Product Test: 12 "Waterproof" Motorcycle Boots | Motorcycle Cruiser

Product Test: 12 "Waterproof" Motorcycle Boots

Real motorcyclists ride in the rain, and you used to be able to spot them by their soggy socks. No any more. These days there are motorcycle boots that will keep your tootsies dry even if you ride all month during monsoon season. But which boots? We put 12

Picking a motorcycle boot for serious riding can be confusing. Although it's far less confounding than the grocery store (Isn't "New and Improved" an oxymoron?), the motorcycle apparel market has its own hook phrases to ponder.

A cautious consumer must consider how a fabric can be "100 percent breathable and waterproof" simultaneously. If the material is porous enough to let water vapor escape in one direction, can it really keep water molecules from penetrating in the other direction? Can apparel be that conscientious?

It's a beautiful idea, especially when applied to motorcycle boots. A hard-core, nonbreathable slip-on motorcycle boot will certainly keep water from invading on the outside but it will also lock in the stinky moisture coming off your feet. Your boots and socks will reek and your feet will be perpetually moist. And since even slight dampness induces heat loss, your feet will still be freezing in a winter storm even though you've successfully protected them from the rain.

The other catch phrases you will encounter when shopping for rainworthy motorcycle gear are "water-repellent" and "water-resistant." A water-repellent motorcycle product is usually coated on the outside to increase the surface tension so that water tends to bead and roll off the exterior instead of soaking into it. This might be helpful in a drizzle, but coatings alone are easily overwhelmed. Water-resistant fabric is tightly woven to keep water from penetrating. It offers more water blockage for a longer period of time during typical exposure, especially when combined with a water-repellent coating.

These remedies don't really cut it for serious motorcycle riding though. The water-entry pressure is simply too high. The only sure-fire way to provide water protection in riding boots is to use a membrane that is waterproof during normal exposure, back it up with one or more layers of water-resistant fabric and treat the works with a repellent. Of course, to be truly functional, it still has to breathe (allow vapor transfer) or the whole effort is sunk by your own perspiration.

Which-Tex?

Although Gore-Tex didn't become a household name until the 1990s, W.L. Gore and Associates first patented its now well known breathable, waterproof textile way back in 1976. Gore-Tex is a microporous membrane laminated to one or two layers of a water-resistant fabric. The membrane is made of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (in essence, Teflon). Each square inch contains something like nine billion randomly spaced microscopic pores. The company claims each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, yet 700 times larger than water-vapor molecules. This explains why perspiration vapor escapes while actual wetness is blocked.

But again, perspiring minds want to know: Isn't breathing a two-way function? If the leather outer of your motorcycle boot were saturated, for example, wouldn't the evaporative effect force moisture vapor to breathe into the boot as easily as perspiration vapor is expelled? And what about seams and closures? Can there really be such a thing as a 100 percent waterproof boot?

I've owned more than a few boots that were guaranteed to be waterproof. And you know what? I've poured enough water out of those boots to fill a goldfish bowl. Admittedly, these weren't Gore-Tex-lined boots. But they were lined with comparable products that use the same properties. You see, Gore-Tex is a high-priced commodity and those companies lucky enough to be licensed for its use submit to rigid guidelines and inspections.

A wise shopper must also know that there are as many Gore-Tex sound-alike brands as there are other brands of facial tissue on the grocery shelf. Of the 12 boots we tested, only four were licensed Gore-Tex products. The others used breathable barrier systems such as Aero-Tex, Dri-Lex, Imper-Tex, Puratex, Sympatex and so on.

How We Tested

But no matter the brand-x you're using, the question is: How does it perform on a motorcycle in the rain? It was impossible to actually ride with the 12 boots in comparable conditions...especially during a California summer. So, we enlisted the very scientific spigot test. We found a high-pressure setting on a garden sprayer that simulated vigorous rain at highway speed. Then we arranged for the spray to impact each boot (including a non-waterproof control boot) at a downward, diagonal angle for 20 minutes. Each boot was then fondled and inspected extensively and the results were recorded.

