I was on a day ride in the Netherlands some years back: It was one of those things that winds up in a bar/cafe in the late afternoon. There were 25 or so bikes in the parking lot when I arrived and the place was getting a little crowded. One of the first things I noticed when I walked in the door was a a guy in full leathers wearing a really sad bedraggled pair of what were were once pink bunny slippers. Genius!
It took me about two seconds to figure out that this was an actual solution to a motorcycling foot wear conundrum. If you wear a pair of boots that are strong enough and stiff enough to give you any sort of real protection when you decide to separate yourself from your ride at speed then you will honestly not be able to walk around comfortably after you get where you are going. The dutch guy took off his decently made, stiff boots when he got to the cafe and pulled the bunny slippers out from under the seat. That’s the honest tradeoff – either you buy boots that you can use for your post-ride perambulations or you buy a pair of boots that will give you maximum protection for those potential get-off mal-events.
Every moto boot maker will talk about how comfortable their high protection boots are for walking around but, truth be told, they ain’t. Again, you either get the protection or you get the boots you can wander around the village in. I opted for the Sidi On-Road Goretex this season when it was time to shop for a new pair of ankle, toe, and shin protectors. I like them. They are still stiff but they have loosened up a bunch and I can make it to the store and back without the classic Frankenstein monster gait. These boots, these Sidi On-Road Goretex boots, are sort of the standard by which other touring and sport touring boots are judged. BTW, another good boot in this category is the Sidi Way Mega Rain Boot. The Sidi On-Road Goretex boots are stiff enough to provide good shin protection (ever been whacked a good wallop in the shins by your pegs?) They even have a nifty lateral malleolus protector disc at the ankle bone protrusion (google “peroneal tendon subluxation“ if you have some spare time.) The Sidi On-Road Goretex have good lugged soles and also a breathable Goretex liner to wick out moisture buildup. These boots are relatively easy to get in and out of because they have a velcro lined flap that you can peel open to widen the boot. If you look at the front of the Sidi on-Road boots they sort of look like utilitarian welder style work boots: they are not like the off-road style boots that are a cross between plastic ski boots and something that Lucas would put on his Imperial Storm Troopers.
I decided to take a page from the guy in that cafe in a small town below Eindhoven and I found a pair of sneaks to put under my seat. For comfort and basic black style I really like the Simpson Crew Shoes – we have them. They are soft and they scrunch down a bit under the seat. When you put The Simpson Crew Shoes on after a ride they feel like slippers. What they lack in rolling bunny eyes they more than amply make up for in comfort. The soles are thick, but not too thick, cushiony but not bulky. So, I have it knocked now: Sidi On-Road Goretex as my regular ride boot and Simpson Crew Shoes for apres-ride lounging or strolling.