These DXR Skoga touring boots caught my eye with their low-key looks – the synthetic upper doesn’t shine like leather and under a pair of jeans their slimline profile could almost pass off as a pair of trainers.
I’ve got some Alpinestars J-6 boots for short, urban rides, or days when I want to walk around off the bike without having to pack a change of shoes, and then a beloved pair of Forma Adventures for longer rides/everything else.
Trouble is, the former doesn’t have any shin protection and the latter is bulky and looks weird when riding anything sporty. These DXR Skoga boots appeared to offer the best of both worlds also being significantly cheaper than either. Too good to be true? I had to get hold of some to find out.
I’m not a particularly fashion-conscious rider – protection and comfort are my priorities, especially when it comes to clothing designed to be worn around the bike’s major contact points. It doesn’t matter how good you look if you can’t feel the shifter under your foot, which is why I’ve relegated my ill-fitting (but extremely cool-looking) sports bike boots to the back of the garage.
That said, I’ve never been a big fan of touring boots. They look like leather wellingtons, and I couldn’t seem to find a pair that suited either demin or textiles, while the bulky shin area didn’t seem to want to fit under or over my trouser legs.
Styling-wise the Skogas are very close to the Alpinestars Web GTX boots Jim is so fond of – from the bobbly sole to the accordion panels and rubber toe protection but with a matte finish thanks to their microfibre and synthetic construction.
I’ve got size 11 feet and an EU45 pair is a close fit when wearing normal socks. It’s a bit cramped with thicker socks on, but there’s a good amount of thermal lining in them to not need extra warmth anyway.
The boots were a bit tight around the top of my right foot to start with, but after wearing them around the house for a couple of days they loosened up and are now very comfortable indeed.
Partly this is down to their light weight – they honestly feel like trainers, but still offer IPA/IPS impact protection for your ankle and shin, and a CE 2-1-2-1 rating. That means they score well for height and impact but less well for abrasion and transverse rigidity.
The Web GTX gets a clean sweep of 2-2-2-2 but then again those boots are more than twice the price of the DXRs. Granted, that does get you a Goretex lining, but the Skogas are sold as waterproof, albeit it without an advertised rating.
I can tell you that I’ve worn them in torrential rain and not got wet feet – only once when I stood in a puddle did I feel any dampness underfoot, and I suspect that ingress was from the YKK zip, which opens all the way down practically to the sole. It does have a Velcro pull tag though so you can secure it within the closure at the top of the boot, which is a clever touch.
Talking of soles, the Skogas claim to be slip-resistant and I found them good and grippy even on a greasy fuel station forecourt, although some of the rubber has started to peel away slightly on the left boot.
I suspect this has more to do with the Triumph Tiger 900’s aggressive footpegs and the swivelling motion of my foot locating the shifter though. Worn on a bike with more forgiving pegs, I reckon they’ll be fine, and there's plenty of tough-looking double row stitching on the upper for additional strength.
Off the bike they’re more than flexible enough to walk around in, even though the shin protection does up reasonably tightly around my calf, because there’s a fair bit of give in the stretch panels front and back. The low profile design also means they easily fit under my trouser legs, even my skinny jeans.
That said, I think they work best with a set of textile touring trousers, where the matte finish of both materials just seems to work
I was expecting many compromises in a pair of waterproof touring boots available for under £70 but was pleasantly surprised to find very few. They’re comfy, light, good at keeping the rain out and to my eyes look a bit sportier than the leather alternatives.
The only drawbacks really are the limited fit adjustment (no secondary strap across the top of the foot or the ability to tighten or loosen the shin section) and the fact that rival boots offer higher protection ratings. Find a pair that fit you nicely though and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Great value for money
Stealthy synthetic upper
Waterproof and anti-slip
They either fit or they don’t
More expensive boots offer better protection
More touring boot options:
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