After allowing the boots to dry for a day (yes, some succumbed to the short-term spray) it was time for the bathtub challenge. We found a very sophisticated way to sink the boots (harder than you think) using several barstools weighted with books. The boots were removed from the ankle-deep water and checked thoroughly at 20 minutes, one hour, three hours, six hours -- and for six hardy competitors -- 12 hours.

The results and complexity of the findings were interesting and somewhat shocking. For one thing, the phrase "100 percent waterproof" is thrown around this marketplace a bit loosely. We found only one boot to be truly waterproof.

Another unexpected result was that all of the motorcycle boots took on water (in one case three pounds). Some water was held in the saturated hide, but most of it was caught between the leather and the membrane. You see the problem: How will the water get out? Our sopping wet non-waterproof boot was almost completely dry in 12 hours. Some of these high-tech, waterproof designs still had several ounces of water onboard three days later.

Those waterproof motorcycle boots that survived 20 minutes in the tub will undoubtedly keep your feet dry in a rainstorm, as subsequent experience riding with them in full deluges has proved. And it could be that if you don't go out of your way to ride in the rain, the least waterproof boot in this test might very well be completely suitable in your world.

Since riding boots can be expensive, it's necessary to weigh in all the features that are important, take a realistic look at how much rain riding you actually do. and then factor in your budget and style. You'll find there's a boot out there that will fit your needs just as neatly as it fits your foot.

The Boot Facts

A motorcycle boot must satisfy many expectations in order to be deemed truly functional for the serious rider. For example, its sturdiness must go beyond mere support to actively protect your feet and ankles in the event of a crash.

The boot sole should be contoured to aid traction, and made from a compound that's durable yet tacky enough to grip the pavement. The ideal motorcycle boot isn't easy to find and many factors should be considered before making your purchase.

Usually, the softer the boot's leather, the more comfortable the boot is going to be. But this often means the leather is thinner, which compromises protection and durability. The ideal motorcyclist's boot uses thick, yet supple leather.

Some kind of flex panels (ribbed or bellowed sections) in the ankle area are a great comfort enhancement. They allow your ankles to flex easily while braking, shifting and, of course, walking. You won't find these flex sections on engineer-style slip-on boots since the upper is wide enough to allow some movement within the boot. However, our general feeling about this style is that if the boots are easy to slip on they're more likely to slip off. You don't want to lose a boot in a crash. The most functional boots are secured to your ankle using laces, zippers, hook-and-loop straps or a combination of the above.

The lining in a motorcycle boot will be your ally in all kinds of weather. You want something that will wick away moisture, allowing your feet to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wearing the proper kinds of socks also makes a big difference. Visit a store that sells serious backpacking equipment, and you'll find high-tech socks in a range of thicknesses, one of which will feel just right in your boots. Socks can enhance insulation, breathability and fit.

Fashionable motorcycle boots don't always provide enough tread for stability. The best soles to manage road surface irregularity have a tread pattern that runs sideways as well as fore and aft. For example, you need a different directional grip when you're backing up the bike than you would if your foot slips out sideways in gravel or sand.

Thick rubber soles help to damp vibration. And depending on the amount of vibration you must deal with, you may also want to consider some padded inserts. You can find a variety at your local drug store including some pricey gel versions. Some people say even Odor Eaters help to damp vibration.

The best boots will provide adequate heel and toe cups designed to flex under pressure. Shin protection -- usually a plastic panel integrated into the lining -- is a plus but ankles are more susceptible to injury. Sport and sport-touring boots often feature high-tech armor for the ankle, and you can usually order them in basic black. These styles are also the most likely to incorporate the safety asset of reflective inserts.

Finally, to avoid water leaking into your boots, we're thoroughly satisfied you can't go wrong with Gore-Tex or Sympatex. You can condition your plain leather boots with repellents like saddle soap or lanolin. (Some people swear by vegetable oil applied every day for a week.) Camp Dry Mink Oil Conditioner is a better bet though, and Camp Dry also offers a heavy-duty water repellent. These repellents may not keep your feet dry in a deluge, but they'll do in a sprinkle.

