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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As the weather has gotten colder, my feet have followed suit. Especially on long rides, my three season TCX riding boots were letting just a little too much cold get to my toes. The TCX boots have been my daily riders for about eight months, and I love them. But a few hours on the freeway in 40F led to the conclusion that they would not serve well as the only motorcycle boots in the closet. It was time to start looking for some long distance, four season touring boots.

Based upon recommendations and research, and with some trepidation due to the higher than average cost, I elected to bite the bullet and spring for the Dayton Roadstar riding boots. I ordered from Cycle Gear, riding out in person to present an ID card that gets me a 10 percent discount. I had them shipped to the store to save another few dollars. Then the waiting. The days (all three of them) dragged on.

This morning, the e-mail came in that the boots would be delivered today! I spent the lunch hour at Cycle Gear, staring out the window, waiting for the UPS truck to pull in. (He was running behind schedule, of course.) With just enough time left to make it back to the office within a dignified standard deviation of the end of lunch time, the truck pulled up and I as trying on the new boots.

I got the same size as with everything else, and sure enough, they felt a little big in the toe box at first. They were also stiff as hell. A few minutes of wear helped quite a bit, and I got used to them. It also became clear that there wasn't a lot of spare room, despite the roomy feel. A Dr. Scholls brand inner sole made them too cramped to get a foot inside, and they cinch up pretty tight around the ankles. I think the biggish toe feeling results from the rigid toe cup under the leather. It feels spacious in there. When I tried my well worn TCX Heros, I found that they fit the same way, only a lot lighter and softer. All this is to say, I think these will have room for a thicker sock when needed and fit pretty well.

The pictures show the boots. On the left are the Daytona Roadstars, on the right are my much-loved TCX Heros. (Yes, that is my dining table. And, my spouse found me taking the pictures. She gently suggested that another location might be even better for boots than the dining table. I had to agree on that.) Both are size 41 European. You can see that the Daytonas are much bigger boots, pretty much in every dimension. If you place them sole to sole, though, they are exactly the same foot size. The difference is all padding, layers, and height.

The Roadstar's construction is just plain beefy. Thick leather, steel shank, rigid toe, rigid ankle, shin plate, large ankle plates on either side, foam and leather reinforcements all over the place, and a double layered ankle piece so that pants can tuck outside the waterproof membrane. It is a wonder they can bend at all.

I put maybe 25 or 30 miles on them, just banging around town and a few exits on the freeway. They are much warmer than the TCX boots in the winter weather. They block out the elements more, and they have multiple layers, so the bits of leather or fabric that rest on the foot are not also in the wind.

Another observation is that the bottoms are super sticky. They don't look super aggressive on internet photographs. They are not the Vibram type waffle soles that are more familiar (and which I really like). Instead they are some sort of compound that seems to glue itself to the pavement, or to the rubber on the motorcycle floorboards. At 80mph, these boots did not shift or try to move with the wind the way other boots have done.

These would absolutely not be my choice to hiking a mile into the forest for a Geocache. They are not in-betweeners that are just as happy at the mall as on the bike. These are clearly riding boots, meant for long rides, like touring and all weather commuting. The TCX Hero boots, in contrast, are great for day rides on back roads and are so comfortable and shoe like that I regularly wear them as casual shoes. But, the TCX boots reveal their shortcomings on long highway rides. The Daytonas are riding boots, without compromise. Based upon today's experience, they are ideal for long rides and/or cold weather. We'll see how they hold up in rain (Gor-Tex usually does pretty well).

I look forward to spending a lot more time in these boots!
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