While it may still be sweltering outside of the MO offices scattered around Southern California, some of you already need to get your sweaters out of mothballs. To provide the very best information possible to our loyal readers, we’ve decided to bring you our series of cold-weather buyer’s guides before winter starts, rather than half-way through it, like we did this past January. The intention of this updated guide is the same: We want you to ride in comfort and protection as long as possible.
Whether you’re the hardy type that ventures outside in shirtsleeves in sub-zero weather or more like the many spoiled residents of the Southwest, who begin to whimper when the thermometer heads south of 60°, riding in cold, wet conditions is best undertaken with the proper gear. Since water is the primary means by which winter’s icy fingers assault your toes, all of these boots use Gore-Tex or one of the many cheaper-to-license-Gore-Tex-like breathable membranes to keep your feet free of moisture from both internal and external sources. As with the previous Waterproof Boots Buyer’s Guide, ankle-high boots were not included since their lower height goes against the design goals of insulated riding boots.
So, grab your favorite pumpkin-spiced winter beverage, cozy up with your tablet by a crackling fire, and get ready to spend some quality time with your bike this winter – with warm, dry feet, of course.
Among Alpinestars many boots, the Scout Waterproof Boots stand out as an adventure touring/urban assault boot for all seasons. Constructed of full-grain leather bonded with Alpinestars waterproof membrane, the boots have the necessary wetness prevention creds. For impact protection, the internally molded shin, toe and heel armor deliver the goods. The three-buckle closure across the outer calf offers ease of entry and aggressive styling, while the sturdy rubber sole helps riders keep their feet planted.
Alpinestars offers 15 waterproof boot choices on its website. Look for an upcoming review of the Alpinestars Super Touring boot soon.
Dainese says that the Latemar Gore-Tex touring boots are optimized to allow maximum feeling with the bike. Touring riders will appreciate the subtle styling, easy-access opening facilitated by the mid-front zipper, and the positive footing provided by the rubber sole. The upper is constructed of full grain cowhide leather with split cowhide leather inserts for abrasion resistance and grip. The waterproofness is provided by a Gore-Tex liner with special water-repellent External Gaiter Construction.
To learn more about the 11 waterproof boots Dainese offers, visit its website.
The Daytona Lady Star GTX boots are hand-made German products. The Lady Stars not only provide the protection and performance associated with Daytona boots, but also deliver guaranteed dryness backed by a Gore-Tex membrane. The Lady Stars feature an additional 2.4 in. of heel height to assist in a firmer stance for shorter riders at a stop. The boots also sport: velcro fasteners to accomodate different calf sizes, robust ankle protection, padded inside with open-cell foam, shinbone protection padded with latex foam inside, a plastic reinforced inner sole with a hot-dip galvanised steel inlay, and 3M-Scotchlite heel reflectors.
Daytona carries a whopping 28 boots listed with a Gore-Tex designation on its website. However, not all models are easily available stateside, and prices vary according to availability. None of Daytona’s boots are cheap, so prepare to pay for the inconvenience. U.S. consumers can check out and purchase Daytona boots at Helimot.com.
All-season adventure-touring riders will want to take a long, hard look at the Gaerne G-Midland Gore-Tex boots. The full-grain waterproof leather upper features a layer of suede in the inside to protect the rider’s leg from heat. The closure system uses both velcro and a pair of aluminum, adjustable (and interchangeable) buckles to fine-tune the boot’s closure to fit the size of the rider’s legs. The liner is, as the boot name implies, Gore-Tex. The rubber sole is an aggressive lug pattern, and the insole is removable.
Find the rest of Gaerne’s 15 waterproof options at the company website.
Steampunk style meets moto-functionality in the Icon 1000 Prep boot. Top grain leather upper is mated with a full waterproof lining, while a lugged outsole takes care of looks and function. Ease of entry comes from the full-length rear zip and calf and heel strapping. Protection is provided by the reinforced toe box, heel, and an axialmetric steel shank. And this boot is available in brown, not just black!
This is the only waterproof boot in the Icon 1000 line. Learn more at the Icon 1000 website.
If you’re a diehard rider who stays on two wheels when there are a couple feet of snow on the ground, the Klim Arctic GTX may be the boot for you. Constructed with 1200-gram Thinsulate Insulation, the Arctic Boot is the warmest boot in this list and carries a dryness guarantee. The Gore-Tex membrane is on the outside of the insulation to keep it from absorbing heat-robbing water while 600-gram Thinsulate insulation in the midsole prevents thermal transfer into the ground. The shifter pad tells people you really are wearing motorcycle boots.
Klim details its four hardcore waterproof boots on its website.
New for 2015, the Royale H2O combines classic urban styling with motorcycle function. The quick-drying textile and the water-repellent leather outer shell looks cool and dries fast, while the Hydratex Z-liner membrane encased between the lining and the shell keeps water on the outside where it belongs. The injected ankle cup combines with the thermoformed heel cup and toe box to protect the vulnerable parts of your feet. The anatomically shaped foot bed might make you forget you are wearing motorcycle shoes. These boots can be worn for real world fashion.
Rev’It has three waterproof boots for men and women listed on its website.
Designed for almost any type of riding, the adventure-styled Sidi All Road Gore has the goods to keep you dry and protected. Constructed of Technomicro and Cordura, the All Road Gore offers protection in a comparatively light package. Add in a Gore-Tex full-length inner gaiter and a grippy lug sole, and this boot is ready for just about every situation. Ankle armor inserts plus reinforced heel and toe forms aid in the protection offered.
Sidi lists eight boots as waterproof, ranging in price from $224–400, on its website.
TCX built its Lady range of motorcycle boots to address the characteristics of female feet for a better fit than motorcycle boots that are just sized smaller. Semi-rigid thermoplastic inserts are positioned to protect the shin, ankle bone, toe and heel. The sole is a 4-level construction featuring a removable footbed, an EVA insert that absorbs vibration and a structural thermoplastic footbed. The upper is constructed of full grain leather with a waterproof lining.
With a selection of 16 waterproof boots and models for both men and women, the TCX website has more information.
Touring takes place on rainy days as well as sunny, and the Tourmaster Solution 2.0 WP takes that into account with its HiPora waterproof liner. The upper is constructed of water-repellant leather with underlying protection from a molded nylon shin and ankle guards, thermoplastic heel cups and toe caps. A grippy single-density compound sole keeps the footing firm at a stop. 3M ScotchLite reflective material on the heel aid in conspicuity. This boot is also available for riders of the female persuasion.
Tourmaster offers seven waterproof boot models on its website.
With an outer shell constructed of waterproof treated leather and textile, the XPD X-Raider H2Out is a touring boot for the long haul. The waterproof, windproof, and breathable H2Out membrane keeps the elements where they belong – on the outside. Foot comfort is provided by an Air Compressor plantar pad, while the shin is protected by polyurethane. A velcro-adjustable closure and a vulcanized rubber sole rounds out the features.
XPD offers four waterproof boots on its website.