Motorcycle culture has always been synonymous with style, right from our cultural icons jumping barbed wire fences in chinos and sweaters or riding across rooftops shooting baddies in a Tom Ford bespoke. We like to imagine ourselves as thrashing our bikes around in just a white tee and selvage, but outside Hollywood, we as bikers, have another nemesis dictating our couture choices – safety
Fortunately over the last few years, new brands and technology have entered the market allowing us to improve the balance, in favour of style. One such company, who are enabling us to follow in the footsteps of our icons is Rev’It and their range of ‘fashion’ motorcycle gear. They have been around a few years now, and having previously reviewed their excellent Avenue 2 GTX jacket in winter, we were particularly excited to try out their Royale boots, courtesy of Burn Out Italy – the motorcycle e-tailer.
The challenge for brands in this space is to blend into the background, whilst providing a reassuring hand on the shoulder that everything will be ok should we succumb to the ‘baddies’ bullets. Therefore, we decided to wear the boots for three days, on and off the bike to see how successful the safety/style balance could be.
The first thing you will notice when you slip them on for the first time, is the height of the boot up from the ankle, which is reinforced by a velcro wrap around the shin. Other style based boots have tended to sit lower down, and so its surprising how even just an extra inch or so can make all the reassuring difference – no innuendo intended.
At KoF we’ve always been a bit naughty in riding in ‘civilian shoes’, brogue style boots, but in swapping over to the Royale’s I genuinely didn’t feel style had been compromised, with detailing such as the gear shift pad not looking out of place for the design. The mixture of materials and nice stitching detailing drew compliments from bikers, and non riders. Weight wise, you are reminded that the boots have reinforcements, but not so much that you find yourself plodding down the street. During the three days, I took them down to our friends at Untitled Motorcycles, and carried out some work on my bike, requiring flexibility in the heel and toe whilst bending down, and comfort during long standard periods. In both cases I forgot I was wearing bike boots. The real treat however came when in typical British style, the heavens opened and I had to ride home in the rain, albeit on this occasion I remembered I had the Royale H20 waterproof version, so found myself deliberately heading for puddles. Oh what a joy! Whilst a little bit more expensive than the non waterproof versions they were worth every soggy dollar.