The name on these boots may sound like an ice lolly, but the Dainese Solarys are classy Gore-Tex touring boots that I’ve used for much more than just touring. These boots are designed for hot weather, but they’ll perform in a wide range of conditions.
Just looking at the boots, there isn’t much on face value to get excited about. I can imagine them being worn by someone who knows every single mpg figure they achieved from their GS while touring France. Dainese’s design team have definitely focused on creating a boot to do the job right rather than to have a certain look.
They may not set pulses racing, but they are very comfortable once bedded in. The sole has a little height to it and some stiffness but is still very comfortable to walk in and flexes enough to make slick gearchanges.
During the initial stages of my review my big boat-size feet were slightly uncomfortable, but after a week or so the materials had softened up and they felt fine. I’m usually a size 48, but wore a 47 in these boots, so would suggest trying a size down if you think you may be on the join between two sizes.
Most customer reviews for these boots mentioned how they’re effective in spring, summer and autumn. I got these boots smack-bang in the middle of the only season they didn’t mention.
Even though I wore normal socks rather than thermal ones my feet felt fine in winter. They weren’t hot, but nor were my feet freezing cold as I had expected.
The only moment of discomfort with the weather comes if you catch a large puddle and splash the mesh panels on the outside of the boots. The Gore-Tex keeps out the water, but it still creates a cold sensation as it pushes against the liner onto you. I’ve felt this numerous times and it feels as though your feet are wet when in fact the cold just makes you think they are.
The boot is cleverly made from a combination of microfibre and fabric panels, which as I mentioned allow the boot to vent and breathe. There’s no genuine leather in these boots.
Both materials have shown no wear or tear and with a good wipe the boots look like new, despite covering over a thousand miles.
The interior is nicely padded and with the breathability of the Gore-Tex lining and the fabric panels they provided a nice comfortable environment for my feet.
Fastening comes from a zip on the side with a Velcro panel to cover it. I find there’s a little too much Velcro, requiring the strength of Arnie to undo it. There is also reflective marking on the heel and toe areas, which have been cleverly sunk into the material for some visibility to both following and oncoming traffic.
The boot is very discrete about protection, with a firm shinguard that has survived a few whacks from low-lying branches when riding off-road.
The reinforced heel gives a nice fit and there’s a beefed-up toe area plus a gear lever pad, although I feel that is a little thin and the stitching appears vulnerable to wearing through before the pad itself suffers.
Waterproofing-wise, these boots have been fantastic. They’ve never failed once, even in the vented areas.
My taste for off-roading means these apparently boring touring boots have been put through hell and came up trumps. I’ve even been stood in deep puddles and had no signs of water making it past their defences.
The only time I recall my feet getting wet was when a bow wave forced my jean leg up and water went in over the top, but after a night in the airing cupboard they’d dried out ready for the ride to work.
I think I was very quick to judge these boots on their looks rather than their functionality. You could not go far wrong with these boots if you are after a high-quality, comfortable, waterproof touring boot. As the old saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover”. Lesson learnt.
Fit & Comfort
At first my feet would slip around inside the boot, but once bedded in they genuinely started to feel like a pair of slippers. There was no rubbing inside and the sole gave just enough flex to be able to walk comfortably and change gear easily.
They performed faultlessly, as expected for Gore-Tex boots. Despite plenty of rain my feet never got wet.
Warmth and breathability
Though these boots aren’t really marketed as a year-round boot, a rider with good circulation (and decent socks) could get away with them in winter. The clever fabric mesh panels and breathable Gore-Tex liner maintain a nice environment on warmer days.
Nothing has gone wrong with them and they are not showing any signs of wear or tear. The gearchange pad could just do with being a little thicker and the stitching deeper into the pad to prevent any rubbing.
The Gore-Tex membrane is a plus, and the boots have the essentials you need on a touring boot without going to town on features.