A high-quality pair of street/touring boots that are a good value even at its price point.
Definitely worth a look for the serious touring or sport/touring rider.
Motorcycle boots have a hard life.
Not only are they asked to provide protection from impacts, abrasion and the elements they must also feel comfortable for walking.
And walking comfort is important, as many webBikeWorld motorcycle boot review readers have pointed out.
Motorcycle boots spend a lot of time on a foot peg, which is a tough chore and requires a completely different type of internal design from walking comfort.
Pressure on a set of foot pegs subjects the boots to vibration and also a lot of weight is concentrated in just a small portion of the sole.
The point is that motorcycle boots have a lot thrown at them; perhaps more than most any other piece of riding gear. So build quality is important if you expect a pair to last a long time.
Over the years Iíve had riding footwear that has lasted for several years, while some have lasted less than one season...and longevity also wasnít always tied to price. Conversely, price is also not necessarily tied to comfort either, so it can be tough to judge a pair of boots from a catalog photo and a price tag.
This brings me to the most recent pair of boots I am reviewing. Because they are made by Dainese, I expected them to be well put together, but until I had them in hand (er, foot), I had no idea what they would be like. So letís find out.
The Dainese Long Range D-WP C2 boots are what I would call a tall leather waterproof, street and touring boot, with an emphasis on touring. As a touring boot, they conform to the more subdued styling and black color typical of the breed.
Branding is very subtle; the Dainese name is lightly embossed on the side of the toe box and black-on-black, so it is not easily visible. On the shin protector is an embossed copy of the Dainese fox head graphic, which again you might easily overlook. Personally, I like the subtleness of the styling, as I often wear my riding boots at work and not looking like racing boots makes them easier to fit into a business casual environment.
At 30.5 cm (12 inches) in height from the bottom of the sole to the top of the upper, these are the tallest touring boots Iíve had the chance to wear. So tall, in fact, that I cannot fit the knee/shin guards I usually wear when riding. Riding with these boots when wearing my Joe Rocket Survivor one-piece suit (review) works very well though.
Tall boots can sometimes make it difficult to stuff a foot in or out, but the Long Range D-WP C2 boots use YKK zippers on the anterior side of each boot, making them easy to take on and off. The zipper stops about 9.5 cm (3.75 inches) from the top of the upper and the rest of the length is secured via hook-and-loop fastener.
The top of the zipper also denotes the top of the D-WP (Dainese WaterProof) waterproof liner inside the boots, which is gusseted behind the zipper opening. It would have been nice if the liner went all the way to the top but at 21 cm (8.25 inches), the rest is covered easily by riding pants, so there should be no concerns about water making its way in at that point.
While unboxing the Long Range D-WP boots I was immediately impressed at how they felt in the hand. The leather feels substantial, yet also surprisingly soft.
Quality is the first word that comes to mind when handling these boots. Quality is also evident in the impressive neatness of the stitching, nearly all of which is doubled for extra strength. The only single stitching visible is in the accordion style stretch panels on the front and back of the ankle.
Just below the stretch panel in the back is a reflective patch for nighttime visibility. The patch is covered with what appears to be a polyester open weave mesh which turns the reflector into a series of small reflectors. Why exactly Dainese chose to do this Iím not certain, because it seems that it reduces the overall reflective output of the patch.
The D-WP liner provides some thin cushioning and is responsible for the water-resistance of the boots (more on that later). The liner has a bit of texture but it's still smooth enough to make it easy to slip your foot in and out.
On the anterior side of each boot is a leather panel behind the zipper that has small perforations. It seems odd to have perforated leather on a waterproof boot and I looked forward to performing the waterproof torture test to see how this would affect it; again, more on that in a minute.
The sole of the boots is made by Skywalk and features large rectangular lugs with beveled edges. Skywalk is a premium manufacturer of shoe and boot soles that typically appear on outdoor footwear.
Iím not sure what Skywalk does to their rubber soles, but these are particularly sticky. The soles are so grippy that I notice it when I slide my left foot from the foot to underneath the shift lever. I have to deliberately lift my foot off the peg to easily move it into position. This can take a little getting used to but I canít fault the soles for having such aggressive grip.
While certainly not a race boot, the Long Range D-WP C2 boots do offer very good protection for a touring boot. In fact, Dainese recently improved the boots to include the CE rating and the boots are certified to CE Category II, EN 13634-2010. This adds to the value and assurance to the rider that the boots have been tested to a known standard for safety and protection.
Starting at the top, there is a large flexible plastic shin guard on the front of the boots. Behind the protector is a thick foam pad that is sandwiched between it and the leather in the upper. The protector is double-stitched into the upper of the boot and looks like it should stay in place in the event of a crash.
