Help me replace my motorcycle boots!
July 27, 2018 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I have a hand-me-down pair of Red Wing motorcycle boots, model 969. That style has been discontinued for a while. This pair is starting to reach its last legs - recommend me something similar, please?

When I got these boots from my previous roommate, the soles were already pretty much worn smooth. I know that Red Wing will resole them for me, for a fee, and I'm thinking about doing that. But, the tops are getting worn down from daily riding, especially the toe box on the left, and I'm not sure that this can be reconditioned away. Given that, I want to look at finding a new pair of similar boots, because I sure do love these.

Things I love:

* they're mid-calf high. Not too high, not too low
* they're pull-on, no zipper or ties. And they go on super easily, at least in part because...
* the opening at the top is slightly flared out. Every other pair of boots I've tried at that height are straight tubed, and the top of the boot ends up rubbing against my leg. I have... texture issues with that
* the leather is super soft. Some of that is wear, I'm sure.

I'm not super-married to the harness style - something just as comfortable without the harness would be worth taking a look at.

So, please, shoot my your best, similar motorcycle boot recommendations.
posted by hanov3r to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Chippewa has something pretty close. Searching for ‘engineer boots’ is going to get you some closer hits than motorcycle boots.
posted by furnace.heart at 2:18 PM on July 27, 2018

They are most likely WAY MORE than you want to spend, but Wesco Harness Boots are available as a custom style. I assume getting them to flare the top a little would be no big deal! And I know they'll do a patch on the top of the foot for protection from the shifter.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:32 PM on July 27, 2018

Red Wing makes a similar harness boot, model 2990.

While not exactly a motorcycle boot, I personally really like my 1178s.
posted by bradf at 2:43 PM on July 27, 2018

Frye has some engineer boots that might fit. They're pricy, but super long-wearing.
posted by goggie at 2:57 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

How about this one from Falco?
posted by essexjan at 3:04 PM on July 27, 2018

posted by oflinkey at 3:22 PM on July 27, 2018

You’re correct that the leather on your current boots feels soft due to wear. Quality leather boots that will actually function as motorcycle boots won’t feel soft until they’re broken in. Think of it as an investment (of time and money.)

I love Fryes, which tend to feel unyielding at first then become basically a custom fit over time as the leather shapes to your feet. They last ages too. You can tuck your jeans into the boots during break-in to loosen the tops and keep them off your legs.
posted by kapers at 4:11 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Both the RW 2990s and 1178s have flat soles which kinda make them no goes. I sometimes ride in the rain, and a flat sole on a wet pavement line is an invitation to having to pick my bike up off the ground.

The Falcos look almost perfect, but there's no way to see what the sole looks like. On the other hand, they're not super expensive, even with shipping from .euro. I'm going to give them a shot, but I'd love to see more possibilities (I don't think anyone can have too many boots).
posted by hanov3r at 4:28 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another option is to restore the shoes you already have and like. I'm not sure if they can do it for your particular shoes, but it might be worth a phone call, anyway. Oops edit to say that you already know this and I'm an idiot, sorry!
posted by middlethird at 10:37 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Here's a listing for some old, worn Falco boots which show what the sole looks like and a few more images of the boots (posting for info only, not suggesting you should buy these). They definitely seem to have the flared top you're looking for.
posted by essexjan at 2:59 AM on July 28, 2018

I ended up ordering a pair of the Falcos, and they arrived yesterday. They're really decent, especially for the price - soles have some traction, they're slightly flared and just the right height. Thanks, everyone!
posted by hanov3r at 7:21 AM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

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