As a primarily warm weather BMW rider (as many of us are), I consider overheating more often to be a personal problem than a mechanical one. Nothing can zap energy or ruin a good ride quicker than being too hot. A lot of gear in recent years has addressed this problem, but many riding boots still remain feet furnaces. Enter the FirstGear Mesh Lo Boots. This hiker-style boot/riding shoe is the answer for those seeking more cool comfort without sacrificing too much protection.
This three-season boot provides excellent mid-foot venting and perforations on the sides and back of the ankles to keep them cool all over. The temperature regulating features come at the cost of not being able to call them waterproof, but I wouldn’t hesitate to take them through some light rain anyway. If you ride through heavy rain regularly, these boots aren’t for you, nor are they supposed to be. The top of the boot covers the anklebones, and some additional protection in the form of plastic impact pieces is sewn into both sides of the ankle. The full lace-up style adds to the comfort and gives a custom fit and feel of a shoe. Also adding to the comfort is a fairly flexible sole with a street-style tread. The heel area and toe box are reinforced and an additional layer of hard rubber is laid over the toe to firm up and protect the boot where you shift.
The boot features a Velcro strap near the top, designed to hide the laces and possibly provide additional ankle support/adjustment, but in my case, it didn’t. I don’t consider my ankles unusually slender, but the “hook” strap was so long that it overshot its receiving “loop” patch on the side of the boot. I would have much rather seen a strap that doubles back on itself, which would have provided more support and adjustment. This is my only very minor complaint about the boots; despite the strap’s looseness, it still holds the laces out of the way and is something I don’t think about anymore.
FirstGear sells the boots in full U.S. sizes, but the inside of the tongue is prominently marked with their European size. I also encountered a retailer stating that the boots run small by half a size, though in my case they ran true to my U.S. size. As with any piece of footwear, you just don’t know until you put it on. The width of these boots is relatively generous, and it added to the comfort factor in my case. They are probably close to a D or E.
Regarding styling, the all black combination of leather and mesh is very sharp and you could easily wear these off the bike without being hunted down by the fashion police.
I am very pleased to finally own boots with many desirable qualities of casual shoes that still offer solid motorcycle protection. At $100 (list price $109.95), they are packed full of value and prepare you for a full day of riding and/or walking. So enjoy the summer with a cool and comfortable riding boot … I know I am!
For more information or ordering, visit your local FirstGear dealer, check out www.firstgear-usa.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-258-9008.