When choosing motorcycle boots (and I realize every female rider is different), there are a few key things I look for: sleek, understated design (I prefer clean lines over ornate foofery – is that a word?); enough of a heel/sole to add some height (I’m a vertically challenged rider); waterproofing, because you never know when it’ll decide to rain in Florida; and, perhaps most importantly, comfort.
At first look, H-D Footwear’s Bremerton 6-inch Double Buckle boots seemed to check off my biggest requirements, so I was excited to give them a try. I’m not entirely sure these boots were specifically made for off-road adventures, although they’re described as being for “unexpected adventures, on the road and off,” and I’ve been putting that to the test, riding on pavement and dirt, as I tend to do a bit of both when I head out for a ride. Living in an outlying area of Central Florida gives me a nice mix of paved (but pot-holey) backroads, dirt roads and dirt trails, and a ride for me often includes all three.
Of all the requirements I mentioned, comfort really is number one because no one loves riding with boots that aren’t comfortable. And I’ve had a pair or two that just weren’t comfortable, even after breaking them in (I won’t mention any brand names).
One thing that surprised me about the Bremertons was how comfy they were right off the bat. I did a lot of walking in them while sorting out some problems with my bike, and once I got the bike going I did a good bit of riding trying to work the kinks out (this bike has a cantankerous side). When I pulled the boots off later that day, my feet felt great and I’d never felt uncomfortable in the boots. Since then, I’ve been wearing them nearly every time I ride, and I’m always impressed with how good my feet feel on and off the bike.
Waterproofing, as I mentioned, is a big deal in Florida. It can be sunny one minute and dump the next, so I like that these boots come with a breathable and waterproof full-grain leather upper as well as the Hydro-Guard waterproof membrane lining. I’ve had the chance to test that, too. I had the bike sitting outside while doing some chain maintenance, and out of nowhere the sky let loose and I was soaked, except for my feet. I’ve got caught in a couple of showers while riding, too, and my feet never ended up wet, so I give these boots thumbs up for waterproofing.
The heel height of 1.25 inches isn’t too high but still gives me a boost, which I definitely need. I appreciate the slip-resistant rubber outsole, too, especially when things got a little dicey when I hit a patch of Spanish moss in the road as I made a turn. A well-planted foot (thank you boots) kept me upright, and I’m a bit more diligent at avoiding any Spanish moss after that.
I also mentioned style, which while probably least important does matter to me. I prefer understated and simple designs, and clean lines appeal to me. I love that these boots have a ‘tough’ look, two simple buckles and a side zip that makes them quick and easy to put on and take off. They perform great on the bike, but look great off the bike, too. Reflective back weaving for visibility and ankle protection are additional benefits.
Style, comfort, a reasonable heel, waterproofing and additional features – so far, I’d call these boots a win. I keep grabbing them nearly every time I head out for a ride, and I think that speaks to how much I enjoy wearing them.
I bought a similiar pair of HD boots off a sale rack years ago on a trip in Northern British Columbia. Was skeptical because of the nylon zipper, but it was time for new boots and the price was right. I’m still wearing them, probably 10 years later. Comfortable, water proof, and those zippers are still working. I’ve kept the zippers lubed with WD-40 whenever I think of it, so maybe that has helped. My only wish is that I had bought another pair before they quit making them!