What exactly is a motorcycle boot? Work boots like the classic “engineer” boot and the logger boot are popular with motorcyclists, but they weren’t designed primarily for motorcycle riding.
Motorcycle race boots are popular with sportbike owners, but you don’t see many cruiser riders wearing them. Then there are off-road boots, motocross boots and other types of footwear that are used by motorcycle riders that all fall under the definition of motorcycle boots.
Although there are some sneaker wearers out there, and probably even one or two with flip-flops, most motorcycle riders wear some type of boot.
It’s interesting to note that even those who ride in T-shirts and jeans are usually wearing a heavy pair of boots. Are motorcyclists more concerned about protecting their feet than their torso?
While engineer boots, logging boots and even race boots may look cool and offer varying levels of protection, they’re not very comfortable. Logging boots have very thick leather and soles, making them incredibly stiff and uncomfortable for walking.
Maybe the leather gets broken in after they’ve been worn for a decade or so, but they’re like torture for the other 9 years and 11 months. And engineer boots aren’t much better, especially if they have steel toes.
Motorcycle boots designed for racing offer lots of protection, but the protective layers of padding and other materials can make them get pretty toasty inside. They’re also not very good for walking much farther than from the garage to the house.
I’ve always wanted a pair of engineer boots because I like the way they look. But I never found a pair that was anywhere near comfortable enough to spend money on. These Specter Road “Tour” boots are definitely an exception to the rule. I honestly think these are probably the most comfortable footwear I’ve ever owned of any type!
The soft leather feels broken in right out of the box, helping to make the boots flexible so that they don’t chafe on the sensitive areas around the ankle. Specter Road uses “Bucktex” moisture-wicking breathable lining in the boots, which provides a thin layer of padding and adds to the comfort.
The Tour model is a takeoff on the classic engineer boot but with some extra features designed for motorcycle use.
For example, the toe cap is designed to fit under the shift lever, which isn’t always possible with other engineer style boots not specifically designed for motorcycle riding.
Also, the toe cap, the heel and the ankle have an additional layer of Kevlar fabric placed between the leather and the boot liner. You can save a few bucks by ordering the boots without the Kevlar, but it makes sense to for the added protection that it offers against abrasion.
I debated whether or not the boots would have been better with an additional leather patch on the outside of the toe to protect against motorcycle shifter wear, but it would probably hurt the look of the boots. Specter Road also claims that the quality and durability of their leather makes a shifting patch unnecessary.
Specter Road says that the soles are designed with a vibration damping capability. The soles are bonded to the leather, which help to prevent water ingress at that critical juncture. The bottom of the sole has a rugged tread pattern that seems to grip very well on a variety of road surfaces.
The soles also have an internal steel shank which adds lateral strength, but the shank doesn’t seem to affect the flexibility; although they’re not walking boots, you’d never know it!
The leather is double-stitched all the way around, and the stitching is “bonded” to make them resistant to water.
Heavy leather motorcycle boots like engineer boots or logger boots are usually so stiff when new that they can cause rubbing, chafing or blisters in no time at all, which is not fun. If a blister opens up, it can cause a serious infection because of the hot, moist conditions inside the boot.
Maybe I have extra-sensitive skin or a strangely shaped foot, but it seems like just about every new pair of shoes or boots that I buy will chafe my skin around round my ankles. Normally, a calf-high boot would give me all sorts of problems until it’s broken in.
But I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I’ve experienced no rubbing or chafing with the Specter Road Tour boot, due to the combination of the soft lining and flexible leather.
One special design feature that makes these boots so flexible and which also helps to prevent chafing of the ankles is illustrated in this photo.
Specter Road added a flexible joint of soft leather in back of the ankle. It wraps around the back of the boot, giving it extra front-to-rear and side-to-side movement that adds to the comfort and really seems to make a difference.
The boots are nicely made and the stitching is of high quality. A soft piece of leather is sewn into the lining at the top of each boot to help make them easier to slide on and off. Each boot also has a big, wide leather loop that makes it easy to grab and slide them on.
Specter Road boots are available in sizes 6 through 14 in widths D, E and EEE. Half sizes are available from size 6.5 to 11.5, also in D, E and EEE widths. Several different styles are available, some with laces and some without.
Do you have extra wide calves or unusually small or large sized feet? Here’s some great news: Since Specter Road manufactures the boots themselves in Canada, rather than subcontracting out the work, they have the ability to custom-fit a pair of boots for you for an extra charge. This is really great news for those motorcycle riders who have had trouble finding the correct fit.
Specter Road will also repair their boots, adding new soles or performing other work as necessary.
These Specter Road Tour boots are very comfortable, they are well made and they have some nice features. I like the fact that they’re made in Canada almost by hand and that the company backs their products with a warranty and repair service if necessary. The custom sizing feature is a lifesaver for riders who have trouble finding motorcycle boots that fit correctly.
Product Comments: Very comfortable, flexible and have a soft, breathable lining. Water resistant. Special vibration damping soles. Kevlar fabric reinforces the toes, heels and ankles. Custom fit and sizing available directly from the Specter Road factory. Available with or without the Kevlar lining.