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Thread: Boots... really?

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Dale_I's Avatar
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    Boots... really?

    I did not have dedicated touring boots and have used heavy hikers up to this point. In my previous motorcycle life (been out of riding for a bit) I was a definite Squid until I got the ST. But, I had squid bots with sliders. I only road the ST a year before storing it. Because of my Ricker Racer past I had gotten into the poor touring rider habit of dropping my foot to find the road and judge my angle in a corner.

    So... sitting at NEWSTOC with ToddC and we’re having a discussion on boots. He tells me how he used to wear hikers and used to drop his foot, until he wore through the boot in a corner. As we’re talking, MV_Dave is starting to shake his head side to side a little when he hears me say “foot drop”.

    Todd goes on to explain that along with boots I need to change my riding style. I need to get up on my toe in the tight corners. Now MV_Dave is starting to nod his head in agreement and explains the different styles of Squid riding versus constant speed corners, which are actually (most times) faster.

    Forward a week and I come back from a quick jaunt and notice my foot is cold. Sure enough… I have a ToddC hole in my hiker! Talk to my wife, get approval, and ordered new boots for Father’s Day (and got 15% off from the local STealership).

    I just went for a ride and I thank them both for their advice.

    Not only is the footbed better for the pegs (hikers always put you in the void of the tread) the boots move forward and back effortlessly without the cramping of my legs I got before as I went onto the taller lugged tread of the hiker. The ankle support is far superior even though I only got a mid-height boot because I sometimes wear a leg brace.

    After almost dropping my toe in the first sweeper I moved back on my pegs, up on my toes, which made hand steering much more intuitive through the corner. It felt incredibly stable. Wow… you can teach old dogs new tricks.

    Thanks again to the friendships on the list that have made riding better for me. I took a pole of everyone in the room at the time of the conversation to see what kind of boots they used. It was unanimous… Alpinestars. Various models for various riders, but that was enough for me. The experience of the liST should be headed.

    So, a transformed riding style and much more comfortable feet… and I thought it was great before!!!

    HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!
    #5341
    I get in trouble the minute I think I know what I'm doing.

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  3. #2
    Site Supporter JRob's Avatar
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    Re: Boots... really?

    I'd seen ToddC's hikers on many occasions before he purchased the MC boots. He had surely worn them through and I always wondered when he was going to start scraping his toes. I've been thinking about buying some MC boots ever since but just haven't pulled the trigger. Maybe it's time...


    Jeff R.
    STOC # 492

  4. #3
    Site Supporter ToddC's Avatar
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    Re: Boots... really?

    Ya Dale,
    . My toe dragging days are over. Glad you like the new boots....!
    It was at WESTOC two years ago when I wore a beveled hole in the outboard corners of my boot toes..... Even us old guys learn after a while....

    ToddC
    I Just wana Ride man, I just wana Ride!

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    Natural Rider Enhancement Blrfl's Avatar
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    Re: Boots... really?

    Boots, like most gear, are best purpose-built for the job.

    Unless you're doing this, there's not a whole lot of reason to hang a toe off the peg anyway.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    SMSW's Avatar
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    Re: Boots... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blrfl View Post
    Boots, like most gear, are best purpose-built for the job.

    Unless you're doing this, there's not a whole lot of reason to hang a toe off the peg anyway.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    --Mark
    And, if you're doing that, there is now no need to drop your toe off the peg. Let your fingers do the walking..... Finger boots anyone?

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    Re: Boots... really?

    I was actually quite surprised at the lean you can get into a corner with the ST. It just feels wrong somehow... that something this heavy can do it. Not only do it, but do it with comfort. I was looking on Youtube at some videos of motorcycle agility courses. Amazing what an ST can do in the proper hands.

  9. #7
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    Re: Boots... really?

    on the subject of touring or riding motorcycle boots, theres much more to the need of boots than dragging toes in a corner. (unless thats all you do) With much disappointment with many styles of boots over the years I found that spending serious money for serious riding boots worked way better than "economizing" and having cold wet feet on a long road trip. I paid $360 for my Sidi On road GoreTex boots a few years ago and have enjoyed thousands of miles riding in comfort and safety.
    You only live once, but if ya do it right, once is enough

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  11. #8
    In the Hotel California... ST_Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Boots... really?

    So what is everyone looking for in a boot? I don't worry about toe sliders myself. How about:
    - Width? (I've got wide feet.)
    - Height, or the calf size? (My calves have gotten *fat* due to past DVT issues, and I have difficulty closing tall boots.)
    - Low, smooth toe box? (Able to fit toe in under shifter.)
    - Too Big Lugs? (Can the boot slide for and aft on the footpeg? The ST isn't a dual sport, unless I get that S10 dmulk is advocating.)
    - Waterproof? (At home I can avoid most rain, but not on a tour.)

    I'm still using my old Oxtar Matrix boots, but the writing is on the wall for a new pair in the future.
    ST_Jim - K6JH - Simi Valley, CA - http://jimhenke.smugmug.com/
    2004 ST1300ABS - STOC#4829 - Thanks for nuking my photos WebShots!


  12. #9
    240Robert ST Gui's Avatar
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    Re: Boots... really?

    I've got some Timberland hiking boots that are just over the ankle with 2' long laces (WTW??) that I triple knot.

    I think I want boots that zip or maybe with covered laces and definitely want ankle protection. I don't know that I want calf-high boots but maybe if they look sharp…

    Most of the other stuff isn't needed by me but might be nice to have. Waterproofing for instance would be nice but I try very hard to avoid wet weather.
    Don't tell me what I know. Tell me what I don't know.

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  13. #10
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    Re: Boots... really?

    I started by asking guys with a lot of miles. They go through what works and doesn't and usually end up with solutions to most issues. When I asked, everyone present at NEWSTOC wore Alpinestars. I took that as a serious recommendation. When you have 8 to 10 guys from various parts of the country and Canada wearing the same thing. So, I started there and googled various other models and it turns out the Alpinestars were very well respected.

    I didn't want full boots because I sometimes need to wear a metal brace for my left leg. I tried some SMX-1 that were more like high top tennis shoes. They come with or without toe sliders. I decided against them because I wanted more ankle support and a higher protected area. The low coverage toward the rear of the shoe had me worried about water dripping in. The Ridge model was the middle between the shoe and the full boot.

    Then the decision was between waterproof lined or air ventilated. Apart from NEWSTOC and the brief freak hail/snowstorm, I don't really go out in the wet. However, I do find myself riding on hot days a much larger percentage. So, I went with the Ridge 2 Air. After a few days and short rides I can say I really like them.

    The ventilated models will NOT be water resistant. However, after talking with Al at NEWSTOC (he has the Ridge Waterproof) his only comment was that they can make your feet hot. He is in poor weather all the time (and much colder too). I may pick up some GoreTex sox or something. But, they are only $150... so if you pick up both a waterproof and air model you still spent less than the high end breathable water proof.

    Another feature I liked about the air vented model was without the inner liner, the entry into the boot is incredibly easy.

    If you have wide feet, you will want to look for wide sizing. A lot of European boots will not be available. I adjusted my shifter slightly to the boot, so that wasn't a worry for me. I love the smooth and single height foot bed. It is a little less grippy on pure gravel. On the street it feels more stable than my old hikers.

    I would say for 99 percent of my excursions, they will be perfect. I already like how quickly I can get in/out of them. 1/4 of the time compared to hiker laces.

    On longer rides where I might run into rain, I may opt for covers if I can find something quality.

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