The VQuattro Milano Academy boots are the final pair of our preview trio.
As with the other VQuattro boots, I don't have much information on these and, in fact, I no longer see them on the revised VQuattro website.
But, as long as they're here and we have the photos, well, why not?
Besides, the Academy version of the Milano boots may still be found in some European retailers.
VQuattro is updating their home website and will also announce a new eCommerce website "any day now", and it's possible that the Milano Academy boots will reappear.
The features of these boots are nearly identical to the VQuattro Milano Paperboy boots (review) we also have on hand, but the Academy version uses white contrasting accents for even more of that sneaker look.
The white looks cool but there's a problem: when the boots are brand new, the white looks too, well, new and kind of dorky. But when the white gets dirty, the boots look old and, well, kind of dorky.
Thus, I'm not a big fan of white on motorcycle boots, but hey -- maybe it's just me.
I can pretty much repeat here everything I wrote about the Milano Paperboy boots, because as a Milano boot, the Academy version is identical in everything but the color. In fact, there are several different Milano boots from VQuattro with only color patterns as the differentiators.
The Milano style references the basketball shoes first popularized by the Nike Air Jordan introduced in the mid-1980's. Like the other boots in the VQuattro Milano lineup, you could change up the look replacing the laces with another color. For the Academy boots though, it might be too much to have a red, yellow or pink (or other) color lace; in fact, even black might not work here.
Also like the Milano Paperboy boots, the Milano Academy boots are made to go with jeans. When matched with the Overlap Manx jeans (review) or any other pair, either in black or classic blue denim, they look like, well, sneakers. Is that good? It's up to you.
The uppers or "shell" of the Milano Academy boots are also made from the same mystery material as the VQuattro San Remo boots (review). It looks like leather but feels like not-quite-leather.
But since I don't have any information on the Academy boots for this preview and they're no longer listed on the VQuattro website that was just revised this week, I don't know if these have the waterproof and breathable VQuattro V-Rain membrane liner.
There's a clue, however -- a big one. The Academy boots have a pair of water drain holes on the outside, just above the sole, and when I shine a light through I can see it easily on the inside. So be careful of those puddles!
The most noticeable feature of the Academy version of the Milano boots is definitely, positively the white soles, liner, heel cup and tongue. An easy guess is that you're either going to love 'em or hate 'em.
But that's not for old dogs like me to decide; I'll also bet that the younger audience that most of the new VQuattro boots are aimed at will be in the "like" column.
All of the new VQuattro urban style boots have similar lacing systems. The laces are old school, right down to the metal grommet holes. A concession to style on the Paperboy version is the red grommets for the first row.
Replacing the laces is easy and cheap, so it would be fun to throw on a new pair in your color choice.
Like the San Remo and Milano Paperboy boots, the Milano Academy boots have a spring-loaded lace keeper and the hook-and-loop flap that covers the front, which keeps the laces in place and may also help the boots meet the EC standard for keeping them on your feet in case of a crash.
The signature pull loop is at the back also, which helps to draw the boots on to your feet, as does the cutout in the rear. The same section of ribbed material is in the back of the boots also; it looks softer than it is, however.
The Academy version of the Milano boots come in black with white, and this seems to be a recurring theme in several of the Milano designs.
No faux carbon fiber here though and if you like the white/black look, VQuattro has a few new pair that just came out this week that look even more like sneakers, with one version even having the big white "meatball" on the side at the ankle.
The basic construction of the VQuattro Milano Paperboy boots, Milano Academy boots and the San Remo boots are nearly identical.
The boots have ankle protectors sewn into the lining on both the inside and outside ankle. The toes and heel cup don't feel stiff like a race boot, but like the Paperboy version, the soles of the Milano Academy boots do feel like they have slightly more torsion control than the San Remo boots, although this may be due to the design and shape of the sole rather than any type of insert.
By the way, the heel cups of all the boots at least have an extra section of leather double-stitched over the upper for added abrasion protection.
Since all of these boots are designed as a compromise between daily wear and motorcycle riding, the protection seems adequate, or at least acceptable. Other than the ankle protectors, there may not be much different here than a pair of stout work boots, but the Paperboy boots have more style and again, they're waterproof.
All of these VQuattro urban boots meet the CE 13634 2010 standard for protective shoes (see the webBikeWorld report on Motorcycle Clothing Safety Standards, which includes links to the various CE standards).
VQuattro said the "Protective Footwear for Motorcyclists" standard is based on the 2002 standard but now requires a higher boot top for more protection; more robust seams and stitching; abrasion protection and transverse stiffness.
The CE 13634 standard has two levels of protection (similar to the two levels in the Overlap jeans). The zones are labeled as A and B.
Zone B is the most exposed area of the boot and it must resist abrasion for at least 5 seconds to meet the Level 1 standard and 12 seconds for Level 2. The less exposed areas require 1.5 to 2.5 second resistance.
These Milano Academy boots are size 44 and feel correct, just like the other VQuattro boots we're previewing in this series. They fit a size 10.0 to 10.5 US average width. The insoles have a firm padding and the sides of the boots, especially around the ankles, are nicely padded.
Overall, these are very comfortable boots that feel like they will provide good protection around the ankles.
The VQuattro Milano Academy boots have a larger dose of style than the San Remo boots and they look great with a pair of jeans. If you like the basketball style shoes that were first popularized way back in the 1980's by the Air Jordan -- a style that is still commonly found today -- the Milano Paperboy boots should be right up your alley.
The waterproof capability is a plus in this type of boot and like the other VQuattro urban boots, the price is reasonable.
wBW Quick Look: VQuattro Milano Academy Boots
||List Price: €129.00|
|Colors: Black||Made In: China|
|Sizes: 40-47 Euro||Review Date: September 2013|