Daytona LadyStar GTX Boots

Oh yes, it's rough being a short motorcyclist sometimes. Potholes, gravel, sloped roads these little nuisances for everyone else can cause our bikes to topple left and right. Our poor stubby legs really fight to keep 400 pounds of vehicle upright! Fortunately, the folks at Frey-Daytona have heard our pleas and have come to our rescue with the LadyStar GTX street and touring boots. Men, don't let the name scare you off -- you can wear these boots with impunity, as the larger sizes carry the more masculine name of M-Star.

You won't be able to magically flatfoot that Aprilia Falco you've had your eye on, but this delta can certainly make the difference between a financially painful tip-over and a good save. Your basic black boot: nondescript and unobtrusive, these boots require bell-bottoms, "boot cut" jeans or the like to fit over the wide upper opening -- which tends to leak water down into the boot.

First, the boring details. The Frey-Daytona LadyStar (or M-Star, if you prefer) GTX boots come in sizes 35-43, though rumors of a size 34 being in the works bounce around from time to time. They're available in basic black, only you won't see any brightly colored plastics or toe sliders here. Zippers and velcro on either side of each boot guarantee a snug, comfortable fit, and Gore-Tex(tm) waterproofing (the GTX in the product name) makes sure your footsies stay nice and dry once you're wearing the boots. In order to catch the attention of daydreaming drivers, a bright reflective patch on each heel make the boots visible from behind at night; in case that does't work, the heel and ankles are nicely armored and provide protection from both impact and abrasion.

That's all well and good, but what makes the LadyStar boots different from the rest of Daytona's touring and street riding line? Why are short motorcyclists flocking in droves to their closest Daytona distributor? The answer lies in the LadyStar's sole. A 2.5 cm platform is built directly into the inside of the boot. Add that to the boot's 1.0 cm rubber outer sole, and you're looking at an instant 3.5 cm increase in inseam! You won't be able to magically flatfoot that Aprilia Falco you've had your eye on, but this delta can certainly make the difference between a financially painful tip-over and a good save.

The very first time I wore the boots, I found the inner platform slightly uncomfortable against the arch of my foot. A Superfeet brand shoe insert solved this problem and also provided an extra half-centimeter of rise inside my boot. Once this slight setback was taken care of, the LadyStars were as comfortable as my two-year-old combat boots. There was no painful breaking in period and no annoying heel blisters. And as an extra bonus, the LadyStars continue to be comfortable even off of the bike, and I've happily walked around -- taller! in them and frolicking at the paws of my two cats, for hours.

I've worn my LadyStars exclusively on my bike for about four months now (approximately 3500 miles), and they've held up pretty well. Scuff marks tend to appear on the very tips of the toes, but they're easily shined away with the same Kiwi shoe polish that I use on other black leather shoes. The velcro on the boots is still clean and un-matted, the zippers have held up perfectly, and the liners have withstood mud, rain and heat.

Now to the most pressing question for the vertically challenged: do they work? Yes! My previous riding footwear were a nice pair of Carolina brand combat boots, leaving me somewhere between my tiptoes and the balls of my feet while straddling my Suzuki SV650S. While wearing my LadyStars atop the SV650S, the balls of my feet are firmly planted on the ground. I can tiptoe my boyfriend's SuperHawk. I can even touch both feet down on a BMW F650GS!

Reaching the ground is easier in LadyStars...
...than in Army-issue combat boots.

So, why buy these boots instead of a pair of Spice Girl platform sneakers? I've worn platform shoes on motorcycles before, but haven't liked the unstable feeling of being on stilts. Since the LadyStar's rise is physically inside of the boot, they feel completely solid. Plus, they look just like normal boots -- you'd never guess that your foot doesn't go all the way down to the outer rubber sole.

Now, nothing in life is perfect, and by far the easiest thing to complain about here is the price: At $289.95 MSRP, these boots certainly aren't cheap, and if you end up with nice inserts, you can go ahead and add another $20 to the price. The LadyStar boots are, however, less expensive than a custom seat and lowering kit for your favorite bike, and they work just as well for getting more of your foot on the ground -- not to mention that you can transport them across different motorcycles! If you're vertically challenged and tired of spending money on broken levers from those annoying tip-overs, use some duct tape and start saving your pennies -- the Frey-Daytona LadyStar/M-Star GTX boots just may be the answer to your prayers.

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