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Cerbera
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Hey EUCists :)

It's my birthday coming up soon, and someone has kindly offered to buy me some more substantial footwear I can use with my EUC.

Currently I use standard non-brand baseball boots, which grip perfectly, are very light and flexible for all degrees of foot movement, but provide a big fat nothing in ankle protection or shin protection. So I went looking for other types of shoe or boot that might be more suitable. 

Straight away I thought Moto boots might be the way to go, and found some that looked great, only cost about £150, and had so much protection of the vital areas it was a bit OTT if anything.

But while I was checking stock options with one supplier, I thought to ask about the degree of foot movement allowed by moto boots, and was helpfully informed that nearly all motorcycle boots actually prevent up and/ or down movement of the foot outside a fairly narrow range, so may actually be totally unsuitable for EUCing ! Or are they ? Do we need up and down foot movement, as you'd imagine, or has anyone tried it with moto boots and found it to be fine ?

My question is therefore 'are moto boots suitable for this, and if not, where to look next' ? What type of 'sports boot' could be most usefully deployed for EUCing ? It needs ankle and shin protection, but must also allow for the full range of foot movement we need for precision control of our machines...

Of course I am aware of the 'trainers and shin-pads' option, but not keen on that because it already takes me 5 minutes to get into my pressure suit, and other body armour - I just want a boot I can slip on quickly and easily but also know I am immune to shin or ankle damage from any falls !

Thanks guys :)

CBR

Edited by Cerbera
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Moto boots do not equal to moto boots. Boots for moto cross are usually super stiff and heavy and I wouldn't recommend them for EUCing or most other activities I could think of, besides moto biking and cross country EUCing at high speed. Street moto boots are probably OK, though I can't say I have much experience with those.

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I'm with @Mono on this one. I find I move my feet around inside my boots and my boots on the pedals,  quite a lot when manoeuvring.  I also have moderate succes alleviating numb feet by changing which part of my feet I put pressure on. Let me 'splain...

left ball, and right heel, then the opposite,

outside of either foot or both, etc,  just trying to get the blood to move around a bit 

where as full on hard shell moto boots look cool, they are too restrictive imho.  And when the 2.5 days of English summer hit, you'll be longing for flip flops inside  of 10 minutes. My 2c

how about a pair of pull on, Australian style ankle high boots, I don't know the name.  They have elasticated sides.

Edited by Smoother
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20 minutes ago, Smoother said:

how about a pair of pull on, Australian style ankle high boots, I don't know the name.  They have elasticated sides.

Thanks, @Smoother I'll check those out. Also muchly valuable info about foot movement  - cheers - I do a similar thing on my wheel, on the extra long trips :)

 

Edited by Cerbera
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The most important aspect of any shoe for EUCing is IMHO that they have a stiff sole (unless you have quite small feet and these super large pedals). I ride perfectly find in sandals with stiff soles. That means rather check the moto boots carefully in this regard, as, I believe, some of them have comparatively elastic soles.

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Actually, that reminds me - the other thing I do on long bumpy trips is ride with one foot, freeing the other one to wiggle about a bit and get its circulation back - possibly the only practical use for trick-riding other than showing off ! :) But it does help, at least until you hit a large bump while doing it ;)

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1 hour ago, Cerbera said:

at least until you hit a large bump while doing it ;)

Nice one.  That would be great, but I can't do it.  I've tried, but the pressure, half way down my calf is so great that I can't get the other foot clear of the pedal, and the wheel starts to lean and turn.  I know it can be done on the ks14, I just haven't figured out the mechanics.  It also feel like my foot will rip of the pedal sideways, such is the force.

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50 minutes ago, Smoother said:

Nice one.  That would be great, but I can't do it.  I've tried, but the pressure, half way down my calf is so great that I can't get the other foot clear of the pedal, and the wheel starts to lean and turn.  I know it can be done on the ks14, I just haven't figured out the mechanics.  It also feel like my foot will rip of the pedal sideways, such is the force.

Well, you do it (very briefly) every time you get on your EUC ! :) The way I learned was to simply extend the amount of time before you put your other foot on the pedal, and to swing it out wide enough so that the forces on your calf are counterbalanced and minimised. I'll grant you that steering it like that takes a little more practice, but in everyday riding you don't actually need to take your foot off for long to give it some respite from the pressure, and you can always a do what I might call a 'partial shift', where you lift the weight off your non-leading foot only slightly, but enough for wiggle room. If you do this when the terrain is looking OK, there's little risk of it going wrong in my experience, and if it does, your foot is close enough to the pedal to rescue you...

