It’s no secret that for a majority of women, height is an issue when it comes to motorcycling. At 5 feet, 2 inches, I’m all too familiar with this. You find a moto you like, hop aboard…and find your feet dangling about 2-plus inches from the ground. Le sigh. Not again.
There are ways around this. Such as:
- You can get a different bike.
- You can lower the bike with a lowering link. (Although, this has never been my preferred way because what is often overlooked is how it changes the overall handling of the bike.)
- You can just deal with it by learning how to ride on your tippy toes or with one-foot-down stops.
Most women opt for the third solution, because we want what we want. And when we want a moto, we get it, height issues be damned. Unfortunately, option three is more difficult when you first start riding and need the security of having your feet firmly planted below you.
I’ve seen some creative solutions over the years for this issue, such as adding platform soles to existing boots. However, there is always something that gets sacrificed. If you add a platform, you lose the feeling below your feet. It affects how you shift. You also make what started off as decent looking boots pretty darn ugly.
I was intrigued when the Joe Rocket Heartbreaker Boots came to my attention. No, its not because I’ve been called a Heartbreaker…. It’s because these boots have “a dirty little secret,” as Joe Rocket says. They have a hidden 2.5-inch wedge heel to give you a little boost in height.
I’ll take what I can get. 5 feet, 2 inches becomes 5 feet, 5 inches?! Yes, please. This could potentially be the difference between riding the bike of your dreams and settling for your second choice.
Frankly, I’m snobby about my fashion. I like to look good. This is why I always gawked at those platform-added boots. When my Heartbreakers arrived, my initial reaction was – they look fancy, like going-out-on-the-town boots. I thought, well, I have a fancy event to attend! I decided to put them immediately to the test. I took them for a 200-plus-mile ride to a professional function where I needed to speak—and stand for more than two hours. Could these boots handle this right out of the box? I knew it was risky, because who wants to suffer through the break-in period in front of a crowd?
As it turned out, the Heartbreakers needed no break-in period. They were incredibly comfortable from the get-go. There is a removable comfort insole and a lot of points where you can adjust the fit. This was a relief as I’m always nervous that boots won’t fit my, ahem, muscular calves. I’ve tried plenty of pairs over the years that I couldn’t get zipped above my ankles. It’s not a good feeling. Forget even thinking about tucking in a pair of pants. I was delighted to discover that these boots have a heavy-duty calf expansion panel in addition to two straps that you can use to adjust the fit around your ankle and calf. There is also a long interior YKK zipper that makes it easy to get them on and off.
The boots are combined solid and perforated leather, which allows them to remain cool in warm temperatures. They also boast a no-slip sole. The boots come up surprisingly high on the leg. Because there is a lot of padding around the shin, there is no way you can fit today’s skinny-cut jeans over the boots. They will have to be tucked in. The only thing I’m not in favor of is the purple interior lining. Motorcycle apparel companies love to add purple and pink flourishes to their women’s gear. Enough already. I would prefer a black lining. The floral laser detailing on the outside is enough of a feminine touch if you ask me, but no one will see the inner liner but me anyway.
But, how were they to ride in?
I was concerned, with the wedge, that it would force the foot into an uncomfortable position when I shift. There are couple points in the design that make this less of an issue. First, there is an articulated suede front panel that allows for mobility in flexing and pointing the foot. Second, there is a low-profile toe box, which allows you to get under the shifter easily. The boots work very well on sportbikes and standards, where the leg-to-foot angle puts you into a more naturally high-heeled position. You are already pitched forward on the pegs, so it’s easy to shift even with the heel.
The longer ride I took was aboard a cruiser, however, where you are leaned farther back. This proved more difficult to shift. I had to over-exaggerate pointing my toes to get under the shifter, putting strain on my ankle. On that long of a ride, I had enough time to play with how I could position my body to make it work better. In the end, the ideal solution would be to set up your bike to work with the boots. If I had adjusted my shifter for the boot, it wouldn’t have been such a big issue.
Also, I’m guessing that most height issues don’t deal with cruisers, which tend to be lower to the ground and therefore easier to reach.
For anyone who wears heels, there is no doubt that wedges are always the most comfortable. They allow stability while walking around. At 2.5 inches, the Heartbreakers are tall enough to give you some lift and low enough to be comfortable to walk in. Because the insole is removable, it could easily be swapped out for a custom insole for even more added comfort.
Overall, the Joe Rocket Heartbreakers are a good option if you are looking for some extra height with stability. They also provide a more dressy option for riding. A lot of moto gear is tailored towards a casual or sporty style. It’s nice to look in the closet and know you could comfortably wear a boot that could transition from riding, to the office, to a night event, without having to change.
Sizing: True to size
US Women Sizes: 5 to 10
Best use: Casual, around town riding
For more information, visit joerocket.com.
Do you own the Joe Rocket Heartbreaker Riding Boot? Please share below.
I would love to get to know you and meet you on the road!