Readers of this blog and my website know that I have a rather large collection of boots. I wear boots every day, sometimes several pairs each day, depending on where I am going, what I am doing, and what mode of transportation I will use to get there. I am a strong believer in motorcyclists wearing appropriate BOOTS while operating a motorcycle.
In my decades of boot-wearing, I have tried and have worn many dozen, if not hundreds, of different brands and styles of motorcycle boots. For the most part, boots are boots and if fitted properly, are generally comfortable enough to wear while out on the bike.
However, there is one particular brand/style of boots that, in my opinion, are awful. I mean, a-w-f-u-l — as far as comfort goes.
A few years ago, I found a sale on Double H basic harness boots. Buy one pair, get another pair free — both pairs for less than US$100. So I bought one pair in black, and one pair in brown.
Their cheap price should have given me warning, but I thought, “what the heck, how bad can they be?”
The boots looked rugged and sturdy enough. I know several other men who wear them and have not complained.
Unfortunately, shortcuts in construction become apparent the first time you struggle to pull them on. Man, the shafts are narrow! Even on 11-inch boots, which are not that tall, the shafts squeeze my legs. My legs have a normal circumference, so that’s saying something. I estimate the shafts of these boots are at least one inch narrower (that is, they have a calf circumference of one inch less that harness boots made by other manufacturers.)
Further, the footbed is hard. There is barely any cushion between the midsole and the footbed. Also, the boots run small. What claims to be a standard size 10D boot feels much more like a 9-1/2C. Smaller on both the length and width dimensions. Due to the smaller-than-usual size, there is insufficient room to be able to insert an insole to make the boots more comfortable.
Because of the poor quality and short-sizing of these boots, my opinion is that the maker used less materials so the boots could be made less expensively. Thus — that is why the price is lower than comparable-looking boots made by other manufacturers, such as Chippewa and Boulet.
I gave away the black pair of the Double H harness boots that I owned to a younger guy I had been teaching how to ride a motorcycle. The boots fit him fine, but he later told me that the boots also felt uncomfortable to him, too.
I have not disposed of the brown pair yet. I have other ideas for their use. They do look nice, so while I will not wear them because they are so uncomfortable, I may make a decorative “boot display” in my basement and feature them (with a sign: “don’t let this happen to you!”)
Seriously, if you are looking for a standard pair of biker harness boots, get Chippewa or Boulet Harness boots. Both are made well and do not cut corners on production. But do NOT buy Double H Harness Boots — they’re cheap for a reason. You get what you pay for. (Consider Durango boots the same way).
By the way, I own and wear other styles of Double H boots. While my other Double H boots still run small, otherwise, they fit fine. So I am not dissing all Double H boots.
Life is short: invest in quality motorcycle boots, even if it costs more — so you can avoid throwing money away on poorly-made boots.