Although mic drop is a cliché these days, some situations and products deserve that accolade. The all-new Klim Adventure GTX boots check every boot box for the all-day adventure rider.
The Klim Adventure GTX boots are astoundingly comfortable to wear for as many as 10 hours straight. They are reinforced in all the right places for ADV riding, yet have built-in flex areas to make them easy to walk in. The Michelin rubber soles have lugs to grip the hiking trail, while strategically placed reinforcements support your weight when standing on the pegs. They are waterproof and breathable. Mic drop. With Klim, you get what you pay for, and at $450 a pair, you are getting the perfect boots for today’s adventure riding.
These boots are designed for today’s adventure rider—all-day comfort for riding, walking, hiking, or just hanging out by a campfire. They are built to last, spreading the price tag over many years. They are not a hardened plastic motocross boot that will protect you from the punishment of high-speed impacts with tree branches and pinning your ankle against boulders. If that is the protection you expect to need on a given day, then wear your motocross boots.
The Klim Adventure GTX boot will protect your shins from brush. The toe cap, ankles, and instep are prepared to deflect the branches and stone blows that nature will occasionally throw at you on a jeep trail or fire road. When you walk into a restaurant or someone’s home, the Michelin rubber soles will not scuff the floors.
Opening the box, the first thing you see is both an extra gel sole and a half-size sole insert. The Adventure GTX boots come in full sizes only, from 7 to 14. The Klim website has a Fit Finder decision tree that will guide you to the correct size. I went with the size 10 suggestion, which is my normal shoe size. If you like to wear thick boot socks or multiple socks, go next size up if you are normally a half-size. The size 10 GTX boots fit me perfectly in length, and I am a D width in leather dress shoes. They are really snug if I wear really thick socks or an extra layer of heated socks.
I set aside the extra footbed and insert and unwrapped my Asphalt – Hi-Vis boots—the other color choice is Stealth Black. They are even better looking in person than in the website photos.
The GTX boots weigh 3 pounds, 5.5 ounces each and look as sturdy as they feel. You can see most of the features in the photos, such as the thick, lugged Michelin sole, the single ankle cam buckle protected by a molded deflector, the matching shifter overlays, and the reinforced shin plate. Closer inspection reveals the crisscross wires of the Boa cinching system and its control knob at the rear. Being unfamiliar with the Boa system, I fiddled with it until I figured out that righty is tightly, and pull the knob out to release all tension.
The boots are 13.5 inches tall, and designed to be worn under your riding pants. The boots’ tops are too wide to slide inside denim jeans, while jeans will just barely fit inside the boot.
Unbuckling the ankle cam and pulling the upper Velcro closure open reveals an 8-inch height of Gore-Tex waterproof liner inside. I wouldn’t expect any rain or splash to find its way to your feet if your riding pants are waterproof. Three hours of continuous rain on my most recent KTM 950 Adventure ride proves that the 8 inches of Gore-Tex work to keep feet dry when on the pegs.
Sliding my foot in for the first time, I found the opening at ankle height to be a tight squeeze. Although the boot is molded and will flex, it is tight on the slide in. Being tight at the ankle is important, as it keeps the boot on if you are in the unfortunate circumstance of your legs whipping in an uncontrolled cartwheel. Sorry to be so graphic, but we are discussing crash protection here, and these boots are between you and unforgiving situations.
There is a sturdy finger loop in the back of the GTX to help you pull the boot on past the tight opening. Once my foot hit bottom, it was rewarded with a very comfortable footbed. The toebox is wide and gives ample room to wiggle my toes or air to circulate.
I buckled the adjustable cam, which happened to be set just right from the factory. I turned the Boa knob at the back and found the cinching of the wire’ lace’ to be uniform and infinitely adjustable. The Boa system eliminates the need for additional buckles and allows the instep to be flexible when walking or reaching for the shifter.
I wore both boots around my house for about four hours and noticed a rub spot starting on my left ankle. Other than the rub spot, I was mentally comparing these motorcycle boots to comfortable house slippers. They came with a second, thicker inner sole, so I tried the thicker one. It raised my foot up just enough to eliminate the rub spot, and these Klim Adventure GTX boots jumped back to being totally comfortable. I wore them for another three hours that day and all-day the next. No hot spots appeared, and they were simply comfortable to wear around the house and on several 2-mile dog walks.
The toebox is tall, and I wondered if it would fit under the shifter of the KTM 950 Adventure I was going to be renting. Sure enough, it wouldn’t fit under the shifter. It wasn’t my bike to modify, so I adjusted my style and simply pressed inward on the shifter’s tip with the rough texture of the toe overlay on upshifts. I never missed a shift.
When I secure an adventure bike of my own, I will get a longer shift lever, or whatever it needs to accommodate these great boots. Because of the flex of the instep and Achilles area, I could feel the shifter and brake levers as I used them. That was especially welcome as I was riding an unfamiliar bike.
It was raining hard for the 1.5 hours it took me to get to the fire roads I was hoping to ride. About a half-hour each way was empty backroads, and I took the opportunity to ride them standing up.
The first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t lean into the front of the boot. The flex of the instep and Achilles areas do their designed job and flex forward when leaned into. I remember using the rigidity of my motocross boots for standing support on desert rides as long as 12 hours—but I also remember my shins being rubbed raw. The shin contact point in these Klim boots is smooth, padded, and moisture-wicking.
When standing, I center the pegs under the arch of my foot, and that area of the boot is stiff to bend forces. That area also absorbed the vertical bumps from the pegs comfortably. When I did change my foot position to the ball of my foot supporting my weight on the pegs, the sole is rigid enough to not bend the heel downward. The Klim Adventure GTX boots are stiff when needed for riding, and flexible when desired for walking.
I didn’t get to do as much of the bumpy fire roads as I wanted to due to the amount of rainwater accumulating. I got off the KTM and walked around in the mud for a while to feel the sole’s slip grip. The Michelin lug pattern gives me reliable walking traction.
The Klim Adventure GTX boots are positioned just right to provide reasonable protection without sacrificing comfort. This boot gives me the protection I feel I need for bumps and knocks of the adventure riding. Adventures include walking, hiking, and hanging out, and these new Klim Adventure GTX boots will also provide me with all-day comfort. These boots are exactly what I was hoping for in form, fit, and function. There has been a lot of buyer anticipation about Klim coming out with an adventure boot. Now that it is here, it was worth the wait.
Klim Adventure GTX Boots Fast Facts
- Sizes: 7-14
- Colors: Stealth Black; Asphalt – Hi-Vis
Klim Adventure GTX Boots Price: $450 MSRP