When I first started riding, motorcycle boots were a necessity rather than an indulgence.
Riding sports bikes, I used to scrape my toes on tight bends and roundabouts, so buying cheap was my usual mantra.
After all, what was the point in spending hundreds on bike boots when I would wreck them in six months anyway?
But then touring entered my life. And this meant finding boots that were comfortable and up-to-the-job.
Cue Altberg motorcycle boots!
At the time, I couldn’t quite afford them. So my dad came to the rescue and stumped up the cash for me to place the order for my custom-made boots.
That was in 2015. And it was the best riding-related present I’ve ever got!
In the six years since, numerous bikes, jackets, helmets, gloves, and even relationships have come and gone.
But the boots, like a trusty wingman, still watch out for me on every single ride out.
Over 30,000 Riding Miles In Altberg Motorcycle Boots
I didn’t know in 2015 that I would be writing this article. So of course, I haven’t kept any kind of accurate riding log.
I don’t know how many miles I’ve ridden in my Altberg boots. But if I take a guess (and err on the conservative side just to be sure), I know it’s well over 30,000 miles.
In my case, those miles have been predominantly from touring, working, commuting, and ride outs.
And at the time of purchase, I was also a motorcycle riding instructor. So I needed boots that I could ride to work in and wear all day – as well as touring.
If your circumstances are like mine, then I can’t recommend Altberg motorcycle boots enough!
Altberg Hogg All-Weather Microlite Motorcycle Touring Boots
If you head over to the Altberg website, you’ll find a sexy little assortment of boots for all kinds of purposes.
For me, motorcycle touring is a priority. So I need boots that are comfortable, waterproof, offer adequate protection, and are breathable.
But I’m also the sort of person who likes to get off my bike and explore. I’ll often combine touring with hiking so I need boots that are comfortable for hiking as well as riding.
As a motorcycle riding instructor, I spent just as much time on my feet as I did on the bike.
Needing a boot that was versatile and capable of meeting my specific requirements, I opted for Altberg’s microlite version of the classic ‘Hogg’ boot.
Altberg Hogg Microlite Motorcycle Boots: Overview
The original Hogg boot has been around since 1994 and uses military-grade components as its foundation.
With a crush-resistant midsole and a Sympatex waterproof lining, this dual-use boot combines a hiking boot with a motorcycle boot.
The Microlite version uses a Vibram rubber sole and a micro mid-layer which keeps the weight down. It also provides more cushioning and aids in shock absorption.
As with the original Hogg, these boots provide a non-slip sole, excellent protection around the ankle and shin areas, and waterproofing.
Like all Altberg boots, you can buy off-the-shelf sizes if your feet are somewhat ‘regular.’ But if you have unusual measurements, you can head over to the Altberg factory to get your boots custom-made as I did.
Like a bespoke tailor on Savile Row, they will measure your feet and make marks on paper with chalk. The guy who did mine even took measurements based on my usual riding socks to account for the additional thickness.
As a result, they’re the most comfortable boots that have ever graced my feet.
Once your boots are ready, they’ll phone you to tell you that your boots are ready to collect.
Of course, you can opt to have them posted. But the ride up to the factory in North Yorkshire is actually a pretty good ride and takes in some awesome roads along the way.
What I Love About My Altberg Motorcycle Boots
I could just say “everything” here and move on to the next subject. But that doesn’t do you any favours if you’re looking to buy a pair, so I’ll elaborate!
As mentioned above, my Altberg motorcycle boots are the most comfortable pair of boots I’ve ever owned. Mainly because they’re made for my feet.
I was sceptical at first about laces because I’d always had velcro or zipped boots. And whilst lace-ups take longer to get on and off, they’re undoubtedly more comfortable.
Zipped boots allow for little negotiation in terms of fit. If they’re too tight, you can’t loosen them. But with laces, you can tighten them or loosen them as you see fit.
Early in my riding career, I dropped my bike at a petrol station for no other reason than I slipped on somebody else’s petrol spill.
There was no damage done to me or my bike. But it was a needless incident that knocked my confidence as a beginner and made me feel silly in front of a forecourt full of onlookers.
