When you're a daily rider like me, it's not always practical to dress like you took a wrong turn off of the racetrack. When I ride to work, I really don't want to wear my track inspired Sidi Vertebra II's, as it would probably draw some unwanted jokes and looks from my co-workers. Icon comes to the rescue again by bringing us everyday boots that are tailored for the motorcyclist that demands safe and discrete riding gear which they can wear to work, dinner or any other local errand which may not warrant a more racer attitude.
Okay, so what should we expect from a not so flashy boot? Let's start with protection. It's got to be tough, and offer more protection than an everyday sneaker or hiking boot. It would be nice to have some of the features of the race type boots including toe, ankle and heel protection. It should also feel good around the bike and not be a bulky annoyance around the pegs, brake and shifter.
But let's get real, it's got to look as normal as possible or we might as well just wear the race replica clown shoes we've all grown accustomed to. The safety areas need to be toned down so as not to drawn too much attention to themselves. After all, we are trying to down play the whole protection look that we actually prefer when we choose our race replica riding boots. I love the high tech look of the racer boots as much as the next guy but I just don't want to wear them around town.
Icon has really come through here, with their line of Super Duty Boots. At first look they appear to be like every other "waffle stomper" type boot you may have worn before. Hidden in its structure is all the protection a rider needs; it's got a hardened front toe and rear heel as well as tall sides which are also stiffened to provide more ankle support and protection.
The big buckle is probably the part of the boot that stands out the most. The adjustable aluminum buckle actually serves two purposes; not only does it hold the boot very snug on your foot, it also holds down you shoe laces while you ride. We've all at one time or another had that oh so frightful feeling when we tried to put our foot down to steady the bike, only to find that our shoe laces have become entangled someplace on the bike. Not a desirable feeling to any rider.
Another more noticeable feature of the boot, is the little rubber studs on the top of the shoe between the tongue and toe. These little bumps not only help engage the shifter, they also protect the boot from that annoying shifter wear mark that plagues all of my previous leisure riding boots. I have noticed that with my big feet, the shifter still misses the bumps a bit but I have noticed much better lever action with the rubber on rubber connect between the shifter knob and the boots.
With all good riding boots, some squeaking does occur while walking. Nothing too bad though and while I played with the buckle adjustment to fit my foot, the squeaking did drop a bit as I had them much too tight at the start.
In the sole of the boot you'll find a metal shank which protects the bottom of the foot and makes the boot more rigid around the pegs so you don't get that bend that you do from regular shoes and boots. During the first few weeks of wearing these boots, they did develop some slight popping in the heel. This must be from the metal shank in the sole adjusting with wear. I first had it in the right shoe and then the left. The right shoe has since stopped and the left shoe seems to be getting less noticeable. Although a few other people I've talked to have had this same problem, most others have not complained of any popping. It's not bad enough for me to stop wearing the boots, but I feel I had to mention it here.
Now I don't recommend crash testing your gear and I hope that you never have to experience the feeling of your bike crashing to the ground but things happen and the unpredictability of other drivers will probably catch up to you at some point in your travels. To make a long story short, my newly acquired Super Duty boots got stuck in-between the bike and a minivan. Fortunately for me these boots have all the strength and safety features I needed to avoid any injuries to my feet or ankles. They actually look pretty good after taking such a beating without losing any of the boots integrity. Thank you very much Icon for making a boot safe enough for this kind of abuse but looks normal enough to wear around the office.
These boots list for $84.95 and are definitely worth every penny. The leather is thick, the stitching is strong and the boots stand up great even under the worst conditions. They are as comfortable as any other boots you'll find so if you're looking for that perfect boot for everyday riding, look no further than the Icon Super Duty boot.
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