I didn’t necessarily want to test the waterproof claims of the Icon 1000 Joker Boots, but I knew I’d be rolling the dice making a run to the California Redwoods in the middle of winter. Mother Nature smiled upon me during the 200-mile ride down with partly cloudy skies and patches of sunshine. Then the tempest the weatherman had been forecasting swept in from the Pacific, the flood gates opened, and it was a three-hour slog through pouring rain to get back home. While my hands were cold and soaked to the bone, at least my feet were dry. Water marks on the Joker’s uppers tell the tale of testing Icon’s waterproof claims. To my good fortune they passed.

The lower half of the Icon 1000 Joker Boots are leather while the upper half is a combination of leather and what I’d  guess is Gore-Tex. I say guess because I couldn’t find it listed anywhere, but base the assumption on the fact that it’s waterproof. The boots feature a flexible accordion panel which benefit both raising your toe up to shift and walking when you’re off the bike. All the lower leather panels are double-stitched while the uppers are single. Icon went all out with the shifter panels on the top of the feet as there’s both an extra layer of leather and padding. While they don’t have sliders, the boots do have extra swaths of leather protecting the pinky toe area and heels. The ankles, though, have D30 inserts, the same impact-absorbing material used in motorcycle armor. Icon smoothly integrated the inserts into the design of the boots so they’re barely noticeable. A shin guard provides another layer of protection.

The Icon 1000 Joker Boots fit true-to-size but are narrow and fairly snug so you might want to go a half size up. If you’ve got wide feet you might want to go a different route altogether. The boots have a zipper running up the back so the top opens up wide which makes them easy to put on. There’s also a pull tab which comes in handy when pulling them up. Inside, they’re fully lined and said to be breathable but I’ve yet to test them on a hot day. The rubber outsole is flat with just a hint of indentation for foot pegs. While the front of the sole is smooth, the heel is ribbed and overall they provide good traction. While I was in the Redwoods I hopped off the bike at Founder’s Grove and stomped around for about a mile and didn’t give my feet a second thought. The boots are fairly lightweight and took little time to break in.

In true Icon fashion, the 1000 Joker Boots have their own signature footprint, sporty and rugged. They look particularly striking in brown. Three months in they’re just starting to form a crease in the toes and have a few scuff marks but are no worse-for-wear. Funny thing about finding out they were waterproof, I didn’t know this was a feature of the boots when I set out for the Redwoods. I’m certainly glad they were.