Stylmartin Indian boots, £189
Time tested: 2000 miles/Eight months
What’s good? The Stylmartin Indian boots offer a good compromise between big bike boots and normal casual boots – looking smart off the bike while still offering a decent amount of protection on it. On the bike there’s internal ankle protection as well as reinforcement at the front of the foot. Of course they don’t offer the same protection as full-on motorcycle boots, but they feel a lot comfier and are much better than non-motorcycle boots. They come up your lower leg a little further than normal casual boots, which helps them feel more secure and protective while they still allow plenty of ankle flexibility. They’re constructed from full-grain waterproof leather, which is surprisingly waterproof. A recent launch in Portugal saw me riding all day in torrential conditions and my feet were the only dry parts of my body at the end of the day. The lacing system utilises three hooks at the top which provide a really secure fit and the boots come with a pair of black and a pair of red laces. Priced at £189 they’re not ridiculously expensive – although you could get a decent pair of ‘proper’ bike boots for that money, but then you’d look daft wearing them round town or in the office all day.
What’s not? The sizing is a little larger than I’m used to, but a thicker pair of socks sorts the problem. I was surprised by just how stiff the boots were out of the box – they took a couple of weeks of riding to star to soften up, but comfort greatly improved once they did, and once they stopped squeaking. A little ventilation would be nice as my feet tend to get a bit sweaty on hot days.
Quality rating: 5/5
Value rating: 4/5