Whenever I see riders in tennis shoes, I wince. Even on a bike with floorboards and heel-toe shifting, I like to wear substantial footwear. On a sport bike, that means something from Sidi, usually. But, on a cruiser, I want less flash and more attitude. The Red Wing 968 boots is a boot that relies on understated toughness to get its point across.Made of premium full-grain leather, the 968 rests on your foot ready to kickstart an old Indian, kick some butt or just kick back and relax. The boots are comfortable, though a thick pair of socks (I like Cortech) helps cushion a Spartan interior.
The lower buckle holds the boot on nicely, though I wish there were more adjustability up top. My calves aren’t large enough for a firm fit, and I don’t have the skinniest calves in town. However, I put riding pants over them in most cases, so it’s not really an issue. I’ve ridden in these boots on 30-degree days and 100-degree days (in the same area around Paso Robles, just six months apart!), and was comfortable both times.
Resistant to both oil and slipping, the neoprene cord sole does its job. I never felt any slip at stoplights, even in downtown Los Angeles areas where leaky diesel trucks roam free-range. At $152, you could spend a lot more for boots, and you might get a different styling treatment that you prefer. I like these boots quite a bit, and I’m as happy wearing them on a Harley-Davidson CVO Road King as I am on a Triumph Speedmaster. It’s a classic look that adapts to a variety of custom cruisers. (Click image to enlarge