I recently ordered a set of Tourmaster Solution WP Boots
, as they had a recent promotion with 15% off all items. :cooler:
Although the area I presently live in is semi-arid and warm, I'll soon be moving to a part of the country that is usually neither. I decided I needed a newpair of dedicatedtouring boots that were functional, stylish and waterproof. My riding bud had also recently bought these boots, as his other dedicated riding boots were worn out and he liked his new Tourmaster WP Boots. So when I saw the sale that LeatherUp was having, I decided to give them a go.
I was a little apprehensive about the sizing and the sole of the boot. I had read reviews that said the sizing was 'spot on', while others said they had to return them for a size larger. :?
Upon further investigation/reading, it turned out that most
of those that had to return the boots for a larger size, either had 'high arches' and had a real hard time pulling on the boot because of the smallish gusseted opening, or their foot was a half size and order the next size down, instead of up. Still, I was a little uncertain, but I ordered my usual size 12, anyway.
As for the soles, I read that the 'clung to the foot pegs/highway pegs like glue' That's fine, but how about wet/oily/gravel/mud covered road surfaces. No mention of that.
I knew when they were going to arrive at my US shipping address and decided I would wear an old pair of low cut hikers down and if the Tourmasters fit good, throw the old ones in the trash and wear the Tourmasters home.
I took possession of my new boots and went outside to sit on a bench and eagerly tried the new boots on. While the gussetedopening is a little tight, my foot slid in without much problem and the fit for my feetis best described as 'roomy'. Certainly not tight/small, but not overly large either. This would make the boots cooler in warm/hot weather and warmer in cool/cold weather. There is enough room on the interior of the boot that I can insert my custom orthotics and with them in, it's harder to put the boots on and the boot fitis now 'snug'. I expect that once the boot's insoles are 'broken in' with the use of the orthotics, the boots will have 'loosened' up again and maybe allow wearing a pair of thicker socks if need be. Without the orthotics, there is plenty of room for thick socks.
Once on my feet, I took a little walk around to see how they felt. Although somewhat stiff, I was rather surprised that they were comfortable, right out of the box.
I walked back to pick up my old hikers and marched them right over to a trash can. That's how confident I feltin regards tofoot comfort, withthese new boots.
I fired up the bike and decided to go for a little 'tour' to see how well they performed/felt while riding. 1st thing I noticed is that the toe box is a little narrower than my square toedHarness Boots
and it took a bit of practice' to find the gear shift/brake levers. I also found that the soles did indeed grip like glue to the foot pegs/highway pegs. Even if just the edge of the sole caught a corner or either of the pegs, the boot remained right there and didn't show any tendency of wanting to slide off! Another thing that struck me after a couple minutes of riding was how cool they were, even compared to my leather/cordura low-cut hikers. Excellent. When I dropped out of the Highlands and drove through Tonasket(WA), the flashing billboard indicated that the temperature was 106*F/41.2*C and I was surprised that my feet felt as cool as they did.
After 1/2 an hour of riding some twisty sections of backroads leading up into the highlands, I found thatfor newboots, theywere not restrictive as far as 'flexibility' was concerned. Supportive/protective, yes! Restrictingto foot movement/placement, NO!
They are also surprising light, for such a well constructed, high top boot. My size 12 Tourmasters weigh in at 1778g/3.92lbs for the pair, compared to 2247g/5.95lbs for my short Harness boots.
Another thing I discovered with these boots was that since they have a relatively low heel, the heel didn't get caught up on the foot pegs when moving/shifting my foot around, They also provided a little bit better 'ground clearance', when scraping the pegs on the tight stuff. My other boots had the habit of catching the road with it's heel. :X
I did notice that because of that same lower heel, I had to get used to that fact, whenever I stopped and put my foot down. I had to 'reach' a little bit further, compared to my thicker soled/heeled, Harness boots.
As far as how the soles fared with gravel/mud/wet and/or oily road surface, I didn't really encounter any of those elements, although at one hilly intersection, I found that they didn't provide quite the same, secure footing feeling as my lugged sole boots. I suspect that therelatively flat,'textured' sole/heel surfaces will wear rather quickly if you do much walking in them,(they are comfortable towalk in) making their 'grip' a little more uncertain.
I guess the water proof test for these boots will come when I go an an upcoming 2 week tour to Glacier/Yellowstone/Grand Teton NPs. Weget less than 10"of precip a year here. When it does rain here, it's just brief 'showers'.
I'll update this review, as I get more 'ride time' in with the boots and discover their strengths and weaknesses. As it stands now, I'm quite happy with them.
Here are a few shots of the boots I took. -