Next in our brief overview of the new VQuattro motorcycle footwear is a look at the Milano Paperboy boots.
I'm not sure where the marketing people come up with the names for some motorcycle products, but "Paperboy" it is.
Truth is, I never saw a paperboy wear a pair of boots like these.
And on second thought, does anyone today know what a paperboy is (or was)?
I'm not sure there are still newspapers in print, much less with young men on bicycles (the paperboy) delivering them door-to-door.
Maybe "Urban Messenger" would have been a more appropriate name for these boots!
The Paperboy boots are part of the VQuattro Milano motorcycle boot family. Besides the Paperboy boots with their gum rubber type of sole, variations of the Milano boots include the Original, Holiday and Fireflip styles.
All of these have the same basic design with slight color and trim variations. The style is a nod to the classic 1950's hi-top basketball sneaker -- you know, the ones with the It's another word that has pretty much faded into those fuzzy memories of the 1960's...
Way back in the '50's, it was the PF Flyer, Keds or Converse flat (very flat) bottomed hi-tops in black or white. The style is a definite classic and continues to this day in that form.
The Milano Paperboy boots also reference another classic: the Nike Air Jordan that was introduced in the mid-1980's. Basketball star Michael Jordan wore his in black -- a color that was outlawed in the U.S. National Basketball Association at the time.
It was said that Jordan was fined $5,000.00 whenever he wore them in a game (which was all the time) and Nike turned that to their advantage by marketing the shoes as an unfair advantage.
The style is still with us in many shapes, colors and forms, so why not a motorcycle boot? VQuattro apparently feels this will be popular, because they offer the Milano in a host of different colors, some with different colored shoe laces. In fact, you can easily spice up the Paperboy boots by replacing the black laces with red, yellow, pink or whatever your heart desires.
The Milano boots go with jeans like peanut butter goes with jelly, no question about it. They look great matched with the Overlap Manx jeans (review) or any other pair, either in black or classic blue denim.
The uppers or "shell" of the Milano Paperboy boots seem to be made from the same mystery material as the VQuattro San Remo boots (review). It looks like leather but feels like not-quite-leather.
Depending upon your outlook, real leather may or may not be a good thing, and my feeling is that today's synthetic (aka faux) leather is so good that, well, who cares? I'm no vegan, but I'd just as soon not be wearing a semi-sentient animal's skin on my feet.
And since the Paperboy version of the Milano boots also include the waterproof and breathable VQuattro V-Rain membrane liner, the use of synthetic leather is the only way to go. Your old Air Jordans weren't waterproof, so there!
The most noticeable feature of the Milano Paperboy boots are the "gum rubber" sole. I'm sure it's not, but it looks the part and it's what gives the Paperboy version of the Milano boots their style.
The soles even look like the old Air Jordans...at least as far as I remember. One thing's for sure: they're flatter than a pancake on the bottom; again, part of their basketball (er, Paperboy) style reference. The sole feels pretty sticky (i.e. good traction), which befits their oily streets urban jungle persona.
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 boots, the Milano Paperboy 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 Paperboy version of the Milano boots come in black only and they have the faux carbon fiber look sides across the instep. It looks good and the contrast between the semi-gloss faux carbon fiber panel and the matte black of the boots sets these off without going over the top.
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The basic construction of the VQuattro Milano Paperboy boots is very similar to the San Remo boots and the Milano Academy boots (which differ only in their color pattern).
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 the soles of the Milano Paperboy 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.
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.
And don't forget, 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 Paperboy boots are size 45 and feel correct, just like the San Remo and Milano Academy boots we're previewing in this series. They fit a size 10.5 to 11.0 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 Paperboy boots take the 1980's basketball shoe urban street style (or whatever you want to call it) up one more notch, with the white soles and contrasts really making a statement.
These look pretty good with a pair of jeans, but I prefer the slightly more subtle look of the Milano Paperboy boots.
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 Paperboy Boots
||List Price: €129.00|
|Colors: Black/White||Made In: China|
|Sizes: 40-47 Euro||Review Date: September 2013|