Great looking, sturdy, hard to beat

Damn, these boots are tight! Now, thanks to the fluctuations between figurative and literal language and the slang our SoCal crew associates with the word “tight,” this could be a good thing.

But I’m using it in a stricter sense. Putting the fresh out-of-the box Icon Elsinore Boots on for the first time, I’m wondering if they came from the guys over at Icon or if a distant relative of the Marquis de Sade secretly works at Slabtown. They’re stiff, and originally they were rubbing hard above my right ankle, and if you’ve got meaty calves, the Icon Elsinore 1000 Boots are not cut for you.

But these boots look so good, I was going to spoon them onto my feet like Cinderella’s evil step-sister trying to get her foot in the slipper, damn the consequences. There’s generally a little love/hate relationship when breaking in a new pair of motorcycle riding boots, and after getting through the painstaking break-in process, we’re moving on to the love state of our relationship now.

And while we don’t usually start a review with comments on aesthetics, we can’t help but gush over the Icon 1000 Elsinore. Leave it to Icon to blur the lines between street and dirt, injecting the street-minded Elsinores with rugged, old-fashioned motocross styling in the form of five buckled straps running up the side. Made from durable top grain leather, Icon captured the essence of a bar-banging race on the dirt jumps of Lake Elsinore but with the convenience of being able to slip into the boots without having to undo all the buckles thanks to a zipper that runs the inner length of the boot. This works well for their street application because no one wants to fuss with 10 buckles just to ride over to a buddy’s house. They just want to pull on their boots and go.

The Icon 1000 Elsinores are reinforced with a toe that feels hard as steel, a molded leather shin plate and a swath of leather in the foot shifter area. The heel has a slick little metal plate stamped with the Icon logo. Just above the metal plate is a bit of ribbing to facilitate the break-in process, but I still walked a tad stiff-legged until I got them to loosen up. The sole of the boots, which show little wear despite spending plenty of hours walking during Daytona Beach Bike Week, are grippy on hot pavement and notch into a foot peg nicely. After a couple of months of abuse, the exterior shows little signs of wear, too, save for a few wrinkles in the right places where the boots bend while walking.

The interior of the boots have been stitched together with a breathable mesh liner with padding underneath that varies in thickness, with the thickest padding supporting the outside of the ankle. There’s also a thin sole insert to cushion the rider’s feet, but it is a bit cheap as the top liner of the insert has already peeled off and balled up in the middle of my foot, so we ripped it out. An easy enough problem to resolve, but not what you’d expect from a top-tier $230 boot.

Now that we’ve got our pair of Icon Boots broken in properly, we love ‘em. Don’t know how many positive comments we’ve fielded from dirt guys who dig the styling. Ditto for street riders. So far not a stitch is out of place. They’ve got a small perforated panel running down the back that helps the boots breathe a bit, and we appreciate the convenient zipper because once they’re on, it’s barely noticeable. The boots don’t feel overly heavy, either. If you’re looking for a set of motorcycle boots that are ruggedly good-looking, built from quality materials and stitched together to last for years, we can vouch for the Icon Elsinore Boots. We can see them being particularly popular with the burgeoning adventure-touring set because the Elsinores aren’t afraid of getting down and dirty.