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Breaking in New Motorcycle Boots. Ugh.

Last year I wrote about the newest women's motorcycle boots from Dainese, the Torque D1's, the first true women's motorcycle boot that offers real ankle support. What this means they make it incredibly difficult for you to twist your ankle. Of course, the impact protection is also incredibly supportive as well. 

I didn't think I could wear these. I still am not 100% sure. My problem was that as a woman with a very small, wide foot boots like these from Dainese are incredibly difficult to wear. 

Typically I size into a US 6.5-7 (7 if it's a narrower shoe) which translates to about a Euro 36-37. These are a Euro 38. My feet are also incredibly high at the instep. My other weird issue is that I have a small cyst on the top of my left foot, so that makes wearing any tight shoes (like if I lace my shoes too tight) especially painful. 

Since these are fairly difficult to get my foot into so I had to size up. 

I've been wearing them around the house for about a total of 1.5 hours and luckily I haven't felt any pinching or piercing pain anywhere. Just tightness from a new pair of boots, especially race boots. They're just not easy. 

I did find that crossing my legs while sitting on a kitchen stool did make my toes go numb... so I recommend not doing that ;D

I've also added my super insoles to still give me the extra heel height that I like having.

They seem to fit okay, of course I removed the insoles that came with the boots but it certainly makes the heel and ankle space a bit tighter. I'm hoping as I keep breaking them in they only get better!

Just a little test ride.. in the kitchen! Always take your gear for a test ride at home so you can see what it might feel like to wear things for more than 2-3 minutes. 

Just a little test ride.. in the kitchen! Always take your gear for a test ride at home so you can see what it might feel like to wear things for more than 2-3 minutes. 

Breaking in new boots isn't fun. It can be a pain in the ass really. But I really wanted the extra ankle support that these boots offer that my old Sidis don't even though they took great care of my feet when I crashed two years ago.. I'm also doing a track day next month so I want to be ready for that too. 

Also, I'm trying to sell my new-used Sidis (not the ones I actually crashed in) if you know anyone who might be interested.

 

For Sale: Gently Used Sidi Vertigo Lei Boots, Size 37

10/27/17 SALE PENDING!

These are gently used, barely worn. 

I bought them from a friend who only used them a few times also. 

Read my full review of these way back when I got my first pair. 

Also check out my post about riding motorcycles while short, because I use these along with special insoles to boost my height a little bit as well. 

These normally cost $275.00 new. 

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Race Gloves for Women: Racer

Racer_high_racer_gloves_womens Racer Gloves finally has returned with true race gloves for women along 2 other options for street riding! 

High quality, protective, leather motorcycle gloves are hard to find for women riders these days. That's why I'm such a fan of Racer.  I have 4 pairs of their gloves which I acquired 3-5 years ago. As soon a I heard they were discontinuing my favorites, I immediately purchased replacement pairs. I currently have 2 of the High End (below, older version of the High Racer) and 2 of the Multitop. The High Ends are my absolute favorite riding gloves, out of the ~6-8 pairs that I have.

racer_high_end_womens_gloves 1

The first new model is the High Racer, in black and white for $219.99. Unfortunately you do not have any black options. These make for an excellent track / race glove and all around street riding glove. The High Racer, much like the older model has full kangaroo skin palms, palm And scaphoid sliders, carbon fiber protectors and an incredible fit and feel.

racer_high_racer_womens_glove

The second, less expensive option is the Grip, for $159.99. This glove is constructed of fully of goatskin, hard knuckle protectors and most likely a more relaxed street fit. This glove too is only available in sizes M-XL. Fingers crossed for XS, S!

Racer_grip_womens_glove

The third is a lightweight, waterproof glove, the Traveller, for $149.99 isn't insulated. Sometimes you need a waterproof glove, but you may not need a warm one.

racer_traveller_womens_glove

I should be getting a couple samples to check out in person. However, since I wear a XS/S, I doubt they will fit me. Who knows, maybe they will run smaller. I will update my post as soon as I receive them.

As of right now, Racer has only made size Medium-XLarge available in all these models. Those Austrians just have no idea how much we need XS, S. Hopefully they will make some available soon. I know that Racer Gloves USA is fighting hard to get us these sorely needed sizes, but for the ladies who do need larger sized gloves you now have 3 killer options.

