. Is it convenient for everyday wear? The sole is reported to be a walkable sole. The boot is reported to be very very comfortable and all day wear is common but the sole is on the stiff side of the spectrum so long walks in the moonlight with your beloved might be a bit too much to ask. The rigid ankle protection is a huge bonus. From the front, under a pair of moto-jeans it would look like a dress boot, perhaps not the side/back view, so pretty acceptable. Best ankle protection of the bunch. Gore-Tex waterproofing.

sidi_armada_gore_tex_boots_300x300.jpg

The Forma Cape Horn ticks all the boxes for safety and walkability. Not quite the ankle protection of the Sidi Armada, and none of the torsional protection and it has 2 buckles and velco, but still meets the minimum standards I'm looking for. Not quite the casual look I want either with its industrial looking sole extended at the toe, but not a moon boot, so acceptable. Very walkable boot, also among the tallest which gives protection to the shin.
forma_cape_horn_boots_300x300.jpg

Rev'it has the Trail H20 which ticks every box but the sole is reported to be on the stiff side of walkable. So perhaps barely walkable. A technical and protective boot for sure, casual look to it under moto-pants, ease of entry/exit. Reported to have pretty good ankle torsional protection, something that is lacking on many of the boots. So lots of positives, if the sole is walkable.
revit_trail_h2_o_boots_black_300x300.jpg

Sidi Canyon is a classic moto boot which garners rave reviews for protection, comfort and looks but it is also one of the lowest of the bunch. It still offers rigid shin protection, but its minimal compared to some of the others. Ankle is not stiffened/protected in the same way as the the Sidi Armada, nor even as good as the Rev'it Trail. Foot protection and all day comfort are widely claimed to be superior by loyal owners. Gore-Tex waterproofing.
sidi_canyon_gore_tex_boots_300x300.jpg

Alpinestars Radon Drystar again ticks the boxes, its actually one of the few Euro Touring style boots that offers reasonable shin protection. Looks may take some getting used to but it seems to offer everything on the list, if a little lower in the shin than most. Probably should be near the bottom of the list, if for no other reason than it has lowest acceptable shin protection. Alpinestars offers several different models in this same basic configuration, with similar protection. Full leather with Gore-Tex ($299) in addition to this model at $199, in addition to ventilated models. Alpinestars is one of the few that has some real hard panel shin protection in some of their Euro-touring boot styles. Most of the euro-touring boots have very flexible soles and while they offer some protection from a side crush, they offer very little front impact protection because the soles are so flexible.
alpinestars_radon_drystar_boots_black_300x300.jpg

Another of the rare Euro Touring boots to offer all the protection required, the Dianese Freeland is taller than the Alpinestars Radon and again has that sort of Euro oddball look, but perhaps a bit more subdued than the Alpinestars and probably would look good under a pair of riding pants. Pretty good shin protection, hard and soft ankle protectors too, but torsional rigidity is lacking. Walkable. Gore-Tex waterproofing. Dianese also offers full leather versions, ventilated, etc. Some of their euro-touring models have hard shin protection. Like other euro-touring boots, these have flexible soles and offer CE rated protection from a side crush but very little front impact protection because the soles are so flexible.
dainese_freeland_gore_tex_boots_300x300.jpg

The final boot that I think hits the buttons is the Alpinestars Camperche which is perhaps a more technical and protective boot, similar to he Rev'it Trail boot above. Again, the sole is on the stiffer end of the spectrum and walking may be a chore, but it is supposed to be marginally more flexible than the Rev'it. Bonus that it comes in 2 different colors. Ankle stiffness and torsional protection is reported to be good, better than the Euro style touring boots and the Sidi Canyon. Not as tall as the Forma but taller than the Euro style boots and the Sidi Canyon.
alpinestars_campeche_drystar_boots_black_300x300.jpg
 
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bigbird

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I can't say too much about your nominations, other than that I own the Sidi Canyon's, and they are the most comfortable foot protection that I have ever worn while riding a motorcycle.
I have no doubt that they are far more protective than the Alpinestars MX-1's that I used to wear while riding my Goldwing.
And in my mind's eye they're also far more eye pleasing to look at than anything else you listed.
IMHO any boot that does not have straps or exposed zippers belongs on the attire list of NASA's Moon and Mars landing programs.
 

melensdad

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I can't say too much about your nominations, other than that I own the Sidi Canyon's, and they are the most comfortable foot protection that I have ever worn while riding a motorcycle.
I have no doubt that they are far more protective than the Alpinestars MX-1's that I used to wear while riding my Goldwing.
And in my mind's eye they're also far more eye pleasing to look at than anything else you listed.
IMHO any boot that does not have straps or exposed zippers belongs on the attire list of NASA's Moon and Mars landing programs.
How walkable is the Canyon? I read a lot of reviews saying it’s pretty good. Can you wear them off the bike while walking around a tourist town for a couple hours? Are they all day comfortable? I’m not asking if you wear them to work or would choose them as a hiking boot, but what are your real life experiences and do they involve foot pain and blisters?
 

fleetingyouth

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I'm following because at some point I wouldn't mind getting a pair of boots for long touring trips. Of the choices so far the Rev'it sounds most interesting to me.

