Boots are an important part of my motorcycle gear, needing to be comfortable for a full day’s riding and give me confidence that they are tough enough to cope if things go wrong.
I was interested to see how do the RST Raid boots, marketed as “ready for tackling terrain both on the road and off” would measure up to my riding.
Each boot is done up with a hook and hoop fastening at the top and three adjustable motocross-style clasps. This makes it very easy to get the boot on and gives more than adequate adjustment to get a personalised fit.
There is a hard plastic shin cover and solid toe and heel protection which feel tough enough to give protection to these vulnerable parts of your leg and foot.
A heavy-duty sole gives good grip on loose or even muddy surfaces and a flexible panel at the back is designed to make it easier to get them on and off.
The boots I chose were in black leather with contrasting grey suede panels, which gives a good look to the boots. The outer materials are tough and showed no signs of abrasion after 2500 miles riding, while the gearchange pad is sturdy and displayed no signs of wear either.
My feet remained comfortable in the boots even as temperatures rose to 30°C and were warm in much lower temperatures with the addition of a thicker pair of socks.
These boots don’t have a hinged brace at the ankles, which is a feature I usually look for as it boosts protection. On the flip side, the lack of stiffness makes these boots more comfortable when walking around off the bike.
On my last trip into Europe I was fortunate to see high temperatures and no rain, though torrential rain in the UK in late 2019 gave me the opportunity to check how waterproof they are – on short but very wet trips around home they kept me warm and dry.
These boots are comfortable on a full day’s riding and are flexible for walking around off the bike. They remain comfortable in a variety of temperatures, with the addition of an extra pair of socks to keep me warm as the temperature falls and the wet weather sets in.
In my opinion RST’s claims about these being suitable for off road use aren’t correct thanks to the lack of reinforced bracing, however if you want a boot to keep you warm and dry on the tarmac these will do a good job.
Fit & Comfort
The boots are true to the size given by the manufacturer, though they are wider fitting than many. Thanks to the adjustable buckles there is sufficient adjustment to suit my feet. Another advantage of the wider fitting and the buckle adjustment is that much thicker socks can be worn without the boots pinching.
The protection meets the basic level required, however for me a serious adventure boot requires ankle bracing is the reason for awarding a low score in this category.
They didn’t get a severe test from me, though they did the job on every wet ride I put them through.
The boots feel well made and show no signs of scuffs or scrapes after my 2500 miles with them.
The basics are all present – some ventilation and ankle bracing for protection would be a boost.