I have been slow to adopt low-rise motorcycle riding footwear. I'm definitely concerned with the integrity of my skeleton when I ride, and full boots give me that secure feeling I desire when riding. Fortunately, even an old dog can learn new tricks and I have accepted that as long as my ankle is well-supported and protected, I'm going to be okay as long as I'm not pushing the envelope too hard or tearing around on a racetrack.
When I first went to put on the Icon Tarmac, I was thinking that interior of the boots was too small and there was no way my foot would fit inside. Well, I undid the hook-and-loop straps and went to work. Shockingly, my foot slipped in easily and the interior of the Tarmac is reasonably plush. I pulled the two hook-and-loop straps into place, giving me a secure fit, and I was ready to ride!
Icon's Tarmac Ventilated motorcycle half-height boot offers a nice respite from hot feet in the summer (I'm writing this during a triple-digit temperature blitz in July). The boot is a combination of lightweight leather and nylon mesh (called Rocpro by Icon), with a steel shank sole (Icon calls it Axialmetric). However, the shank does not run the length of the boot, so it flexes quite noticeably in the toe area, which does help shifting, braking, and walking. Also aiding shifting is a plastic right toe guard and a highly effective anti-slip rubber sole. The lack of laces will appeal to anyone who has ever hooked a lace around a gear shifter unexpectedly (I have!).
The Icon Tarmac Ventilated boots certainly aren't footwear made for the ultimate in protection, but they are an excellent alternative to those who prefer comfort and often opt for running shoes. The boots will do a nice job of protecting your toes and heel in a crash, and that's definitely a good thing. When I am looking for something to slip on quickly and will be spending some time walking around (something these boots are well-suited for), then they're often the boots that leave the closet on my feet.