What do you get when you give motocross racing legend Ricky Carmichael and off-road power house Fox three years to develop an off-road motorcycle boot? Why the Fox Racing Instinct Boots of course!
The ultimate goal of any high-end boot should be to offer an equally high level of protection without sacrificing comfort and control feel. Fox has designed the Instinct Boot to do all three from the ground up… literally. Fox developed a unique blend of rubber for the out-sole (dubbed DURATAC™) which is billed as having a great balance of grip and resistance to wear. A portion of this DURATAC™ advanced rubber out-sole is even replaceable if you manage to wear it out. Fox estimates the out-sole on the Instinct boot to last about four times as long as other boots. Other features of the five-layer sole consist of a steel shank for impact protection, a polyurethane midsole for shock absorption, a polyurethane cup for heel and arch support, and to top it off, an insole that rivals the comfort of expensive athletic shoes. The initial comfort leads me to believe these boots could be worn all day both on and off the bike without any complaints.
Instead of using a complex inner support system, the Fox Racing Instinct boot uses an external hinge that they cover with the same DURATAC™ material that makes up the out-sole. This allows the best possible grip at the frame, and continues up to the top of the boot. The hinge system has a “lockout” feature at the back of the boot that will not allow your ankle to hyperextend if you catch a toe in a rut.
The buckle system is designed to float over a total 16 degrees allowing a free range of motion… a common theme with the instinct boot. This is accomplished by using a ball and socket buckle instead of the traditional pin lock system. In addition to letting your leg move with less restriction the buckle system of the Instinct boot is not affected by dirt or mud.
There is no hook-and-loop closure system at the top of the boot allowing for, you guessed it, better range of motion. Fox has discovered through extensive testing that the hook-and-loop closure would bind, so instead they designed the top gasket to slide on itself and shaped it for a proper seal.
Fox claims that due to all of the above features, the Instinct boot does not require any break-in time. I have not had a chance to ride in the Instinct boots yet, but from the time I spent wearing them in the office, I believe them. I did find that they seem to run a touch on the narrow side. The US11/EU45 was a little snug in the toe box, but a size up was too loose.
At $549.95 they are not inexpensive, but they seem to be worth every penny. There is a lot of new technology that other brands will be scrambling to catch up with. The way I see it, if they are good enough for Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed, they are good enough for me!