I recently had the priveledge of stomping about in a pair of Dr. Martens Industrial 2296 boots. Unlike the traditional image of the black biker boot laden with buckles and straps, or the pure racing styles that go great with a pair of neon-colored one-piece leathers and absolutely nothing else, the 2296 offers a far more casual appearance that can easily blend in with a wide variety of fashion decisions (hopefully good ones). This is no small benefit as it's not easy to find a boot that is motorcycle ready and still goes with a polo shirt or even a solid-colored button-down shirt. (Not to worry lads, I didn't think this stuff up on my own, my girlfriend helped me!)
At around 10 inches, the height of the boot cuff gave up a few inches to my usual pair and as a result, I did notice a hint more draft than usual up my jeans in a full-crouch position, which can be either a good thing or bad thing depending upon the climate that day. The milk-chocolate-colored leather is soft, pliable, and doesn't need a drop of breaking in. I found that the suppleness of the ankle made it a breeze to shift gears even when scrunched up on a racing bike. I've owned fuzzy bunny slippers that were less comfortable after three years than the Docs felt straight out of the box. Oh quit giggling, that was a long time ago. I got rid of them when I turned 30, alright!
Anyhow, the 2296 wasn't just built to feel great and look purty. These boots are ready for battle. The built-in heavily cushioned pads on both sides of the ankle give one a sense of confidence when banging around in the garage, and according to the Doc, the deep cleated slip-resistant sole repels oil, gasoline, fat, acid, and alkili. Step in anything else and you're on your own.