I think walkability and comfort are very subjective and short of riding with each pair you'll have a hard time making a decision based on others opinions.

You couldn't pay me to walk or wear any of these boots for more than 20 mins off a bike nevermind around town. But thats just my own comfort level.

I'm interested to see what you end up with and feedback for future purchase though.
 

bigbird

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How walkable is the Canyon? I read a lot of reviews saying it’s pretty good. Can you wear them off the bike while walking around a tourist town for a couple hours? Are they all day comfortable? I’m not asking if you wear them to work or would choose them as a hiking boot, but what are your real life experiences and do they involve foot pain and blisters?
Very walkable for me.
I'm a size 12.5-13, and with a wide foot.
The 48 Canyon literally fits me like a glove.
No hot spots or pain whatsoever.
 

melensdad

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... the Rev'it sounds most interesting to me ... I think walkability and comfort are very subjective and short of riding with each pair you'll have a hard time making a decision based on others opinions.

You couldn't pay me to walk or wear any of these boots for more than 20 mins off a bike nevermind around town. But thats just my own comfort level....
Agreed and I get it. For my description of "daily rider" I include picking up groceries, stopping at the Ace Hardware or CVS and maybe grabbing Chinese dinner. Doing on/off bike stuff is my 'daily rider' routine. For most places I ride to I don't change out of my boots. So my criteria is that my boots can't cause me to be in screaming pain from just routine daily activity ... which is why I included the stiff sole comments.

The synthetic Rev'it Trail H20 is definitely a more technical style boot than it might appear, offering padding and reinforcement under the smooth outer layer. The very rigid sole is something frequently mentioned. The leather Alpinestars Campeche is similarly constructed to the synthetic Rev'it Trail H20, it uses the same sole as the full height Alpinestars Corazol with similar protection, in a zipper closure instead of a buckle closure boot. The Campeche sole is claimed to be slightly more walkable than the Rev'it.

Less of a technical, more of a touring style, and also made of synthetic material is the Gore-Tex offering from Dianese in the Freeland which has a far more flexible sole but probably somewhat less foot protection in its slim euro style cut.




Very walkable for me.
I'm a size 12.5-13, and with a wide foot.
The 48 Canyon literally fits me like a glove.
No hot spots or pain whatsoever.
That is what I commonly read. All day comfort in the Sidi Canyon.

I see similar comments about the Sidi Armada's comfort as well, which is a little taller with a little more shin protection, but with hard entry/exit.
 

halfSpinDoctor

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My only boots are the Tourmaster Solution 2.0. They are leather in the bottom boot portion, with some polyurethane areas at the top. I have had them for eight years (riding on and off during that time) and they are holding up well. They are just starting to show some signs of wear.

They are waterproof, but not horribly hot in the summer. They are okay in the winter, down to 35-40 F when they start getting uncomfortably cold. The protection feels excellent, with a fairly stiff ankle, but I can easily go grocery shopping or walk around in them without changing into shoes.

Solution2Pair_750x750.jpg
 

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Perhaps look at the Forma Adventure boots. They are around 260$ and reviews say very much feel like a hiking boot. Still CE 2 certified, shin protection and ankle pucks included. Very walkable. They’re built on a similar chassis as the Cape Horns. There are a number of exceptional YouTube reviews on these as well.
Please forgive the link. Sent this from my phone and it was having issues pasting a picture.

 
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melensdad

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Halfspindoc: Tourmaster does not currently make a boot that meets my safety criteria. Most are too flexible and none that I see currently offered have the rigid shin protection, which is one of my non-negotiable points. My current Forma boots already have rigid heels, armor in the ankles, reinforced toes and a CE sturdy sole so going to the current models from Tourmaster would not provide more protection than I currently have. The Alpinestars Radon is similar to some of the current Tourmaster boots but with a hard panel for the shin, albeit fairly small. All of these boots are also typically short, with the exception of the unusual Dianese Freeland, which is a rarity by actually being a tall touring boot and also has a hard plate for the shin. Dianese has at least one other offering in similar height/protection too, but just looks too euro-moon-bat-crazy for me (which is my problem). As I noted, the Alpinestars Radon is on the bottom of my consideration list, in fact so low I'm not sure why I even included it, perhaps only because it met the minimum criteria?

