As part of my job, I wear tons of motorcycle boots both on bikes and walking around at events or on daylong photo shoots. These Rev’It Regent H2O are the first boots in my 20 years of testing gear that have made the transition to becoming part of my everyday streetwear – boots that I choose to put on even when I’m not planning on riding.
The Regent H20 looks, at first glance, like a well worn pair of work boots. Only the ankle cups and the shifter pads on the toes of the upper, betray them for moto-gear. The upper itself is constructed of water repellant leather and quick-drying textile, while the interior stays watertight thanks to Rev’It’s Hydratex | Z-liner membrane. The water barrier is laminated onto a carrier with all its seams taped. This is then mounted internally between the Coolmax mesh lining and the outer shell. Impact protection is provided by injected ankle cups and thermoformed toe caps and heel cups. Both the footbed and the ankle cups are anatomically shaped for riding and walking comfort. Finally, the waffle-style sole is constructed of a grippy rubber that delivers solid footing in both wet and dry conditions.
Normally, I’m not fond of lace-up boots because, well, I’m lazy and prefer zippers or hook-and-loop closures. Still, I found the styling of the Regent H2O so arresting that I decided to order them, anyway. Opening the box was a surprise, revealing one of the few criticisms I have of the boots. Whatever substance is used to make the leather water resistant, over time it turns to a chalky white coating on the leather. So, my first view of the Regents was quite a shock. However, chalkiness rubs right off with a dry rag. Also, once it is rubbed off, enough of it remains around stitching and shoelace eyelets that it adds to the slightly aged look of the boots.
Although the footbed isn’t padded entirely, the bit of squish under the arch and heel adds to walking comfort. The textile portion of the upper is made of Rev’It’s PWR I shell oxford, which is a combination of polyamide and spandex and appears durable enough to prove the manufacturer’s claim of abrasion resistance. Between the shell and the lining, a layer of foam allows for the boot to be snugly tied while remaining soft and comfortable around the ankle. The tongue is gusseted as part of the waterproof lining, and unlike some boots, the fabric of the gussets folds neatly on either side of the tongue and does not bunch up causing hot spots on the rider’s foot. This means that you can step into a puddle up to the top of the ankle cups before the water will flow into the boot over the gussets.
Like most leather boots, the Regent H2O needed to break in for a few days. Although they remained comfortable during the process, by the end of a week the leather sections were noticeably more supple. The ankle cup on the outside of the left ankle initially poked me just above the joint, but a little bit of bending the cup outward at the point of contact before putting on that boot remedied the issue after a few days. The boot sizing runs on the narrow side. I normally wear a Euro 44, but with the Regent H2Os, I needed a 45. Those who like to wrap laces all the way around the top of a boot before tying them will need to buy longer laces, but there is enough length to the laces to allow double-knotting.
When riding, the Regent H2O boots give me just what I want in a cruiser boot. The rugged styling and beefy construction provide the look that cruiser riders desire, and the built-in protection makes them dedicated motorcycle gear, offering premium protection compared to work boots. Although El Niño failed to deliver the massive rains promised for this winter, the few jaunts I wore the Regent H2Os in the rain allowed me to arrive at home with dry feet – even after deliberately walking through puddles. However, I did not have the chance to test them in an all-day wet ride.
The Regent H2O boots are available in Euro sizes 39–46 for $349.99 from many motorcycle retailers. The Rev’It website has a dealer locator for your convenience. In my few months wearing the Rev’It Regent H2O boots, I’ve found them to be a good combination of everyday function, good looks, and protection. Although I expect they may be hot in the summer, that is a compromise I am willing to make in order to have waterproof cruiser boots available for year-round use.