I’ve seen it from the top of a Mayan pyramid but I’ve never got across the border. Mexico always captivates me and therefore Guatemala always eludes me. Another thing that is captive in Mexico is a parcel waiting to clear customs, tales of high import duties and long delays made my decision; I’m going to meet my new boots in Guatemala. My current ones were 15 years old when I became the owner and three Mexican tours clocked up another 25,000 miles on my feet. They were tired and I needed to get geared up for the ongoing journey to Panama. It was on the advice of Get Geared that I opted for a pick up point at a popular Guatemalan location with a DHL office to collect my Forma Adventure Off Road Boots.
I’d paid the duty at the local office the next day the box came from the capital. My neighbour at the hotel just happened to be a retire photo journalist so he created a setting for the grand opening of the box.
Totally self-conscious but in command we had an audience of taxi drivers and police as I posed on the cobble street with a convenient volcano as a back drop. Taking direction and cringing on the inside I put my new boots on and obeyed the photographers instructions unable to give a thought to process.
Photo shoot over, I rode off to a local bike tour company to give them my old boots before they closed for the day. They may be used but they were not used up and deserved better that to be dumped unceremoniously into a park bin. Anyway they had sentimental value, we’d been a long way together. Turns out the tour people had witnessed the photo shoot and were ecstatically happy with my cast offs.
‘How are the new ones, are they comfy?’
It was at that point that I realised with all the commotion and fluster of the grand opening I hadn’t even considered the fit, ‘Yeah now I think about it actually they are.’
Back in the confines of my room I played with my new toy. These are cool, very cool. That’s a lot of boot for the money and if they last half as long as the last ones the price per year will be less than a litre of synthetic oil. I’ve never totalled the miles I’ve ridden or the countries I’ve visited but I know how many new motorcycle boots I’ve owned…these are the first.
So welcome to the journey, baptism by heat, dirt, river crossings and thick rainforest mud.
Then extreme heat, total non track off road and finally back through the snow to arrive back at my frozen departure point. Two months and about 5000 miles had given them the used look.
They had held up well. The Velcro top could keep the boot open, vented in the heat, if the top strap is left unfastened, allowing a draft down to my feet. With all 3 fasteners done up they gave comfy reassuring support. The waterproofing qualities seemed OK, although I never had an all day soaking to fully test that.
The comfort level is extremely high, I could walk effortlessly and never considered changing footwear before I wandered off somewhere. There is one really annoying feature of the boot. The damn innersole, every time I took my foot out it followed and buckled.
Every time I put my foot in it crumpled and bunched in the toe. I developed a toe wriggle technique to flatten it out when I put them on, and before I fastened them up. It worked and once my foot was in place the innersole didn’t move until I took them off. That’s the only short fall I found in the design. I think we will be together for a long time to come, I’m glad I chose the brown ones, they seemed a more adaptable colour choice, and when I gave them some TLC and leather conditioner at the end of the journey, they came up like new and looked great in the hallway. After all they are adventure boots and even in the wilds of Essex a trip to Tescos can hardly be described as adventurous. So fast forward 4 months and they are taken on a faster, high endurance trip from the UK to Bulgaria, 1500 miles in 48 hours. The central European midsummer heat increased the further south I got. Waking in an abandoned Hungarian campsite for my second consecutive dawn escape I rode off under red skies, a warning I ignored. In Romania I lost and hour and the light, nothing but rain clouds ahead. Optimistic as ever I hopped it was nothing more than a passing shower but under a motorway bridge I had to put in waterproof linings and admit it was set until I could see a horizon. At last I have my wet weather test, focused and driven to my destination, the rain fell, the spray blinded and the alloy swing arm of the KTM lost its shine. It was warm rain, probably the best sort you can hope for. Not that my feet were aware of that. OK the boots still had less then 10,000 miles on them and they had been lovingly coated with leather protector in the spring but they remained as waterproof as willies. Perhaps it’s because they were my first, perhaps it’s the camaraderie of my new travel companions but I can forgive the moving innersoles, I love my boots.
All round wet and dry, hot and cold, one and off road, fast and slow, where ever I go, they cope, as it seems do Get Geared in getting the gear I need to my location.
BOOTS: Forma Adventure Boots
Sizes Available: 38-49
Colours: Black, Brown.
My Boots: Brown, Size 45, my usual shoe size is 45