Nobody should debate the importance of good footgear, whether it’s for dancing, hiking, playing tennis or riding a motorcycle. Years ago I met a rider on a chopper with a foot clutch who prided himself on riding barefoot; I can’t say I’d recommend that. If something happens, be it falling off, slamming your foot down in a sandy corner or merely getting hit by the stones and whatnot thrown up by daily travel, I’d be far happier with a pair of appropriate footgear.
Such as these BMW Allround boots, which are CE-approved and designed to both protect and keep your feet dry. The boots are made of a combination of leather and Cordura, using a Gore-Tex membrane that ensures waterproofness. That is one thing I could not really test, as my part of California has been pretty drought-stricken for months, so I will have to take it on the word of BMW Motorrad.
The shaft, that tall bit which protects the shin, is 12 inches from the inner sole to top, and the insoles are removable for airing out. Closing the boot entails pulling up a 6-inch zipper, and then at the top is a crossover piece that fastens with hook-and-loop. A loop in back at the top of each boot helps to pull them on, and the thick rubber soles provide a good grip on the asphalt or dirt. An added safety feature is the reflective material on the heel of each boot.
Protection appears to be excellent, though I hope not to find out personally. The ankles are reinforced, along with the toes. One minor criticism is that the hard shell used to protect the toes can initially numb the feeling of the shift lever moving. However, after a couple of hundred miles, my left foot became accustomed to the minimal feel. I will also note that BMW has shift pads on both left and right boots, either for aesthetic balance or owners of old English motorcycles—perhaps both.
BMW has been making motorcycle gear for a long time, and knows full well what sells. The sizing is pretty accurate, but it is always best to try on boots before you buy. These Allround boots have women’s sizing 4 to 11, and men’s, 6.5 to 13, and are priced competitively at $249.
For more information: See your dealer or visit bmwmotorcycles.com.
(This Gearlab review was published in the May 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)