RSD Mojave Boots Reviewed—Again

Breaking in RSD’s burly, waterproof kicks, now in a Tobacco color.

Tough, burly, and waterproof, the Mojave boots from Roland Sands now come in this distressed Tobacco color.
Tough, burly, and waterproof, the Mojave boots from Roland Sands now come in this distressed Tobacco color.Andrew Cherney

The thing I love the best about Roland Sands Design’s Mojave boot is the thing that annoys me the most. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

First things first. The Mojave boots aren’t a brand-new item; they’ve been kicking around RSD’s catalog for a couple of years now. But RSD did recently release a new color option—Tobacco—which I scored to make me feel like I was testing some new gear item. Anyway, I was sold on the color right away, and Tobacco is the perfect description for it—you can practically smell the nicotine coming off the smoky brown leather, which sports an uneven distressed look.

We’ve been splashing around with these for a couple of months now, with no moisture getting inside.
We’ve been splashing around with these for a couple of months now, with no moisture getting inside.Andrew Cherney

Our other main considerations for boots are construction, fit, and styling, and the Mojave’s look gets right to the point with a round toe and wedge sole that definitely nails a tough, no-holds-barred street style. It’s modern yet sporting a hint of old-school work boot, but the Mojave also doesn’t forget it’s also moto gear—the leather is thick as a two-by-four, the heel and toe cups are bombproof (without being steel), and the shaft height keeps your ankles under wraps where they belong. Extra leather combats gear shift lever wear, and the Vibram soles offer spring and good support. All good so far.

The padded upper cuff adds another measure of protection and comfort.
The padded upper cuff adds another measure of protection and comfort.Andrew Cherney

Slip them on and the first thing you notice is their burliness—the thing I love—right out of the box. That fat cowhide leather encases your toes like an iron safe, which also brings me to the annoying thing: that thick construction means an initial resistance with getting them on. You’ll need some finessing and patience to fully get them over your feet; that protective leather requires a serious break-in period and they feel like motocross boots at first. I’ve had these things for close to two months now (and have worn them pretty much every other day) and they’re just now starting to feel broken in.

But there are also a few good reasons for that, namely a molded, reinforced heel cup (stiff and protective as it should be) molded ankle protector insert, and a well-structured toe box, also with a molded protective insert. There’s even mid-foot protection, and a stiff reinforced shank underfoot (incorporated into the midsole); when taken together, all that reinforcement is naturally going to add up to some extra stiffness and, frankly, I think the price of protection is sometimes worth a little inconvenience.

Reflective insert on the heel for night rides and a leather strap up top for easier entry.
Reflective insert on the heel for night rides and a leather strap up top for easier entry.Andrew Cherney

That said, after two months they’re feeling better than ever, and inside, there was never an issue; the moisture-wicking footbed features what RSD calls a “cheater insole,” which sports three layers and packs gel inserts at the mid foot and heel to cushion impacts. They’re far comfier than your average throwaway motoboot insoles, and even long walks in them are a treat.

The few minor nits I have aren’t deal breakers either. The waxed laces are long and sturdy but untie easily; the sole is light and springy but the zig-zag tread pattern could be more aggressive; the clunky toe/thick shift pad can interfere with some shift levers; and I wish the insole had more robust arch support. See? Minor. Just check the clearance on your bike’s shift lever before you go for a ride and you’ll be fine.

You might have to adjust your shift lever slightly to clear the Mojave’s thick shift pad. No big deal.
You might have to adjust your shift lever slightly to clear the Mojave’s thick shift pad. No big deal.Andrew Cherney

Otherwise I’m totally down with the Mojaves. I’ve worn them in the rain and mud multiple times (can’t you tell?) and the waterproof Hipora barrier does its job well, though the polyester moisture-wicking lining is a bit less effective in warmer situations. The Scotchlite reflective stripe running vertically on the back heel is also a nice touch, and like I said, the breaking-in is making them even more comfortable.

Vibram sole is nice and light, but gets discolored easily. We also wish the tread was a bit more aggressive.
Vibram sole is nice and light, but gets discolored easily. We also wish the tread was a bit more aggressive.Andrew Cherney

Bottom line, I feel like my feet are motocross-level protected while wearing them. The Mojave’s stout construction means they run slightly bigger than regular sizes, but if you wear a thick sock you’ll be good. They’re available in four colors (and be aware sole color may differ on each option) and will run you $300, which may seem spendy but, in this case, I’m calling it justified.

The Mojave’s a great all-around super-sturdy full-height moto boot.
The Mojave’s a great all-around super-sturdy full-height moto boot.Roland Sands Design