Review: Harley-Davidson Ranger Boots

Nov 29, 2013 View Comments by

Review: Harley-Davidson Ranger BootsTouring boots are fantastic. They offer great protection and comfort on long motorcycle rides, and many are, or at least claim to be, waterproof as well. Where their luster fades is on shorter rides, commuting for instance. For quite a while I wore my touring boots to work every day and changed into a pair of normal shoes that I kept in my office. This worked fine unless I had somewhere other than home to go to after work. In that case, I would once again be stuck wearing ugly, hot, and uncomfortable space boots. Then one day I had an epiphany—wearing full on waterproof touring boots only makes sense if you’re going on tour or it’s raining, otherwise it’s a pain. So I set out to find some footwear specifically for commuting. I wanted something that was stylish enough that I wouldn’t look ridiculous heading downtown after work and that was comfortable to walk long distances in. I didn’t want anything waterproof since I planned to just wear my touring boots if the forecast called for rain. I settled on the Ranger from Harley-Davidson for a variety of reasons. Foremost, they are stylish enough that I don’t have to change into normal shoes if I don’t want to, and they’re so comfortable that wearing them all day is a joy. While they don’t offer the ankle protection of most touring boots, the sole is actually much thicker, stiffer, and of higher quality than the dedicated touring boots I was wearing before, which in my book makes the safety issue a toss up. They’re not waterproof, which led to a welcome discovery, the Rangers aren’t windproof either! On those warm summer rides I can actually feel air circulating around my feet, and it’s wonderful. On the flip side, though it’s now deep into November, they’re still warm enough (with a nice pair of socks) for rides in the 30s.

The boots are made of full-grain leather up top, and it’s thick with a quality feel. A YKK zipper along the inside of the boot makes them easy to put on or take off in a hurry. The sole, which, as mentioned above, is very thick and stiff (over half and inch across the front with a one-inch heel) features Goodyear welt construction with heavy, durable rubber.

As well-made commuting gear should, the Rangers stride the line between normal apparel and riding gear, being practical for both or either, while not selling out to one or the other. If you’re shopping for boots to take on tour, you’ll want to check out Harley’s performance line or other dedicated touring footwear. However, if you’re looking for a boot for commuting, short rides, or simply to wear everyday, the Harley-Davidson Ranger is about as good as it gets.

Harley-Davidson Ranger Boots

Color: Black or Brown

Sizes: Men’s 7-13

Price: $149

www.harley-davidsonfootwear.com

 

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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.