ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Gear > Equipment
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #1
discoenduro OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Point Cook
Oddometer: 13
How to Soften Leather MX Boots?

I've bought some leather motocross boots. I'm finding it difficult to flex them to change gear. When I was in the Army you'd soften mil boots by lying in a bath and then oiling them. These MX boots are as thick as a coconut.

So, anyone got any smart ideas to soften these Vendramini Lusaka boots please?

Thanks boyz,

Mike
discoenduro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
potatoho
Cheese and Rice!
 
potatoho's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Sea-level
Oddometer: 4,686
Riding with them is the best break in. It's almost a waste of time to do it any other way. IMO you don't usually flex MX boots to shift gears, you kinda mash the shifter up with the side of the boot.
potatoho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
GodSilla
I did that.
 
GodSilla's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Village Idiot's residence
Oddometer: 7,455
Tried and true method, go for a ride on a mild (or warmer) day, first creek you come to stand in it until the boots are full of water. Repeat as the opportunity arises for the rest of the day. When the boots dry out they will be softer and conform to your foot shape. Works every time.
GodSilla is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 10:22 PM   #4
BikePilot
Beastly Adventurer
 
BikePilot's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Tampa
Oddometer: 11,241
They are supposed to be very stiff! Some will loosen up a bit with use, but it should remain quite stiff. You'll get used to it and find you are better able to ride and shift once you get the hang of it:)
__________________
'09 Buell XB12XT, TL1000S, H1F, M620, CR250R, KX100, XR650R, Cota 315R

Summer 2009 Ride Report http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...1509c&t=507038
Summer 2008 RR. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=367703
BikePilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 10:33 PM   #5
mutineer
Raoul Duke Lives
 
mutineer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Eastern Chaingolia
Oddometer: 18,916
about all of the spray on waterproofing products (campdry, scotchguard etc.) have the side effect of softening up the leather
__________________
"Life is as good as you let it be" - Chain
"well . . . it ain't for everybody" - Goonie

"Enjoy every sandwich" - Warren Zevon
mutineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 11:52 PM   #6
squish
Out of the office.
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
Oddometer: 6,015
Don't shift by flex shift by kind of lifiting your foot.

The boots will break in quicker then you want them to. Especially if they are full grain leather.

Make sure if you get them wet to clean any mud off of them before you let it dry. The combo of mud and water will suck any natural oils out of the leather quick.

What I've done with boots to work them a little
Is while I'm sitting watching a movie I work each boot for half the movie.
I have ADD so this helps me to sit through the movie and when i'm done the boots are a little softer.

I just flex the boot by hand where they flex when I'm wearing them.
And I'll work any hot spots with the end of a 27mm box end wrench.

This way the boots get more comfortable with out get supersoft.
And I don't have to worry about drying them out by soaking them.
__________________
On vacation for a spell
squish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2009, 10:03 AM   #7
markk53
jack of all trades...
 
markk53's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 7,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by discoenduro
I've bought some leather motocross boots. I'm finding it difficult to flex them to change gear. When I was in the Army you'd soften mil boots by lying in a bath and then oiling them. These MX boots are as thick as a coconut.

So, anyone got any smart ideas to soften these Vendramini Lusaka boots please?

Thanks boyz,

Mike
Back in the 1970s I'd heard of guys soaking boots in water then wearing them walking around until dry. Don't know as I'd do that.

I soaked a bunch of neatsfoot oil into my old HiPoints (now sold by AlpineStar as Super Victorys). Then just wear 'em a lot. I did two years with the HiPoints as winter boots while in college before I ever had them on a motorcycle. Again, apply neatsfoot oil till nearly saturated and wear them around. Try to make sure they "break" across the top of your foot in the proper spot for comfort.

Lube them up and wear them for general use. Mine can be used as all day boots for walking around, like shoveling snow or goofing around off on a dual sport ride. They still do well for protection too.

Keep them oiled up a bit too. We used some stuff called Bear Grease around the seams and stitching on the soles too. Helps make them damn near waterproof. The combination of keeping a bit of oil on them and occasionally putting some sort of waterproofing grease on the seams and sole will make them last a looooonnnnng time plus keep your feet fairly dry. My HiPoints are from 1977 and still work fine. Ankle padding and extra leather on the ankles gives good support.

I'm sold on all leather for general dual sport riding. Racing and hard off roading would be another story.

Again, neatsfoot oil. If you want to clean them up, wash off most dirt, then use saddle soap to clean them more. I never did shoe polish, but it has some oils in it too. Then oil them to keep the leather in good shape and water resistant. I know I keep repeating the oil thing... maybe you'll remember it that way.
__________________
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550

markk53 screwed with this post 01-25-2009 at 10:10 AM
markk53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2009, 07:06 PM   #8
Socrates
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 148
I just bought a pair of Vendramini Lusaka boots and I'm having the same issue. I tried them out today but they're so stiff I couldn't shift at all. Not even once. I can try moving my shift lever up and see if that helps. But I'd like to retain some feel and be able to perform quick shifts up and down.