Since that day, I made non-slip soles a non-negotiable element in my boot choice.
Alberg’s come with a Vibram Masai hiking/military sole. In combination with a full rubber abrasion rand, it makes slipping next to impossible.
Manoeuvring a heavy bike without non-slip soles is (in my opinion) asking for trouble. My Africa Twin weighs 235kg. But add a top box, panniers, and a boat-load of kit, it’s probably around 280kg.
The Vibram soles inspire confidence on petrol forecourts, or when manhandling my Africa Twin on uncertain surfaces.
It’s also easier to get it up on the centre stand in the rain.
Unless you do a lot of touring in hot countries or in the desert, waterproofing is a must. Most of my touring is done in Europe where it rains unexpectedly – sometimes for days or weeks at a time.
Alberg Microlite’s are made from 2.4mm full grain water repellent Anfibio leather. They also have a Sympatex breathable liner with a military-grade waterproof membrane interlayer.
Add these together and you end up with a pair of motorcycle touring boots that have never left me with wet feet – not even in 30,000+ miles of riding.
I don’t know what magic the guys at Altberg do with the high-quality bovine hides that make up the construction of the boot.
But combined with the military-grade sole, these motorcycle boots seem to be resistant to everything!
The proof is in the mileage. And it’s also in the fact that I have never looked after these boots since purchase.
Apparently, you should wax them once a month to maintain durability and waterproofing.
But 30,000+ miles and 5 years later, mine are still impenetrable – despite never being waxed or polished (as you can see in the pictures.)
As mentioned in my priorities list above, it was important that I could explore in these boots whilst off the bike.
And whilst they wouldn’t be my first choice of hiking boots if I didn’t ride motorbikes, they do a fabulous dual-purpose job when touring.
Yes, they’re heavier than most dedicated hiking boots. But they’re also more flexible and forgiving than most riding boots. And the non-slip sole and ankle protection gives you confidence on gravelly and unstable surfaces.
For dual-purpose boots, the Microlite’s are excellent for hiking and walking.
Excellent Value For Money:
If you’re used to paying £80-£100 for a pair of boots (like I was), then £240-£300 may seem a lot.
Because it is.
But let’s look at the bigger picture:
- They’re custom-made to fit your feet
- They’re the most comfortable motorcycle boots you will ever own
- They last years (I know people who’ve had there’s for 20 years)
- They are constructed of military-grade components and materials
- They’re genuinely waterproof
- They’re dual-purpose
Yes, £300 is a lot of money. But if you bought a pair of £100 boots and replaced them every two years for 20 years, you would spend in the region of £2,000 when the Altberg’s cost £300.
If you look at it that way, they’re an absolute bargain.
And of all the people I know who own Altberg motorcycle boots, never once have I heard anyone complain about the price.
Altberg Microlite Technical Specs
|Protection||Ankle protection, 6mm astroshock impact absorbing material|
|Width||5 Width Fittings - Made to Order XN, N, M, W, XW|
|Sizes||3.5-13.5 UK (inc ½ sizes)|
|Upper||2.4mm full grain water repellent Anfibio® leather made from UK/European bovine hides|
|Lining||Sympatex® breathable 4 layer lining with military grade waterproof membrane interlayer|
|Midsole||Tri-Flex® 3 season crush resistant to BSEN 13634:2010 requirements|
|Sole||Vibram® Masai hiking/military sole with lightweight midlayer, combined to a full rubber abrasion resistant rand|
|Weight||860gms (size 9)|
|Height||25.4cms (size 9 including heel)|
|Footbed||Trek Airgrid Black|
Altberg Motorcycle Boots: Conclusion
All-in-all, I have zero complaints about these British made boots.
They’re good enough for the military. UK police forces use them as their boot of choice. They’re good enough for thousands of riders across the world, and they’re good enough for me, too.
If you’re after a pair of top-quality motorcycle boots that are dependable and do exactly what they’re supposed to do whilst asking nothing from you in return, Altberg’s are the boots for you.
Motorcycle Tourer Start Rating: Altberg Motorcycle Boots
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