Boots are my “thing.” Have been since I was a kid. My dad bought a ranch when I was 10, and we all got cowboy boots for Christmas. Well, sort of. My ever-frugal mom bought everyone black cowboy boots, except me. I got white majorette boots, complete with tassels. I’m sure she got a heck of a deal on them. I got a major psychological issue. What was she thinking? Of course, the first thing I did was rip off those stupid tassels. The next thing was to get them as dirty as possible in hopes of covering up the obvious fact that they were white. Trying to sell me on this bill of goods, they told me that “all good cowgirls wear white.” Well, the rest of the family had black, so I suppose I was outnumbered from the beginning. Ok, so I digress. Back to the subject.
I was out doing my yard work one day this past summer, nothing overly strenuous, mind you. Having already worn out my Georgia Boots® in under four years, I relegated a barely used pair of Harley Davidson (HD) riding boots for banging around the house, inside and out. They were perfect, or so I thought. Ankle protection when mowing the grass, comfortable for wearing all day and one of a gazillion pairs I own, but not my favorites, so to the garage for home assignments rather than riding. I was planting some small hedge plants and mulching on the day I discovered how HD boots are constructed – literally. My boot felt weird, like I had a big clump of that infamous Georgia red clay stuck to the bottom. I kept working in an attempt to disregard said clump believing it would eventually dislodge.
What happened next is totally astounding. The “clump” dislodged, but rather than its origin consisting of Georgia earth, it was the actual sole. There I stood in my yard in utter disbelief. My sole was flapping, hanging on by a shred of rubber. I proceeded to my lawn chair and assisted the dislodging of the sole. I was eager to finish my yard work and continued working – sole-free. A short time later that now familiar sole flapping was taking on its rhythm under my other foot. You gotta be kidding! Both soles had completely worked their way off the bottoms of my boots. This was not a good thing. Yard work and riding have little in common, yet it seemed to me that my boots should have held up a little better.
While I may have mentioned the fact that I have multiple pairs of riding boots, I was in the market for a new pair. Not to replace the yard boots, but for riding as my favorite pairs were getting pretty grungy. Who knew that Justin Original Workboots (JOW) are the perfect alternative to all those brands that profess to be boot makers? I wanted a real pair of boots, made by real boot makers.
Justin boots to the rescue. My new boots are my new pride and joy. They are made with waterproof leather and come with optional protective steel-toes. Justin calls these babies “Black Pebble Grain, WKL9982” from their “Justin Gypsy Collection.” I call them the best boots I’ve ever had. Some more of the specs include the following: they are 8”, have rubber soles, are waterproof, and feature the “J-Flex Flexible Comfort System (explained).” I have the steel toe option boots, and I love them.
If I had these boots back when I was 10, I’m pretty confident that life would have been totally different. I probably wouldn’t have more boots than “shoes” in my closet, and I might wear sandals instead of boots in the heat of the summer. Again, I digress. Boots are just my “thing.” So imagine my delight to get a pair of black motorcycle boots that are really pretty with pink stitched flowers, (if pink floral isn’t your thing, other Gypsy models are available in other colors including bark, with and without steel toes)! And, they are made for women by real boot makers who know how to properly fit us. If only they made motorcycle jackets and riding pants!
Here’s the deal. You know how difficult it is to find motorcycle boots without THE orange and black logo. Maybe you ride a different brand; or maybe you need to wear them to work without motorcycle referencing; or maybe you just want a pair of boots that are beautiful, comfortable and double as motorcycle boots! While I ride that brand, I also ride a sport bike. I needed a new pair of boots to ride both bikes. I needed comfort, durability, and quality, with all the safety factors thrown in for good measure; waterproof would seal the deal and beauty would be the cherry on top. What I found is a pair of boots that transcends all others. I have been wearing these babies for several months, and I have to share this little secret. I know many of you have searched the earth over for riding boots and continue to “settle” for those big bore boots or even combat boots, yet you yearn for something different. Your soles cry out for riding boots to carry you to far away destinations. So did mine. I wanted boots that I could wear for working, playing and riding. Justin answered the call on this one. And guess what? The price is right. Right below almost every boot made by those big bore engine folks, at about $120.
While wearing these boots, I have ridden through extreme heat, fairly cold (ok, I live in the south, but it was cold for me), and several torrential downpours. The heat? Above 100 degrees. The cold? With the wind chill factored in, 38 degrees – that’s cold no matter where you live. Torrential downpour? You know that drill. The results? Through the heat, my feet were fine. My feet do not tend to get real sweaty, and they positively do not stink. Through the cold, my feet stayed toasty warm. Through the several torrential downpours (I think the last one was a hurricane named Isaac?), my feet were dry! I stopped to put on raingear, got out the goulashes and found dry feet so I put them back in the saddlebag. I will also admit to stomping through a few puddles just to make sure they were waterproof. They are. My last road trip to Florida was like riding through a jungle, every make and model of bug you can fathom. The yellow junk wipes right off.
Right out of the box, you will find comfort beyond belief. I wore mine to the “day job.” As a teacher, I am on my feet and moving around a cramped classroom all day. There was NOT a breaking-in factor! I expected difficulty, so I brought an extra pair of boots just in case, but they stayed under my desk until I took them home. These Gypsies look great under a pair of dress pants, with a denim skirt, and of course, your riding pants. I have several students who show cows and immediately recognized the boot. I think I gained some “cool points” wearing my motorcycle boots to school. While my job doesn’t require steel-toe boots, rest assured if yours does. They are also electrical hazard rated. You will love not having to change your boots from work to play to riding. These boots do it all, and do it with beauty and grace.
The real test came after a nine-hour road trip. I was a tired 20 miles from home and cruising through a traffic signal. The car in front of me stopped and I had to quickly put my feet down. My right foot went directly into some sort of gooey liquid skid, and while my foot moved, the rubber sole on my Justin boot caught enough traction to keep me from going down. The soles of these boots are solid. They provide more than ample landing with a solid gripping-rubber sole. You know when your feet hit the pavement, you have made a safe touchdown. If I had any doubts before that these aren’t the best riding boots on the market, I was certainly convinced at that point. Currently on my third pair of the exact same model HD boots (my previous favorites), I was convinced that if they were ever discontinued my feet would never meet another pair anywhere near equal. And I was right. My Justin boots are not equal. They are far, far superior and I am ecstatic to find my sole-mates.
And my favorite part of these boots? They aren’t white.
Brand name: Justin Original Workboots
Collection name: Justin Gypsy Collection
Style: Black Pebble Gain, WKL9982
Description: 8”, Diamond cut pull strap, J-Flex Flexible Comfort System, Waterproof, Gypsy round steel toe, Electrical Hazard Rated
BLACK PEBBLE GRAIN WATERPROOF STEEL TOE
Style # WKL9982
The patented J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® helps make Justin Boots the most comfortable boots you’ll ever own. You won’t believe your feet when you feel the energy return generated by the leather-covered cushioned insole and triple density insole board. It will feel like we broke them in for you. J-Flex Flexible Comfort System Technology components vary by product category.
Fit info: I normally wear a 6.5/7.0 in most boots. I ordered these in size 7.0 and while they are a little loose, with thick socks they are perfect. At first, I was a little worried about wearing a slip-on boot. I don’t think I will ever go back to one-two tying my shoes! They fit very snug and comfortable and I can spend the tying time riding.
Want my boots?
Available at fine boot stores everywhere.
MSRP: approx. $120