I take boots pretty seriously since I’ve had the misfortune of breaking my ankles in some very subpar boots, and I really enjoy running, which means I have to keep my feet protected as best as possible. So I’m not the first guy in line to wear “budget” boots for any length of time. And gimmicks of any nature interest me right up until I feel taken. So I was very skeptical about Thor’s new ratcheting boot.I’ve been snowboarding enough to know the value and effectiveness of this type of fastening system, which is common on some boots and most of the bindings. But I don’t tend to adjust the tension and clamping on my motorcycle riding boots enough to need this level of tuning apart from the first time I break in the boots. At $169, the Ratchet Motocross boot is affordable and built from sturdy materials. It uses leather and plastic for the majority of the construction and has a split-grain leather calf guard. The overall build is very typical aside from the buckles. And to that point the buckles were basically a wash compared to normal buckles, all said and done.
The setup and stretch during the first ride and break-in were no different than any other boot, setting the buckle length and getting the boot to fit comfortably took a few minutes with the stiff new parts (especially the straps), but that set-up time paid dividends once the boot broke in. Initially the boot is stiffer than most lower-priced boots, and it took two rides before I was fully comfortable, but the boot also feels more protective and sturdy than most I’ve used in the same price range. And the buckles provide great adjustability in small increments. They are no quicker to get into or out of, and the only hindrance is in thick sticky mud (or small stones as well) where the buckles can become clogged or difficult to remove or adjust cleanly. I’ve been wearing these boots way more than I thought I ever would past testing them because they are comfortable and protective, which I require in footwear.They are available in black or white and come in sizes seven all the way up to 15 for you duck feet out there. Overall a great value for a solid boot, and the buckles fly just below the gimmick line. - Jimmy Lewis
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