Recently I set off on a camping trip near the San Gabriel Mountains for the weekend. I had been assigned to attend a product launch on the Friday prior so my plan was to, after the event, point my front tire hastily toward the Angeles National Forest for some close-to-home camping over the weekend.
My friends, fiancé, and dog would arrive a bit later in the evening which meant they could bring the bulk of necessities, so I carried only my trusty Kriega R25 packed with a few essentials and work material. In terms of gear, I wanted to keep it somewhat casual for the product introduction in order to be comfortable whilst sitting through hours of presentations. I had donned my Alpinestars Crank Jeans (review to come), the Rev’it! Stewart Air Jacket (which you can read all about here), a Shoei RF-1200, Dainese 4-Stroke Gloves, and Rev’it!’s Rodeo Boots.
After the presentations had concluded I speedily rode out through downtown Los Angeles traffic and made my way into the mountains. Once I had secured a campsite I began to change into different jeans when I came to the realization that I hadn’t packed any other shoes in my pack or in my fiancée’s vehicle. With a fair amount of hiking planned, I had meant to bring my hiking boots. Well, looking at the glass half full, after having logged plenty of miles in the Rev’it! Rodeo boots on motorcycles, it would now be time to log some miles hiking on the trail.
The Rev’it! Rodeo boots are made to be as versatile as the wearer wants them to be. The fashionable yet protective boot scene has made a significant splash on the motorcycle gear market in the past five years. While some manufacturers have tried and failed, others have produced footwear that looks equally as good as a pair of Red Wings or Doc Martens. Rev’it! has an ever expanding line of boots that will fit many different looks for many different riders. While style is completely subjective of course, the common denominator is protection. All of Rev’it!’s boots are fully compliant with CE standards.
The consensus of fit regarding the Rodeo boot is such that you may want to size down either a full size, or if you’re in between sizes you will most likely want to choose the smaller of the two. I am generally a 43 or 44 in euro sizing (10.5 to 11 U.S.). I opted for the 43 which still ended up being a bit big in the toe box.
The insole that is included with the boot is extremely thin foam and doesn’t provide much in the way of comfort. Being that I had extra room in the boot already, I opted to drop a pair of Dr. Scholl’s, which filled out the boot and made them much more comfortable. Maybe not a necessary upgrade, but it has worked well for me.
In terms of protection, what does this boot offer that a pair of Doc’s doesn’t? The toe and heel cup are reinforced to provide protection front and back, while the ankles are also protected with similar thermoformed plastic discs to protect laterally and medially. While the sole is somewhat stiff, it doesn’t offer the same stiffness seen from other manufacturers using steel shanks to reinforce the bottom of the boot. This lends to the boot being more comfortable for daily use.
Stylistically the Rodeo boot is very well designed. You could get away with wearing this boot at the office, for a night out, or a week-long ride, and that exactly what it was built for. The Rodeo comes in black or brown, both of which come with a light powdery substance all over the boot which is said to give it a vintage look. As Evans noted in his review of the Regent H20, initially opening the box and seeing this finish is somewhat alarming, so much so that Rev’it! decided to include a cloth and disclaimer in the box to inform buyers why they are powdery and that it is easily brushed off with the included cloth.
The boots include shifter panels on both sides to keep the styling symmetrical (or if you happen to own a pre-1974 British bike), and the Apache Batido cowhide used is finished to be water-repellent but not waterproof. The slip-resistant sole is somewhat soft, which provides good traction whether you are at a stoplight with grease and oil all over the road or, say, hiking in the mountains.
One thing that I have to mention is the leather wrapping around the heel of the sole. It adds a nice touch of style, however, after wearing these boots for some time, albeit having hiked in them, the leather has started to come apart from the rubber behind. I would rather have boots with real leather stacked or just a solid rubber heel than one that is going to begin to come apart so soon.
After putting a fair amount of time into the Rev’it! Rodeo boots I have been happy with the break-in process. The leather has only gotten softer and more supple, and some areas of the gusset on the tongue which originally bothered my shin have since smoothed down and softened up.
I am happy with the mix of style and protection the Rodeo offers and for $289.99, they are less (and more protective) than a pair of Red Wings. Something to keep in mind: boots in this genre are generally not as protective as race boots. Surprise! It is a compromise in which buyers need to be realistic about what they want out of a boot. If you want the best crash protection, get race boots. If you want a boot that will offer some protection that you can wear anywhere, anytime, a boot like the Rodeo looks good doing it.