Mar 20, 2008

Cramster Boots: First impressions & details

Cramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
Cramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
Cramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
Cramster Motorcycle Riding Boots

Cramster Motorcycle Riding BootsCramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
Just to give you an idea of the size. That's my crash scuffed DMS Boot with the new Cramster (tall) model Size reference 2
Cramster Motorcycle Riding BootsCramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
I artifically lightened the pic, which is why it looks odd. The two flaps can almost be operated independently. I use the zipper halfway when I need to tuck my riding pants in to allow adjustability Same as pic on the left. But with the flaps open. Note that the zipper does not lock (like a trouser-fly zipper)
Cramster Motorcycle Riding BootsCramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
That's the toe slider. It's kind a big and pinches a bit at the trailing edge. But loosening that screw helped. Planning to loctite the screw down in that position. Problem solvedThat's the toe slider assembly. The boot has a 'dock' stitched in with a brass (no rust) hole to screw into. Two tabs hold the slider in position and prevent you from mounting it back to front. I do wish the rear tab was a bit longer. It would have held the rear edge of the slider just a bit away from the boot and prevented it from pinching. No matter, I just cut away the offending material with a knife. Perfect!
Cramster Motorcycle Riding BootsCramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
Calf slider. Also screws in like the toe slider. But no tabs on the back, so a lose screw will allow/cause rotationThat's the shin protection. The material feels like rubber, but the padding isn't especially thick – allows movement but won't protect all that much, then
Cramster Motorcycle Riding BootsCramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
That's a detail of the toe slider mountingThat's the shift pad. It is an extra layer of leather (on both boots, so Bullet riders can be happy). But leather wears. So eventually there will be a discoloured, slightly worn spot here
Cramster Motorcycle Riding BootsCramster Motorcycle Riding Boots
A rubber heel cup rounds out the back of the shoe. Rubber feels better than the plastic cups that are the norm. The plastic ones cause your feet to slide around when you're resting on your heels – like at your office deskToe Slider detail

Now that you know the shoe (Previous post)intimately, let me tell you how it felt. And felt, come to think of it, is what the lining material seems to be. Cramster's official spokesman said that the boot was designed to be warm and water resistant with touring riders in mind. So the felt is warm, but not comfortably so. A liner-less boot is supposedly coming up soon, and will be lighter and cooler.

I got a size 44, which fits perfectly (allowing space for a thicker sock when I return to Leh or some such). So the sizing is pretty spot on. In feel, the boot feels most unlike a sport motorcycle boot. A full-on sport boot restricts movement somewhat, but in true touring fashion, the Cramster boot has no plastic hinderances, so it feels pretty much like a normal boot would. The sole is thicker than my all-out sport boots, but return a fair amount of feel.

Here's the thing. A friend of mine spent a full day locating a pair of tall boots and finally got a pair made from Nashik. Which look, um, all right (He's reading this... gotta be careful) and he paid Rs 5,000 for them. These boots had they been on sale back then, would have been perfect. At Rs 4,600 from the tall boot, this is actually great value.

Downsides? Yes there are a few.
  • The toe slider's mouted a bit tall. I'm worried that when the time comes, the sole will grind down first, and the plastic toe slider later.
  • The outer ankle bone is unprotected, although the inner one had a hard pad over it.
  • I wish the shifter pad was moulded rubber or plastic
Suggestions
  • If the toe slider mounting were bigger, it would have given the toe area more strength in a crash.
  • The toe slider need not be this thick, really.
  • A half zipper instead of a full length one, will give the top of boot more flexibility in fit terms
  • Toe slider mounting should be lower. The bottom of the toe slider should clear the sole only by 5 mm or so
  • Um, colours?

10 comments:

Hrishi said...

very nice and tempting. Too bad i recently got my DMS boots.

Now i know what to gift myself this birthday ;-)

Anonymous said...

It would have been nicer if the shorter boots were reviewed as well - makes it easier to choose.

Riding boots are sorta alien to me, so this may sound noobish: Are the soles supposed to be as thin as they are?

About comfort: Would you be able to wear these boots all day, whether riding or sitting around?

rearset said...

@anon
The shorter boots are the same, except they are shorter. The sole, if anything, is too thick. Riding boots tend to have thin soles, unless the intended user is a cruiser abuser. Hey, that rhymes! Thin soles work towards better feel. Also, when the shoe becomes too fat (distance from bottom of sole to top of the foot), it can totally refuse to fit under a shift lever, which is a pain. Comfort? Have been wearing them for two days now... only taking breaks in the night. On the bike and off it. So far no problems.

Most commonly the problems with comfort happen on sport boots. Sport boots are designed almost exclusively for feel and protection. For feel you get thin soles with no padding, which can make the sole hurt if you're walking or standing around more than you should be. For protection you get a bunch of systems, all designed to let the foot move/bend normally, but not too much. And not move/bend unnaturally at all. This restriction is what gives rise to the belief that motorcycle boots are uncomfortable. If touring oriented boots are not comfortable – their design is supposed to take into account that the user will wear them for hours on end, with significant on-bike and equally significant off-bike (tourism...) time – then they weren't designed write. That's the long answer.

The short answer – the Cramsters are pretty comfy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for taking the trouble to type out that answer!

Forgot to ask if they are
water-proof/resistant?

rearset said...

You shouldn't have to ask. It says so right there in the first para itself... water resistant... B-)

Siddharth Soni said...

Great detailing. Thanks for all the information.

Julian Paul said...

Ok, sorry in advance for the OT post, but i had to rant somewhere.

wtf is wrong with our bike manufacturers? first they complain about poor sales. then they dont launch the bikes they promised to.

like, for example, the rtr-fi. ok so tvs is having probs. then what about the xcd-sprint? bajaj said in a press release that there would be four 125s launched each quarter of this year, the first being the sprint. well, hello, its almost april, but no sprint. and now we hear that it'll be launched in aug-riggin-ust!

rant over .....

Rajiv Shukla said...

I bought the same boots last time i went to bangkok. they are made from PVC and do not last long. my pair lasted barely through my ladakh tour.

Those boots were 100% identical but carried a different company logo and were made in china. i bought them for Rs 2300 but with the duties cramster guy is paying his pricing is ok.

rearset said...

Are you sure? I am wearing them right now and after you comment, I peeled off some of the velcro to take a look... looks like leather to me... And I've seen other water-resist leather boots (in Italy, Japan and the US) which felt the exact same...

KJ said...

PVC
There are many qualities of PVC available. In fact some of the Rain Footwear avlbl in hill stations are also PVC and cost only a few hundred and last a season.

This is PVC based Synthetic Leather, somebody told me it was something called lorica but I am not too sure but it is surely a variant.

I am sure It will last a long time.

In fact if you check out Teknic Defender Touring boots etc you can hardly tell the difference.

Pricing philosophy.
I want more people to buy/use riding gear. Hence the nice price.

Good Response and feedback so far.

:-)
Kj @ Cramster