Rabbit: I ruled out the Forma Adventure Boot because it does not meet my buckle limit, which is why most of the other brands adventure boots are also eliminated. The whole thing about my SELF IMPOSED 2 buckle limit, largely because of the daily use issue and the need for them to be easy on/off. Lots of buckles just make them a PITA to get in/out of. I realize my 2 buckle maximum is arbitrary but I felt I needed to draw a line somewhere. The Forma Cape Horn is similar in walkability and protection to the Adventure, while dropping 1 buckle and losing a bit of bulk.
 
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Rabbit

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Halfspindoc: Tourmaster does not currently make a boot that meets my safety criteria. Most are too flexible and none that I see currently offered have the rigid shin protection, which is one of my non-negotiable points. My current Forma boots already have rigid heels, armor in the ankles, reinforced toes and a CE sturdy sole so going to the current models from Tourmaster would not provide more protection than I currently have. The Alpinestars Radon is similar to some of the current Tourmaster boots but with a hard panel for the shin, albeit fairly small. All of these boots are also typically short, with the exception of the unusual Dianese Freeland, which is a rarity by actually being a tall touring boot and also has a hard plate for the shin. Dianese has at least one other offering in similar height/protection too, but just looks too euro-moon-bat-crazy for me (which is my problem). As I noted, the Alpinestars Radon is on the bottom of my consideration list, in fact so low I'm not sure why I even included it, perhaps only because it met the minimum criteria?

Rabbit: I ruled out the Forma Adventure Boot because it does not meet my buckle limit, which is why most of the other brands adventure boots are also eliminated. The whole thing about my SELF IMPOSED 2 buckle limit, largely because of the daily use issue and the need for them to be easy on/off. Lots of buckles just make them a PITA to get in/out of. I realize my 2 buckle maximum is arbitrary but I felt I needed to draw a line somewhere. The Forma Cape Horn is similar in walkability and protection to the Adventure, while dropping 1 buckle and losing a bit of bulk.
I would think buckles would be easier on off vs Velcro or even a zipper. Set, snap and forget. Have you had experience to the contrary?
 

melensdad

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I would think buckles would be easier on off vs Velcro or even a zipper. Set, snap and forget. Have you had experience to the contrary?
My current Forma's have a zipper, they are amazing quick on/off.

My wife changed to a pair of boots with a zipper, largely for that reason.
 

Rabbit

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The picture you have is of the Cape Horns which are no longer offered. The new Cape Horn Hdry eliminated the extended toe kicker. If that style change helps.
 

melensdad

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Complications set in the decision making process as both of the Sidi boots above are now DISCOUNTED at the on-line retailers. With the current sale prices these are now delivered to your doorstep for roughly $315 for the Sidi Armada and $293 for the Sidi Canyon. (US $ and US delivery)

Both are also GoreTex. Both also get rave reviews for on & off bike comfort.

Sale prices make both of these boots far more compelling. With big price differences it’s usually easy to rule out a top priced product as a poorer value but with these discounts bringing the price gap closer then it makes the decision more about features. If GoreTex is worth a $50-60 premium then it is certainly worth a $20-40 premium. Same with real leather versus synthetics.

The sale price of the Armada is now lower than the regular selling price of the Canyon. The discounted Canyon is now lower priced than the Dianese and but still slightly more than the Forma.
 
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Rabbit

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I’ve heard Sidi runs fairly narrow if that’s a concern, but @ 293$ that’s actually cheaper than the Cape Horns which now run 299
 

melensdad

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MY NEW BOOTS ARE ON ORDER ... but out of stock!

Going into this I was pretty much betting that I'd order the Forma Cape Horn. I have Forma boots already, they are good, comfortable, well made and have plenty of life left in them, I'm just in the market for a more protective boot for some of my riding and I want to stick with a boot that can be used for daily wear. The Cape Horn fit the bill. $299 price tag with the newer HDry waterproofing system.

I really like the look of the Sidi Canyon, and now that that is on sale it comes in a few dollars cheaper than the Forma Cape Horn. But I didn't buy the Canyon.

I really like the Campeche from Alpinestars too, especially in brown leather. A solid technical boot, with a look more like a touring boot. The Rev'it Trail, a synthetic boot seemed too stiff to walk in, probably was bottom of my list for "daily wear" when actual 'walkability was factored in. The Campeche is reported to be slightly more flexible, using the sole of the Corazol boot, but that boot is not known for walkability. So those 2 boots might be great for some things, daily wear probably not.

The Alpinestars and Dianese euro style touring offerings had the correct pads and reinforcement but both were of much lighter build than all the other boots. That didn't instill confidence in their protective ability. Add very flexible soles into the mix and I'm not sure how safe they really would be.

I really like the protection of the Sidi Armada, but taking a gamble on a $350 boot seemed like too much of a gamble. On sale, at a price point below what I was willing to pay for a Canyon made it a fairly easy choice. Revzilla, Cycleworld, Motorcycle Gear, Chaparral are all showing the Amarda as an extended OUT OF STOCK. Ordered from Dennis Kirk, it says it ships in 4-5 days, but I'm skeptical since all the other sources seem to be backordered.