1-piece Womens Leather Motorcycle Suits

spidi_womens_mantis_track_wind_pro_race_suitdainese_womens_racing_suit  

Shopping for a 1 piece leather suit? Here are some off-the-rack options available for women riders looking for a good sport fit suit.

Unfortunately there aren't as many options for 1 piece suits as there are separates, so here's what you have to choose from if you're not able to purchase a custom suit.

Spidi Mantis Women's Wind Track Pro Suit

$1,399.95. The fit profile on Spidi suits tend to be a bit longer in the torso, and slightly narrower in the shoulders.  Check out my friend India in her 2-piece Poison suit. The fit is fabulous and great if you need more length in the body.

spidi_womens_mantis_track_wind_pro_race_suit

Dainese Racing Women's Suit

This suit is perfect for the extremely petite riders out there. Pictured below is my coworker Sokrady, in a size 40 (5'3", <105-110lbs). She usually has a hard time finding anything that fits her right, and typically rides around town in her Tornado Jacket in 34. She recently acquired this suit and it fits her perfect!

dainese_womens_racing_suit dainese_womens_racing_leather_suit_petite

 

Alpinestars Motegi Women's Suit

alpinestars_stella_motegi_leather_suit

 

$799. I love the Motegi suit, it has a nice relaxed fit to it. I would say this one is the curviest fit overall but with a slightly shorter torso/arms/legs with a similar fit to the less expensive AXO suit.

 

AXO Women's Talon Race Suit

$600.00. The Talon Suit is on sale, $200 off MSRP! The fit is similar to Alpinestars, a tad on the curvier side with shorter limbs / torso overall.

axo_talon_race_suit

 

 

A really cool pair of Motorcycle Boots in my size!

It's been awhile since I've seen a pair of motorcycle boots that I might actually want to buy. Having really small hands and feet narrows my options to women's specific gear only. And really, there aren't that many awesome options to my liking. But seeing these, I'm intrigued and excited to see them in person!

alpinestars_mono_fuse_gtx_motorcycle_boots_smallfeet

 

The Alpinestars Mono Fuse boots are a touring boot with a Gore-Tex membrane and a nifty buckle. And it's going to be available in a Euro 37! They appear to be a mid-height (almost over the calves) boot with a buckle for adjustability. Of course, I do have my fancy Daytonas for the winter that I'm up against but I'm always window shopping, what can I say?

On the other side, these also go up to a Euro 48 (~US 13.5-14). Holy crap. Alpinestars is pretty good about providing options in really small and large sizes in many of their boots including the New Land and the SMX Plus Vented (which are the smallest race boots that I've found so far).

Petite Feet, check it out!

Recommendations for Gauntlet Style Women's Motorcycle Gloves

Racer High End Gloves GearChic Reader Aya posted this question on my Facebook page, expressing how unhappy she was when she walked into a certain motorcycle store and found one of the worst selections of real motorcycle gear for women. More specifically, real gloves for year round riding (think temps between 60F-80F) with actual protection! So I've put together a list for her and every other woman who's shopping for actual gloves, not just ones that are hiding behind the pink. 

I only wish these gloves in the photo above still existed. They were hands down, the most protective, amazing women's glove on the market. Then Racer (the Austrian company, NOT the US distributor) decided we weren't important anymore and discontinued them. Very, very sad. But if you ever stumble upon these on eBay or on Craigslist, do NOT pass these up.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions by brand with fit descriptions for each one.

 

Alpinestars Stella GP Plus

MSRP $189.95, Size XS-XL, 2 colors

I have to give a shoutout to Alpinestars, not only for offering a full size run of XS-XL, but 3 different gauntlet glove options including this one. The other two gloves are less expensive with fewer features, the SP-2 and the SP-8. If you want a lighter glove without the extra reinforcements, then you may like those options instead. The GP Plus gloves have additional protection like DuPont™ KEVLAR® fiber, Schoeller Keprotec and 3rd/4th finger stitched together to prevent separation. These offer the same features as the men's version for race level glove. I like the fit on Alpinestars, not too narrow, not too wide, a little better for shorter fingers. 

alpinestars_womens_gp_plus_motorcycle_gloves

 

 

Alpinestars Stella SP-2

MSRP $119.95, Sizes XS-LG, 4 colors

The SP-2's are a great street glove, less aggressive fit than the GP Plus and a few less features which bring the cost of the glove down a bit. The gauntlet is a little lighter and you'll notice the lack of accordion panel above the thumb. These also have a lot less carbon fiber, with EVA foam on the fingers instead.

