Boots are a vital part of your kit so we start by keeping your feet safe.
So what is the right boot for this type of trip?
As you can see from the photo I have a few pairs of boots, and I think I could have made any pair work, but in the end but I wanted Dry feet, lots of protection and something I could still walk around in between riding Camping and sightseeing.
A quick review of the boots
Aplinestars S-MX boots (14 years old) second from the left (Sportbike/Racing boot) they have lasted through many, many, miles of riding, are not water proof and vent air/water in to the boot. I got stuck in the rain in these boots, they collected so much water I ended up having to pouring the water out of the boot, I think it is time to replace these boots.
River Road Crossroads Buckle Boot, (4 years old), I love these boots, they are very comfortable and provide great ankle support as well as make a good walking/hiking boot when off the bike, these are my cruiser boot and made trips up and down the coast of CA and WA, they also provide some water resistance and I have ridden in LOTS of rain in these boots with slightly wet, but still warm feet, for this trip they don’t provide the upper shin protection I would like while on dirt and gravel roads.
Alpinestare Tech 8 boot, (15 years old) these are my race boots (Enduro off road Racing) they are by far the best off-road boot I have ever owned, providing excellent support and protection, lots of straps for a solid fit, the boot liners are removable and washable, these boots seem indestructible, they are water proof and provide the protection I am looking for on this ride. Unfortunately they are hard to shift with while sitting on a street bike, you sit much higher on an off road bike and more likely to be standing when you shift. This was going to be the boot of choice for the trip but I took a good long ride with them on the Vstrom and decided the stiffness I love for dirt biking and difficulty in shifting was going to affect my comfort during the trip, (lord I’m sounding like the princes and the pea). For a 15 year old boot I would still not trade them for another off road boot, they are great.
The Aplinestars Tucan GTX, (new) it’s hard to review a boot I have yet to break in (I will work in the boots over the next few weeks) the liners are made with gortex for breathability and water proofing, they are solid but not too stiff, two buckles rather than four will provide better flex for shifting and walking when off the bike, they are quite comfortable and have a good walking hiking sole.
It was hard to go out and buy new boots when I have a few sitting around, but I’m looking at this as a replacement for the Alpinestare S-MX boot and will donate the older boots to make room for the new ones.
Remaining Riding gear and helmets next: