When you are looking for a pair of boots, one thing most commuting or long distance touring riders want out of their boot is protection, all day comfort, and all day dry, no matter how long you ride in the rain. Many brands offer one or two features and some even claim all three, yet you rarely find one that exceeds all three. More often than not, most boots fail and usually they end up doing so in the waterproof category, sometimes even including Gore-Tex versions.
When I started my search for my next pair of boots my highest priority was the all day comfort, since I like riding to local (as in anywhere on the east coast) road races and/or car & bike shows. I’ll ride 200 miles to an event and want to be able to walk around all day and ride back home in the same pair of boots. On the same note, if I’m on a road trip and the day requires a couple hundred miles in the rain, so be it, as long as I stay dry.
When I began my research (I purchased these boots long before I got into the motorcycle business) it was hard to find anyone that had done any kind of scientific testing. And by scientific I don’t mean beakers and lab coats, but just someone who subjected a group of boots to the same test’s consecutively and recorded the findings. Then I found one test that not only described what the testing procedures were but also what the results for each boot. They even found one boot that passed all the tests. So they went beyond what was already laid out to see if there was more to be learned about this specific boot.
The short version of the testing procedures are as follows: First, a 20 min fire hose test at a downward diagonal angle, after which they were internally inspected for moisture. They then let the boots dry for a full day. Then, they were submerged up to the ankle in a tub of water and checked the interior at 20 min, 1 hour, 6 hours. At 6 hours only 6 boots survived and were re-submerged for another 6 hours for a total of 12 hours submerged in water.
Of all the boots tested only one made it the whole way without any leakage. The SIDI On Road. In fact they even put the boot back into the water for another 12 hours (24 hours total) to see if it would leak. It did not and after 24 hours of submerging in water it only took on 3 ounces of water weight in the outer leather. Some boots took on an additional 3 pounds! The On Road also dried faster than 2/3’s of the other boots which had the additional 12 hours of drying time.
All of this information tipped the scale enough for me to make the purchase. Now, I have about 30K miles on these boots. They are without a doubt the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. Of course, they started out a little stiff when new, but broke in rather quickly. I have ridden a 400 mile day in the rain and never had wet feet. I have also ridden to and from a bike show, spent all afternoon walking around in complete comfort. I commute to work in them and wear them all day long at the office. One of the comments often mentioned in others reviews are the height and that they do not fit under all jeans. I can honestly tell you that I have never had an issue with then fitting under any of my Levi’s. I typically wear straight leg or relaxed cut jean’s (definitely no skinny jeans for this guy). For me the height of the boot just ensures that no water enters from the top. I love these boots so much that I am only going to replace them with another pair of On Roads, when (dare I say if?) they finally do need replacing.
- Edward W. ("Buzzsaw")