This season, I decided I really wanted full coverage boots instead of the minimal coverage riding shoes that I had been wearing the last 2 years. I looked at a variety of styles and brands, and decided on the Firstgear Mesh Hi boots for a few reasons. First, the $130 price tag was within my budget. Second, my riding shoes are Firstgear brand, so I’m familiar with the sizing (which can be a frustrating factor when buying boots online). Third, I’ve been happy with the quality of my Firstgear riding shoes, so I already had some confidence in the brand.
I ordered the boots from MotorcycleGear.com as they were offering the best price at the time. When my boots arrived, I noticed the armor plate was sewn in backwards (pointy part sticking into my ankle).
I contacted MG and they immediately shipped out a new pair and sent me a prepaid return label for the defective pair. Really awesome customer service!
Once my new boots arrived (again), I took them out for a spin. They were somewhat stuff in the flex panel area, and I ended up misshifting (is that a word?) into neutral quite a bit from 1st to 2nd. I was a little concerned, but thought I would give myself a little more time to get used to the boots. Finally, after about 2 weeks, the boot became more flexible and my shifting kinks were worked out.
Fit & Comfort
Beware of some sizing discrepancies in this particular boot. For some reason the Euro to US conversion is funky. Many sites suggest ordering a size larger than your normal shoe size. I typically wear a men’s size 8.5 dress shoe (ex., Clarks, Cole Haan, Florsheim). I ordered a size 42 in the Firstgear boot (euro sizing), and they fit my foot well. If I would have ordered a size up, they would have been too big.
The foot area is fairly wide and vertically roomy. After slipping in a Dr. Scholl’s Active Series insole, the boots fit great. Without the insole, they would have been a bit too roomy.
After riding in the boots for a few weeks, they feel comfortable and supportive. I can walk around in them off the bike for a short time without feeling too sore (the insole makes a huge difference!). The zipper and velcro flap seem very sturdy. The sole provides good traction on grimy roads.
The leather is perforated in the foot area and there are mesh panels in some of the upper areas of the boot. The flap on the inside of the boot is completely solid, however. Considering this is a full boot, I think the ventilation is very good. It’s definitely warm on those 80 degree days, but what boot isn’t? This is certainly much cooler than a WP boot with no venting. With a thick sock, I’ve worn these in 45 degree weather and been okay. Keep in mind, my engine is air-cooled and my feet rest right next to the engine, so I have a constant heat source on them.
I had the unfortunate experience of testing out what these boots were made for. On Memorial Day, I low-sided on loose gravel while turning right going 15-20 mph. The bike and I slid for a few feet, and when we came to a stop my right foot was pinned under the bike. After a couple tries, I was able to push the bike up enough to get my foot free, and stood up.
I’m really happy with how the Firstgear boots performed! They kept my foot and ankle from being crushed or broken, and they also kept the hot tailpipe from burning me. As you can see in the photo, the gravel chewed up the toe box a bit, but I think the perforated leather held up well.
I’m going to order a new pair of these same boots to replace the pair I crashed in when I can afford it. I was disappointed to see the price had gone up to $140 now. So, it will be some time before I can replace them. For now, the right boot seems to be intact enough that it still offers a decent amount of protection. And since it’s the right boot, the bumpy, ground up surface on top doesn’t affect using the brake pedal. I’m sad that my shiny new boots are messed up, but I’m glad they protected me.
At $130 or $140, I think the Firstgear Mesh Hi boots offer a good value. The perforated leather lets air flow over your feet while still offering protection. Beware of some sizing discrepancies in this particular boot. In my situation, the sizing was accurate (size 9 US = size 42 Euro). After walking away from a small crash with zero injuries to my foot, ankle, and shins, I’m sold on these boots and would absolutely recommend them.