If you haven't ever tried a proper motorcycle or scooter riding boot, it might be time that you did. I recently got a chance to try out a pair of Icon Field Armor Chukka Boots, as my old brown steel toe work boots developed a terminal case of the cracks. The sole actually cracked and a chilly splash of Detroit puddle water announced the breach to me one day. At nearly the same moment, the "wheat" (a light tan), color of the Icon Field Armor Boots came up in the sale section of Motorcycle Superstore (one of my favorite bargain haunts.) In a flash they were ordered for an almost 50% discount off of their usual retail. Shipping was fast and when they arrived, I was surprised at the heft of the box.
These are true motorcycling boots in that they have a heavily reinforced toe, heel and
malleolus protection. For you non-pre-med majors, the malleus is the bony part on either side of the ankle (median for the inside, lateral for the outside), and it's because of the malleolus that I wear heavy duty boots. A long time ago as a hospital-based education intern, I witnessed a motorcycle rider who was brought into the ER at a small hospital in Central Florida. Somehow, he had sustained some severe damage to his right foot, and without going into too much detail, I learned that the malleolus area of the ankle is at risk when riding, perhaps even more so when it's a motorcycle. A scooter accident will also put your lower extremities at risk, but there might be a slightly lower risk for the kind of injuries that I saw that day. The conclusion - ride carefully and always wear protective outer garments, especially boots with toe, heel and malleolus protection - over the ankle and up your leg… like the Icon Field Armor Chukka Boots.
The fit of these boots is firm, but tight. In fact, I couldn't get the cross-foot keeper strap to un-hook until I took a long look at the mechanism. Once I put them on, I was initially concerned that the 10.5 size I ordered was too small for my 10.5-sized feet. After adjusting the strap and loosening the laces a bit, I could comfortably put my foot in the boots and after just a few wearings, they are not only comfortable, but feel great, like armor for your feet.
These are advertised as summer boots, and I could tell that they offered significant ventilation by riding in January in Detroit in them. Still, they were comfortable during my ride and the solid construction gave me confidence putting my left foot out at a stop. The feel is very solid for sure. I was again surprised when I got back from my ride and went to pop the scoot up on the center stand. My Honda Reflex weighs around 375 lbs. and I was shocked at the difference the boots made when putting it up on the center stand. When you have a boot on that is absolutely solid, the bike feels about a hundred pounds lighter. My foot didn't flex at all and provided a very stable platform for rocking the big scoot up on the stand. I'd go as far as to say that the Icon Field Armor Chukka Boots provided a much more substantial feel than even my police-issue Worx Duty Boots, themselves a huge improvement on what some scooterists wear every day. It may seem like a little thing, but having a solid grip on the ground and a firm sole goes a long way in building confidence in handling your scooter or motorcycle when stopping, dismounting or even moving it around the garage.
These boots weren't made for walking
So the boots are great when you are on the scoot, but when you get off to walk a bit they are every bit as stiff as they are when you are putting your side stand up. I understand that they loosen up quite a bit (from the reviews), so I don't have any concerns that they will indeed be easier to walk in once a put a few miles on them. It will start with short walks!
I liked the almost half-price sale that I got these boots under, and I really appreciate the quality and feel of these boots when it comes to riding. Now I understand why serious bikers (and scooterists) should care about the quality of their foot protection. I'll still wear my assortment of steel-toed, over-the-ankle work-type boots, but for serious riding, I'll wear the Icon Field Armor Chukka Boots every time.
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