Review: Womens O’Neal Rider Motocross Boots

I bought my lovely little Yamaha TW200 back in April, and took to the trails bedecked completely in street-riding gear. I didn’t want to jump completely into a whole new wardrobe, so it took a little time for me to realize what dirt-specific articles I truly needed. I was wearing my old Harley boots off-road (I couldn’t bear the thought of getting my Elsinores covered in mud), but with the Regatta and a marathon looming in late summer I was ultra-paranoid of busting up a foot or ankle. Boots became the first thing on the shopping list.

I had heard that motocross boots break in very slowly – if at all. Limited ankle mobility means clumsy shifting, not a good thing when you’re riding on the street where quick up-shifts mean being able to keep with traffic. With this in mind I tried on every motocross boot I could find that fit me…and living in St. John’s with limited selection meant I tried on three different boots: Womens Alpinestars Stella Tech 3, Youth Fox Comp 3, and Youth Thor Blitz. They all felt incredibly stiff; like walking-like-Frankenstein-stiff. Before I planked down the cash I wanted to see if there was a boot available made for less-aggressive dirt riding.

My online search led me to the O’Neal Rider boots. I wasn’t crazy about the pink accents but the price was right, and being an “entry-level” boot I thought maybe they would be little easier to break in.

oneal boots

Photo credit: motorcyclesuperstore.com

oneal boots2

Photo credit: motorcyclesuperstore.com

I ordered the boots online, and was a bit hesitant when I found out that they don’t come in half sizes. I wear 7.5 in sneakers, and ordered a 7 in the O’Neal boots. I was a little shocked to find that they fit perfectly. I wore them around the house for a couple of days, did some squats and lunges, and spent some time “massaging” the boot to get some ankle mobility before I wore them riding. I also removed the metal toe guard, to keep from slipping on asphalt. It took a little bit of getting used to, but I quickly got a feel for the shifter and rear brake and felt a lot more confident with my feet protected. They look pretty badass at coffee stops too.

So…here’s the good points of the O’Neal Rider boots:

  • Great value. They’re the least expensive motocross boots I could find online.
  • Very quick break-in period, and are actually quite comfortable.
  • Offer great protection with a metal shank in the sole and injection-molded plastic plates.
  • Enough room in the shin area to wear shin/knee guards comfortably.
  • Sole is grippy but not too chunky.
20151109_190545

They’re after seeing a bit of mud.

I have a good six months of wear on these boots now, and my only real complaint is that they’re not waterproof. The little vent in the side of the boot lets water gush right in, and unless I’m wearing Sobeys bags on my feet (Dominion* bags just aren’t sturdy enough) I have to wring out my socks when I take my boots off. I’ve actually thought about trying to seal up the vent somehow. I think if they were waterproof, I’d use them as touring boots on my Vstrom. That’s a testament to the comfort of these beauties!

I probably should note that If you’re a person who needs to keep their boots clean, you really have to scrub these in soap and water. You can blast them with a hose all you like, but when they dry they will still be brown. This isn’t a huge deal for me though. After all, dirt = credibility. At least it does in my mind.

wet feet

If you’re in the market for a pair of boots to do some casual trail riding, look no further. O’Neal offers quality, comfort and value in the Rider Motocross Boots. I plan to update this review next season to report on how they’re holding up.

These boots have already accompanied me on some great rides. I can’t wait to find out what awaits us next season.

20151012_122757

Great spot for lunch. Somewhere around Bacon Cove, Conception Bay.

20151107_154641

Just chillin’, watching the waves on November 7, 2015.

*Sobeys and Dominion are the two main supermarkets in Newfoundland.

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Posted on November 9, 2015, in Behind the Visor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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