MO Tested: Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Sport-touring boots for both hot and wet weather

I am quite fond of my Dainese Torque 3 Out Air Boots, and they have been my three-season boots here in warm, dry SoCal for years. Unfortunately, the exceptional venting means they are not waterproof. When I started planning my Ducati Multistrada 4S tour in Virginia and North Carolina, I learned that, on average, there is a 30% chance of rain during the week I would be there. That’s before the current weather patterns were considered. So, I figured I better be prepared for all eventualities. What I settled on were the Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots. They offered the two features I was most concerned about (other than excellent protection) on this trip: venting for hot weather and waterproofing for April showers.

Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots

The Dainese Axial Gore-Tex boot is a waterproof, vented sport-touring boot that offers all-day comfort without sacrificing MotoGP-level protection.

Editor Score: 89.25%

+ Highs

  • Completely waterproof
  • High level of protection
  • Offers ease of movement on bike

– Sighs

  • Pricey
  • Limited color options
  • Boot sizing is on the narrow side

Top-notch features

With Gore-Tex in the name, the Axials are guaranteed to be waterproof – and somewhat more breathable than other waterproof boots. This was very important to me during a tour in the Southeast because of the possibility of both rain and humidity. Additionally, perforations would add a degree of cooling out on the road.

Many of the features that make the Axial Gore-Tex such a desirable sport-touring boot: venting, carbon-fiber ankle protection, solid heel cup, and replaceable toe sliders.

With the boots’ upper meeting my requirements, I looked towards the protective qualities. Aside from the abrasion-resistant D-Stone outer shell, the primary protection comes from the Axial Distortion Control System, which allows freedom of movement for operating the controls on the bike but protects the delicate ankle joint from twisting injuries. Constructed of lightweight carbon and aramid fiber, the Axial Distortion Control System also guards against penetration injuries. Additionally, a nylon heel cup combines with a nylon-reinforced toe to protect the rest of your foot in a tumble.

The zippered rear entry and speed-lacing system make donning and doffing these boots easy without compromising the snug fit around the ankles that both aids in protection and makes them so easy to move around in. The speed lacing system helps hold the ankle and heel in position for less movement within the boot without being overly snug for maximum comfort on and off the bike. Two elastic straps allow the rider to tune how tightly the inner portion of the rear closure hugs the Achilles’ tendon.

This shot from the front of the boot shows the speed lace that cinches down across the ankle for a snug, non-restrictive fit. The elastic straps on the top hold the tongue of the boot (which is at the rear) up against the back of the rider’s leg to make it easier to zip the rear entry’s closure. A little bit of the Axial Distortion Control System’s carbon-aramid bracing is visible below the speed lace.

Other features include the non-slip sole and replaceable toe sliders. Finally, the Axial Gore-Tex Boots are designed to be worn inside the pants for a less bulky fit.

All weather use

When I first got the Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots, they were a bit snug. The sizing runs a little narrow. I was worried that they wouldn’t be comfortable in all day rides, but after only a day or two of use, they conformed to my feet, even becoming quite comfortable while standing for a couple of hours at an event. On the bike, the Axial Distortion Control System offers tremendous freedom of movement, allowing the flexibility to operate the controls on a variety of styles of motorcycles that required quite different foot movements. So, you’re not restricted to just sporty bikes with these boots.

The Gore-Tex label means the boot will be completely waterproof, while the tightly sealing closure kept any water from sneaking in from the top of spray were to somehow get under tour pant leg. The boot’s construction made it easy to tighten up the leg opening of my Aerostich, keeping my feet dry in some torrential rain testing.

The features I was most concerned about was the waterproofing and the venting. Naturally, because of the Gore-Tex membrane lining the boots, the venting isn’t as effective as it is on my Torque 3 Out Air boots. However, I can feel the venting at speed, particularly if I point my toes down and allow the airflow to directly hit the top of my foot. I got to test the waterproofing in one of Los Angeles’ rare heavy rainstorms in March, and the Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots passed with flying colors. They handled a couple of hours in rain so heavy that, at one point, I rode through a football-field length of six inches of water flowing down a road. When I returned home from my ride, my feet were dry. I don’t recommend wearing these boots in cold rainy weather, though. During the mountain portion of my ride, the temperature dropped to 47°, and my feet got pretty chilly. Still, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these boots for sport touring in any weather you might encounter in warm temperatures.

In summary

My time with the Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots has proven them to be great travel gear. They are comfortable and broke in quickly. The venting helps with foot comfort on hot days, just don’t expect them to flow as much air as non-Gore-Tex boots. Their waterproofing is exceptional, and I wouldn’t hesitate to ride in an all-day rainstorm. The crash protection provided by the Axial Distortion Control System is the same technology used by MotoGP riders, so without crashing in these boots, I feel pretty comfortable saying that they will provide great protection.

The construction of of the Axial Gore-Tex with the tongue on the rear of the boot allows for an easy entry without compromising the form-fitting nature of the boot. The Gore-Tex liner that encases the rider’s foot folds up nicely on either side of the ankle once the elastic straps are in place.

At $660, the Axial Gore-Tex Boots are clearly in the premium gear range, but their construction, protection, and weather features seem commensurate with the price. Sizing ranges from Euro sizes 36-50k and the color options are Black or Black/Lava Red.

Shop for the Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots here

Dainese Axial Gore-Tex Boots FAQ

Is Dainese Italian?
Yes, Dainese was founded in the Italian town of Molvena and is today headquartered in Colceresa, Italy.

Where is Dainese gear made?
While all Dainese gear is designed in Italy, its products are made in many different countries. For example, the Axial Gore-Tex Air boots are manufactured in Romania.

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Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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Join the conversation
  • Campi the Bat Campi the Bat on May 04, 2022

    At $660,


  • Some Random Guy Some Random Guy on May 04, 2022

    Their target customer demography is clearly not my broke-ass self. Otherwise, nice boots.
    On another related topic, I noticed Alpinestar boots seems to run wider (better fit for me). And SiDi boots are narrower. How are Dianese boots? Anyone?

    • See 1 previous
    • Evans Brasfield Evans Brasfield on May 06, 2022

      I have a pretty narrow foot, and the Axials ran a little on the narrow side. I think that Dainese runs a little slim but not excessively so.