Production Manager - Still considers himself a novice rider, despite passing his test over twenty years ago. Steve has only ever owned four bikes - a '95 Suzuki GSX600F (which he dropped in the first minute of ownership), an '04 Yamaha FZ6 Fazer and currently a '16 Ducati Scrambler Classic, as well as (very slowly) building a '94 Yamaha SR125 'brat tracker'.
Date reviewed: September 2019 | Tested by: Steve Lamb | Price: £129.99 | www.rstmoto.co.uk
With the current fashion for retro styled bikes, comes demand for retro kit and in response, RST has updated their popular Roadster boots for 2019 by adding a Hipora lining for wet weather use.
I've been wearing the RST Roadster II Waterproof boots for around four months on a variety of bikes from my own Ducati Scrambler to a KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, covering over 1,500 miles in a variety of weather conditions from 38°C summer heat to torrential downpours.
The RST Roadster II boots are designed to have a look of a chunky work boot and this style is emphasised by the full grain cowhide outers in either 'Oily Black' or, as tested, 'Vintage Brown' and the chunky anti-slip Polyurethane sole. On first glance, you would be hard pressed to even realise that these are bike boots – only the double layer gear-change reinforcement on the upper gives the game away, though as the reinforcement is on both boots, not just the left, even this looks part of the design rather than a functional feature. The work-boot look continues with subtle ankle protection and a soft leather over-banding at the collar, combined with a generous pull loop to the rear.
The only slight giveaway that these are not your run-of-the-mill work boots is the contrasting welt stitching, which really makes the boots pop against more traditional bike footwear.
The RST Roadsters are fastened by traditional laces with seven pairs of eyelets allowing a good range of adjustment to ensure a great fit over the whole boot. The supplied laces feel strong and robust and are long enough to allow a double knot and to be able to tuck in any loose ends that may flail about or get caught. The laces pass through the tongue to prevent it from rucking up when putting them on.
In use, I found that lacing the Roadsters up right to top felt a little too tight around the calf and, after a full day of walking, caused some slight discomfort. Leaving the top two eyelets unlaced easily cures the issue, but as with all boots, fit and comfort are subjective and you may not have the same complaint.
As you would expect from RST, the boots are certified to Level A against CE prEN 17092 approval. Contributing to this, the Roadsters have a reinforced toe box (not steel-capped like a work boot, which could cut your toes off in a crash), heel reinforcement via double-layer foxing (the part of the boot that covers the heel and Achilles tendon) and malleolus (ankle bone) protection. Within the sole of the boot, a polycarbonate shank prevents twisting forces being transferred to the foot.
Despite the additional protection and reinforcements throughout the boot, they are comfortable and light to wear with no undue restriction of movement.
From April 21 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 law, click here.
After wearing for over four months, I've found these Roadsters comfortable enough to wear in the office for a full day – though they are quite warm, so if you do suffer from hot feet, these may not be ideal.
When walking around off the bike, I found no tight spots or friction points, and the over-banded collars provide a soft feel against your skin. After some use, the loose insoles started to lift when I took off the boots, but this really is a minor annoyance, and by no means exclusive to RST.
The chunky feel and traditional pattern of this PU/rubber non-marking sole make walking distances no issue and provide all-day comfort, even in the office. They look great with jeans too.
I took advantage of a recent break in the summer heatwave to test the Hipora lined waterproof qualities of the boots, and I am sorry to report that it did not end well.
After about 80 miles and 90 minutes of motorway riding through standing water, lorry spray and torrential rain, my feet were wet through.
It's difficult to tell how much of this was let in through the boots’ construction and how much entered or wicked down through the top – being only ankle high – but the end result is the same: wet feet for the rest of the day.
A disappointing result, but one that highlights that to be declared waterproof, boots only undergo basic testing – standing in 1-2 inches of water and flexing repeatedly. This might result in no ingress of water, but there’s a big difference between what walking boots and bike boots go through.
Despite the chunky look of the RS Roadsters, the added reinforcements and the overall heavyweight construction, they remain light to use and flexible on the feet.
A great looking retro-styled boot for days when jeans and a jacket are preferable to leathers or textiles, or when you need to spend all day in your riding gear once you reach your destination. While the waterproof claims didn't stand up to extreme testing, these are not really the type of boots you would wear if you were expecting some long, wet rides.
For everyday casual riding that may include some wet use, the RST Roadsters would be hard to beat, and for the price represent great value for money.