Friday, April 19, 2013
These boots aren't made for walking
The Goat obviously has trouble finding appropriate footwear for motorcycling. Way back in early 2009 he found a pair of Gaerne racing boots in a bike shop in Cyprus, and he bought them because, by some miracle, they fitted. These boots have been excellent, even if they’re a bit low cut. The Goat has been wearing his jeans outside the boots because when tucked in, they quickly produce muffin tops that resemble part of a Star Trek uniform.
Nothing lasts for ever, and the Goat has been on the lookout for replacement motorcycle boots with limited to negligible success. And then someone gave him a pair of Oxtar brand racing boots for free. They were used, but they fitted and were comfortable. Quite old, though; Oxtar changed its name to TCX back in 2007.
The problem with these newer boots is that they’re not made of leather. The bits that aren’t rubber or hard plastic are made of some man-made material called LoricaTM. It’s an artificial leather that’s claimed to be lighter, stronger, and more durable than the stuff that’s obtained from a cow. LoricaTM seems to consist of about a 1.5mm thickness of acrylic blanket covered by a micron or so of vinyl to make it look like leather.
Unlike real leather, that can be cared for and fed with saddle soap and boot polish, this plastic stuff falls to pieces.
The Goat had learned that TCX boots are cut on the generous side, and headed off to Al Yousuf in Dubai in search of some actual new boots made of actual leather. The pair he selected included leather uppers, according to the label attached to one of the zips. But upon getting them home, the Goat learned that this is a generic ‘care and feeding’ booklet, and the boots he’d selected were made of LoricaTM.
Back to the shop, then, where the staff were hugely apologetic. By now the Goat had made a list of TCX boots that were made of leather, and he worked with Al Yousuf to find an acceptable pair that fitted and were comfortable. They're taller than the Goat's original pair, and he might resemble a Cossack dancer when off the bike, but an overall success at last! Now that Goat has two pairs, and no longer lives in fear of his only motorcycle footwear wearing out.