 

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Alpinestars SP-8

MSRP $89.95, Sizes XS-XL, 3 colors

The SP-8's are an entry level glove, with lighter protection reinforcements and an even more relaxed fit. Instead of a combination of goatskin and cowhide, these are only made of cowhide. They aren't as soft as the SP-2 or GP Plus, and less restrictive.

alpinestars_womens_stella_sp2_motorcycle_gloves

 

Dainese Carbon Cover ST

MSRP $149.99, Size XS-L, 2 colors

The Carbon Covers are a fantastic glove with Distortion Control on the pinky finger (meant to keep your pinky from separating away from your hand) and a really nice fit. The finger lengths are average, the construction consists of a goatskin palm and cowhide chassis, with kevlar stitching and reinforced palm sliders. These have a strong precurve, with a rather aggressive fit.

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REV'IT Summit H2O Waterproof Gloves

MSRP $134.99, Sizes S-XL (as of this post, Revzilla still has XL's of the non waterproof versions available)

The Summits are only available in the waterproof version, but you may still find the non waterproof ones on various websites if they have inventory available. The non waterproof versions were discontinued as of last year. I love these because they offer an incredible amount of protection for a street glove. You can read my review of both versions here. These gloves don't have a really strong precurve, so they'd work well on any kind of bike, for any kind of rider.

These also make for great year round gloves since they're not warm, just lined with a waterproof membrane.

revit_summit_h2o_waterproof_motorcycle_gloves 2 revit_summit_h2o_waterproof_motorcycle_gloves 2

 

REV'IT Xena Gloves

MSRP $159.99, Sizes S-XL, 3 colors

The Xena Gloves are REV'IT's answer to the sport / race glove for women. These are the replacements for the previous version, the Raven. They fit the same as the Raven with some minor design changes. Given the lack of protection on top of the fingers, I don't count these as a full race glove if you compare them to something like the SLR or Stellar. However, they make for an excellent, all around street glove. In general, Rev'it gloves are going to run longer in the fingers and narrower in the wrist. Since they're supposed to be a race glove, they will have a very strong precurve fit to them.

REVIT_Womens_Xena_womens_motorcycle_Gloves

Rukka Vilma Gore-Tex Xtrafit

MSRP $189, Sizes 6-10 (XS-XL)

You're probably wondering why these are so expensive. Well, aside from being a well made glove by Rukka, these are also completely waterproof and windproof with the Gore-Tex membrane. Also, the membrane is bonded to the leather ("Xtrafit") so it'll never separate. You know what's it's like to try and slip a wet or sweaty hand into a lined glove. These will definitely work better in that regard, but in addition to that they will be the lightest, waterproof glove you'll ever wear. As a result, they aren't good gloves for really cold temperatures (unless you have heated grips) since they don't have any kind of thermal/insulated membrane.

rukka_vilma_womens_waterproof_goretex_gloves_

 

If you're looking for even more protection, and want to explore men's glove options, I would recommend any of the men's race gloves among REV'IT, Dainese and Alpinestars. I would say the most slender, smallest fit among all three brands is REV'IT. I have very small hands (XS, 6) and I can almost fit into a pair of Jerez Pro's. The main fit difference with men's gloves will be wider wrists, palms, bigger thumbs and longer fingers.

I also recommend REV'IT men's gloves for women since they tend to fit fairly narrow as well. But you need to be at least a women's Medium or Large to fit into a Small/Medium on the men's side.

Racer Gloves and the IMS Long Beach, December 2013

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Yay! Another opportunity to see you and talk about gear. I'll be at the Long Beach IMS during the first weekend in December. I'm looking forward to helping you find a killer pair of motorcycle gloves. So come by and say HI! http://www.racerglovesusa.com

To grab a discount, follow this link to Sportbikes Inc Magazine. Hi Allan!

