Thursday, 28 April 2011
The deed is done. I woke up early today after the night shift and had a couple of hours before I needed to set off back to work, so I visited my local dealer to see if he had anything suitable for my feet. I knew he had a pair of TCX Infinity boots in (voted Best Buy in RiDE magazine's Rider Power survey) and finally I had an excuse to try them on.
They looked great, both in appearance and quality (a touch of the motocross boot about them, but understated), but they were well over £200. I was therefore delighted when they simply didn't fit. The heel seemed slightly offset, making my foot twist as I walked, and the foot part was not the same shape as my foot. So I was not unhappy to put them back on the shelf.
The rest were either race boots (all garish colours and spacetrooper plastic) or the kind of things smelters wear to work. And then I spotted an unassuming pair which reminded me a little of the moribund Sidis.
They are Frank Thomas Aqua Rides, and on offer for a penny under ninety quid. I know a lot of bikers are a bit sniffy about Frank Thomas gear, but I have had quite a bit of stuff of theirs over the years, and it has always been good (well-made and durable) if a little unglamorous. My current commuting gloves, used right through winter, are a 10-year-old pair of FT Aqua gloves which are no longer waterproof, but are warm and fit me like - er - you know what I mean. In a world of use-once-and-throw-away, they have lasted exceptionally well and still feel as if they would protect my pinkies in a tumble.
So I bought the boots, after negotiating the lovely saleslady down to eighty of your British pounds. They are proper leather (not Lorica like the Sidis) and advertised as waterproof. We shall see about that, but I am hopeful. They are very comfy indeed, and already way better for walking around in than the old ones. The soles are thicker, which means that I will have to get used to the slightly different gearchange action, but the comfort outweighs that. And very warm - I hope not too warm, considering we are approaching summer.
I'll do a full kit report when I have had them a month or two, but first impressions are good.
And the best thing about them: no zips.
In the comments to the previous post, Brian suggested getting a professional repair for the zip of the old boots. As you can see from the next pic, the Sidis haven't got much life left in them, but if I can get a new zip put in for a reasonable cost, I will do that and keep them as reserve footwear. Old friends shouldn't be just cast aside.