BMW GORE-TEX BOOTS $296

BMW has a history of building substantial motorcycles, and the apparel it now sells is no less serious. The BMW Gore-Tex boots have been on the market long enough to have acquired an excellent reputation, which our test data supports. The 11.5-inch tall BMW boots outperformed all the other Gore-Tex-lined boots in the competition, and were outlasted only by Sidi's Sympatex-lined entry. In the real world either of these boots would keep your feet dry in a tsunami, so the choice would depend more on style and price.

BMW chose a zippered side entry for its boot and covered it with a sturdy hook-and-loop overflap, which keeps this stalwart boot looking streamlined. The look, which includes reflective components, is more refined than the boots that use external hook-and-loop straps for closure, but there is some limit to ankle and calf adjustability. Stretch zones are located above the heel and from the front to the ankle. The BMW boots also have Kevlar reinforcement at the shin and ankle and impact-absorbing nonslip soles.

The BMW boot was impervious to the blast of water in the hose test; the water beaded and rolled off without absorbing into the soft leather. In our water-filled-tub test the BMW boot remained dry inside through the six-hour mark even though it had gained some water weight, eventually riding from its 1.9-pound dry weight to 3.0 pounds. At 12 hours there was a hint of dampness at the heel seam, but the moisture was nearly imperceptible. There's no way real-world riding would simulate such severe circumstances, and the heel area would be least vulnerable to rain. After a day in the tub the BMW boot did lose some dye on contact, but dried in under 24 hours.

If you have a taste for the stately, we would definitely recommend the BMW Gore-Tex. A pair will cost you about $296.

CRUISERWORKS CRUISEBOOTS $199

Cruiserworks designers put a lot of thought into this product. They've focused on creating the "ultimate cruiser boot" and perhaps they have. Most cruiser-style boots don't incorporate high-tech features, and most high-tech boots don't spend much time on style issues. These 9.5-inch-tall slip-on nostalgic engineer-style boots are the only option in the lineup offering visual attitude for a reasonable price, though features such as reflectivity and armor are not part of the traditional package.

Cruiserworks uses premium leather for its boots that's been aggressively treated with waterproofing compounds prior to construction. The slip-on style also enhances weatherproofness. An internal Dri-lex membrane is the breathable barrier of choice. The Cruiserboot outsole is oil- and acid-resistant and seems to be flexible enough for immediate comfort yet strong enough for extended wear. Ankle protection is enhanced with a layer of ballistic nylon, and a fiberboard footbed is used to damp vibration.

The Cruiserworks boot performed perfectly during the spray test. Water rolled off the exterior and there was no leakage. In the bathtub -- a situation the company views as unrealistic -- the boot was absolutely dry at the critical 20-minute check. After an hour, the heel area and arch were slightly damp. The boot had completely succumbed at three hours and 5.5 ounces of blackish water poured out. Unfortunately, the leather dye was not colorfast and it came off with the slightest touch. The nonreinforced shifter area could also lose color from constant wear. Luckily no water was held internally, though the 1.5-pound boot soaked up .9 pound of water, and the boots were the quickest to dry. Several staffers wear these boots regularly, rain or shine, and find them very comfortable and dry.

Cruiserboots are available in full and half sizes 7 to 13, and medium or wide widths, for $199.

DAINESE TOURING DRYLINE BOOTS $275

This Italian company makes serious motorcycle-riding apparel, mostly targeted at sport riders. The 10.5-inch-tall Dryline boots look like a cross between a touring boot and a high-tech sport boot, neatly meshing the two characteristics demanded by each of those markets: comfort and protection.

The shin area is armored with plastic-composite impact panels sewn into the boot while exterior impact pads vigorously shield the ankle bone and give a racy look. An elastic panel helps provide a snug fit around the calf, and padded, ribbed sections are incorporated into the front and back ankle areas to provide flexibility. Dainese Dryline boots feature shifter toe patches, replaceable high-traction soles and tastefully integrated reflective trim. The boots close using a top-to-bottom zipper covered with a hook-and-loop-fastened overflap.

