Riding a motorcycle in distant lands is a true adventure, but there are a few difficulties that come up once we attempt to fit everything we need into two small panniers and a top bag. One of the challenges for the adventure motorcyclist is striking a balance between protection and comfort, and between minimalism and excessive equipment. In my travels by motorcycle, I have always tried to minimize bringing too many personal effects, as it is easy to have mounds of duffels and monstrous side cases to keep all of your kit. But we also want to address the needs of experiencing life off the bike, which often means needing two or three pairs of shoes: the boots you ride with, the comfortable shoes you wear around camp or hike with, and the shoes you wear around that historic village in Prague. I have worked for years at finding the one boot that might do it all, and this new shoe from Aether looks to be a good choice. They are classy enough to wear for dinner at the local dignitary’s home or when appealing for a Turkmenistan visa at the consulate in Azerbaijan, while also being comfortable enough to wear walking much of the day in Baku. With these boots, there are the additional advantages of understated style and lack of flashy name brands, which helps reduce profiling and the likelihood of theft. Overall, the aesthetic is spot on, hearkening back to Triumph Scramblers and Royal Enfields exploring the globe. This design philosophy extends to the rest of their motorcycle line, including their excellent Expedition Suit.
It is important to note that these are not full-protection enduro boots, as they lack the height and rigidity of those offerings. It also lacks the impact protection for the upper shin and the stiffness required to protect the ankle joint. However, it is made from thick leather with a Vibram-lugged sole and D30 protection for the ankle. The shift pad area is reinforced for long-term wear, and the footbed includes a shank for supporting the weight on the arch while standing. Motorcycle travel is often different from enduro riding, and I would classify this new boot as a proper travel option. We will provide some additional feedback once we test them in the field. aether.com
Press Release (manufacturer copy)
Introducing the AETHER Moto Boot. As with all of our motorcycle offerings, we made sure these boots feature the necessary protection to keep you safe while still maintaining a refined urban aesthetic. Much of the moto industry opts for loud and logo’d, but we believe in keeping our protective gear devoid of crazy colors and excessive branding. The AETHER Moto Boot is created from 100% vegetable-tanned Italian leather and is fully leather lined. It features internal D3O® ankle-protection pads for impact protection. The boot features a Vibram “Commando”-style sole with low-profile forefoot lugs, and a reinforced-leather shift-pad area on the vamp to prevent early wear-through from shifting. Constructing these boots with function in mind, we placed speed hooks at the top of the boot to help with quick lacing, and a finger-pull is stitched on the back for ease of putting on and taking off. The midfoot arch of the Vibram outsole is buttressed by the heel pad, which acts as a natural area for foot pegs. Additionally, the boot’s shaft construction allows easy flexing for shifting or walking. A heavy waxed-nylon blue thread is Blake-stitched through the Vibram sole, adding a pop of color. The AETHER Moto Boot will develop a deep patina with time and wear. A second, bonus set of laces is included with each pair. These boots are thoughtfully constructed for motorcycle rides but sophisticated enough to leave on throughout the day. They’re motorcycle boots appropriate for any setting. We hope you get as much use out of them as we do.