Date reviewed: October 2021 | Tested by: Steve Lamb | Price: £149 | www.rst-moto.com
I've been wearing these RST Pathfinder Waterproof boots for around seven months, in a wide variety of weather conditions, and have covered over 1500 miles in that time on a variety of bikes from Yamaha's NMAX 125 scooter to Honda's NC750X and Triumph's Tiger 900 Pro as well as my own Ducati Scrambler Classic.
The main construction of the boot comprises RST's microfibre material (a synthetic leather substitute material which is easily shaped, resistant to stretching and water resistant) with Reflex (reflective) fabric inserts in the high mobility areas around the instep and Achilles tendon.
A SympaTex membrane lining provides the waterproofing layer, while a mesh ventilated lining provides a comfortable inner to the boot and allows your feet to breathe. An anti-bacterial gel inner sole provides additional comfort and reduces any nasty pongs.
Polyurethane inserts on the toe and shin provide some additional protection to the outer surface of the boots, and the PU sole provides stability and grip.
The boot features a twin zip fastening system while the shin closure has hook-and-loop fastenings to secure the boot and cover the zips.
The twin zip fastening system (one zip on either side of the boot) means that the boot can open wide. This is particularly good for those (like me) who have a high instep and can struggle with some less accommodating boots.
Once open, loops at the front and rear of the boot allow a firm grip while you pull the boot on. The unbranded zips have large hook-and-loop tabs which can be stuck to the top portion of the boot to help stop the zips from opening. The shin of the boot then secures over the top half of the zips using hook-and-loop to keep in place.
Once on and secured, everything feels very secure and snug, in fact at the end of a long day's riding, I found all the hook-and-loop fastening to be quite a struggle to open and undo, it was gripping so strongly.
The RST Pathfinder boots are fully compliant with EN13634:2017, being rated to level 2 for boot height, 2 for impact abrasions resistance, 2 for cut resistance and level 1 for transverse rigidity (the resistance to crushing, if trapped under the bike).
An integral toe box protects your toes, while a reinforced heel provides protection to this area. A TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) shin guard provides protection against stray foot pegs and road debris.
To aid visibility in adverse conditions, the front and rear of the boot features a large flexible reflective panel.
From 21st April 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the new laws, click here.
I initially thought that the sizing of the RST Pathfinder boots was a bit off, as the Size 42 (UK 8s) that I had were very tight at first, but after a few attempts, the boots got a bit more pliant and went on a bit easier and this hasn't been an issue since.
The two grab loops really make a difference and enable you to pull the boots on while also pushing down with your foot. Once on, the boots fell very secure and snug without pinching or feeling restrictive.
As a touring boot, the RST Pathfinders aren't really suitable for putting the ankle of your leathers inside the boot as the upper is a little too tight, but when wearing jeans or textile trousers the uppers are slim enough to allow the legs to easily slip over the top.
After a couple of full days (one on the bike, one riding to and from and attending a meeting), these boots felt well ventilated and stayed comfortable. I did get a slight pinching on my little toe as the toe box is quite rigid, but I'm really nit-picking now, and no lasting pain or blisters resulted.
My only other gripe so far is that the fabric surface of the insole has come detached from the insole itself. Not a great issue, as the insoles have stayed in place, but as the surface of the insole is now grippy, the do tend to ruck up in use.
The innersoles can be removed completely from the boot, which actually provides a little more wriggle room if you find them a bit tight at first. Something to consider if you feel the boots are nipping slightly. After a few more months of use, I also find that the outer ankle 'cup' moves around slightly in the lining. When out of position, its very uncomfortable, but can be easily slid back into position before putting the boot on. Another minor niggle that perhaps only affects my pair.
The Pathfinders are designed to be a touring boot and so have a sole pattern more suited to everyday wear and maximum grip on the bike. In the dry, I find them to be stable and grippy on most surfaces. In the wet, I found that grip on the rubberised foot pegs of the Honda NC750X I was riding to be slightly compromised, but this may well have been down to a recent fuel stop, where, like any boot, I found them to be slippery on diesel strewn wet forecourts.
The trade-off to decent grip is usually longevity of the sole pattern and I have found that after around 1500 miles of use, the pattern is slightly less pronounced than when new. I'll keep an eye on this and report back if the wear continues.
No matter what bike you ride (except for maybe a Gold Wing), your feet are exposed to the worst of the weather and a combination of driving rain and spray from your, and other vehicles', wheels means that your feet can get wet and cold very quickly.
I took advantage of some recent bad weather to put the RST Pathfinders through their paces with a 60-mile round trip, taking in some sketchy B-Roads, and a decent stretch of the A1 in both A-Road and Motorway form. As I was also testing the Wolf Titanium textiles and Wolf Fortitude textiles, I did the trip twice, making it 120 miles in all.
RST refer to these boots as 'Game Changers' due to the SympatexTM lining which is designed to remain waterproof yet breathable and, while the outside of the my boots were both filthy from the road debris, and dripping wet, my feet were not only 100% bone-dry, but also warm and comfortable. Quite an achievement and testament to the work that RST have put into these boots.
Weighing in at just 805g per boot, the RST Pathfinders' light weight betrays their protection levels and waterproof abilities and certainly won't tire you out if you need to walk around a show or race event.
If you commute on a daily basis, or undertake some longer distance touring, you need a boot you can rely on. One that will be all day comfortable, dry in even the most extreme conditions, secure and, god forbid, should the worst happen, provide you with all the protection you need.
The RST Pathfinders tick each and every one of those requirements while delivering a stylish package at a very wallet friendly price. I can thoroughly recommend them.