The tougher your riding, the better this boot will feel. Combat Touring boots are as strong as the bulkiest specialized off-road footwear, yet are designed to fit easily under your pants for everyday wear. As soon as you put them on you will feel more support and protection than ordinary street boots can offer.
Combat Touring boots are manufactured exclusively for us by Sidi using the best materials and their most experienced bootmakers. They feature quality full grain leather throughout, a Davos competition motocross sole, Scotchlite™ reflective in the heel gusset, generous internal ankle and toe padding, and a special padded collar at the top.
The inner speed lace/cord lock setup with micro-adjustable arch buckle and outer hook & loop calf closure insures a protective, comfortable fit. Combat Touring boots may take slightly longer to form to your feet compared to cheaper boots, but they will outlast them by years.
From time to time, apply any good waterproofing product and they will mostly eliminate the need for carrying rain boots.
Whenever regular motocross boots are too clumsy and street boots are too wimpy, these are perfect. Black. 14" tall (2.7 lb. per boot) Medium Width. Wedge or cleated sole. US (EU) sizes: 7.5 (41), 8.5 (42), 9.5 (43), 10 (44), 11 (45), 11.5 (46), 12.5 (47), 13.5 (48), 14 (49), 15 (50).
Mr. Subjective on Breaking in New Aerostich Gear
One of the unusual aspects of most Aerostich gear (in today's world of conveniently pre-digested, artificially-aged items) is there's usually a lengthy old fashioned 'break in' period. The time and distance needed varies from a few hundred miles to a few years, depending on how much one rides, and how sensitive the wearer is. It’s also a bit different for different items…boots, gloves, helmets, shirts or riding suits. For me, a new Aerostich suit or jacket feels acceptably comfortable after a few hundred miles and then reaches it's best after a couple of years of use and wear. By the third and forth season it's about perfect (ironically this happens just as similar gear may start feeling worn-out).
That may seem an unusually long time by today's standards, but with much of my most-favorite stuff, from boots to jeans to you-name-it, it's always been this way. We email a newsletter to riders interested in Aerostich products and sales, and a recent one titled "For the Long Ride" has several nice stories about this. You’ll find it here http://www.aerostich.com/long-service-model
Beyond general long-break-in periods and long-service stories, actually breaking in stiff new gear remains very much a pain in the ass: It is uncomfortable, and I always feel a bit more awkward wearing brand-new sparkly gear than well-worn examples. A bit of wear and patina can be almost as important as a product’s design, materials and functionality, partly because it silently tells a useful story which testifies to one’s long experience (without being overly proud of it, though).
It’s always the same. When I was a kid I usually hated the brand-new back-to-school school clothing my mother provided each fall, and being forced to give up old familiar things which were only a bit too small but clearly worn-out. Today I sometimes still feel this way, so even breaking in a brand-new (and much nicer) helmet can be awkward and uncomfortable. It’s odd to complain about this from an economic standpoint but in some ways good ‘new’ and unfamiliar stuff must always be endured for at least a little while before it becomes ‘old’, comfortable and familiar. This is always worth it though, because new things are improved in real ways which matter over the long run. New is good…and new-and-broken-in is even better.
It’s impossible to not prefer (for example) a comparatively newer and lower mileage rental car and many other newer and less-worn things, but for many other things this isn’t such a simple a decision. And even with today's popular pre-aged and faked-old items (like pre-washed jeans, pre-distressed whatevers) simultaneously offering both the worst-of-both-worlds (inauthentic and already partly worn out), and the best of both worlds (experienced-looking and requiring less uncomfortable breaking-in), the choice actually comes down mostly to your perspectives and not the functional qualities of the item. In the end what matters most is finding stuff which best meets your needs. Whatever they are.
Here is an authentic (albeit nonsensical) way to fairly quickly break in your stiff brand-new Aerostich Darien Jacket, pant or riding suit:
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Customer Reviews (49)
- Everything you need, right here.Review by Skinny_tom
I bought a pair of these about 15 years ago. They are my only boots and have suffered through a couple-hundred-thousand-miles of riding without even a whimper. Well, actually, the old straps broke (still totally functional BTW, until I lost one) and there aren't "new" ones, so they're going to get the replacement parts. But anyway, I've ridden long, long days, rainy days, hot days, dual-sport days, muddy days, and dunked them countless times in the creek or river. Take them home, clean them up, put some waterproof stuff on them and they're back in service.
They're on their second sole, third set of laces, I've had the soft velcro extended to the back seam (I've got skinny legs, like my nickname says) and soon the second set of straps.
Keep them buffed and they don't look half-bad under a pair of jeans if you can get away with that at work.
My next boots will be Combat Touring Boots, no question. (Posted on 1/21/17)
- Love 'EmReview by Mark
Got about 15k miles and 14 months on my Combat Tourers. They broke in much easier and quicker than the reviews made it sound, and I didn't wet them and all that. I use Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative on them for waterproofing. I have been through several heavy rainstorms, and my feet remained dry and toasty.
