Gasolina El Tigre Boots Review

Custom motorcycle boots built for style, comfort, and protection.

El Tigre boots in black leather are available for $259 on
El Tigre boots in black leather are available for $259 on Boots

Testing boots can be a tougher business than it sounds. So many times we will get a new pair just past the break-in period only to have the soles come off or the stitching come undone. It's supposed to be the break-in period, not the breaking period. But we've also seen well-made boots quickly distinguish themselves, like this pair of Gasolinas, and that's why we're, to test them out and fill you in. Now I have been wearing them almost daily for two months, from mild dirt to serious street riding–they have handled it all with ease and are only getting better.

Gasolina was started by Todd Fell after he moved down to Guanajuato, Mexico from Wisconsin in 1996. His plan was to retire, but being a lifelong motorcyclist, he commissioned a pair of café racer-styled boots from a local zapateria (shoemaker). Well, the boots came out amazing, and, seeing the opportunity, it looked like Todd's plans for retirement would have to wait a few more years. Now Todd's son Ashley helps manage the business and the line has expanded from one pair of café boots to more than a dozen styles of boots and a few cuts of jackets as well.

El Tigre boots in cordovan leather after a couple layers of dark polish.
El Tigre boots in cordovan leather after a couple layers of dark polish.Gasolina Boots

I first found Gasolina through a Facebook poll one of my friends was doing. The question was simple: “Who makes good motorcycle boots?” and in a world where everyone’s opinion is important and very rarely the same, several very respected opinions pointed us to Gasolina Boots. So I reached out through the website and was quickly contacted by Ashley. I was torn between two styles, the lace-up boot that seemed more fashion than moto, and the zip-up boot that was very functional but didn’t quite have the style I was after. I was delighted to find out the company had a new style in the works: El Tigre blended the best of each style I was stuck between and was just what I was looking for.

The boots feature a reinforced toe, shift pad, reinforced heel cup, and padded sections for both sides of your ankle. They lace up quickly with four eyelets on each side and two hooks, meaning you’re not sitting there for too long pulling on the laces to loosen or tighten them up, and they open wide when unlaced making it easy to get your foot in and out. The tread is a classic combat boot pattern with a Goodyear welt, ensuring many years of use with just replacing the rubber bottom when it’s worn out.

Morgan Gales on the Honda CB500X wearing the El Tigre boots.
Morgan Gales on the Honda CB500X wearing the El Tigre boots.Jeff Allen

As far as the leather, a lot of that is up to you. Ashley emailed me a handful of options for the leather color and finish, all top grain leather, but the cordovan leather that I chose is incredible. It is soft but strong and has taken the abuse that I’ve thrown at it quite well. Also, the red is unique so it attracts a certain amount of attention, if that’s your thing. The boots were a little bright when they first showed up, so I used some Dark Mahogany shoe polish to darken them up and I love the color they have settled into.

The boots are mostly made to order, but the company does keep a handful of popular sizes and styles in stock for quick shipping. If you want something unique, like a different color, stitching, or sole option, Gasolina can do that for you, but you will have to wait a little longer for construction.

For $259, I can undoubtedly say these are some of the best riding boots you can get for the money. There is great attention paid to detail, and the construction is excellent. I am looking forward to many more years in these boots and now I am eyeing their jackets.