Rev'it Air Blend Boots &
Rev'it Fighter H2O Boots
Rev'it Air Blend Boots and Rev'it
Fighter H2O Motorcycle Boots Review
by Rick for webBikeWorld.com
Summary: Interesting short
boot style is available in two formats: the Air Blend
mesh and the Fighter H2O waterproof. The boots are
nearly identical in every other way.
Rev'it has 9 different types of boots in their 2008
lineup, including four different types of short
There's probably a better name for this style --
some manufacturers call them "sneaker" boots or
"commuter" boots, or even "summer touring boots".
But whatever you call them, the popularity of short
motorcycle boots is a fairly recent phenomenon, probably
evolved from various types of work boots used in the
Short boots are generally more comfortable than the
mostly taller race boots and surely they're easier to
use for walking, due to their construction, which has a
lot of similarities to street or work boots or even
hiking boots. All of these are good reasons why
nearly half of the boots in the current Rev'it lineup
are of this type.
We reviewed several brands and models of short
motorcycle boots (see the links in the right-hand
column), including the
Freestyle boots (review) we reviewed in December of
2007, which were the forerunners of the Air Blend and
Besides the Air Blend and Fighter boots
covered in this review, Rev'it has one more short boot
in their catalog,
the Rev'it Mondial, which look rather like something
like a cross between the
Alpinestars Recon boots (review) and the
Vendramini Aero boots (review).
The Rev'it Air Blend and Fighter
boots are a new 2008 design that represent
an evolution of the Freestyle, which I believe was the
first short boot offered by Rev'it.
The Air Blend and Fighter boots are similar to the
Freestyle only in overall form. The newer boots have a
construction and a last which does include some of the features
pioneered on the Freestyle, like the front lace cover,
but everything else is brand
So what's the difference between the Air Blend and
the Fighter? The former is designed for hot
weather riding, while the latter is waterproof.
Otherwise, both are constructed using the same sole,
including the same steel shank, and
they have the same type of reinforced toes and shift pads on both toes. Actually, the entire toe on both the left and right Air
Blend and Fighter is surrounded by a rubbery feeling
cover, covered with a rough surfaced layer on top that
feels synthetic but may actually be constructed from
Much of the outer portion of both styles is covered
with leather -- gray suede on the Air Blend and black on
the Fighter boots. The suede has a high-quality
feel and it looks very nice, especially in the lighter
gray used on the Air Blend boots, which is almost too
nice to get dirty! But it is possible to keep the
suede clean with a light brushing to remove the
accumulated bugs and dirt.
Both styles have thick ankle (malleolus) protectors on
either side, sewn underneath the outer suede leather
skin, in between the outer and inner layers. These
ankle cups feel very stiff and they should offer good
protection if needed. They're larger, thicker and
stiffer than probably all of the other short boots we've
reviewed, so no scrimping here.
The toes and the heels of the boots are also
relatively stiff, although they do not include hard
armor. My feeling is that they'd probably offer
about the same protection as a stout pair of work boots.
The large bumper that forms the toe box is pretty stiff
-- I can't compress it if I squeeze on either side, so
it should do the trick.
The boots have a nice, wide toe, and the size 44's
shown here fit exactly as expected, about like a size
10.5 U.S. work boot. The toes are very slightly
narrower in the vertical dimension than a hefty pair of
moccasin-toed work boots, but this does allow the toe to
more easily slide underneath the shift lever.
Both of these boots are relatively comfortable for
walking short distances, although the fold-down lace
cover does offer some resistance as the foot bends.
But the footbed itself is roomy, even though it doesn't
seem to provide as much cushioning as some of the other
short boots we've seen that have more of a hiking shoe or running shoe
One other thing I have noticed is that the stiffness
of the soles in both the Air Blend and Fighter boots can transmit a bit more vibration through
the bottom than some other boots. This
is mostly noticeable on the Ducati, the BMW R65 or older bikes with
that "classic" vibrating feel.
The soles of the Rev'it Air Blend boots and
Rev'it Fighter boots are identical...
...as are the front lace covers.
The Lace Cover
The most distinguishing feature of the Air Blend and
Fighter boots has to be the front lace cover, first seen
on the Rev'it Freestyle boots. The first version
of the Freestyle boots didn't even have laces -- the
cover served that function, but apparently many riders
found that it separated from the boot during a short
walk. Rev'it then added laces underneath, and this
feature has evolved again in the Air Blend and Fighter
I have mixed feelings about this design -- while it
does give the boots a smooth appearance, and it keeps
the laces from getting snagged in the shift lever or
other bike bits, it is slightly fussy to use. The
flap has to be held out in front of the boot with the
backs of the hands while the boots are being laced, then
the laces must be stuffed behind the flap to get a
The flap prevents air from flowing on to the front
of the foot, although it does also prevent dirt and, in
the case of the Fighter boots, water from entering
through the laces, which is the most vulnerable area
(and the hardest to waterproof). The lace cover
also provides some extra protection for the rider's
But all things considered, it is important to have
some sort of cover in this area -- the
Kochmann SC 1000 boots (review) and the Alpinestars
Recon boots both have a flap that seals across the top,
where the laces are tied, but the flap does not prevent
water from entering through the lace holes.