These are TALL boots, so go to Boot Barn and get some Dan Post or other type over-calf socks, what works for cowboy boots will work for these.
I bought the wedge soled version, and it is time to replace the soles, but the wedges seem back ordered for several months, no Bueno!
These are extremely well-built and durable boots and I always feel well-protected with them on. They've taken me across the country and back-twice. They are comfortable in hot and cold, and all day wear (I am typically in the saddle 10-12+ hours/day on my cc trips). My feet sweat a little, but I wear wool socks.
I DID by the aero stitch boot dogs, and except for the too-short strap, they do a great job of drying out the boots overnight and keeping them from smelling.
My one slight complaint would be the laces. They could be more durable and fray-free, and the slip stop mechanism could be reengineered,mouth this is minor compared to the exceptional boot experience otherwise. I still can believe I made it through that Texas T-Storm with these and they kept my feet dry.....
When these wear out, I will hold a proper memorial service, and then buy a new pair, but it looks like I have a few more years with these, so no worries.
My review: Outstanding! (Posted on 6/24/16)
- Wedge Souls RockReview by Bernard
Great boots! Very well made, and in such a way that I know I will be able to repair them as the years go by and keep them going, so in that respect I feel they are well worth the price.
Apparently though, the free return shipping only applies if you order one pair at a time and exchange for a new size: It does not apply if you order two different boots to try out and want to send back the one that isn't right for you. (Posted on 12/4/15)
- Aerostich Combat SiDi BootReview by Lance
Exceptionally well built boot that fits perfectly. Find your Euro size in an Ecco shoe and that will be your exact fit.
Soon to test these out in Death valley in October 2015 and then a ride through the European Alps. (Posted on 9/25/15)
- Great bootsReview by Brian
I bought these boots after buying four other boots from different companies over the last three years. All had their shortcomings. Then I bought the CBT's and I am extremely pleased. I'll share my experience with fit and break-in:
I normally wear an 11. Since I knew these boots were made by Sidi and that Sidi's run 1/2 size short on me I ordered the 11 1/2 and the fit was perfect. As to the breakin---I am not a fan of submerging footwear in water and then walking around in them. Instead I applied a generous amount, and I mean generous, of mink oil to the exterior of the boots and let them sit for three days. I then wiped the excess of and took them out for an afternoon ride on pavement, gravel and dirt and the boots did great. Did they feel like a boot I have worn for years? Of course not. DId they feel comfortable and do their job and give me the hope they will do it for years and years? Absolutely.
As to detail and quality---these boots are exceptionally well put together. Fit and finish are perfect.
Now as to what the boots aren't----they are not heavily armored but they aren't marketed that way so we should not be surprised. They are very tall which provides some degree of protection and they are going to stay on your feet if you come off. Also, they are not waterproof in the Gortex sense of the word. They WILL repell water if you take care of them by using mink oil or some other applicant and your feet will breathe better in the process.
These are great boots and like all Aerostitch gear they are designed and sold by people who understand our sport.
I'll be wearing the CBT's for years to come. (Posted on 9/6/15)
- 25 years with the same CBTsReview by Walter
- I bought a set of these 25 years ago. Wore them dual sport riding my BMW bikes at many sports around the world. Had them resoled on multiple occasions with soles from my local shoe maker (I had not learned that Aerostich sells replacement soles). Last wore them 18,000 miles on the Compass Expeditions 2014 Road of Bones Tour across Europe and Asia for 4 months. Had left my BMW "Motocross style" boots (wow are they "cool" looking) in the trash due to one week of wearing them in Patagonia and they are totally trashed with the thin vinyl flex areas and the cheap nails to hold the metal tips on the toes. BMW said "too bad" and did nothing for me. My 25 year old Aerostich CBTs performed perfectly on the ROB tour. Like an idiot I left them in Vladivostok, Russia feeling I needed to get new boots after 25 years instead of keeping resoling them. Bad move. Should have kept those boots. Ordered new CBTs from Aerostich on my return. Cased them in with water soaking and walking 5 miles in them. Used the oil/paste treatment from Aerostich. They look nicer than my older CBTs (but who cares since I am not in a fashion statement faze), but have yet to feel as good. My stupid error. Need to ride with these ones till I die. (Posted on 5/21/15)
- Forever BootsReview by Stuart
I got my CTBs in 1998, one month before leaving on a 4 Corners Tour. I put 3 coats of Aquaseal on them the first week I had them. I put 14,000+ miles on them the second month I had them. Never had a blister.
I put on a new coat or two of Aquaseal every year or two and they have remained waterPROOF the whole time I've had them. I put some Spenco insoles in them when I first got them to make up for how narrow my feet are. I still have those original insoles, too, and the boots are still comfortable for all-day walking around.
