Besides a helmet there is one other piece of equipment the off road rider must have in their gear bag – a good pair of boots. The problem is that you can expect to pay as much as $300 for a pair so what is a person to do if they can’t afford the latest technologically advanced carbon fiber/leather composite footwear?
Enter the Team 2 Boot (Retail $149.95). The folks at Answer decided that if they were going to offer an inexpensive boot it was going to be the best bang for the buck. They searched the shops of Italy until they came across Ignacio Battaiani – a legendary cobbler from the early seventies who still raises his leather producing cows in a 1400 year old brick barn and feeds them only hand made corn bread muffins made with maize imported from Kansas. Yeah I am pulling your leg about this Battaiani character, but the boots are in fact made from high quality Italian leather and that is a hard thing to come by in a boot for under $150.
So how have the boots performed? We will consider this the initial impression and evaluation, with a long term wrap up still to come, so here goes. I have had the Team 2 Boots for a month now and they have been tested in a variety of situations ranging from the MX Parks of California to the wooded trails of Oregon and they have fared well. On the track they did fine keeping my feet safe from harm as I continually came up short on table tops and doubles. Anyone who has cased a landing can appreciate a boot with enough sole to keep your arches intact. In the woods they kept me dry through a few rainy days and kept every rock roosted my way from bruising my shin and calf. I could go into entire paragraphs about the various incidents that made me thankful these boots were tougher than I expected, but I will save you the time by telling you they did their job well.
The construction is as good as any other boot offered at this price and boasts some improvements over previous Team 2 models. For 2002 they now feature improved Cam Lock buckles. There are four fully adjustable buckles that were simple to adjust and easy to open and close. Unlike some modern boots, the closures are replaceable just in case one gets ripped off on a root. Answer also improved the protective qualities of the T2 Boot buy adding a stylish injection molded hi-impact polypropylene plastic shin plate and a matching ankle guard.
Other features of the boot include a nylon gaiter to help keep out dirt & mud from making their way inside and more padding everywhere expect on the bottom of the foot. Of course that’s a Dr. Scholls insole away from being fixed, but I have to take my shots when I can. If you are looking for a good boot in the $150 range the Team 2 deserves some attention. Italian leather, fully adjustable closure system and a nice new look make them a candidate for any thrifty off road enthusiast.