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1 hour ago, Smoother said:

Nice one.  That would be great, but I can't do it.  I've tried, but the pressure, half way down my calf is so great that I can't get the other foot clear of the pedal, and the wheel starts to lean and turn.  I know it can be done on the ks14, I just haven't figured out the mechanics.  It also feel like my foot will rip of the pedal sideways, such is the force.

The single most effective trick to get there for me, was to turn the forefoot to the inside. This gives more control for two reasons. 1) there is more sole touching the pedal and 2) by bending the knee, you can apply pressure to the inside, exactly the pressure you need to prevent the wheel from falling over. This single trick changed everything from "that's just not possible to do for me" to "not so difficult, actually".

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Just now, Mono said:

The single most effective trick to get there for me, was to turn the forefoot to the inside. This gives more control for two reasons. 1) there is more sole touching the pedal and 2) by bending the knee, you can apply pressure to the inside, exactly the pressure you need to prevent the wheel from falling over. This single trick changed everything from "that's just not possible to do for me" to "not so difficult, actually".

That's sounds good, I'll try it.  Thanks

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6 hours ago, Cerbera said:

My question is therefore 'are moto boots suitable for this, and if not, where to look next' ? What type of 'sports boot' could be most usefully deployed for EUCing ? It needs ankle and shin protection, but must also allow for the full range of foot movement we need for precision control of our machines...

 

I suspect you will have to pay ~$150 to get what you want.  I have the Sidi boots in the first picture, though I tend to prefer my TechStar sneakers for riding.  The Sidi's in the second picture might be overkill, but they could still work on an EUC.  My full-on motorcycle boots are too stiff (you need this at the higher speeds on a motorcycle) so would not work. 

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 12.01.28 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 12.00.01 PM.png

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I prefer my EUC shoes as I like my women: Strong soul (sole), cushy bottom.

In practice, that means — my lovely wife, of course, who also wheels — and shoes with memory foam insoles. My daily wheeling shoes are Starter wide-width memory foam from Walmart, less than $20 in the U.S.:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Starter-Men-s-Memory-Foam-Wide-Width-Athletic-Shoe/44411578

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8 hours ago, Chris Westland said:

White, no.  Sounds flashy, but you'll need the StarWars Storm Trooper gear (the white plasticy guys)

I got a 661 pressure suit that is pretty close. Those boots would go well with that :) Alas they are discontinued and nobody has them in a 44...

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3 hours ago, Cerbera said:

I got a 661 pressure suit that is pretty close. Those boots would go well with that :) Alas they are discontinued and nobody has them in a 44...

OK ... here are some other ideas (didn't you ever wonder what the StarWars characters look like under the plastic armor?) 

61aeYT5vEjL._UY445_.jpg

a-better-darth-vader.jpg

nice-storm-trooper-costume.jpg

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4 hours ago, Chris Westland said:

OK ... here are some other ideas (didn't you ever wonder what the StarWars characters look like under the plastic armor?) 

 

I'll take the bottom one please - where do I order her ? :)

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I just got a pair of high top sneakers, Nike Air Force 1 Ultraforce. They provide a bit of ankle support and just enough padding to keep my ankles comfortable. The soles are super flexible and provide good pedal feel.

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Hey Peoples - quick update for anyone interested...

Having spent really a lot of time now looking for the ideal boots, and getting briefly lulled away from economy by people like Sidi and Alpinestar, but then I found the Black range :) Similar quality, a little more flexibility, and a third of the price !!

And whilst they are not quite the pure design elegance of their Sidi equivalents, they don't look too rubbish, and for those who hate the white, there is also black and other colours. £70, UK .

589b4df71938a_blackzero.jpg.b9583c796e4d320bcbd5f00f56c9c44e.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Zero-Motorcycle-Boots/dp/B010O0487Q/ref=cts_sp_3_vtp?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_p=1212178027&pf_rd_r=XPKSWWTTB8GV968DX07E&pd_rd_wg=wjvx8&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B006T08FY8&pd_rd_w=eEwGe&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=XPKSWWTTB8GV968DX07E&_encoding=UTF8&th=1&psc=1

These ones, lower in the range are even cheaper, and look less tacky, and I got a personal testimonial from someone who has been wearing them for years without problems... and because I was lucky enough to be speaking to him while he was wearing them, I could get him to show me all the EUC foot movements, to check the boots would allow them, which they do !

589b4ea04295f_blackelite.jpg.e9ccce3561b3f1ad8f71c755bf47a123.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Oxygen-Elite-Motorcycle-Boots/dp/B00BTH5LPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486572682&sr=8-1&keywords=black%2Boxygen%2Belite%2Bmotorcycle%2Bboots&th=1&psc=1

£62, UK.

