MSR Dual-Sport Boot Review

Boots made for dual-sport riding go through the paces of DR Tested.

Malcom Smith Racing

Dual-Sport BootsSean Klinger

Malcom Smith Racing Dual-Sport Boots

First of all, these boots are ridiculously comfortable. They feel nothing like moto boots and offer more flexibility and footbed softness than even other dual-sport boots that I've worn. But they still offer a moderate amount of support and structure, more so than work boots. The D3O footbeds are like clouds for your feet, and the fit is relaxed but not too roomy that my feet were swimming in the size 10s (I wear a 10.5 in casual shoes and almost always a 10 in moto boots). The shorter length and smaller top opening work together since big knee pads and braces wouldn't fit in the boot, but they are short enough to fall below any knee protection.

Gripping the bike with these boots is both good and bad. The soft leather gave me great bike feel and I felt a good weld on the bike, but that also meant that you feel all the odd edges on some bikes, like passenger pegs, subframe junctions, or strange frame shapes. The D3O ankle caps did a good job keeping my ankle bones from being rubbed raw. It would be great if there was a thin layer of D3O covering the inside halves of the boots to negate some of the feel of the bike irregularities.

The sole is pretty soft and has a ton of footpeg grip, and it is also nice and flexible for walking around off the bike. The downside is that after a full day of riding with a lot of standing on the pegs, my feet were aching from bending around the pegs. MSR says a steel shank runs from toe to heel, but it must be pretty thin because the sole flexes quite a bit. These boots would be best for riders who sit at least 50 percent of the time or have big, wide ADV pegs.

One other quick con are the straps and buckles. For a $300 boot to have cheap, entry-level straps that are hard to adjust is kind of a disappointment. Other than that, the leather has held up well to abuse and looks even better with wear and tear. Overall, the flexibility, comfort, and style work for dual-sporting and ADVing, but for off-road-only riding, they are lacking ankle support and protection.

Rated 79
Style 17/20
Comfort 9/10
Function 39/50
Wash/care 8/10
Price 6/10 (866) 838-4199