I ride a Tiger 1050. I love the protection the Lusaka boots offer, but am I stupid for trying to wear leather motocross boots on this type of bike? Is it the wrong tool for the job?

Any advice is appreciated!
Socrates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2009, 07:49 PM   #9
Ozaround
Just kinda riding around
 
Ozaround's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Fife-ish, but MMI-ish right now
Oddometer: 280
I used to take a shower with my combat boots (back when they were all black and shiny) then wear them until they were dry... First road march sucked (blisters and all) but after that, they fit like a glove...

One thing to remember: Your feet swell throughout the day, so get them sized accordingly...
Ozaround is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 06:19 AM   #10
bacon
KZ5TLP
 
bacon's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Mississippi
Oddometer: 615
Back in the 70s I use to soak the boots in a tub of warm water until they are soaked through and through. Then put on two pairs of socks and go hiking up and down hills covered with rocks. Don' take them off or stop until the are completely dry. then treat with a good leather conditioner. They would then fit my feet perfectly and be broken in flexing just as needed.
__________________
"Be still, and know that I am God"

For all that motorcycling is, one of it's greatest gifts is the ability to take us to places where that quote is the first things that came to my mind.
bacon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 07:39 AM   #11
markk53
jack of all trades...
 
markk53's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 7,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
I just bought a pair of Vendramini Lusaka boots and I'm having the same issue. I tried them out today but they're so stiff I couldn't shift at all. Not even once. I can try moving my shift lever up and see if that helps. But I'd like to retain some feel and be able to perform quick shifts up and down.

I ride a Tiger 1050. I love the protection the Lusaka boots offer, but am I stupid for trying to wear leather motocross boots on this type of bike? Is it the wrong tool for the job?

Any advice is appreciated!
If you ever see any older MX video like the MX Files on Speed you will see that style of boot was what was worn with good results well into the late 1980s. You are far from foolish for wearing them. Unless you drop the bike on a rock with your leg between, you'll not have problems. I will bet even at that point the better MX boots with plastic won't fair too well either. I just watched a clip from the Sturgis hill climb event where a guy broke his foot in a pair of the latest greatest plastic reinforced boots.

Sure the new ones are better, but mainly if you are racing. The all leather old style work fine for all but the hardest racing, but then what doesn't tweek your ankle will tweek something up the line. There are a whole lot more knee injuries now than probably were around when the boots were a bit more flexible and would give more at the ankle. Makes you wonder if some of those knee injuries wouldn't have happened if just a bit more ankle flex, flex that wouldn't sprain an ankle, had been there.

Like everything, you never know for sure. But I wouldn't get too shook up. A lot of us still wear well broken in all leather boots, like my 30 year old HiPoints.
__________________
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
markk53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 07:51 AM   #12
5th-Elefant
Beastly Adventurer
 
5th-Elefant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Oddometer: 1,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by squish
Don't shift by flex shift by kind of lifiting your foot.
As squish says, you shift by moving your while foot with MX boots. It's worth looking at repositioning the lever if you have it set to shift like a road bike (MX shifts usually run higher).

Not sure what bike you have but I never where MX boots unless I'm racing a MX or enduro bike. They're bloody horrible! Sidi Vertebrates offer a reasonable level of protection but you can actually ride sat down and still shift.
5th-Elefant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 08:00 AM   #13
Socrates
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 148
Thanks for the response, Mark. I should have clarified though, I ride 100% on the street. So are these boots overkill for that type of riding and should I just stick with more street oriented boots? Or maybe I just need to break them in for a while and get used to them?
Socrates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 03:52 PM   #14
markk53
jack of all trades...
 
markk53's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 7,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
Thanks for the response, Mark. I should have clarified though, I ride 100% on the street. So are these boots overkill for that type of riding and should I just stick with more street oriented boots? Or maybe I just need to break them in for a while and get used to them?
Tell you what, you won't get cold feet with MX type boots on in cold weather! I really do like my old boots. I just wore them the other day to shovel snow. One pair of socks, single digit temps, no cold or wet feet.

As long as you already have 'em, I'd just either wet 'em down or oil 'em up and wear them while walking around. They'll break in. My HiPoints have seen far far more road miles than dirt. I wore them when riding to and from school in the fall and spring, leaving two pair of shoes at school for the classroom. I rode into the mid 30s for an hour one way. I ride a standard and a dual sport, I'll stick with the HiPoints.
__________________
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
markk53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014