Following the post titled, My 3 Most Favorite Boots for Motorcycling, I promised at the end of that post that I would follow with a post about boots I have tried and choose not to wear (much.)
1. Some Tall Wesco Boots. Yeah, at least for me at my age and physical shape, I have “aged out” of wearing some tall Wesco boots. While I have always appreciated the rugged style, design, and beyond-lifetime durability of Wesco boots, tall harness or “Boss” engineer Wesco boots at 18 inches (46cm) are just too darn heavy. Each boot weights about five pounds (2.3kg). So that’s carrying around 10 extra pounds of weight on the bottom of your legs. It really is the weight that has caused my change of choice about wearing those boots.
Shorter Wesco boots, like my Wesco combat boots, 11-inch (28cm) short black Boss or Burlap (color) Boss boots remain among my go-to-boots when I’ll be riding rugged. It’s their taller brothers whose weight exhaust my feet.
However, I wrote that I have concerns about “most” tall Wesco boots, but not all of them. My “most” applies only to the harness and engineer styles. I still wear and enjoy my tall Wesco motor patrol boots which are lighter and more flexible. The boot is made with lighter-weight leather and a lighter-weight sole. Makes a huge difference.
Also, a couple years ago I ordered a pair of Wesco Morrison (cowboy boot style) boots at a 16-inch (41cm) height. These boots were custom-made to my measurements and have a Vibram 430 “mini-lug” sole, so these boots are comfortable and not quite as heavy as their taller brothers with Vibram 100 “big lug” soles.
2. White’s Nomad engineer boots. Even though these boots are “only” 12 inches (30cm) tall, the leather from which the boots are made is very thick, as are the Vibram 100 “big lug” soles. Together, these boots are just about as heavy as their tall Wesco “Boss” cousins.
Also, I made a big mistake when I ordered them. I had a midsole added. While I like the little bit more height the boots give me, the added midsole makes the Vibram 100 “big lug” soles even less flexible. I swear that I feel like I’m walking as Frankenstein since those boots do not flex and make me walk like a big klunky clump. I love the style and rugged design, but will only wear these boots if I am out riding where no walking at a destination is involved. (My feet made me promise that.)
3. 11-inch (28cm) short Chippewa engineer boots. These boots have rather narrow shafts and are the devil to pull on and take off. I prefer their taller, unlined, lightweight brothers that have a more generous shaft circumference and do not require a struggle to pull on or remove. I don’t quite understand why Chippewa made these boots with such a narrow shaft circumference, but that design/construction characteristic has turned me off those boots.
Summary — not-worn boots
There are some boots that I have tried and do not wear at all.
First — Double H, Dingo, and Durango harness boots. The tight narrow boot shaft on each of these makes of boots is indicative of their cheap construction.
Second — anything by Frye. Boots made with the Frye label after 2003 are probably made by contractors working for the holding company that owns the name. Boots with the Frye label are made around the world — USA, Mexico, and China. Regardless of where new Frye boots are made — new Frye boots are crap! Very poorly made with cheap materials and construction.
Third — any boots labeled as motorcycle boots but have a smooth leather sole. Example, American Rebel boots. Boots marketed in the design of motorcycle boots (harness or engineer style) with smooth leather soles are for posers, not real bikers. Smooth soles have no traction and do not resist oil which is on roadways and parking lots in the places where bikers plant feet.
There are probably other kinds of boots that I wouldn’t wear, but cannot remember while writing this blog.
Life is short: wear comfortable, “real” motorcycle boots when you ride (or if you want to look and dress like a real biker.)