If you’re looking for motorcycle gear that’ll protect your body but not your virginity, then these boots are you. This dapper footwear boasts a killer look with a neat design, sturdy protection and two colour-ways; it’s literally a one-stop-shop for moto and lifestyle footwear.
Based out of Texas, MotoBailey is an artisan style boot maker that brings a ton of style and good looks to the party, while mixing in protection behind the scenes. The idea for the shoes was conceived when founder Blake Bailey was driving to his stuffy corporate job in Austin. “I had seen a Ducati that Revival Cycles built, pull into a garage in front of me. At the time I was ticked that they got to build bikes for a living while I had to dress fancy for a corporation every day. I had an idea, and wanted to find the leather that matches my dress shoes for work but was suitable for riding as well. I’m ex-military so there was no way I wasn’t lining it with Kevlar, either!”
With two types of boots on offer, the El Bulli and La Ryder, the choices are simple. We got our hands (or feet) on a pair the La Ryder tan boots to see just what these shoes were all about.
Straight out of the box, these boots look bloody good – pure and simple. They’re real leather (imported from France, mind you) and are hand crafted by Blake Bailey. These boots have a lot of sole (geddit?!) but I was keen to see if they fit either bill they were designed for. It’s not easy to create something that can be comfortably worn all day throughout work and social situations, while still offering the motorcycle protection you require.
Chucking the shoes on, they’re stiff. This is fresh new leather – so that’s to be expected. After a few days of wearing them they’re now nicely moulded to my feet. Now, what makes these any different from other leather boots? Upon seeing these shoes my first thought was “these better give grip”. Trying to wear nice dress leather shoes while reversing a bike is something I’m not particularly keen on doing. While great for getting pissed at weddings in, fancy shoes are pretty bloody useless for anything motorbike related. So much to my delight I see that these tidy MotoBailey’s are grippy as hell. I can reverse my Harley uphill and have no fears of slipping over. Well done.
With The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2017 coming up, these shoes are a remarkably attractive option. A little bit of practicality is never bad for us folks that often pick form over function. Apart from the wonderful protection leather offers, MotoBailey strived to make something that was truly moto-friendly. Beneath this excellent exterior sits a complete Kevlar lining. This covers from ankle to toe, with built-in PU ankle protection. There’s also a “shift pad” on each shoe as well, to house that mark of pride left from the gear lever.
Wearing these boots throughout the day was delightful. They suited work in the office, shoots, parties, and most importantly – riding. These are for professionals that ride to work but hate having to swap boots over, or simply folks that want a great looking boot that also comes with added protection. These are no substitute for full-dedicated riding boots, but they aren’t supposed to be.
Conclusion: We could go on forever about how great these boots look; I received plenty of compliments wearing them, although this may be due to normally dressing like a slob. Hell, even my better half said they looked sexy on me. Maybe I’ve still got it?
What I’d personally like to see in these is a higher cut boot for increased ankle protection, and some light padding around the inside of the top to stop the leather digging in when riding in certain positions. These retail for $220 USD a pair, which is a pretty good price. They also come with a 90-day limited warranty, and a 30-day guaranteed return policy. “If you don’t love these boots, then just send them back. Simple.” Says the MotoBailey site. Can’t argue with that. If you’re grabbing a pair be mindful that the sizes run small. I’m a size 9, but am rocking a size 10 for MotoBailey’s that are a perfect fit.
Overall I’m very impressed with the quality of this footwear, and it’s a welcome addition to my wardrobe. Grab a pair for yourself at www.motobailey.com and stay tuned for some new boots that will be dropping soon, as well as a pair for our female riders.