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Top-class touring boots

Top-class touring boots
Comparative test touring boots

Even if the front wheel takes off, you should always remain steadfast in the pegs. MOTORRAD examined seven sporty touring boots between 150 and 250 euros for their potential wheelie as well as their suitability for the weather. And a test candidate even had to prove itself directly on the asphalt.

Jorg Lohse

04/24/2007

Hand on heart: do you always go with a decent pair of shoes? When going to the opera, of course, only something highly polished is an option. You would never wear rubber boots to a game of squash. And on the motorcycle?

Sometimes things are very colorful there. Because on the rest you can sometimes find a very strange mixture of sneakers, slippers with pompons or the notorious Adilette. And why a fine, made-to-measure leather thread is worn around the top and then a worn lace-up boot follows towards the end of the leg, brand Waldbrandaustreter in Canada, also remains unfathomable. The best footwear is particularly important on a motorcycle. This experience could be made once more in the context of this comparison, namely when an involuntary fall during the test drives particularly challenged a pair of boots (see box on page 85).
In order to start the new motorcycle season firmly, we took a close look at seven pairings from the high-price league. The cheapest pair can be bought for around 150 euros, for the most expensive pair you have to turn another 100 euros more on the counter. And that’s a real house number. Overall, however, the result is impressive.

Almost all providers offer good to very good boots (see final evaluation, page 84). Six of the seven touring boots are particularly impressive when it comes to weather protection. This speaks for a high quality of workmanship, because the membranes necessary for moisture protection have to be used very carefully to guarantee dry feet. A tip: In order not to suddenly find yourself with wet socks during a vacation tour, it is advisable to test the waterproofness of the boot immediately after buying it. To do this, fill a larger bowl about ankle-high with water and take a little footbath there with the new shoes. Usually just a few minutes are enough to locate a leak in the boat.

And then you should immediately complain about the boot that is sold as waterproof. As a rule, water ingress results from sloppy processing, construction-related leaks are rather rare. If the boot is sold as waterproof, it has to be. Since a motorcycle boot can last a few years with proper care, you should also pay attention to the warranty period when buying. High-end outfitters such as climate giant Gore-Tex even go so far as to guarantee the waterproofness of their membranes in the long term. What you should definitely pay attention to when buying boots can be found in a nutshell on page 83.

An optimal fit of the footwear is of course part of well-being. However, not all test participants were able to convince in this category. The shoemaker’s performance by the Frey brothers from Eggenfelden in Bavaria made a particularly positive impression: The Daytona Bandit XCR is a very good all-rounder that suits both relaxed touring and sporty gazing.

The sports label Puma is new in the motorcycle business, represented in this test with the Brutale GTX. Whereby the shoe hangs anything but brutally on the foot. Because here, comparable to the Daytona, fit and comfort are also very convincing. Puma can pay for that very well with 250 euros. At 40 euros less, the Daytona is the much better offer, which can also boast a “Made in Germany” label. Competitor Puma has its boots manufactured in distant Vietnam. The Swiss brand Ixs was also rated “very good”.

The Italian brands Dainese followed with a good final grade, but with a clear gap, Alpinestars and XPD ?? the latter a label of the clothing company Spidi. In terms of driving comfort, these pairings are at best average. We missed the casual elegance for which Italian footwear is actually known in motorcycle boots.

Nevertheless, high-priced boots for the biker are at a high level. Real conceptual weaknesses can only rarely be identified, the failure of the Redbikes in the wet test is a case for the warranty department. Some product developers could only put more effort into the color scheme. Black still predominates. Only newcomer Puma dares to set shrill, weird color accents by also offering the Brutale in coffee-brown-white and gray-orange. Perhaps this offer will pull Adilette off the feet of one or the other convinced refusal to boot. That would be desirable.

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This is how MOTORRAD tests – not very tight?

It goes without saying that in our test of all-weather touring boots, the focus was on the wetness test. But also in other criteria the candidates had to ?? three test pairs per brand ?? to convince. The detailed scoring including the final grading can be found at the end of this comparison on page 84.
PROCESSING: a maximum of 5 points. A decent shoe distinguishes its wearer. The test crew checked the quality and appearance on and in the shoe.
SECURITY: a maximum of 15 points. If the shoes are properly reinforced, the sole is torsion-resistant, and the boot fits snugly and does not slip off the foot?
HANDLING: 10 points were to be obtained if the entry and the locking guide were 100 percent convincing.
PRACTICE DRIVING: very important with 30 points. If the grip on the detent is correct, the gear and brake levers can be operated quickly and without loss of comfort, the shoe pinches or cuts in uncomfortably?
IN PRACTICE: Another 10 points if the boot impressed with its comfortable fit even on smaller excursions on foot.
WET TEST: 30 points with perfect tightness. One pair was examined for water resistance in a diving test (simulation of driving through heavy rain) or a filling test. In the latter case, the pair of boots was filled with water. The test copies should hold tight for eight hours. Only if everything stayed dry did you get the full 30 points ?? 7.5 points per boot (two in the immersion test, two in the filling test).

