Hein Gericke Rallye Boots (superseded by Rallye III, £219.99)
Miles covered/time: 5000/five years
What’s good: Brilliantly rugged, these are the boots I pick when the conditions turn really nasty.
Reassuringly thick leather and Gericke’s Hiprotec armour offer confidence and the grippy sole allows plenty of purchase on damp, slippery footpegs.
Gore-Tex keeps you dry and the buckle-style fasteners are secure while allowing a huge range of adjustment. The boots saw the most use when I was riding my trailie-styled Honda Dominator, but I’ve also worn them for some off-road work at BMW’s training school in Wales.
They’re not as beefy as proper motocross boots, but are man enough for occasional forays away from the tarmac. They’re also some of the most comfortable boots I’ve worn on the five-minute trudge from the house to my lock-up.
What’s not: By their very nature the boots are quite clumpy so they won’t appeal to sports bike riders or owners of machines that require a very precise gearchange (they are fine on my own Honda VFR750 and my long-term test bike, a Yamaha TDM900).
My particular boots have been discontinued but the Rallye IIIs have a virtually identical spec.