Warm-Weather Boot Buyers Guide
Cool togs for hot dogs
Shoes are the most common element on earth after carbon, so we’ve barely scratched the surface here of what’s available in warm-weather, vented moto street footwear. But we did attempt to hit all the major purveyors, almost all of which pack a plethora of different styles on their web pages, from high-top sneaker wannabes to serious adventure boots. Though the boots pictured are men’s, nearly all of them are available in women’s sizes too. It’s hard to be cool on your bike with sweaty dogs. Let’s get out there and shop for some coolness, people.
Alpinestars S-MX 3 Air
The new Air version of A’star’s popular S-MX 3 is a great, mid-height, CE-rated pair o’ boots with good protection in the toes, heels and ankles. Perforated microfiber lets your dogs breathe, aided by a wicking microfiber interior. A ratcheting closure keeps things snug.
These here AXOs have a little ventilation on the toes, and are designed for maximum comfort on and off the bike. They use a patented BOA closure system with steel laces, have “Ergonomic ankle protection” and a shift guard. Looks like you could play basketball in them too.
Dainese Motorshoe Air
Firstgear Mesh Lo Boots
A bargain entry at around $110 at online retailers, the Mesh Lo uses mesh panel uppers to flow air. Inside you’ll find ankle protection, and reinforced toes and heels. Firstgear says they have a grippy sole, shift pads and the lace-up fit system with hook-and-loop ankle strap keeps them securely in place for riding and walking.
Gaerne G-Air Gore-Tex
Another Italian entry, these have microfiber and Cordura inserts to let the air in, with a Gore-Tex liner to let moisture out. Reinforced ankles and shins, CE-certified. A high-viz reflective stripe up the back of the boot is never a bad thing either. Gaerne doesn’t make inexpensive products, but they do make ones that tend to be worth the money.
Harley-Davidson Crossroad II
Complete with breathable leather/mesh uppers and steel toes, these chunky clodhoppers sport an EVA midsole with airbag cushion for excellent shock absorption and walkability. A padded collar and ankle protection add comfort and protection, and big lug soles will help keep you upright in the Buffalo Chip Campground. We found these summertime shoes on Zappos and other sites, but there are tons more unvented boots over at Harley’s official site.
ICON Tarmac 2
Part athletic shoe, part motorcycle boot, the breathable mesh in these look like they’d do a great job letting your feet experience flow-through ventilation. A reinforced upper, steel shank, molded ankle plate, reinforced toe and heel box add safety. Soles designed with sportbike rearsets in mind add comfort and performance. A pre-tensioned lace system and Velcro strap keep them in place.
Rev ’It Turini
Yet more Italian haute cuisine for the feet, the Turini’s are obviously more style than substance, but there is heel and toe reinforcement, a small reflective panel on back of each one and a shifter pad on the left. Nicely stitched up of leather and waxed suede, these will be a bit cooler than normal boots, but not as cool as a true perforated or mesh-panelled ones.
SIDI Fusion Air
Italian bootier SIDI makes nice stuff, and pricey, but at a list price of $220, the Fusion Air’s aren’t too outrageous. Fully perforated outers of Sidi’s Technomicro material, over a Cambrelle liner, with all sorts of Teflon and nylon layers and protective inserts make for a really safe, sturdy boot, and the full-length elastic-mounted zippers help provide a snug fit.
TCX Touring Classic Airtech Gore-Tex
The summertime version of TCX’s very nice touring boot has mesh uppers and a breathable Gore-Tex liner for excellent cooling. The Comfort Fit System, says TCX, means these are largely made by hand on a human foot mould, for a great fit, and they’re CE-certified too, complete with ankle, heel and toe armor.
TCX X-Street Air Boots
Obviously less protective but way more casual/stylish and just as cool, these moto sneaks sport perforated leather uppers, along with reinforced toes, heel counters, and malleolus areas.
Tourmaster Solution WP Air
Tourmaster’s HiPora waterproof membrane is supposed to keep water out while letting your footly emissions escape via the Solution’s mesh panels. These are made with leather and aptly named “PU” uppers, with molded shin and ankle protection, a thermoplastic heel cup and toe guard. Tourmaster traditionally provides excellent bang for one’s buck.
Any boot is going to feel cooler with some nice new socks instead of those holy dollar-store horrors you’ve been wearing for years. Maybe try a pair of riding socks infused with technical materials to help feet feel fresh, offered by most every riding-boot manufacturer. The Copper Sole Athletic sock by Aerostich features a “Moisture-Guard” wicking system and 10% copper CUPRON yarn, claimed to make them super comfy, while Copper Sole technology eliminates 99.9% of bacteria, fungi and odor.
More by John Burns