Equipment – equipment

In the price range “over 150 euros”, the Gore-Tex membrane is almost part of the standard equipment of waterproof motorcycle boots. Daytona is the only supplier to use the even more vapor-permeable XCR Gore membrane. Competitive products play a subordinate role. It is astonishing that the actually renowned brand Sympatex failed in the wet test in the Redbike boot. Buyers should definitely report leaking boots. Industry leader Gore even gives a lifetime guarantee on its waterproof film ?? proper maintenance required. With a few minor exceptions, the protector package is very good, and the equipment with reflective piping or pads is standard on almost all boots. In terms of shaft height, they all operate on a similar level, if you want it to be particularly high and tight, you should consider the Dainese or Ixs boot. For good abrasion resistance, the outer skin must consist of leather pieces that are as large as possible. No test person shows any negative abnormalities here? Even with the textile-leather mix, the abrasion-resistant leather has the upper hand. The zipper covered by a Velcro strip is also mostly standard. The quick lacing of the Ixs boot, hidden behind a Velcro flap, was also convincing, we found the rubberized, but otherwise exposed zipper on the 250 euro expensive Puma pedal less good.

Alpinestars Effex GTX – Alpinestars Effex GTX

ALPINESTARS Effex GTX
Provider: Alpinestars, phone 0039/0423/5286, www.alpinestars.com Price: 199.95 euros Color: Black; Sizes: 36 to 50

PLUS Very good, easy entry; good hold on the rest; extremely grippy and at the same time torsion-resistant sole, even on smooth asphalt; Zipper completely covered, zipper can also be attached to Velcro; highly visible reflector
MINUS overall chunky seat; Brake and gear levers very cumbersome to use; Internal structure slippery, does not provide enough support for the foot; Shaft is not tight enough
Conclusion The bottom line is an extremely immobile boot with a very tough structure. The Effex is not for sporty drivers. The level of safety is good with a hard heel cap, reinforced toe and torsion-resistant sole. In addition, the Effex passed the wetness test with flying colors. Remarkable: the size range

-Verdict: good

Dainese MIG Touring GTX – Dainese MIG Touring GTX

DAINESE MIG Touring GTX
Provider: Dainese, phone 089/35827270, www.dainese.com
Price: 199.95 euros Color: Black; Sizes: 36 to 47

PLUS tightly enclosed seat up to the shaft end; comfortable fit without pressure points; very well reinforced at all necessary points including a torsion-resistant sole; offers a very secure hold on the notch
MINUS footbed offers too little support in the middle; too uncomfortable in a sporty resting position; Zipper snaps; narrow, arduous entry; forces foot into a very rigid basic posture, switching and braking processes have to be properly worked out
Conclusion Outwardly clean touring boots with a particularly high, well-fitting shaft. The boot stands very securely on the notch and is comfortable to wear. In terms of mobility, however, the MIG Touring cannot convince. There was no failure in the wetness test and thus the full number of points

-Verdict: good

Daytona Bandit XCR – Daytona Bandit XCR

DAYTONA Bandit XCR
Provider: Daytona, Telephone 08721/96440, www.daytona.de Price: 209.95 euros Color: Black; Sizes: 36 to 49

PLUS Very comfortable, ergonomically flawlessly designed footbed; is comfortable, but at the same time offers the foot a very firm, secure hold; overall highly mobile; great start; Comprehensive safety package with torsion-resistant sole and all necessary reinforcements on the tip, cap and shaft
MINUS Due to the wide loop, uncomfortable feeling of pressure when bending the foot (including when braking); Rest stop only average
Conclusion All in all, a very balanced, lightweight touring boot from Bavaria’s successful Daytona brand. The shoemaker’s performance is first class, there are no real weaknesses in the Bandit. And above all, no wet feet

-Verdict: very good

IXS Rapido – IXS Rapido

IXS Rapido
Provider: Hostettler, Telephone 07631/18040, www.ixs.de Price: 209.90 euros Color: Black; Sizes: 35 to 48

PLUS Comfortable footbed with a high level of comfort when walking and standing; very grippy sole, provides a sure step both on the rest as well as on wet asphalt; The boot shaft can be easily adjusted using the quick lacing; very easy entry
MINUS heel cut too large overall, offers too little support to the foot; Gear lever difficult to reach on sporty motorcycles; boot tip too soft without effective reinforcement; slight feeling of pressure in the ankle area
Conclusion Somewhat bulky touring boots with a high, well-fitting shaft. Except for a small pressure point on the ankles, very comfortable to wear. The rest stop is very good. And even when it rains, the Rapido impresses with one hundred percent tightness. Also available in small sizes

-Verdict: very good

Puma Brutale GTX – Puma Brutale GTX

PUMA Brutale GTX
Provider: Polo Motorrad, phone 0180/5225785, www.polo-motorrad.de Price: 250 euros Colors: black, brown / white, gray / orange; Sizes: 40 to 46

