Like most riders I have my favorite gear–well-worn, comfortable duds which have been around quite a while. And sometimes that gear just flat wears out, and it can’t be replaced because it is not made anymore. Like last fall my aged boots began to suffer a parting between soles and uppers, and the stitching on my gloves was fraying disastrously.
I went up to the motorcycle show south of San Francisco and while cruising the booths came across the Roadgear display…with lots of boots and gloves on the table. Mansoor, Mr. Roadgear, listened to my tale of woe, asked me my shoe size, pulled a box out, and said, “Try these.” I do hate new boots, because the breaking- in period can take a while, but Mansoor told me to put them on, walk around for a while and see what I thought.
Which I did, for over an hour, and after a short while forgot that I had new boots on. These are a conventional design with rubber soles welded to leather uppers, an 11-inch shank (for the non-cobblers, the shank is the tall part of the boot) and a 7.5-inch coil zipper going down the inside of the calf. What is new, at least to me, is the angled–or “pre-curved” as the official blurb said –heel, which took me all of five minutes to get used to. Naturally there is high-tech involved, like the Hydrapore “100% Waterproof protection” and the Outlast material for “All-day comfort.” I am certainly not equipped to comment knowledgeably on such new technology, but I did look up the details on the Outlast and according to the website these “microencapsulated Thermocules” were originally developed for NASA, where those astronauts are subjected to some pretty extreme temperatures. What I know is that I’ve got several thousand miles on the boots and they have proved to be waterproof and comfortable to walk around in; my feet don’t sweat even on a 95-degree day. Though, like any sensible rider, I keep a pair of sneaks in a saddlebag in case I’m going to hoof around the Smithsonian for six hours.
That was one pair of extremities covered, now the other, the gloves, the Multi-Season Adaptive-Tec version. They are made mainly of drum-dyed leather and have not bled when subjected to rain, which is good. The textile part is DuPont Cordura with something called Dynatec protective fabric on the palm; pads on the back serve to prevent injury from a stone thrown up by the bike in front of you. These also utilize the Outlast “Certified Space Technology” fabric. The comfortable temperature range for the gloves is from the low 80s to the high 50s; below that, if I were on a bike without heated grips, I wore silk liners.
Good boots, good gloves. The XKJs go for $219.90, while the gloves run $69.90.
For more information visit www.roadgear.com or call (800) 854-4327