With the advent of summer on the horizon (as we write, the sun is out and temperatures are heading towards the high teens) we can finally start to think about summer riding gear. And one element of a warm-weather kit is a pair of short, trainer-style boots.
They’re not everyone’s glass of Pimm’s, that’s for sure – they inevitably offer less overall protection to the lower leg than a pair of full-height boots. However, if you get past that and are using them for more local or shorter journeys, they can offer the same protection to your feet themselves while combining this with low weight and comfort that is often not possible with higher, heavier boots.
This pair from British brand Spada has a real baseball boot or hi-top trainer feel to them and looks very street-like, with a suede finish to their nubuck leather outer. Available in black or brown, they feature a solid colour upper with a white-banded sole that doesn’t scream ‘motorcycle’ footwear at all.
Out of the box, they have a thick yet soft and compliant lining and once you slip a foot in, aided by the large pull-tab at the back, they instantly feel comfortable and snug without being tight. I have wide feet, and these fit me perfectly, holding my heel in place securely when done up.
The tongue is also thickly padded and there is a gusset between the upper and the tongue to help keep water out. They are described as having a waterproof and breathable Hipora membrane and in a forced-water test, some water ingress was noticed but to be frank, if it was raining or rain was forecast, I probably wouldn’t head out in a pair of these anyway.
Assuming it’s dry, then they are not unpleasantly warm, despite the thick lining. The membrane allows moisture out and prevents the feet from getting too sweaty even with no actual ventilation (which would obviously allow water in). Grip from the sole is good on the bike as well as on the pavement and the first few steps in them reveal comfort that is on par with trainers.
Hopping on the bike, they feel wonderful – light, secure, comfortable and with plenty of feel for the bike and the controls. You can feel the pegs easily through the sole, as well as the brake pedal and the upper is soft enough that you can also get a great feel for the gear pedal, so you don’t inadvertently forget to release the lever when selecting a gear and prevent yourself from getting the next one.
Confidence is very good, thanks to the density inserts over the ankle bones and the reinforced toe and heel cups. This is backed up with a CE rating of 1-2-2-2, the first 1 indicating a short boot and the 2s indicating a superior pass in the other criteria – abrasion resistance, cut resistance and transverse rigidity. This is the highest possible rating for a short boot.
The outer leather looks like it will mark on the bike but so far, it has held up well. The only real signs of wear are the odd scuff and the brass rings that reinforce the lace holes. Several are beginning to pull out of the leather material, which could well have an impact on how effective and comfortable they are to wear in the future. However, the boots are covered by Spada’s two-year warranty and so are currently being replaced under warranty.
If you are after a pair of short boots for the summer, then these are a great option. While they won’t protect your lower legs as much as a pair of higher boots (and thus, help prevent you ankle-twisting over, for example) they will look after your feet as well, with the highest-possible CE rating and reassuring protection to the ankle bones, the toes and the heel.
They are claimed to be waterproof though, in testing, they did allow a little in but thus far have proved to be cool enough for warm riding and allowing the foot to breathe. And at just over £60, they are a bargain.
Highest-possible CE rating
Lace-hole eyelets pulling out