PLUS extremely comfortable footbed; highly manoeuvrable boot that also offers a secure hold on the notch; soft, comfortable shaft end; very good reinforcements including a hard heel cap; large selection of colors
MINUS entry easily difficult; Zipper is a bit difficult to move and is not covered; Slightly incisive ankle area in a sporty resting position
Conclusion Puma lives up to its name. Because in the Brutale you feel as fit as a gym shoe. With several reinforcements, the boot has all the necessary equipment that a real motorcycle boot needs. In contrast to the brand’s better-known sneakers, the Brutale’s feet stay nice and dry even in the rain

-Verdict: very good

Redbike Misano – Redbike Misano

REDBIKE Misano
Provider: Kochmann, Telephone 02241/394220, www.motorradstiefel.de Price: 149.95 euros Color: Black; Sizes: 37 to 47

PLUS Very agile, brake and gear levers can be reached quickly; Grippy, profiled sole with a secure hold on the notch
MINUS Loose fit, foot constantly slipping back and forth; offers too little support; permanent pressure in the ankle area; Shaft too loosely fitting; cumbersome lock guide; Sole hardly torsion-resistant; inside carelessly processed; fails in the wetness test
Conclusion On the one hand, the boot by the Cologne shoemaker Kochmann impresses with its non-slip soles and high mobility, on the other hand, the foot is given little support, and when wet there is a risk of violent water ingress despite the use of a branded membrane (Sympatex). The lower price is of little help here

-Verdict: Inadequate

XPD X-Land H2Out – XPD X-Land H2Out

XPD X-Land H2Out
Provider: Spidi, phone 0039/0444/436411, www.xpdboots.com Price: 159.90 euros Color: Black; Sizes: 37 to 48

PLUS Comfortable footbed without pressure points; not only on the scales, but also wonderfully light when carried; passes the wetness test without failures; comfortable when walking; highly visible reflector
MINUS Not enough lateral support, heel slips out easily; cut too wide around the ankle; Not optimal hold on the notch; easy to start with; Shaft offers too little support; feels very bulky when driving; Tip not optimally reinforced
Conclusion A good boot because of the great results from the wetness test. But on the motorcycle, the X-Land, which incidentally comes from the Italian clothing brand Spidi, can only convince to a limited extent. The foot is only given moderate support on the rest. There is a real need for improvement here

-Verdict: good

Tips for buying boots – where does it press??

Shifting, braking, repositioning. When riding a motorcycle, footwork is also important. Therefore, the footwear should be examined carefully when trying on them in the shop. Those who invest a little time can usually rely on their boots for a long time.
Basically try on several models and wear them for at least ten minutes. Walk quietly a few laps through the shop. This makes it possible to determine whether there are protectors, seams or even bulges that lead to uncomfortable pressure points.

Bring all the equipment you need to try on and check whether the boot fits perfectly in the composite. This applies to the pairing of socks as well as to motorcycle trousers, whether textile or leather. Can the leather pants be worn without cutting into the boot? In the case of textile trousers, make sure that there is sufficient overlap so that later no rainwater can run into the boot from above.
Try sitting on the motorcycle during the fitting and adopting the riding position. Test whether you can get under the gear lever with the toe of your boot and operate the brake safely. The boot provides a secure hold on the notch?
Motorcycle boots must fit tightly and must never allow themselves to be pulled off the foot, not even with the greatest effort.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the result of the boot test is impressive. And Bavaria’s successful Daytona brand, here with the Bandit XCR model, is once again at the forefront of a comparison. Even the newcomer Puma convinces with an expensive but very good boot. The Ixs Rapido is significantly cheaper with the same grade. The boots from Dainese, Alpinestars and XPD still need to be upgraded in terms of comfort. The overall good clef is mainly due to the excellent performance in the wet test. All but one model held tight. Kochmann’s premium brand Redbike has to be satisfied with the red lantern in three out of four cases due to massive leakage problems.

* 100 to 95 points = outstanding, 94 to 80 points = very good, 79 to 70 points = good, 69 to 60 points = satisfactory, 59 to 50 points = sufficient, 49 to 0 points = unsatisfactory

Take off on a test drive – intensified use

On the winding pass route in Gemenos in the south of France near Marseille, where shifting and braking work is particularly in demand, the boots should prove their practical suitability. That’s the plan. But then it happened. A curve that was approached too intensely, a front wheel slipping away, and the author Lohse went to the ground together with the long-term test Kawasaki ER-6f. Particularly precarious: the left boot got caught in the twin’s pannier rack, the driver and machine initially slid across the asphalt, inseparably connected. Fortunately for the ER, which sustained only a few wounds at the rear and was also slowed down by the driver so far that it neither hit a road boundary nor went over the cliff.
So the bottom line is tough conditions for the Dainese MIG Touring boots that the editor wore. A seam on the heel cap did dissolve in the event of a fall, but otherwise the MIG put up with the endurance test without major damage. At the toe of the boot, which slid with particular vehemence over the asphalt, only slight material wear could be recorded. The most important thing, however, was that the driver’s foot was not injured. There weren’t even any bruises. And that, although the entire stern weighed on the foot. With regard to the test fleet, however, ?? despite encouraging requests from colleagues? refrained from further extreme tests

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