Dainese uses a Dryline liner. It proved impervious to the high-pressure spray and was completely dry after 20 minutes in standing water. The boot was only slightly damp in the gusseted zipper area after an hour, but since the closure faces the bike, it would see little direct rain. At three hours the boot was damp inside because it was holding so much water between the membrane and leather outer, particularly in the outside foot area where there are multiple seams. The dampness was caused by the boot lining doing its breathing bit, only backward. The lining did not appear to be overwhelmed and there was absolutely no color transfer. It took more than a day to fully dry.

Dryline boots come in European sizes 40 to 46 for a suggested $275.

FRANK THOMAS VOYAGER BOOTS $270

Frank Thomas did a vanishing act in the American market in the '80s but now the English-designed-and-produced boots are back thanks to a new importer, Cycle Gear. The high-end Gore-Tex boot, the priciest one here, features a molded antislip, anticrush sole, reflective inserts, stretch panels at the front and back of the ankle for flexibility, and protective inserts for the shin and ankle areas. A steel shank running from the heel to the middle of the foot provides rigidity, which the company claims could enhance protection in a crash.

This 11.5-inch-high sport-touring style motorcycle boot is one of a few entries that begs to be put on. The leather appears supple enough to require minimal break-in time, and the interior is nicely cushioned. A zippered entry offers easy access and is securely covered by a hook-and-loop overflap. There was no discernible leakage after the 20-minute hosing, although shortly afterward the boot felt damp inside. The leather soaked up a lot of water during the spraying -- more than most of the other boots tested -- and after a brief time the Gore-Tex allowed some of the vapor into the interior.

In the tub, the Frank Thomas Voyager boots took more time to dampen. They felt completely dry after 20 minutes and there was only a hint of dampness after a full hour. Again, this was an effect of the Gore-Tex lining diligently doing its job, only in reverse. After 12 hours of submersion, the Frank Thomas boots felt no more damp than they had at one hour, even though the leather upper had swallowed almost two pounds of water. It took over a day to fully dry. We believe this particular Gore-Tex entry was defeated more quickly as a result of less repellency, something you could easily doctor at home (although you shouldn't have to, considering the boots' lofty price).

Voyagers are available in American sizes 5 to 12 (the lower sizes are intended for women).

HARLEY-DAVIDSON INSULATED GORE-TEX BOOTS $195

Harley-Davidson's boot has a sort of combat style, like a refined version of what you'd expect on paratroopers. But the low nine-inch height and outdoorsy Cordura inserts give it a more civilized look.

This is the only lace-up boot we could find outside the military-clothing stores that offered viable all-weather protection, including a layer of Thinsulate not included in the other boots. The style does not include relfectivity or extra armor. The lacing situation would seem to be pretty vulnerable to water penetration since the nooks and crannies it creates collect water so readily. The Cambrelle and Gore-Tex liner in this boot was truly put to the test.

The H-D Insulated Gore-Tex boot is heavy, tipping the scales at 2.3 pounds dry. When we sprayed it with water for 20 minutes the Cordura, leather and lace combination soaked up an additional few ounces of water, but there was no discernible leakage. If there is a vulnerable spot on this boot it's along the triple-stitched horizontal seam where it decoratively dips downward. In the tub, this boot was a trooper. It made it through the first six hours without any water or water vapor dampening the interior. If you're looking for a lace-up boot that will keep your feet dry and won't transfer any dye, you needn't look further. The boot did become overwhelmed eventually, somewhere near the 12-hour mark. And when we hoisted it out of the tub it weighed an unwieldy 5.3-pounds.It required over a day to dry. In the real world, it would never be faced with such abuse.

Harley-Davidson's boot is laden with features and high-end brand-name materials. The Cordura is a thick 1000 denier and the Thinsulate lining's density is 200 grams. There's a removable cushioned insole and the oil-resistant rubber outsole is a Goodyear welt application.

The Harley-Davidson Insulated Gore-Tex is a hefty boot with a lightweight retail price of $195 (men's sizes only).

