All about boots, for the mini dual-sport aka the TW200, aka2 the all-mighty TDUB.
Boots come in all shapes and sizes as well as specific designs for specific tasks! And yes, we are talking about just within the motorcycle sector of boots! Road comfort, road race, road touring; a lot to choose from! Then in the dirt oriented sector, there are MX boots and ADV-touring, dualsport types of boots.
TDUBBIN’ – not all boots work!
But if you are TDUBBIN’ aka riding your Yamaha TW200, not all boots work! It’s almost like riding the mini-bikes, your MX moto boots just don’t work as they are too big and bulky around the toes. Also, the added length of the boot may also make it more difficult to wear on the TW200. All this has to do with shifting. Yes, yes, yes, you can adjust the shifter! But you are going to do that anyhow for additional ground clearance and boot clearance, especially for those of you who understand the art of standing up while riding. Who wants to have their shifter at 10:30? May as well reach down and shift it with your hand!
When the adult mini bike racing “pitties” craze came on, bootmakers actually starting making boots specifically for them; “slammers” or 50/50 boots. But even so, those are still very MX “style’ishious!” And, I don’t see them much more these days…
Let me share with you my boot-moto history and how I discovered the boots I am currently in love-use with!
Let’s Be Real…
I grew up riding in Alabama… Boots are just common in those parts. The boots I wore I inherited from my father, literally his boots. These Redwing boots saw a lot of the Talladega National Forest onboard my Yamaha DT175! I brought them with me to California and they served me well on the Yamaha RZ350. The bike was sold and the boots got sold later on as I never liked the heal. I like the new style of Red Wings with the flat bottom “wedge” sole. But, point is, work boots somehow find their way onto motorcycles!
First Pair of Real MX Boots
When I got the 1997 Honda XR400, these AXO boots came with the deal!
These were officially my first ever pair of real moto boots back on December 22, 2005! Why am I showing you these? Note the toe shape and we will come back and address this point.
I wore these boots beyond life! I even took them back and tried to have the soles sewn back in, only to have them come loose again.
A new bike requires new boots!
Upon purchasing the 2005 KTM 950ADV, that required “StormTrooper” GENIUS boots from SCOTT! While these were “state-of-the-art” back in 2007, these are going way in the wrong direction for TDUBBIN! Note the toe size compared to the AXO’s I showed you above.
Back in 2015, I needed some boots for a supermoto school.
These FOX boots didn’t last the day as they started laughing at me due to the heat. At least they didn’t laugh in my face, just at everyone behind me. It was comical, I go to put my foot out and the sole was hanging down from the toe. At least I was able to keep riding!! Point here? Even good brands make cheap boots. Cheap boots do not stand up to the extremes. The day hit the 100-degree mark and the hot asphalt obviously took their toll on them. I like Fox and their boots, but I would go up a few clicks in price to ensure I got a better quality boot.
When I bought the TW200…
When I bought the TW200, I had these Nike Air ADV Boots. Bought these puppies back in 2007. These boots, while most would say is as a far cry from a Red Wing replacement were super comfortable!
The Nike Air ADV boots did a lot of street touring use, hiking, working, and was just a good general boot all around.
The Nike Air ADV boots did a bunch of light dualsport rides including the first couple of TW200 rides where they finally met their last day after 10-years of use! Standing up while riding the moto, puts a lot of stress on the boot and as a result, pulled them apart.
WHAT WORKS BEST
I spent several hours looking at what all is available in boots that fit the criteria of mini dual sport riding! Here is how I broke down the requirements for my next purchase in boots specifically for riding the TW200 aka TDUB:
1: Shifter-Toe Clearance
2: Stand-Up Riding Ability
3: Walking Comfort
I want a boot with a low-low-low toe clearance! Remember that old school AXO boot I showed you above? All the old school style MX boots had that kind of “low toe” and even some of the new boot still have the shape, but it has grown a little with the extra added plastic features as boot manufacturers have tried to make an “in-between” low-end and high-end boot. What was on my radar?
1: Sidi Adventure or Discovery
2: Forma Adventure
3: Alpinestar Tucan
4: TCX Baja Waterproof
5: Gaerne Balance Oiled
Stand-Up Riding Ability
Riding while standing up… what boot is best suited for this? Most moto boots are these days, but I primarily wanted something with as flat of a sole as possible, no indentions or “hold” area that is different than the rest of the sole. This way, I can move my foot around on the footpeg and have the same feeling throughout the footbed. There is one boot in particular that stood out to me…
YES! I want to be able to walk around! The TW200 rider in me is prone to stopping to take photos, to check things out, site seeing and the sort. The TW200 rider in me is more than just riding, its about the time off the bike as well, so the boot does not need to be all flashy and overly stated, “Hey look, I’m riding a dirt bike!”
While considering my three departments of criteria, I was also thinking about what Trials riders boots would be like as they are standing a lot at their events, both on and off the bike. They need to be flexible and protective, but not MX high-speed protective, so I thought this would make a great area to research into. More reading here if you want to go down that rabbit hole with me: https://www.dirtbikes101.com/gear/trials-boots.html
WHAT BOOT ALREADY?!
I chose the Gaerne Balance Oiled boots as it ticked off all three of my boxes!
1: Shifter-Toe Clearance – the lowest I could find.
2: Stand-Up Riding Ability – flat bottom sole.
3: Walking Comfort – From everything I read, these are the most comfortable boots in the category both on the bike and OFF THE BIKE!!! And the brown color has that hiking/adventure boot flavor, perfect for the TW200.
Also, not going to lie to you… As of January 2019, I do own a pair of RedWing TruHiker 6692 work boots with aluminum toe caps that I use for work and I do ride in them as well. Sometimes, we just have to go back, way back to our old school roots. Besides, we are riding a motorcycle that started production life in 1987!
WHAT BOOTS ARE YOU RIDING YOUR TW200 WITH??? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW! THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR!
For some extended reading about boots, give the below links a read:
For some more in-depth reading, please give this story a read!