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Old 07-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #1
J5k OP
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Greenfield Center, NY
Oddometer: 51
Boots and knee protection?

I bought my xt 225 last summer and my first few rides were in nylon shorts, hiking boots and a t-shirt. I was smart enough to buy a helmet at least. I ride primarily dirt singletrack with rocks roots and rotting trees. Fairly slow technical stuff. I also travel on the road, but rather short distances, no faster than 55 or so mph.

My first few rides at the local trail club, I was told I could use some more protective gear, and that one day I'd be glad I had it.

So... I started buying gear. First up was the Evo ballistic jersey, which I absolutely love. Basically a jersey with chest and back protection as well as shoulder and elbow guards.

Now, onto my questions. About all I could find for boots were mx style. I ended up with a pair of axo drones. They definitely look like they'll keep my feet and shins intact, but I hate a) how slippery the soles and metal toe plate are, and b) how I can't feel anything... Shifter, brake pedal etc.

Anyone in a similar situation terrain wise that can point me to some decent boots? I'm getting used to them but am open to other options.


Second is knee pads, or armored pants... I picked up a cheap pair of Evo "option" knee pads, but have yet to wear them. They appear to want the shin guard area stuffed into the boot which I've only test fit once, and it seemed odd. Secondly there are no straps above the knee, only around the calf so the knee pad part just sticks straight up, kind of covering my knee. Again, seems odd. I'm going to give then another shot ASAP but am open to suggestions!

Thanks in advance for any insight!
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
Rackemcrackem
Unsafe at any speed
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Wherethewildthingsare, AK
Oddometer: 394
I don't do tight singletrack trails like you're talking about with my current bikes. There are many good boots on the market, though, and some of the more expensive ones are hinged to allow flexion of the foot.

Moose makes an inexpensive MX boot with a lugged sole. I have a pair of but haven't worn in quite a while. They were quite stiff, at first, but became a little more flexible with use. Shifting and braking does require a different method than with more flexible boots, though. Also, most MX boots will not be very water resistant.

Sidi Adventure Rains (wish I had purchased the Gore-Tex version) or Alpinestar Scouts are considered dual-sport boots, not MX, and are what I currently wear. If it's in your budget, you might look at Gaerne or Sidi as manufacturers of highly protective hinged MX boots. Atomic-Moto is a very well-respected vendor and carries a variety of brands. Revzilla is nearer to you and has given me good customer service.

As for knee protection, I've been very happy with Thor "Force" guards. They fit comfortably into the tops of my boots and are quite stout. They have comfortable (for me) wide neoprene straps, with smaller elastic straps over the neoprene. They attach above and below the knee. You will need lightweight long undies or leggings underneath, though, or be prepared for chafing. There are other similar guards on the market.

When you get a chance, please thank the person who advised you to gear-up for trail riding. Riders who listen to the voices of experience can avoid a lot of pain and grief.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #3
J5k OP
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Greenfield Center, NY
Oddometer: 51
Thanks Rackemcrackem! Do these style boots have any common terms or names? Unfortunately there aren't many local places to shop hands on so I'm limited to shopping online, which has proven difficult to gauge what I'm looking at. The alpinestar boots do look awesome but slightly out of my budget since I decided to keep my current boots instead of returning them ( I had previously bought some fly racing boots that I really didn't like and returned them). I have a bad habit of not returning things unless I'm really really unhappy with them.

The Thor guards look great as well. I've bookmarked them for later. I'm going to try the pads I have again. I tried them on wearing shorts but wonder if they'll feel a bit better underneath a pair of pants.

Speaking of pants... I wear a pair of carhart style heavy canvas pants now. They're hot but comfortable, and fit over my boots (barely). Any reason to go with moto specific pants?

Thanks again for your advice and be assured that I thank the folks who've been showing me the ropes after every ride.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:06 AM   #4
Rackemcrackem
Unsafe at any speed
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Wherethewildthingsare, AK
Oddometer: 394
Wearing any kind of jeans is a lot better idea than just shorts and knee protectors. Think poison Ivy and sharp sticks in your groin, deep gashes in your thighs, etc. The Carhartts will take a long time to dry when wet and don't have leg zippers for ease of entry/exit but will likely do the job for now. Your hips could also use some protection, though,....have you looked at padded shorts? If you're pushing hard to learn skills, you will fall down in the dirt. Pants may hold the knee protectors you have a little more securely to your legs....depends on how loose they fit, I guess.

The vendors I've mentioned are know for having knowledgable sales people, especially Atomic-Moto. I recommend a phone call with your questions about boots, especially if you have hard-to-fit feet.
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