I am evenly torn between them, but will almost certainly get one of them, and then thoroughly test and report.

I guess it comes down to whether or not toe sliders would help or hinder us ? What do you think ?

All comment and opinion, good or bad welcome in the meantime...

Thanks

CBR

Edited by Cerbera
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@Cerbera I have a set of Sidi boots like the second set you pictured.  These work on an EUC, but in truth I like low tops, especially for my 14" IPS Zero.  I think with the bigger wheels (16-18" Gotway/KS) these boots would work well.   I'll pull these out (I have them stored from my motorcycling days) and maybe give them a try on the V8.

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Those certainly ARE "somewhat funky" ! :)  Almost heading for 'Funky as it gets' !!

My boots have just arrived (less than 5 hours after I ordered them - hows that for speed ?). I went for the Black Zero in the end.

They seem a little small / tight initially, but I'll do a test shopping wheel run into town and see if we all stay upright, and how much stuff hurts  at the end of it !

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Black Zero MC Touring Boots Review

589df9fbb83a1_blackzero.jpg.97c1c6139949e3470d838a8eb194b581.jpg

Source: Amazon.co.uk
Price: £76   + free delivery (UK)

Build Quality: 5/5

These boots are extremely rugged and well made, especially considering the price. They arrived incredibly fast, and were packaged very well. They look properly awesome, in a sort of Stormtrooper type way, and there is no faulting the ankle or shin protection or toe sliders, all of which are very firmly and solidly attached. Opening is via a large velcro flap and a long, stiff zip. They are waterproof, and insulated, and I was to appreciate both those qualities in the first test ride... 

There is also heel protection, and hardened uppers, but no steel toe-caps to curl inwards in a crash and cut your toes off, so that's all good.

Fit / Comfort: 4/5

Being a 9 1/2, I ordered 10's (44) and given the coldness of the day I went for thick work socks and another (even thicker) pair of Heat Holder thermals over that for my initial EUC tests.

Those boots are pretty tight with that on, but they do fit, and any initial discomfort going on I put down to brand new stiff leather, and the fact that they are not worn in yet.

Undeterred, I got on my wheel... fit-wise I had forgotten I had them on within a few minutes of wheeling.

EUC Suitability: 4/5

Initially, I found it harder to mount up and go than previously - the boots don't give very good feedback, and I am a lot more isolated from the pedals than I am in baseball boots, which is what I wear EUCing in Summer. The foot position is slightly different, and the wideness of the boots at the top means your legs are a little further away from the center.

However, it didn't take long to get used to that, and I actually felt very supported, and solidly grounded, and more importantly on such a freezing day, very warm. Indeed, that was my favourite bit about them - my feet remained toasty for the whole journey, while the rest of me slowly icicalised around them :)

Flexibilty and control of acceleration and braking was as good as I had hoped, and only slightly stiffer than normal. But the slightly forward lean to the boot profile means that prolonged acceleration requires a little less effort, and braking takes a little more lean to really engage. My MS3 seemed hungrier to go faster than normal in this footware !

Ride Quality: 5/5

Apart from the warmth of these boots, the other thing I noticed was how much more comfortable riding my MS3 was. OK, we lack a little tactile feedback, but that is more than made up for, because bumps don't feel harsh anymore, and my feet didn't hurt at all after 5 miles, which is certainly not the case with baseball boots. In general, everything was less jarring, and smoother. I don't think I had appreciated just how much difference footwear makes ! So there we go - full marks for ride comfort, with hardly any compromise to EUC control.

Swooningly interesting...

There was a slightly 'interesting' episode that happened in Waitrose while doing the daily shop. I'd made it into town and round the bakery OK, but while queueing at the supermarket I suddenly start to feel faint and wobbly, like the blood was rushing to my head. It was like that thing where you stand up too quickly, but much much worse.

In the end I had to put down the basket, park the wheel and have a sit down, before slowly recovering and wheeling my way home without further issue. 

So, was that the boots ? They were very tight :) I am not sure, but that is the first time I've ever gone like that in the middle of a wheel mission, so I am suspicious. 

Conclusion: Overall 4.5/5

Assuming they relax a little given time  I think these boots are very good for EUCing. Grip is excellent, support and protection is excellent, warmth is excellent - really the only complaint is that they are a little stiff initially, and maybe I am trying to get too many socks into them. We'll see if that improves with time, or if I keep going wobbly as a result ! Apart from that, it's a lot of boot for your £75, and I think I'm gonna be happy with that for the next few years of riding...

CBR

Edited by Cerbera
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