Motorcycle Racing Boots for Women

Motorcycle race boots women

Alpinestars S-MX Plus (The Supertech R is the next step up)
MSRP $349.95
Sizes Euro 36-48
Colors: Black, Black Vented, White, Black/Red, White/Black/Red/Yellow 

Unfortunately, no one is making a true motorcycle race boot for women. Although the Sidi Vertigo Leis are a strong street boot with great protection, they do not offer the one thing that stronger street/race boots offer: Torsion Control. 

One of the worst injuries a rider can have is twisting of the ankle, which can result in breaking any of the bones in your ankle/leg. Boots like the  S-MX Plus by Alpinestars offers an inner booty to keep the ankles protected on the inside (not removable) and reinforcement around the exterior of the ankles to ensure that they don't twist or bend from side to side in the case of an accident. 

These start at a size Euro 36, which would approximately be a woman's US 6. With the inner booty and the European fit, these would work well for a woman's foot as well, especially at the smaller sizes.

Mens motorcycle race boots that fit women

Dainese TRQ Out (the Torque Pro Out line is the next step up)
MSRP $299.95  
Sizes: Euro 39-47 

If you wear a women's 8.5-9, Dainese's TRQ Race Out (above) boots start in Euro 39.  Dainese boots tend to have a very narrow ankle and footbed. They are especially fitted above the arches and in the heel cups. I find that these two areas are the most important when fitting a woman's foot. Those two and the calves tend to be the hardest to fit. These do offer velcro adjusters at the calves.

Sidi Mens Motorcycle Boots for WomenSidi mens motorcycle boots for women

Sidi Vortice                              Sidi ST (based on the former Vertigo Corsa)
MSRP $495                             MSRP $395
Sizes: Euro 39-48                   Sizes: Euro 39-48 

The Sidi Vortice's and the Sidi ST's have large calf adjusters, (the ST offers the most calf space), but have more room in the heels. This can be resolved with a heel insert to allow for a more snug fit.  The Vortices do offer additional adjustment above the arches, to make for a more snug fit too. These also both offer torsion control on the outside of the boot (no removable booty), as this is the way Sidi designs their torsion control systems to work. Both have shock absorbing heel cups, sliders, and venting. These also both start in a Euro 39. A Sidi 39 is also approximate to a women's 8.5-9. 

Remember that you can always add insoles or heel cups to make your boots fit better, regardless of the manufacturer.

The above boots are all made for men, but I think given the fit adjusters and overall European fitment makes them great choices for women riders as well. 

Trackday Gloves

All women on the grid! It's almost track season!  If you need to get geared up, make sure you've got real track worthy gear.

On your first time out, it's usually ok to wear your street friendly gear until you know you're going to commit to going to do more. On my first track day with Zoom Zoom last year, I just wore my street leathers and didn't buy a 1 piece suit or track boots.  But this year, I plan to do more and will definitely be investing in a 1piece and boots.

Buying proper gloves is a good start. You need a little more protection on the track, with a stronger gauntlet, more reinforcement points and armor. It can be difficult to find women's track worthy gear, so I've put together a list of gloves for you to check out.

Dainese: Racing 2 Lady

MSRP: $229.00

Sizes: XS-XL

  • Constructed in cowhide,
  • Composite steel and thermoplastic resin inserts on the knuckles
  • Tightening strap
  • Reinforced, padded leather palm.
  • Fit designed for the female hand
  • Elasticated insert
  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Perforation on the outer side.

Held: Phantom

MSRP: $289.99

Sizes: 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 12 (6.5 is xtra small and the size I wear so you can imagine how small 6 is)

  • Palm and back in highly abrasion-resistant sweat-resistant and colourfast kangaroo leather
  • Unlined palm. Back and thumb fully padded with shock-absorbing SUPROTECT and 100% Kevlar®
  • NEW: We have discovered that one of the most common injuries is dislocation of the little finger. This happens because the little finger is inadequately protected. To avoid this, we have given the little and ring fingers additional Kevlar® padding on the inside and outside
  • Pre-formed, crumple-free palm
  • Special flat seams reduce pressure points on the inner hand, and enhance feel
  • GFK shells with 100% Kevlar® ceramic polymer matrix coating give perfect protection to the side of the hand and knuckles
  • Side of hands and knuckles protected with highly abrasion-resistant stingray skin, (dasyatis bleekeri), a world first. This is underlaid with shock-absorbing gel, for unmatched impact protection.
  • Protected Velcro straps on the cuff and wrist
  • Visor wiper

