When I was seven years old my mother decided to test her riding ability aboard my trusted Honda XR75. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take but 45 seconds before we found her face down in the dirt. Four pins and two screws in her ankle later, she realized the value of wearing a good pair of boots.
When it comes to buying boots the choices are numerous and the prices vary drastically. Want the latest and greatest top of the line footwear? You can expect to shell out over 300 bucks. But not everyone can afford or needs the features of a high-end boot. Most beginning riders and weekend warriors will find all the protection and features they need in a far more basic design. Luckily, many manufacturers offer up well-built, entry-level boots that can be had for less than $140.
Fly Racing, a relatively new company in the motocross market, is quickly making a name for itself by offering up quality products at a reasonable price. Its 805 Series of boots is no exception. Retailing for just $109.99, the 805s are nearly $40 cheaper than boots offering similar features and construction. In fact, only the O’Neal Element boot has a cheaper MSRP ($99.95).
But don’t let the low price frighten you, as you still get all of the features typically found in this range of boot plus a few more. The Fly 805 is constructed of 4mm leather with molded rubber ankle protection panels on the inside and outside of the boot. A steel shank arch gives you all the support needed for landing those big hits. The boot is built atop a double-stitched uni-directional non-slip sole; it and the steel toe caps are replaceable. For comfort, Fly has added shock-absorbing gel padding around the heel and Achilles tendon. To keep the boot secure, the 805 comes standard with fully adjustable 4-buckle alloy closures. Most of its competitors only offer up plastic buckles.
We did run into a snag when trying to adjust the buckle straps to accommodate different sized calf muscles. We had to break out the pliers to make the necessary adjustments, something you wouldn’t want to do on a remote trail. On the plus side, the buckle closure system never popped loose or came undone.
The 805’s proved to be very stiff out of the box, restricting shifting movement. A break-in period is standard with any boot, especially ones with all-leather construction like these. Expect around 6-7 hours of riding before they become malleable enough to be called comfortable. A thick pair of socks should help avoid the blisters which formed on the top of my toes during the first several rides. Once broke in, they felt pretty good but it might be difficult for some fickle riders to deal with the initial stiffness.
To most of us, protection and comfort are important, but we also want some style added to the mix. Fly should satisfy the most style-conscious consumers with injection-molded logos on both sides of the boot, as well as on the front and back. The inner calf area consists of tan leather with a stamped Fly logo cover, giving the boot a high-end look.
After months of testing, we came away pretty satisfied with Fly’s 805s. They held up well to the normal abuses of hard riding and the boots showed no signs of construction defects or abnormal wear.
Overall, we were impressed with the level of protection, styling, and features this boot offers. Any boot is cheaper than pins and screws, and for 100 bucks the 805s offer good looks to go along with decent protection.