Runner’s HI is a cleverly-named running store in Hawaii. The owner, Raymond Woo, has been running marathons for over 30 years and the store is adorned with the shirts and matching medals from different races. Going in is pretty inspiring, even for the most novice of runners.
Their staff is incredibly knowledgable as well. I walked in for new shoes on recommendations from friends and brought along my old running shoes. Sometimes shops want to see the ones you’re retiring so they have a better idea of how you run based on the wear on the soles.
After greeting me and asking how I can be helped, the salesperson looked at my feet and the shoes in my hand and asked why I’m carrying normal shoes.
“Because… I have normal feet?” I asked. It seemed like a strange question.
“No, sir. I believe you have wide feet.”
I was thirty-two at the time and had gone my whole life without being told my feet are wide. I even went to a New Balance store in San Antonio, TX who measured my feet six ways from Sunday and had me walk around, the salesperson on all-fours to keep his eye level with the ground to see exactly how I walked and even they didn’t mention anything about my feet being wide.
“Okay,” the Runner’s HI salesperson said. “Not a problem.” He looked at my shoes and then asked if I had any inputs about them before getting new ones. Do I just want the same pair? Do I want the new version? Were these unsatisfactory in any way that would indicate a specific type of shoe for a replacement?
Then he disappeared and came back with a few different sets of shoes and the ones that were the most comfortable were – shockingly – sized wide.
It was an enlightening day.
I say all this not to bore you about my running habits, but to set the stage for the absolute bear that is finding motorcycle boots for wide feet. You can buy boots made for cruisers that have gigantic toe boxes that make it hard to shift on normal bikes or you can buy boots that are fashioned more in a European way where the toe boxes are svelte enough to easily get under the shifter, but it’s difficult to find them in a wide size.
Enter the Icon Patrol 2.
When I was looking for my first pair of bonafide motorcycle boots, I was looking for a balance between protection, comfort, and it had to be fairly waterproof. Hawaii may be known as a tropical paradise, but nothing achieves that status without rain and Hawaii definitely has rain. It may not last for long, but it exists and you don’t want to get wet because it’s still hot outside so you become a weird mix of cold and hot, muggy and consistently wet, and smelly really fast. It’s best to avoid it when you can, but it tends to sneak up on you.
Scrolling through Revzilla, I found the Patrol 2s and liked the size of the boot. They don’t go up to your knee or anything, but they do cover quite a bit of my lower leg without even a peek of an ankle showing through.
And the protection seems pretty on-point with a solid feel and D30 armor incorporated in the boot.
The look works well. As a ridiculously-dressed youth, I would wear jeans that were far-too-tight, tucked in white tee-shirts, and Harley-Davidson boots. Big, clunky, black leather boots. It wasn’t my best time as far as fashion goes, and I’m still not entirely sure whether the boots broke in and became comfortable or if I just got used to them. My wife testifies though, that they never became attractive.
The Patrol 2s look more like shoes than boots, though there is a solidness to them. They won’t be mistaken for sneakers, but I also don’t look like Frankenstein walking around.
Side note: I know it’s popular for people to cry out “He never had a name! Frankenstein was the name of the doctor!” and you’d be partially right, but in the book, the Monster clearly states “At length the thought of you crossed my mind. I learned from your papers that you were my father, my creator; and to whom could I apply with more fitness than to him who had given me life?”
“The monster,” as you people so enthusiastically call him is saying here that he identifies as a Frankenstein (Victor’s last name) because Victor Frankenstein is basically his father. So seriously, folks: stop with the insanity of calling people out for being right.
*ahem* Moving on…
Today’s weather was absolute garbage here on the island. Puddles are deep and the rain seems like it’s never going to stop. I needed to run errands and knew I was going to be more damp than usual so I eschewed the usual flip-flops and put on my Patrols.
Getting them on is a breeze. You just grab the finger-hold on the back and in goes your foot, easy as pie. Then you snap down the BOA ring and start turning it, tightening up the wire laces, and you’re good to go! There’s a concern – a fear – that wearing laces means your boots will get ensnared by parts of your bike, which could happen, but it wasn’t such a huge concern that I was only looking at BOA systems on my boots.
But as a great big nerd for cool new stuff, I still really like it. I want it on all my shoes.
Today wasn’t a riding day because I had to go get random things and bring my daughter around on errands, but I did have to walk through a ton of rain and some pretty deep puddles and my feet were warm and dry while my daughter’s shoes are currently on our front porch (or lanai, if you please) drying out from the thorough soaking they received.
The protection seems pretty substantial too, without adding all the technical hard shiny plastic parts that would surely increase the security while decreasing the comfort and blending-in aesthetics that these guys have.
Speaking of comfort, it’s the best. I’ve read all sorts of reviews for all sorts of boots and it always seems like you choose either comfort or protection but these feel great. I walked around all day these last few rainy days wearing these saying I was “breaking them in,” but there was no real break-in required. They felt great from the first time I stood up (though I did have to order a whole size larger than a Nike running shoe).
And, while they don’t specify “wide,” some people have expressed that they fit well enough for people with wide feet – something I can testify to as well. They feel great width-wise, they’re lightweight for the protection that is obvious, the fact they’re waterproof is very welcome to me, and the laces are just plain cool.
But how will they hold up? I’ll be sure to update this review later on down the road if they turn out to be different in the long-term, but I can’t see it shaking out that way. I’m totally satisfied and think they’re well worth the $190 (from Revzilla).