HEIN GERICKE COMMANDER BOOTS $155

These lightweight (1.4 pounds each when dry) boots are affordable and would probably do a fine job of keeping your feet dry if you only occasionally ride in the rain, and head for the barn as soon as you do. These boots are imported from Italy by a company we have a lot of faith in, Intersport Fashions West. Unfortunately, the company's high-end Gore-Tex boots -- which are sold under the Firstgear brand name -- were unavailable for our test. Firstgear was about to replace its hugely successful H20 boot with an upgraded model, the Millennium. Past experience with Firstgear H20-series boots suggests they'd have finished at or near the top of the pack in this test.

However, what we had was the Commander, a handcrafted leather motorcycle boot that uses Puratex as the lining. There is no armor. The boot closes using a hook-and-loop system, which allows for a good degree of adjustment around the ankle and calf. The Commanders come with nonslip, oil-resistant soles and reflective panels at the heel. There is a flex panel in the Achilles'-heel area but it appears to be a bit too small to be effective. We'd also like to see shifter padding on the tops of the boots. The hosing caused leaks at the instep seams and along the vertical front seams. The thin gusset backing the closure system also failed at the seams. In addition, the front of the boot incurred some odd blistering which remained once the boot dried.

In the tub, things didn't go well either. After 20 minutes there was dampness throughout the footbed, especially in the toe area. By one hour the thing was taking on water like the Titanic. By the time we hauled it up at the three-hour mark there was four ounces of water standing in the boot and at least as much caught behind the lining. It had sucked up 1.5 pounds of water. There wasn't any dye transference, however, which is a good thing when you've got a soggy boot. It wasn't dry after 24 hours.

The Commander is one of the few weather-treated options that comes in women's sizes as well as men's.

JOE ROCKET RHINO BOOTS $150

The least-expensive boot in this test is no slouch, but it does have a pliable nature and a cushy interior that promises immediate comfort. It's the bedroom slipper of waterproof boots and will not take nearly as long to break in as some of its more rigid competitors. For flexibility when shifting, braking and simply walking, the Rhino uses double cutouts in the thick main body of leather, backed with more pliable cushioned leather. This is a different approach than standard bellows created by stitching, and it's more immediately effective.

Though it lacks refelctivity, the 10.5-inch tall Rhino provides the wearer protection with features like Kevlar reinforcement throughout and double leather in the shin and toe areas. The rugged nonslip, stepped sole is aggressive and tacky. When you put your foot down it's not going anywhere, no matter what the road surface. The only drawback to such a grippy outsole is its inability to slide smoothly over footpegs; with floorboards, it's not such a concern. The Rhino uses a side-closure system that consists of two adjustable hook-and-loop straps at the ankle and a larger panel at the calf.

During its simulated 20-minute deluge, the Joe Rocket boot had no leaks. It beaded nicely and the soft leather didn't appear to absorb any water. At the 20-minute bathtub inspection the Rhino was completely dry as well. After a full hour the boot was heavy but dry inside. We suspected a little moisture might be ready to penetrate around the shift-pad seams. By three hours the boot had finally become overwhelmed and was pulled out weighing 3.5 pounds (a 2.2-pound gain). There was no dye transfer whatsoever, but it required more than a day to fully dry.

The Rhino is comfortable and has the lowest price of all the boots tested, at a suggested $150.

MOTOPORT PERFORMER AX BOOTS $219

Touted as a touring boot, the Performer is one of the shorter boots in our lineup at nine inches tall, a characteristic many riders prefer. The top of the boot graduates from front to rear and offers hook-and-loop calf adjustment. The Performer offers built-in shin protection and ankle reinforcements as well as a rugged, oil-resistant sole. Reflective inserts decorate the upper heel area and flexible, ribbed padding at the front of the ankle enhances on- and off-the-bike comfort. The boot is constructed of full-grain leather that is double-stitched in all critical areas and lined with a membrane system called Aero-Tex.