 

Heroic: SP-R White

MSRP: $120- $300 (Todd/Heroic is clearing out the black and white SP-Rs, so you can currently get them in size 7 and 8 for $120)

Sizes: 7 - 16

  • Full kangaroo skin carcass
  • Exotic Stingray fish buckles, hand sliders, palm sliders
  • GP Pinkie - finger protection during crash
  • TPU Knuckles
  • TPU Sliders
  • HEROIC Articulated Fingers - Keeps fingers in Racecurl
  • Kangaroo Thumb deflector - keeps hand buckle from getting damaged in wreck
  • Fully stitched with Kevlar and bonded Nylon - ultimate threading
  • HEROIC Logo with shock protection memory foam.
  • Extra inch of gauntlet from predecessor

 

REV'IT: Raven

REV'IT Raven Gloves

MSRP: $149.99

Sizes: S-XL

  • TPU hard shell knuckle protection
  • Dual composition palm slider
  • PU injected finger knuckles
  • EVA foam
  • Schoeller-Keprotec at palms
  • Aramide liner

 

 

RS Taichi: GP-WRX

RS Taichi GP-WRX

MSRP: $159.95

Size: One size for women, XS

  • RS TAICHI original molded carbon hard knuckle and finger protector with 6mm dual compound foam.
  • Perforated leather used between finger for ventilation.
  • Carbon slider with 6mm dual compound foam in palm to prevent hand from gripping when crash.
  • 5mm foam padding on wrist for better protection.
  • Aramid knit on knuckle to finger tip for maximum strength (inside of glove)
  • Wrist closure with rubber molded protection.
  • Additional leather layer on side of little finger for abrasion resistance.

RS Taichi GP-WRX Gloves

Thanks to MotoLiberty / TaichiMoto, I'm going to be reviewing these gloves, just in time for summer: http://www.taichimoto.com/products/RS-Taichi-GP%252dWRX-Racing-Glove.html

I know, I know. You're thinking, but those aren't summer gloves! Well, there's perforation on the top of the wrist as well as between the fingers. They aren't lined and feel like second skin. What I like the most so far, is how well they articulate. As soon as you wrap your hand around the handgrip, they feel like they were sewn on your hands in that position. Ideally, that's what you're looking for in terms of fit.

I have a feeling they'll break in quickly, given how soft and supple the leather feels. The pinky and 4th fingers are not sewn together, which many race gloves have as a feature. I wonder why they excluded that from these particular gloves. I'm guessing they are trying to reach a street rider, vs. a track  / racer.

I'm anxious to take them for a spin tomorrow to see how much cooler they are in comparison to my other gloves, given the fact that they have more perforation.

What's that saying? Oh yeah, I'd Rather Sweat than Bleed! I'm sure many of you are used to not wearing gloves in the summer, or if you do, it's typically a shorty glove with no wrist protection.  Living in San Francisco and riding in the Bay Area, these gloves are perfect for the different microclimates we live through.  I have one pair of full leather, fully perforated gloves, which I hardly ever wear. Not because I don't ride in the heat, but because I'd rather have the complete protection that my fully gauntleted, full leather gloves provide me (currently Racer High Ends), even in 90+ degree heat in Sonoma County in July.

There are so few options on the market for race gloves for women.  If you're considering a pair, I urge you to add these to your list.  The fit of most RS Taichi gear is on the petite side (think small Japanese men), and with these gloves, unfortunately they only make one Women's size, which they call size Lady's. Not small or xsmall, just Lady's. I'd have to guestimate that they are a 6.5-7.0 (Xtra Small/Small), based on the comparison of fit with Held gloves.

And yes, they're a little power rangerish, some might say, but they certainly add a level of visibility that I do not currently have with my gear, as it is all black (except for my helmet).

Stay tuned for a full review.