Club, Endurance and Isle of Man racer, been riding bikes since 1970 something, got the bug sitting on the back of my dad’s 400 Four. First ride was an Italjet followed by RM80 and YZ125 dirt bikes, current bikes range from agricultural to exotic. Writing about bikes for four years.
Date reviewed: October 17 | Tested by: Kane Dalton | Price: £329.99 | www.nevis.uk.com
These Italian boots are a unique design with a single purpose: speedway and flat track, where you only ride on an oval and always turn left, so they’re asymmetrical.
Pete Boast – the owner of the school and renowned racer – gets you to zip-tie a flat steel shoe to the bottom of your left boot that allows you to drag a foot on the ground and stabilize or catch the bike when it’s cranked over in the corners – without it, your boots dig into the dirt and you can hurt your knee (as I’ve found out). After that, and with a beach race coming up, it was time to get some boots of my own…
There’s no heel on the left boot and the sole is completely flat – even boots with no obvious heel are raised at the back to some extent. The left sole is smooth and offers no grip at all as the steel shoe – I had mine made by IDP Moto – simply fits over the sole and is held in place by a steel toe strap and a fabric strap at the back.
Your right foot sits on the footpeg, which on a speedway bike is more of a bar than a peg, so you need the stepped heel on the right to keep your foot planted. The sole is grippy and durable with a replaceable, adjustable heel that you can move forward or back to fine tune your riding position.
The genuine YKK zips are placed on the outside of the boot so the Velcro covers can’t catch or snag on the bike.
These are comfortable straight out of the box. The gel-padded inner makes for a snug fit and moulds to the shape of your foot, while a large flex panel allows for more movement than a rigid MX design.
During the event I was walking in the sand and water, with my left foot and knees (and on a couple of occasions my face) in the sand. The outside of the boots looked like they had been buried in a dune, but I was happily surprised that both my feet remained dry.
These are designed using lightweight components; at 2.2g for the pair they’re lighter than my Sidi MX boots (4.3kg). The microfiber upper is lighter than leather – when you have a steel shoe strapped to your boot every bit of weight saving counts… some people drill the steel boots for a further weight saving.
Still, when you’ve been riding for a day your left leg gets fatigued, and I find I need to put some effort into lifting my leg the day after.
I’ve been really impressed with these boots – they’ve kept me well protected in several crashes, and while there are no guarantees (all crashes are different), they’ve really inspired me with confidence. If you’re a flat track or speedway rider, these are well worth the money…