Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, was infamous for having 3,000 pairs of shoes. I don’t have that many, but I’ll admit it: I have a problem. And not just shoes, but boots. Like a lot of guys, I can’t seem to throw anything out. Even if a pair of boots has been buried in the back of my closet for months (years?), I hang onto them if there’s even a hair’s-width of tread left on the soles. Even my fiancée busts my chops for having too many shoes, but at least I actually wear them.
Since I commute nearly every day via motorcycle and often spend several days a week racking up miles on test bikes, my daily kicks are motorcycle boots. I like to put on one pair of boots in the morning and wear them all day, which means they have to be comfortable off the bike as well as on. Though they were initially rather stiff and took a few days to break in, the Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 Boots I’ve been wearing for weeks have passed the all-around comfort test with flying colors.
Although it has the three-quarter cut, laces and lugged sole of a hiking boot, the Big Bang 2.0 has other features that make it ideal for motorcycle use. The outer is made of 2mm, full-grain leather with a matte finish and triple stitching in all high-stress areas, so the boots not only look cool but they offer good protection. Stitched inside the leather are plastic cups that cover the malleolus (Latin for “small hammer”), those bony prominences on each side of the ankle. A ratchet adjustment strap with an aluminum quick-lock buckle adds to the moto look, and it’s a great way to keep the laces from getting tangled up with the shift lever or brake pedal. A textured plastic pad on the left boot prevents scuffing by the shifter, and one on the right boot is there for symmetry (or those who ride old-school British bikes).
The Big Bang 2.0 is a well-made boot, with steel lace eyelets, a padded ankle cuff, rear pull-on loop, non-slip sole and laser-etched Joe Rocket logos on the strap and heel. The toe box is, well, rather boxy, which presented a challenge on a couple of cruisers I recently tested since they didn’t offer much room between the shift lever and floorboard. Since chunky boots are popular among cruiser riders, I see the small foot space as a limitation of the motorcycles rather than a problem of the boots. On the other hand, due to the thick, treaded sole, these boots are not ideal for sportbikes and sport tourers where foot peg feel is more important.
With a retail price of just $99.99, Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 boots offer good value and utilitarian style. They’re available in black only (though the matte finish looks dark gray) in men’s sizes 7-14.
For more information, see your dealer or visit joerocket.com