The first pair of boots I reach for

The Icon 1000 Prep Boots follow up the standards established by the 1000 Elsinore Boots as a ruggedly built, everyday-comfortable motorcycle boot injected with touches of off-road styling. The Icon 1000 Prep Boots have been bonded to my feet for the last several months, from bike tests in SoCal to road trips on the Roadmaster, from 100-degree days to slog-fests in dreary 40-degree weather in order to properly test the merits of the motorcycle boots.

The 1000 Prep Boots are made of durable leather with a 12-inch top-grain leather upper section. The boots are cut to be a little taller in front while the back sits mid-calf. They come with three accordion stretch panels, one at the crown of the foot and two above the ankle. The panel in front flexes when walking, which makes for comfortable striding off the bike. An extra swatch of leather reinforces the points of contact with shift levers. The various panels that comprise the boots are double-stitched, and after months of wear not a stitch is out of place. The Preps are reinforced in both the toe box and the heel, and come with an axialmetric steel shank for good measure.

The boots have a full-length zipper up the back along with two pairs of two-button snaps, one at the bottom, one at the top, that ensure the zipper stays put. The extra snaps and buttons add to the rugged styling of the boots. The 1000 Prep Boots are narrow at the ankle, which makes for a tight squeeze getting them on. My calf is fairly thick, and the boots are snug all the way up, but the fit overall is tight and comfy. The comfort is aided by a padded inner liner, which is waterproof.

The waterproof claim has been tested numerous times, including a deliberate creek crossing, and they’ve passed the test. Thankfully the sole provided solid grip walking on slick rocks, the thick tread proving itself on the street as well when balancing big bikes at a stop. The versatility of the boots on and off the bike is definitely a strong suit, as I’ve worn them all day long covering events I’ve ridden to without my feet feeling tired and beat down at the end of the day.

This versatility carries over to their styling. They’re heavy-duty enough to appeal to the most grizzled of riders, yet I’ve elected to wear them at times even when I wasn’t riding, such as a night out with my wife. Badging is selective and attractive, with an ample-sized Icon 1000 logo with raised lettering on the shin in the same brown leather as the rest of the boot, so it blends in well and a small Icon “I” on the upper leather strap in the back of the boot. The brown leather does have black patches spread about the boot, especially where I’ve scuffed them in the toes, comparable to patinas on metal as they only add to the character of the boots.

After a few months of wear, the Icon 1000 Prep Boots are the first pair I reach for when it’s time to ride. They’re serious romper stompers, stout leather and proper reinforcements all stitched together solidly. Grippy, waterproof and good-looking, Icon says they’ve even been tested and certified according to Standard EN 13634:2010. Hell, I didn’t even know boots had standardized testing. Don’t care, either, because they’ve passed the real-world test as a great pair of everyday motorcycle riding boots.