You know the traditional motorcycle footwear compromise: real bike boots provide apocalypse-proof levels of protection, but make you look like a space elf. Anything less will just fly off in a crash. But these new sneakers are different, honestly managing real boot protection combined with good, casual looks. Read how in this Cortech Vice WP Shoe review.
Styled to sorta look like a pair of Vans high tops, the Cortech Vice WPs are actually a pretty serious motorcycle boot, with a thick, sturdy sole, solid heal and toe boxes, ankle protectors and a waterproof liner.
Put them on for the first time and they're not the comfy, light street sneakers you'd expect by looking at them. Instead, they're very solid, locking your foot in firmly. My patented twist test, in which you grab the heel and toe and twist as hard as you can, thereby demonstrating what will happen to your foot in a crash, results in very little distortion. Despite that sturdiness, they're comfortable both on bike and off; you could spend all day walking in these, just don't expect quite the athletic performance of a normal sneaker.
The thermoplastic heel and toe boxes protect those parts of your feet from impacts and crushing. In a similar fashion to the Dainese Cafe Boots I also wear, round nylon cups cover your ankles. Although these Cortechs go heavier on the padding than Dainese does, providing more protection.
A waterproof bootie, made from Cortech's own-brand of breathable membrane, surrounds the foot, as in a hiking boot. The insole is removable and replaceable, should you need more support, or just to air it out.
All-in, I'd actually rate these $95 Cortechs as more protective and more comfortable than the $260 Dainese Cafes. Two different styles of boots of course, but both are designed to work well on and off the bike. With both, I have great options for genuinely protective footwear that I can wear to virtually any off-bike occasion.
Real protection. I'd feel confident crashing a bike in these.
Good comfort, just not as good as a normal pair of sneakers.
Subdued looks; no one will know you're wearing motorcycle boots.
Small reflective panels on the heels add visibility without going garish.
They're a little bigger, a little clunkier and a little goofier than a normal pair of sneakers would be. Others may not notice, but I have a hard time shaking the feeling that I'm wearing clown shoes.
The waterproof liner only goes just above the ankle, not to the top of the boot.
Two of the metal loops that hold the laces have popped out a little after just a few weeks of wear.
The Cortech Vice WPs wear like a work boot, protect like a motorcycle boot and look like a credible pair of sneakers. Especially considering the $95 price point, these shoes are a total home run.
Additional Information: Cortech