An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another footwear search

As frustrating as the search for running shoes is, I'm finding yet another footwear search is becoming even more frustrating. Motorcycle boots! Specifically road boots that actually (1) protect the foot and ankle, (2) FIT my foot and ankle, (3) don't cost half my paycheck, (4) have a wide enough forefoot that my toes aren't being squeezed, and (5) no laces to get caught on the footpegs.

For the last two years, I've been wearing the Alpinestars Octane boots, a low-topped shoe with velcro closure that is marginally protective, and I can actually get securely fastened on my ankle, but the toe box is a torture chamber. I took the insoles out some time back just to get more space, and I still feel my toes getting pressed together. Along with that, they're starting to fall apart. I'm not complaining, since I bought them used to begin with, and I've been riding with them for some 2 years.

My wife likes to have specifics on what I want for special occasions. For my birthday this year, I'd asked her for new motorcycle boots, and I had to find WHICH ones would work for me. Motorcycle stores are a very hit-and-miss thing -- think 5 styles with 4 sizes in each... How many of those are going to be the right fit? Well... After trying on dozens of boots (which meant a lot of store visits), I thought I'd finally found some that fit. Speed and Strength Coast is Clear boots are taller than the Moment of Truth, which I did try on, and they have a different retention system as well. They both have great forefoot room, but that shorter boot just didn't have the height I wanted.

So she got the ones I asked for, and I put them on my feet... And could pull them right off with the buckle fully engaged. People must have really fat ankles, or something.

Now I know there's no minimalist movement for motorcycle boots, unless you count the squid population that wears flip-flops or untied tennies on their rides. That's not me. Sure, I've never crashed, and have no intention of doing so. But I also know that crashes happen, regardless of intentions, and want to be able to walk away. Safety is all about what you do BEFORE gravity takes you off the bike. Gear is about damage control after that happens. I think even the barefoot population would agree that armor is a good thing when it comes to motorcycles.

So I'm back to square one with another shoe search.

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