The Armada is the most protective boot on my list, and is more protective than a couple of them by a wide margin. It is also reviewed as being supremely comfortable. The reviewers generally really like (or love) the boot and say its not a cumbersome boot to get into/out of. The rigid ankle protectors were a key selling point for me, as was the torsional stiffness they bring, without giving up the forward flex. The Armada is about 1 inch taller than the Canyon and has much more ankle protection. The foot protection is pretty much the same as the Canyon but with a beefier heel cup.

IF and WHEN they arrive, given the near universal backorder status, I'll give my impressions.

Sidi Armada in touring format with the collar removed:
sidi-sidi-armada-gore-crossover-zwart.jpg


And the Sidi Armada with the ankle reinforcement and cuff installed for more aggressive riding or light off roading.

d2ddad0bd398202d0374cbcb22a21a51932670ce_125516_Sidi_Armada_Gore_tex11.jpg
 

melensdad

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UPDATE ON DELIVERY:

Absolutely no clue when the boots will arrive. Some of the websites are suggesting they will be back in stock in May of this year. I can wait.

Revzilla is out of stock, will not accept orders. Motorcycle Gear, Chaparrel and a few others all said the same thing on their websites.

Dennis Kirk was the only website I found that allowed me to place the order, at the sale price. So I placed my order yesterday and got the order confirmation. They informed me today, via a separate email, that the boots are on back order. They accepted my order and will ship when they arrive.
 

melensdad

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LOOKS LIKE I HAVE A LONG WAIT for my new boots to arrive. Possibly 6+ weeks.

So in the spirit of this thread I am going to post some of the boots that fit MOST of my safety criteria but NOT the GOOD LOOKS criteria. Looks are subjective. MOST of the Euro-Touring style boots don't offer the hard protection I really want and are typically 2" shorter on the shin that I am looking for. The soles are typically thin for very easy walking, but give up some crush protection in an accident.

So from the safety standpoint these might make my list, but butt ugly looks would keep them off my feet. Prices are Revzilla pricing in March 2021

TCX Airtech Evo GoreTex $269. Not too bad looking, lower than I wanted, less protection than I wanted, but not bad.
tcx_airtech_evo_gore_tex_boots_black_300x300.jpg


SIDI Performer crossover boot for touring and light track use, $265 (on sale from $295). Meets all my criteria but I think its butt ugly.



sidi_boots_performer_gore_tex_black_1800x1800.jpg

Alpinestars SMX6 v2 (various colors, several air versions to GoreTex versions) $269 to $329 also meets all my criteria but the looks.
alpinestars_smx6v2_boots_black_grey_fluo_red_rollover.jpg


Sidi ARIA Gore Tex ($248 on sale from $275). A bit lower than I wanted, a bit lighter on the protection scale.
sidi_aria_gore_tex_boots_1800x1800.jpg
 
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melensdad

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Dianese Fulcrum, $299 GoreTex. Meets my criteria for height and protection except the typical thin flexible euro touring sole. A bit funky looking. For $300 I think there are more protective choices that are also comfortable.

dainese_r_fulcrum_c2_gore_tex_boots_750x750.jpg

Alpinestars Web GTX $299 again a bit low like most of the others, has all the basic protection, typical euro-touring looks. For the price there are other more protective daily wear options.
alpinestars_web_gtx_boots_300x300.jpg
Like the 4 boots in my prior post (above), these 2 fit the basic criteria. They have some protection for the shin in the form of (at least) a thin plastic semi-rigid plate or heavy foam shin pads (I’m looking for a bit of hard plate) That differs from most Euro Touring boots which typically offer no added protection to the shin other than a similar thickness of padding that is in the rest of the boot. These have a hard heel cup, These have minimal hard toe cups. A couple models of these 6 that I added have rigid toe sliders, rigid ankle support.

Some of these might meet your criteria as the ultimate daily boot. Almost all are LOWER in height, offer a thinner sole and somewhat less protection than I was looking for. My current boots are the same height as most of these, but with laces and a zipper side entry, very comfortable, about as protective in every way as these, more in some ways, less in others, but similar. My goal was to upgrade my protection not make a lateral shift. Your tastes and goals may be different so I am offering up these other boots as somewhat similar, but ultimately I excluded from my list.
 
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MZ5

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I probably skimmed too fast or missed it between the couple different threads: Do you consider the lateral stiffness and shaft height of road race and touring boots adequate to your desires (like the SMX6)? Is it only looks that takes that type out of it for you?
 

MZ5

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Separately: Did you look at the Alps Toucan? Atomic Moto recommended them to me at one point, but I’ve never seen them nor were they in my range of choices. Just curious.
 
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