These lightweight boots might do fine in mild rain but they leaked during our hose test. There was dampness at the low point of the horizontal side seams and behind the ribbed arch area. In the tub, the Performer didn't perform so well either. At 20 minutes the footbed was thoroughly damp and the toe area was sopping wet. This was the first boot we noticed to be holding water between the liner and the leather -- after three hours it was hard to reach a hand inside because the lining had ballooned so much. The footbed was soaked at that point and the $219 Performer, holding 1.4 ounces of wateron top of its 1.2-pound dry weight, was moved to the drying table, where it did fully dry in less than a day. It did not transfer any dye when wet.

SIDI DRY ROAD BOOTS $175

The Sidi Dry Road is an affordable, versatile motorcycle boot made from Lorica, which looks just like leather yet is lighter, easier to maintain and often proves more durable. It offers a rigid, built-in nylon shin plate and armor for the anklebonebut no reflectivity. Padded, ribbed inserts at the arch of the boot provide flexibility. This 11-inch-tall sport-touring-style boot, with its low heel, aggressive, nonslip sole and flared calf should provide comfort for walking as well as riding. Sidi choose Te-Por as its breathable/waterproof lining for the Dry Road. When we turned the hose on these stylish boots we wondered how the shift-pad area would hold up since it has multiple seams and sits on the flattest part of the boot.

The Dry Road's water-beading ability was excellent and, surprisingly, no dampness occurred in the toe area. However, there were damp spots in the arch area and at the bottom of the zipper gusset after the high-pressure spraying. The low-end Sidi was slightly damp throughout the boot after 20 minutes in standing water, yet at three hours it wasn't any damper. By six hours, the boot finally gave up and came out soggy, weighing 2.6 pounds (a 1.2-ounce gain). However, it was color fast and dried in under 24 hours.

SIDI ON ROAD SYMPATEX BOOTS $230

This is it. The only boot among our contenders that actually deserves to be advertised as 100 percent waterproof. Even after all the other boots had reached the point of saturation, the On Road remained impervious. Out of curiosity, we left them in the tub for an additional 12 hours and still nothing -- not even a hint of dampness inside. And unlike some of the other boots, the Sidis didn't trap water between the leather and lining, proving that the seams work beautifully too. After 12 hours the boot did weigh an additional three ounces, which was probably due to water held in the leather itself. The On Road was in the tub for a full 24 hours, yet it was still dry before two-thirds of its competitors -- all of which had an extra 12 hours on the drying table. It did transfer some dye when wet, though.

This is an impressive motorcycle boot in many other ways. The On Road's Italian top-grain leather is treated to be oil-resistant as well as water-resistant for easy cleaning, yet the whole, fully lined package is breathable enough to be comfortable in hot weather, even when you're wearing thick socks. The toe/shifter area is reinforced with an additional layer of leather, and soft, padded leather inserts at the front and back of the ankle provide immediate flexibility. The shin area receives additional padding for impact protection.

The On Road's look is a bit different from the other boots we tested. It's tall (12.5 inches) and uses four hook-and-loop adjustable straps drawn through plastic eyelets for closure. It's a bit of a soft-core, endurance-style look and almost everyone tends to think "Mad Max" when they see them. These ain't no sissy boots, and the performance backs up the stout looks.

Sidi's impressive and impervious On Road boots are available in sizes 5 through 13 for approximately $230.

TRIUMPH ALL SEASON BOOTS $172

Here's a short (10-inch-tall), classically styled motorcycle touring boot from England. They should know a thing or two about wet weather there, you think? It turns out they do, and they also know a bit about economics. Triumph sent the Imper-Tex-lined All Season as its budget waterproof boot and asked that we also include the high-end Gore-Tex model in the roundup.

The budget All Season retails for approximately $172. And we found you get what you pay for. If you don't often get caught in the rain, the All Season may be more than enough boot. It offers a built-in shin plate and ankle armor system as well as molded-plastic shift pads. Padded bellows at the instep and above the heel provide flexibility, and the nonslip rubber sole with its well-designed tread pattern offers a good blend of road grip and easy movement on the pegs. Reflective material is designed into the heel area.

