Deciding how much protection to use on a given ride involves calculating risk versus reward. Convenience, comfort, and style often do battle with outright protection. Motorcycle footwear that doesn’t travel much north of your ankle falls into that category. You’re forgoing some protection in favor of ease of use. The new Joe Rocket Outbreak boots fit into that category, as they help you navigate the ridgeline of the safety/comfort divide.
The Joe Rocket Outbreak boots are simple enough. It’s a heeled boot with a non-slip cleated sole, with leather predominating the chassis. The boots lace up, using five pairs of closed hooks from the toes, giving way to two pairs of eyelets at the top. As many riders are rightfully wary of loose laces, the Outbreak boots have a locking strap that prevents the round laces from getting tangled in your shifter (most likely), brake pedal, or footpegs.
The outright protection of the Outbreak boots is difficult to assess, as this Joe Rocket footwear doesn’t come with an EN 13634:2015 rating for safety. There are two levels, though the low-ride Outbreak boots would only have a chance of passing the basic Level 1. The tip of the toe appears to be steel underneath the leather. The shank is stiff at the arch, though flexible at the front of the foot—good for shifting and walking. Inside the ankle area are two hard disc-shaped talus protectors. The heel box has flexible reinforcement that extends halfway up the boots. This all points toward a pair of boots that are great for urban riding, okay for touring, and not designed for sport riding.
No doubt about it, the Outbreak boots get it done in the comfort department. You can walk around in them all day long without fatigue—the interior is plush, and there’s plenty of flexibility. On the motorcycle, they offer excellent feel for the shifter lever and the brake pedal—we would have called them Outbrake boots. There’s a soft toe pad on both boots to protect your toe and the boots from wear during shifting; the pad is on both boots to accommodate riders of vintage motorcycles.
The styling is a bit on the clunky side—work-boot-like rather than stylish. However, we grew to like the appearance over time, as the midfoot strap gives the Joe Rocket Outbreak boots a purposeful look. Branding is subtle—black-on-black on the strap and a rubber tab next to the hooks.
The Joe Rocket Outbreak boots are superb motorcycle footwear for urban rides when you will be spending time off the bike. They come in Grey and Brown, in addition to the Black pair we tested, so you can coordinate them with the rest of your riding gear. They wouldn’t be our only boots, but they get the call more often than not when riding around town.
Photography by Kelly Callan
Joe Rocket Outbreak Boots Fast Facts
- Size: 7 – 14
- Colors: Black; Grey; Brown
Joe Rocket Outbreak Boots Price: $150 MSRP
Joe Rocket Outbreak Boots Review Photo Gallery