The new Range GTX boots from Klim offer practicality in terms of a crossover boot that provides decent protection while riding, yet operate as casual walking shoes and even as acceptable, dual-purpose hiking boots.
The ankle-high boots have a stiff construction that supports the foot and ankle, making them acceptable for street riding and very light off-road use while being comfortable, lightweight, and functional for all day cruising. But the Range GTX is best suited—due to not having toe sliders or armor-type padding—for casual riding in an urban environment where you’re likely to take a stroll off your bike.
With GORE-TEX construction, the Klim boots stayed dry in light rain while riding and didn’t take on water even after an accidental step into a mountain stream while hiking. The deeply grooved knobby soles give excellent traction and provide stiff support when going over rocks and gravel.
However, that same stiffness that provides the boot’s rugged performance doesn’t allow for much natural movement of the foot, resulting in some fatigue on long hikes. Despite the boots’ ability to repel water, they remain breathable for comfortable all-day wear.
The boot’s outer construction conforms naturally to the shape of the foot while the interior padding provides warmth and a comfortable, secure feel and fit. An Ortholite insole provides impact absorption and seems to actually shape itself to your foot.
Without question, the most impressive and practical aspect about the Range boots is the lace synching process. Called the BOA closure system, it uses knurled plastic knobs on the tongue of the boot, which can turn to crank down.
The rotating action winds up the plastic-coated heavy-duty wire laces, drawing the excess length up into the knob’s hidden interior spools. The system allows for quick, easy, and evenly balanced adjustment to achieve the desired pressure, efficiently drawing up the wire laces in an exceptionally snug fit.
The process is foolproof, providing an even distribution of tension over the entire cross of laces. It’s a very clever design, making traditional laces, zippers, and buckles seem obsolete by comparison.
To release the pressure on the foot, simply pop the knob out and the spool feeds the wire laces back out, allowing the boots to be removed.
If you’re looking for a riding shoe that will provide base protection for feet and ankles, but that can also be worn into the office or a coffee shop without the clomp of heavy riding boots, the Klim Range GTX deserve looking at. The shoes have an added patch of material on the left/shift foot to help alleviate excessive wear from a shift lever.
They boots retail for $249.99 and are available in basic black.