by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Super comfortable and they work well on and off the bike with good levels of protection for motorcycle riding.
The outrageously cool Vendramini Aero boots are responsible for changing my taste in motorcycle footwear.
I had been wearing race-style motorcycle boots for many years, but I've now come to realize that race boots are made primarily for one highly focused task.
That means that it's hard to do simple things when wearing them. Simple things, that is, like walking.
And if you can't even walk in a pair of shoes...I mean, that's kind of pitiful, no? At least that's my current line of thinking.
The Vendramini Aero boots are more comfortable than the race boots I own, and they're cool-looking besides.
And now that my motorcycle boot horizon has been expanded, I've started to notice some of the other new short motorcycle boot styles that have become fashionable lately.
That's how I came across these Kochmann "Scout" boots. One look and my interest was piqued, so I ordered a pair.
The Scout boots are also known as the "Redbike SC-1000" in Europe, and they're imported by Eclipse Luggage in the U.S.A.
Take a look at these photos, and I think you'll agree that these Kochmann boots even look comfortable. They're reminiscent of running shoes or a comfortable pair of hiking boots, no?
I have to say right off that they're as comfortable to wear as they look in these photos -- they feel about as comfortable as any pair of running shoes or hiking boots I've ever owned. They've definitely made me a believer in the trend towards shorter motorcycle boots.
I normally take a U.S. size 10.5D, and these Euro size 44's fit me absolutely perfectly, which is a real treat.
I've been having a lot of trouble finding shoes or boots that fit me lately, and it seems to have something to do with the fact that most of the shoe companies have moved offshore.
Size 10.5D used to be a common and easy-to-fit shoe size, but all of a sudden it's become nearly impossible for me to find a pair of shoes that fit. Could it have something to do with moving the production offshore?
In any case, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the Kochmann boots fit me exactly like they are supposed to.
They also have a nice, wide toe area, with lots of wiggle room. And they feel broken in right out of the box, so there's less chance of chafing.
The removable insoles feel very similar to those found in a good pair of hiking boots, and the soles are made from some of the stickiest rubber I've ever experienced in any pair of shoes.
Sticky soles are very important on motorcycle boots, because sticky rubber can help prevent the boots from sliding around on the ground when the rider stops for a red light or when the bike is being pushed backwards into a garage or a parking spot.
Sticky soles can actually give a rider more confidence; this is especially so for beginners.
Since the Kochmann Scouts are made for motorcycling, the soles are specially shaped with a rounded section molded in the middle, which helps the rider to keep a firm footing on the motorcycle's foot pegs.
The boots are labeled "Made in the EU", which I assume can be interpreted as "not made in Germany", but Kochmann must have taken a lot of care to make sure the quality at the nameless factory is up to their traditional standards.
These boots are very nicely made, with high quality lining and near-perfect stitching throughout.
Each boot has a rubberized toe protector patch and stiff ABS ankle protection. The boots are about 23cm high (about 9") from the ground to the highest point, at least on these size 44's.
They have a cut-down rear section to help make them comfortable for walking. There seems to be plenty of padding up top, and they have a wide Velcro strap that covers the upper laces after the boots are tied.
This strap also keeps the boots very securely fastened to the owner's ankles.
The boots have 6 eyelets from bottom to top. The eyelets are metal "D" rings, and they are big enough to make it easy for the owner to tighten the shoelaces all the way down to the toes.
I kind of wish that the top 3 eyelets were hooks instead of "D" rings, which would speed up the lacing process, but I understand that the hooks would probably interfere with a pair of long motorcycle pants.
The tongue is padded and it's attached to the boot all the way down to the toe, which I guess helps to keep them waterproof. The Scout boots are lined with Sympatex, which is one of those breathable fabrics that also keeps out water. I've found that Sympatex seems to work better and it breathes better for me than other brands of permeable-breathable fabrics.
The toes and the sections around the base of the boot are made from a water-resistant Nubuk leather with Schoeller-Dynatec uppers.
Kochmann also used some reflective piping in various places around the boot, which is very unobtrusive during the day but stands out at night when illuminated.
There's also a small diamond-shaped insert in the back of the ankle on each boot that's made from reflective material.
I'm very pleased with these Kochmann boots.
They're super comfortable and they would honestly work well as a pair of hiking boots, yet they offer good levels of protection for motorcycle riding.
They'd be perfect for touring or when riding to a destination where the rider will be doing lots of walking. Worn under a pair of pants, they look like hiking boots.
The Kochmann Scout, or SC-1000 boots are available in European sizes 37-46, which correspond to U.S. sizes 6 to 11.5.
UPDATE: Just for the record, it's now March 2017 and these are still my favorite short motorcycle boots! Highly recommended. Although the Scout is no longer in production, it appears that they have been replaced by the Kochmann Trophy boots.
|wBW Review: Kochmann SC 1000 Boots|
|Manufacturer: Kochmann Boots (Germany)||List Price: $199.00 USD|
|Colours: Black/Gray/Silver||Made In: E.U.|
|Review Date: March 2006|