When it rains -- even a little -- the feet are one
of the first things to get wet, and it's probably better
to stop any water from getting in to begin with, rather
than hoping that a waterproof tongue will do the job in
the absence of a lace cover.
So I guess the slightly fussy lace covers are a
small price to pay for the extra protection, especially
for anyone caught out in the rain.
Rev'it Air Blend Boots
Rev'it says that the Air Blend boots are "fully
vented", but the combination of the thick internal
padding, the lining (which has an interesting-looking
pattern), the enclosed toe, the large swatches of suede and the
lace cover means that there isn't much room left for air
to flow through.
Rev'it Air Blend Boots are characterized by the gray
I was disappointed at first because I expected that
I'd feel a strong breeze blowing through the Air Blend boots when
riding, but the air flow is much more subtle than that.
So it may be a bit of an overstatement to say that the
Air Blend boots are fully ventilated; after all, there
are no real vents to be found, and the thick and dense
mesh that isn't covered with other parts does somewhat
inhibit pure air flow.
However, I can definitely feel the air come through
when I place my hand on the inside of the boot and blow
through the mesh, and I've worn the boots in
temperatures up to 92 degrees F. (~33 C) without problems.
So while I can't say that the boots provide
an air-conditioned cool feeling, the fabric does allow the air
to migrate through the non-leather material and the boots do breathe enough to
prevent my feet from getting too sweaty in hot weather.
I have noticed that the boots feel cooler when I wear a
pair of short anklet style socks rather than the full
It seems to be impossible to find a decent pair of
motorcycle boots that flow a large volume of air while
still providing the kind of protection necessary for
motorcycle riding. The
Oxtar TCS Sport boots (review), my favorite
race-type motorcycle boots, have vents that direct the
air on to my feet and they surely offer top level
protection, but the taller boot style just doesn't work
with many types of hot weather pants.
Kochmann SC 1000 boots, which are similar in style
to the Rev'it Air Blend boots, also offer good
protection with decent air flow through the mesh, even
though they don't have vents. But in the end, I
think both the Kochmann and Rev'it Air Blend boots could
benefit by replacing the inner lining with a material
that allowed more air to flow through or by removing it
This argument may be academic though -- the
wonderful TCS Sport boots are no longer made by Oxtar, a
company that is now called TCX (why, I wonder?).
They sell a boot called the Airtech XCR, which is
supposed to be vented, but I haven't tried it. And
Kochmann bailed out of the U.S. market a few years ago
when the greenback started its tumble, so you'd have to
find a pair of those somewhere deep in the forests of
Rev'it Fighter Boots
Speaking of rain, the Rev'it Fighter boots include
every feature just described for the Air Blend
boots, except the Fighter boots have a Rev'it
Hydratex membrane -- the same type of wind- and waterproof
membrane used in Rev'it jackets and pants.
Also, the tongue cover is made from black leather, to prevent it from
getting waterlogged. And the gray suede is
replaced with the same black leather on the rest of the
The Rev'it Fighter waterproof boots
have a Hydratex liner and use leather in place of suede.
Other than that, everything that goes for the Air
Blend boots is ditto for the Fighter style -- except, of
course, the air flow. While the Hydratex membrane
is claimed breathable, there is a difference when
wearing the Fighter boots in very hot weather, because I
can't really feel any type of cooling air flow or moisture elimination.
Sure, the Hydratex -- and other types of breathable
linings -- are supposed to allow moisture to escape, but
when the temperatures start to climb over about 80
degrees F. (~27 C), you'll need all the air you can get,
and any type of breathable lining only impedes air flow.
But -- and this is a big "but" -- here's
the bonus: the Fighter boots
are definitely waterproof. I had Burn put them on
and stand in a bucket filled with about 100 mm of water,
and he reported no leakage after 15 minutes. The
fabric and leather will get slightly waterlogged, but
the Fighter boots should hold up to most downpours.
Just remember though that these are short boots, so
unless your motorcycle pants are also waterproof and
they are long enough to cover the top of the boot with
room to spare, there may be a chance that more water
will enter from the top than it might on a pair of
Here's a solution: if you're planning on
touring with any type of motorcycle boot, check out our
Treds over-boots review. These things are
basically indestructible, and they're definitely,
positively waterproof. Fold up a pair and throw 'em
in the panniers and you'll be prepared for the very
worst. And by the way, they work great around the
The Rev'it Air Blend and Fighter boots are comfortable
and they work with jeans or other types of summer
motorcycle pants that will be worn over the boot.
While I'm not 100% sold on the advantages of the front
lace cover on the Air Blend version, and I think that
style could also use more air flow, the lace covers on
the Fighter waterproof version make sense.
If you're searching for a pair of short
boots that don't look out of the ordinary when you're
off the bike, the Rev'it Air Blend and Fighter boots may
Air Blend and Fighter Motorcycle Boots
REV'IT! motorcycle clothing at RevZilla and help support webBikeWorld!
Retail Price: Air Blend - $199.99.
Fighter - $229.99.
|Colors: Air Blend - Black/Gray.
Fighter - Black.
in: Europe (Labeled "Made in E.U.")
Sizes Available: 36 to 47 Euro. Review Date: July 2008
Note: Boots provided by Rev'it (more).
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