Moving down, there are ankle bone (malleolus) protectors embedded between the liner and outer leather. According to Dainese, these are made of nylon. They can be felt in the boots but the exact size and thickness is a bit difficult to ascertain.
Behind the Achilles tendon there is the aforementioned reflector that provides extra visibility for nighttime riding. Again, IĎm not sure exactly why Dainese decided to obscure some of the reflector with the large open weave mesh. Perhaps it adds some abrasion protection to this area?
The Skywalk soles, despite offering good cushioning, seem very strong and resistant to the type of flexing that could damage the foot. I canít, however, be certain as to what type of shank is used in the sole, but this is part of the CE standard. I did find that the soles are sturdy enough that I cannot flex them when trying from just behind the ball of the foot to the heel.
It's difficult to tell whether or not there are inserts in the toe or heel cup. The toe box doesnít seem to offer any internal hard protection, save for the extra patch of leather sewn on the top. The heel cup seems a bit stiffer than the toes, but still there doesnít appear to be any rigid protection here either. Again, we have to assume that the CE rating provides adequate protectoin in these areas.
The fit of the Long Range D-WP C2 boots is what I would consider "spot-on". Iíve mentioned in other boot reviews how sizing seems to vary widely between manufactures and even between different offerings from the same manufacturer, but in the case of these boots, the size 44 fit exactly on my feet as I feel they should.
Many motorcycle boots Iíve tried tend to fit in a very utilitarian fashion, meaning that they may be of the correct general dimensions to surround the foot, but not really shaped to provide a close fit around it. The Long Range D-WP C2 boots fit like a good pair of shoes or boots should, conforming closer to the shape of the foot. Very nice.
To make it easier for readers to understand my thoughts on sizing, I have taken direct measurements of my feet so I could provide the most accurate comparison. Measuring the length of my foot resulted in 27.5 cm (10-7/8 inches) which, according to the US sizing chart I used, says I'm just over size 10.5. My foot width measured as 9.6 cm (3-7/8") which for a US size 10.5 equates to between a B and C in width.
The one caveat I would say about the comfort is that tall socks should be worn that will protect along the top portion of the upper of the boot and your skin. The top portion of the boots are not lined so the leather will be right against your leg and in hot weather, this can become uncomfortable.
The Long Range D-WP C2 boots are marketed as being waterproof. This is achieved by Daineseís D-WP liner which can be clearly seen in the photos as the light gray interior.
I mentioned earlier that there is a perforated panel on the anterior side of each boot. I was concerned at first that this was going to compromise the waterproofing, but I was incorrect. To test the "waterproof-ness" of the Long Range D-WP C2 boots, I put them on my feet and then placed my feet in a washtub full of water filled until it was just up to the top of the liner. Then I started a stopwatch (app) and proceeded to wait.
After a minute or so I could feel some "coolness" making its way to my feet inside the boots. I wasnít sure that this was in fact water leaking in or just the material becoming cool from the water. After going the full five minutes though Iím pleased to report the inside of each boot was completely dry. The boots felt a little heavier when I removed them, meaning that some water must have made its way between the leather and the liner.
The only downside to this is that it can take a long time for the boots to completely dry. In my case it took a couple of days until they became completely dry after storing them on the porch. Riding while wearing the boots would probably accelerate the drying time.
The Dainese Long Range D-WP C2 boots are definitely some of the nicest touring boots Iíve tested so far. The quality of the construction and materials are impressive and indicate that they will last a long time. They are very comfortable and feel like they were "made for walking" as well as for riding.
Certainly they are more bulky than a good pair of walking shoes, but I had no problem wearing the boots around all day at work and while walking around off the bike. They also seem to breathe well as they don't have an overly warm feeling during the summer months here in the Southeastern United States.
The waterproofing truly works and I was very pleased that the boots didnít leak during the torture test. I was a little disappointed that the heel and toe areas didnít offer a little more protection but in the grand scheme of things they do offer good protection overall with the CE rating.
At a $229.95 list price, the Long Range D-WP C2 boots are moving into a higher price range for touring boots, especially when compared to the $109.00 Aeromoto Dry Tour Boots (review) I recently reviewed. But comparing the two is sort of like comparing a compact base model car to a luxury car. Both will get you where you are going well enough, but one is going to be much more enjoyable.
wBW Review: Dainese Long Range D-WP C2 Boots
||List Price (2014): $229.95|
|Colors: Black||Made In: Romania|
|Sizes: 36-50 Euro||Review Date: August 2014|