I almost fell off my Harley laughing when one of my fellow biker friends pulled up next to me at a stoplight during a recent ride and asked, “do you have any ‘regular’ boots?” He was darn serious, as he looked at me up and down… while viewing an old pair of engineer boots (into which I had tucked my jeans).
“Sure! Let me tell you what I wear and why!”
The signal changed and we took off. As we were riding along, I thought he would forget about it, and I was not going to make an issue about educating my fellow rider about boots. Most bikers don’t think much about the boots they wear. Most wear ads for the brand; little do they know how crappy Chinese-made Harley boots are. (Men who wear sneakers and shorts while riding are not bikers, but instead are called “Darwin Award Contenders” … but I digress.)
Engineer boots are very common “regular” biker boots. A lot of guys wear them, but few (if any) wear them as I was wearing them, with jeans tucked into them instead of over them. Perhaps he thought my boots were unusual or different only because my jeans weren’t over them.
So I repeated, “I choose different styles of motorcycle boots depending on my ride and the weather.” I continued to explain…
Engineer boots like these are very common. You probably didn’t realize that they make tall engineer boots as well as short ones. On occasion, on nice days when the weather is pleasant (not too hot, not too cold), I may choose to wear tall boots like these and tuck my jeans in.
Harness boots (like he and most others were wearing) are very common too. I have (more than a few pairs of) those too. They make a good appearance, and are solid, tough boots if made in the USA or Canada. Unfortunately, Harley-branded boots are made by whatever vendor can make them for H-D as cheaply as they can in China. So you’re paying a lot to improve Harley’s bottom line. As a stockholder, I thank you. (His eyes opened with that statement.) I continued to explain that you can get harness boots made by Chippewa in the USA, and get a great value for the price paid as well as support U.S. jobs (this guy was quite the conservative on the political spectrum, so I thought that statement would get his attention. It did).
But to be honest, the boots that I choose to wear most often when I ride are made by Chippewa in the USA. They are what’s called “station boot style”. They look like tactical boots, with laces on the sides, but they have a zipper up the middle that makes them easy to put on and take off. Those boots are very comfortable, durable, and have a big lug sole that provides great traction. You see a lot of guys who wear shorter boots, too, but most of them are combat boots. These are a little different since they have a zipper as a closure, but let me tell you, they’re damn comfortable and durable too!
I shouldn’t forget Wesco boots — solid as a rock. I wear them too… but in cold weather. Those boots get hot and are better suited for cold-weather riding (in my opinion.) I explained that I have some boots that I wear for cold-weather riding, but didn’t go into detail about what Wesco boots are. Nor did I explain about motorcycle patrol boots… I think that would have taken the conversation in a totally different direction and since I’m not a motorcycle cop, I didn’t think he would “understand” why I have and wear patrol boots.
So… do I have any “regular” boots? Yep. Do I wear them? Yep. Every.single.day.
Life is short: wear boots when you ride a motorcycle.