The All Season boot didn't do so well during the high-pressure hose test. The boot's leather outer soaked up water especially in the bellowed instep area, probably as a result of insufficient repellent. Inside there was very slight dampness in this area and near the heel where the sectional seams overlap. In the tub, the All Season took its time to reach the point of saturation. It was dry after a full hour, but at the next check the Imper-Tex membrane had swelled inward and the entire footbed was slightly damp. There was no dye transfer from this boot however, and it was one of the quickest to dry.

TRIUMPH GORE-TEX BOOTS $254

All the Gore-Tex boots were outstanding in our test, and by the final draining of the bathtub, Triumph's high-end motorcycle boot ranked third in the overall competition. It's a ruggedly built boot made from thick full-grain cowhide bonded to an aggressively treaded Skywalk sole. Plastic inserts protect the ankle on both sides and an internal plastic plate guards the shin. The 10-inch-tall boot features molded-plastic heel guards and shift pads. A large padded and ribbed section at the instep should offer immediate comfort and flexibility. A smaller flex section above the heel includes reflective material.

This boot closes using two adjustable hook-and-loop straps drawn through eyelets at the ankle, and a large panel of hook-and-loop material at the calf to offer the widest range of adjustment of all the boots here. A large Gore-Tex-lined gusset protects this opening and folds out to provide easy entry. While this system is very convenient we feared the gaps between the hook-and-loop straps would be a weak point.

In the hose test, the gusset area did indeed pool water but the boot inside remained absolutely dry. In the tub, the Triumph Gore-Tex was watertight up to six hours, and even on that check, the dampness in the heel area was almost imperceptible. At 12 hours there was still only minor dampness, but it had spread to the instep and toe area. Undoubtedly, the slight dampness in all five Gore-Tex boots was a result of the liner breathing inward. It dried in less than opur allotted 24 hours and did not transfer any dye. Judging by the results, the Triumph Gore-Tex boot would keep your feet absolutely dry under any natural conditions.

This boot is available in men's and women's sizes.

RESOURCES

BMW
See your local dealer
(800) 345-4BMW
www.bmwmotorcycles.com

Cruiserworks, LLC
104 Bradford Road
Keene, NH 03431
(800) 955-1187 or (603) 352-0559
www.cruiserworks.com

Dainese via Motorace
P.O. Box 861
Wilbraham, MA 01095
(800) 628-4040 or (413) 734-6211
www.motorace.com

Frank Thomas via Cycle Gear
4950 Industrial Way
Benicia, CA 94510
(800) CYCLEGEAR or (707) 747-0330
www.cyclegear.com

Harley-Davidson
See your local dealer
(800) LUV2RIDE
www.harley-davidson.com

Hein Gericke via Intersport Fashions West, Inc.
15602 Mosher Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780
(800) 416-8255 or (714) 258-2120
www.intersportfashions.com

Joe Rocket by Outer Space Sports
P.O. Box 2826
Idaho Falls, ID 83403
(800) 635-6103 or (208) 523-7373
www.joerocket.com

Motoport
6110 Yarrow Dr.
Carlsbad, CA 92009
(800) 777-6499 or (760) 929-4880
www.motoport.com

Sidi via Motonation
14168 Poway Road Suite 205
Poway, CA 92064
(877) 789-4940 or (858) 513-6280
www.motonation.com

Triumph
See your local dealer
(800) RIDETRI
www.triumph.co.uk

For additional evaluations of, comparisons of, and shopping advice for motorcycle gear and accessories, see the Accessories and Gear section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.

Photography by Dean Groover

**The Sock Solution: **_If you love the boots you currently own, or can't afford to spend upward of $200 on a new pair of waterproof boots, check out the Gore-Tex Oversocks we found at REI (800/426-4840; www.rei.com) for $42. These socks are very thin, lightweight, extremely comfortable and guaranteed waterproof. Another reputable dealer is Quartermaster (800/444-8643) where you can order weatherproof goodies via their on-line store at www.qmuniforms.com.

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