To get my seal of approval, touring boots need to be comfortable, durable, waterproof, easy to get on and off (yet stay securely on my feet while riding), and capable of protecting my feet and ankles, with their 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments on each side, in the event of the unexpected. For about 18 months, I regularly wore a pair of Dainese Long Range C2 D-WP Boots, which satisfied all of these criteria, though—thankfully—I never put their crash protection to the test (read my review on ridermag.wpengine.com).
Those Long Range boots are still going strong, but they’ve been set aside in favor of Dainese’s Fulcrum C2 Gore-Tex Boots, which are similar in design but $50 more expensive, primarily because they use Gore’s well-regarded (and costly to license) breathable, waterproof membrane instead of Dainese’s own D-WP membrane. The Fulcrums have a full-grain cowhide upper, a rubber sole, nylon protective inserts to protect the inner and outer ankles, and a thermoformed insert to protect the shins. Elastic bellows allow the foot to flex naturally. On the inner side of each boot is a heavy-duty zipper, which is covered by a large leather flap backed with hook-and-loop, making ingress and egress a cinch. The interior has a soft lining with a gusset to keep water out and a removable insole.
These are truly fantastic boots. Comfortable from day one with no break-in required, whether on the bike for long hours or walking the mean streets of sleepy Camarillo. The toe box is slender so it’s easy to get under the shifter, but there’s still plenty of room inside to wiggle my toes. There’s good peg feel through the rubber soles, and the rubber shifter pad resists abrasion. With no ventilation, they can get swampy on really hot days, but, on the other hand, they block wind, keep the cold out and are fully waterproof—they aced the riding-in-a-heavy-downpour test. My only complaint is that the reflective trim on the back is small and located near the top of the boot, which is covered up when I wear my pant hems on the outside rather than tucked in. Available in black only in European sizes 38-50 for $299.99.
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