In the on-going debate over how much protection is enough, the correct answer for each of us comes from within. Some riders would never consider wearing sneaker-style technical footwear for motorcycle riding. However, for casual riding around town, I like the comfort, style, and ease of use that comes with the sneaker genre. The Harley-Davidson Tremont Waterproof Performance Riding Shoes up the safety factor while not taking away from the features that make this footwear style appealing.
Upping the protection ante right away is the full-grain leather upper. The leather turns the Tremont into a premium shoe immediately. However, what makes the Tremont shoe even more impressive are the added features.
With the leather provides some natural defenses against water, the Tremont gets a HydroGuard waterproof membrane. It’s breathable, and I was able to ride nearly triple-digit temperatures without my feet getting noticeably hot—and that’s on motorcycles with big-inch heat-billowing air-cooled motors.
What you can’t see unless you ride in the dark is the Black Flash material from Wolverine Worldwide, the company that manufactures the shoes for Harley-Davidson. If you ride only in the sunlight, it won’t be a safety feature you will appreciate. However, when automobile headlights start coming into play, all of a sudden the Harley-Davidson Tremont shoe is high-viz. There’s a fine-grain optical-grade glass that is ground and embedded into the leather. When light hits the vamp, heel, and upper, the Tremont blazes bright. This will help at night, and in inclement weather. It’s great to have the blacked-out styling, yet an improved ability to be seen when you most need it.
The Harley-Davidson Tremont shoes use laces to secure your foot in the shoe. They aren’t faux laces, as there is not size zipper to assist getting into the shoe. You have to loosen the laces every time to get your foot in, and then tighten them as you would any high-top sneaker—reverse the process for removal. Instead of eyes for the top three rows of the laces are secure by hooks with Harley-Davidson Bar-and-Shield. It’s a nice, subtle touch.
There’s no way to secure the extra lace length, so be aware of their presence when getting on and off the motorcycle, as well as using the foot controls. I never had a problem, and the length of the laces didn’t bother me.
From a technical standpoint, the Harley-Davidson Tremont shoes feel great on the motorcycle. There’s a leather toe protector for shifting, and it works, even on the high-force Harley-Davidson transmission. Feel for the brake pedal is outstanding, and that’s definitely a safety feature.
The white rubber outsole has the stand features you expect—abrasion-, oil- and slip-resistance. I never felt uneasy putting my feet down at a stop, and the Tremont shoes always felt secure on the pavement.
Off the motorcycle, the Tremont shoes are very comfortable. There a 6.5-inch shank in the sole for stability, with it ending before the toe area. This feature, along with an internal one-inch heel, makes the shoes comfortable for walking. The toe is unreinforced, which is good when you’re walking, but a missing safety feature for riding. Wolverine reinforced the heel, while retaining its flexibility.
You can decide for yourself what you think of the styling. I like the blacked-out look, and the lack of garish logos. The branding is certainly subtle.
Perhaps the best endorsement anyone can make for motorcycle footwear while riding is transparency. Unless I was thinking about the Harley-Davidson Tremont shoes for the review, they never crossed my mind while I was riding or walking—they just work.
Action photography by Kelly Callan
Harley-Davidson Tremont Waterproof Performance Riding Shoes Fast Facts
- Sizes: 7-13, in half-size increments
- Color: Black
- Harley-Davidson Tremont Shoes Price: $160/pair MSRP