Friday, August 14, 2015

Forget the glass slipper Princess - These boots are made for RIDING!

Most motorcyclists seem to be on the never ending quest for 'perfect' gear. Usually we all start out with basic entry level gear and progress to higher quality gear as our appreciation of our needs deepens with more riding. After a few seasons I decided being wet, cold, or too hot, just wasn't acceptable and in reality was taking away from my enjoyment and quality of riding.

My gear has come full circle and I have summer gear & cold weather gear. My needs have definitely changed since I've added teaching into the mix and also a new bike which is taller.  This is why I have a new pair of boots! 

My TCX T-Lily Goretex boots rocked my world for about 3 years, they were comfortable, waterproof and were breathable.  I do a lot of riding and they have been through a lot of Pacific Northwest rain, they have more than done the job and I was actually going to buy another pair as a replacement. The only reason I held back was I needed to figure out what to do about me being vertically challenged and needing to find a few inches from somewhere to get more foot on the ground when stopping and also getting off/on the bike.

I had two options 1) get the bike lowered, which involves buying lowering links, and cutting down the kickstand. 2) Finding boots with more sole and heel height. 

I was a little loathe to mess with the suspension on the bike because it does change the handling, and it was going to be a hassle and the cost was a little crazy.  

Enter option 2 - boots. One of my students purchased a pair of Daytonas and let me try them, it was amazing the difference they made, more foot on the ground! Now I just had to find a Canadian source to purchase them from. I checked with several local shops and no one carried them, the reason gave, "They are too high end and I have to purchase a lot just to order" blah, blah, blah. I've heard this so many times when buying gear, in fact every time and it's pretty frustrating.  I finally found two dealers in Canada, one in Alberta at Blackfoot Motosports in Calgary and the other in Ontario. After more research to figure out sizing  (thank you Gear Chic) and few phone calls and emails to Andy at Blackfoot all was set and I ordered a size 37. I placed the order on Tuesday and they arrived Thursday. 

I did a little dance around my office on Thursday and was squeeing with delight, it was all I could do not to tear down to the garage and test them out on 'The Duchess'.  I was training a new staff member for holiday relief and she thought it was pretty funny watching a grown woman go dotty over motorcycle boots.  I explained these just aren't any old boot, the are Daytonas, which are handmade in Germany and are Goretex. They are the proverbial glass slipper of motorcycle boots that every motorcycle diva riding princess would love to wear. Oh yeah baby I am that much in love with these boots!!
Some of you may be wondering what makes them so special, well they are handmade to start. There has been a lot of engineering and thought gone into the design of these boots. They have a very generous rubber sole which gives you height. There is adjustability in the calves to ensure a good fit. Very sturdy zippers with a good strong rubber pull tab. One of the biggest features for me is that they are Goretex, which when living in a rainy climate is a must. They are leather which works well with the inner Goretex boot liner. They are armored and have malleolus protection plates, shin protection and a steel shank in the sole for increased durability and protection. You are not sacrificing any safety here and it is a top of the line premium touring boot.

Calf adjustment to ensure the perfect fit.

