In the previous century, the manufacturers didn’t want us to call their motorcycles “cruisers,” because they were afraid to be associated with the 1980 Al Pacino film “Cruising,” which was about a serial killer preying on gay men cruising for sex. Today, that plotline could be a selling point, who knows? Things change. Anyway, as you know, cruisers in the motorcycle idiom refers to laid-back American style bikes which tend to be ridden less aggressively than sportbikes, which sort of lessens the need for titanium toe sliders, calf pucks, and Crayon-box color schemes. In other words, these are the kind of boots plenty of normal motorcyclists on cruisers, touring bikes, sport-tourers and standards, don’t mind wearing every day, on the bike and off. We selected a few of the Best Cruiser Motorcycle Boots.
Frye Women’s Engineer 8R – $190
I’ve had a pair of the male version of these forever, like 30 years, and they’re still completely wearable as well as fashionable. Frye made boots for both sides during the Civil War, and they’re still around so what does that tell you? Made in the USA, these all-leather classics weld a 7-inch shaft atop a 1.5-inch stacked leather heel, with rubber outsoles and Goodyear welt construction. They’re not motorcycle boots, per se, but they are “moto-inpsired,” and their heavy-duty construction provides reasonable protection. These are available in several finishes besides Black, including Charcoal Old Town.
Bottom Line/Slightly more fashion than function, but definitely built to last
TCX Fuel Motorcycle Boots – $150 – $300
These waterproof grain-leather Italian jobs get great reviews for style, comfort and protection – and they’re also resoleable. Zippers along the instep make them easy to get in and out of and snug-fitting. An Ortholite footbed is said to provide long-term cushioning and high breathability. Toes and heels are reinforced, as are double-layered shift pads. TCX was just acquired by Dainese, so expect to find some discounts.
Bottom Line/Oozing style and comfort
Harley-Davidson Distortion – $130 – $150
If Harley doesn’t make more money selling gear and clothing than it does on its motorcycles, it’s got to be close. And when it comes to boots for both sexes, the Motor Company offers a cornucopia of choices. These Distortions are as cool as any. Full grain leather uppers with 6-inch shafts (that’s plenty) have a mesh lining and 1.5-inch heels. The skulls and buckles offer some protection. YKK locking metal zippers in the insteps make for easy in- and egress. Oil-resistant outsoles and Goodyear welt construction mean these are in it for the duration.
Bottom Line/If you have to ask…
BMW Urban – $300
Guess who else makes great boots? BMW. A bit more understated than Harley-Davidson’s offerings, BMW’s Urbans wouldn’t be out of place in the corporate boardroom (not that we’ve ever been in one). Made of calfskin and 100% nubuck cowhide (approx. 1.6 –1.8 mm thick) with a hydrophobic treatment to make it water-repellent and breathable, these also have shin and ankle protection along with generous foam padding, and reinforced heels and toes. Lined zipper closures inside give easy on and off while keeping water out, and a removable and washable insole wicks moisture while it absorbs impacts. Anatomically shaped and offering a slimmer fit for women to size 40, the Urban is CE-certified DIN EN 13634.
Bottom Line/Sophisticated protection
Sidi Adventure 2 Gore – $350
Everybody likes their leather, but Sidi says its Full Grain Microfibre has very similar characteristics, isn’t affected by aging, is lighter, has very high mechanical properties including outstanding tensile strength, tear resistance and flexing endurance…. maintains its softness whatever the temperature – and is more stable, breathable and water repellent than leather.
All I know is my Sidi Gran Canyons, made with the same stuff, have been going strong for decades now. Those are also great boots, but the Adventure 2 Gore is a more up-to-date model that is equally at home on your cruiser or standard. In addition to being waterproof (Gore for Gore-Tex), these are going to offer greater protection than your typical cruiser boot; you’ve got real protection in the ankles and shin, and CE certification. Comfortable, too, with a nylon inner sole and removable arch support.
Bottom Line/Top-o-the-line protection and comfort
Dainese Tamba – $240
Another entry from Italy, your Tamba is another CE-certified boot, containing rigid ankle inserts to protect that important joint, along with a thermoformed shin insert – inside a cowhide upper atop a thick rubber soul. Sole. Accordion panels and a mesh liner are said to make these cool and great for walking, as comfortable off your bike as on it.
Bottom Line/Cruise adventurously
Indian Women’s Leather Engineer – $190
Not to be left behind, Indian has its own expanding line of excellent footwear for people who prefer its American V-twin products. This 8-inch short Engineer features an internal YKK zipper for easy pulling-on of this premium cowhide leather boot, complete with original Indian Motorcycle buckles and embossed logo atop ankle protectors. Thick Vibram soles give good traction and make you taller.
Bottom Line/Nice boots, sister
Alpinestars Oscar Monty – $260
For me, the jury is out on white soles; luckily these also come in black with black oil-resistant grippy soles. Inside the hand-finished leather uppers, you’ll find protection in the form of reinforced toe boxes and heel counters, as well as dual-density TPU ankle disk protectors. Also inside, your dogs will appreciate the plush 3D breathable mesh liners and removable microfiber footbeds with anatomically shaped arches, and Lycra top layers in the heels for excellent comfort and coolosity. A’Stars says the toes are “uniquely patterned to work excellently with the gear shifter,” and the subtle heels are just right for “registering the foot pegs.”
Bottom Line/Tough yet safe
Spidi X-Goodwood – $280
Another bike-kicking Italian faux lace-up job, with zippered insteps for easy in- and egress. Full-grain thick water-repellant cow leather uppers with supple full-grain calf leather linings combine military toughness with Italian comfort. Red stitching and accents, including the rear flex panels, provide flexibility with flair. The Vulcanized rubber lug sole provides traction, and composite reinforcements in toes and heel add protection.
Bottom Line/Italian style, classic comfort
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