The deciding factor for this purchase was that I gained 2" in leg length. For all you who are tall or have a long inseam this may seem like nothing, but when you are 5'3" of compactness you really get what a few inches can do for you when riding a bike with a high seat height. It makes a  difference when stopping and having more foot on the ground and it is definitely easier getting off a bike with a 31.9 seat height and not having to be an acrobatic contortionist struggling to get off the bike without tipping it over or killing yourself. It's actually pretty funny watching me get off the bike.
Comparison of the Daytona (left) to my well worn TCX T-Lily (right). You can see the difference in heel height. I was initially concerned about it and how it might possibly effect my shifting, it didn't and I didn't have to adjust the shift lever. I was a little concerned that they may not be flexible enough, but after sitting on the bike and squiggling around I found them comfortable foot position wise.
The Daytonas are cleverly designed, to give you a little more added height they have a cork insole which raises the heel counter and it adds to the height. The cork insole is pretty comfortable and has some cushion and give. They are removable so you can put a regular insole in there for all you tall people.  Daytona has also put a thin insole in to help with vibration from the bike which adds to the comfort. The toe box is roomy and not tight. They are a bit stiff, but will break in with wear, so I've been told by many lady Daytona wearers (gotta love blog land!) 
I love the generous reflective patch on the heel.  The Daytona Lady Pilot fit and finish is excellent, it's a premium product. I purchased them for $415 CDN.  All in all I am happy with my decision, now I just need to find some twisties to ride and put them through some riding. 
comparison of Daytona (left) and TCX T-Lily on right. On the balance I will say that had I not needed the extra height I would have bought another pair of T-Lily's they served me very well and stood up to the beating I put them through. They are Goretex and have been an excellent boot, they also run about $80 less, so if you are looking for a good Goretex boot without a heel, check the TCX boots out.  

So where did I leave that glass slipper????


Trobairitz said...

Nice boots Dar. Glad you found a supplier and got the ones you want. Hopefully they will be sneaker comfy in no time.

Scooterchick said...

Those are some skookum boots you got there! Hope they are comphy enough for you....:-).

VStar Lady said...

Good looking boots, hope they work out well for you.

SonjaM said...

I have only heard good stuff about the brand. Let's see how they do for you.

Edward Kilner said...

Dar, a question for you: Is the height adding cork insert in Men's boots too? If so, they may my next pair of boots as I am also short in leg length.

Dar said...

Ed Kilnet - yes! The insole gives extra height as well as outsole. It gave me 2 inches. They make a mens Daytona and it is the M star i think. They were cheaper at Blackfoot Motorsports in Calgary than the dealer in Ontario. I went down a size in the boots.

Deb said...

Wow! These seem to fit all your needs in every way. Perfect!

Interestingly, after you got your new Honda I saw one at the local shop and tried to straddle it. Could not. Way too big for me. I am 5'4" with a 29 inseam. So I was surprised that you are only 5'3"!!

How do you ride a bigger bike like this? I'd like to know because, really, I have thought motorcycle as a second ride, but all of them seem way too big for me and I am not wanting a cruiser geometry.

These boots would certainly be part of the solution, yeah? Ingenious!

Enjoy your boots, Dar! And they LOOK good too!

Dar said...

Deb - sometimes its a little acrobatic, the only time its an issue is when i am stopping or getting off. So i stop with my left foot down flat and my right up in my rear brake so it gives me stability. The boots give me a full 2 inches added height, so its better. However when I move up to teaching traffic students and there is the possibility of me having to carry a passenger i am going to get a lowering link which will dtop the bike another inch to 2 inches, then both feet will be flat on the ground.

If you are thinking motorcycle look at the Honda CTX700 DCT (dual clutch transmission) yup it can be ridden in an automatic mode - no clutch! It has the same engine as mine and is a sportbike/cruiser hybrid. It has the same frame and engine as my bike, but the seat height is 28 inches, its a whole 3 inches lower than my bike. The tank is under the seat so it has a lower centre of gravity and it gets scooter-like gas mileage. It comes in a fully fared version or a naked style. My bestie who is a bit shorter than me and has a 27 inch inseam rides the CTX700 comfortably. I test rode it and liked it, but want more of a sportbike style bike. I did like the BMW RnineT oh how that sung yo my heart. I also liked the BMW GS650 which was factory lowered, but it was too pricey. My bike was virtually new and i saved $4000 by buying it gently used.

Kathy Kirkpatrick said...

Nice! I've never heard of Daytona boots. I'll have to look them up. Not that I need a height boost. :-)

Love the new header!

the Frozen Canuck said...

Very informative post! Great to know there are some good products out there that are actually available in Canada and help the vertically challenged like us.