In 2012, with a couple of hundred thousand miles on them (roughly, I don't really keep track), I finally had them resoled for the first time, and reconditioned. They came back from the cobbler looking like (almost) new again. The laces are a little fuzzy. The (still original) buckles are scratched up from a lowside in the north GA mountains a few years ago.
In all these years, these boots have been my only street riding boots. I have other SIDI boots for race track use and real offroad riding. But, when it comes to street riding, nothing has ever been able to match the overall comfort, utility, and longevity of my '98 CTBs.
They are, apparently, my Forever Boots.
Sorry, Andy. I guess you lost me as a boot customer since I won't ever need to buy another pair of boots. (Posted on 5/21/15)
- Good Boots, Bad VelcroReview by motorant
- I have worn my CTBs for 10 years and they hardly look broken in. My feet have never been wet. They protect my lower legs from engine heat and road debris. My only complaint is the Velcro. It failed about 5 years ago so I put snaps on the tabs to hold the boots closed. There must be a better way for this price. (Posted on 2/19/15)
- Great Quality - a little stiff in useReview by Richard
Now it's only a month or so from Riding season again in Vermont I'm dusting off my boots and getting ready to ride. I wore my Aerostich combat boots for several thousand miles last year, and honestly there are positives and negatives (IMHO)
They are indestructible, and quite obviously very well made. I think they look great, and are easy to get in and out of
Compared to more modern high end boots , they are very stiff , to the point of interfering with gear changing on a sports bike - now I know that most wearers of these boots will probably be on ADV bikes , which I also do, and the boots are much more suited to this.
I do find them uncomfortable, when I can buy boots from another manufacturer that have the same protection, but much more supple leather , adjustability and complete weather protection, 9 out of 10 times I'll go for those when I ride.
I don't think they are totally waterproof in torrential all day downpours and they take maintenance for proofing. There are better more comfortable totally waterproof boots available. I toured Iceland last summer for two weeks on my GSA, I nearly took these boots, but in the end I'm glad I didn't - I like warm dry feet ! They are also big and bulky to pack if you're flying somewhere to ride . having said that , they are a style statement , and will probably last for 20 years so I'm not sorry I bought them.
(Posted on 2/11/15)
- Best Boots EverReview by Chuck
- I got these boots a few months ago and they are probably the best boots I've had in hundreds of thousands of miles of riding. The leather is also the best I've seen. The website description states they stiff at first, but I found them easy to shift and walk in almost immediately. I simply walked about 3-4 miles, did 3-4 short rides, and they are fine....no need for the "water break in." These are the perfect boot for anyone trail or dual sport riding....far better than the stiff plastic motocross type boots that offer vague feel for the controls. I use the CBTs with wedge sole for anything off road which works well when standing on the pegs, and have the CBT Lites with cleated sole for the road bike. The Lites are just as substantial as the full CBTs, just not as tall. Very easy to get on/off and I haven't found the fuzzy yellow shoes strings to be a problem. (Posted on 4/3/14)
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The brief CBT History...
These were the first general purpose riding boot of this style in the world. Their origination story is simple: We wanted a basic old-fashioned heavy-duty rider's boot that provided support like an MX boot, was fast and easy to get in and out of,and held onto one's foot well -- but without all the added-on MX boot armor. More supportive than the classic 'engineer' style boot, and much heavier-duty than the typical zippered race, street or touring boot. A de-contented MX boot.
In hindsight it's hard to believe that twenty five years ago there wasn't anything else like this available. The CBT boot was the original. A new type of hybrid existing halfway between a street boot and an off road boot. It created an entirely new product category.
After about ten years we'd sold a good number of them and (also as 'adventure' style bikes became more popular) other boot companies started to make their versions of the CBT boot. Even Sidi came out with a version. All these subsequent versions from others were more complicated or 'improved' in some way: More buckles, pleated areas, waterproof liners, etc. The others wanted to be able to say they were better than the CBT boot.
This is like the way designer jeans manufacturers sometimes say they are better than original Wrangler's, Lee, and Levi's 501's maybe. Every market works like this. There's an original...and if it's successful there are others that are similar but supposedly 'improved' in some way.
CBT Boot Design and Durability
Like many products that are the originals, Aerostich Combat Touring Boots have become a classic. They were the world’s first riding boot specifically intended for hard-use sport, sport touring and adventure-riding applications. This unique design is essentially a lighter, simpler MX-style boot without the hard armor, decorative styling, and multiple buckles. The boots are manufactured exclusively for Aerostich in Romania, by Sidi, an Italian company. Sidi's own motorcycle ‘adventure’ boot (and all other similar boots) were developed about ten years after the CBTB’s were first introduced, when the market niche for this type of boot broadened. The first CBTB’s are now over twenty years old, so some are now well-worn. A few questions have come up about resoling, repairs and durability...Continue
With regular leather care Combat Touring Boots last a long time. Three areas typically wear; the soles, the inner speed laces and the hook and loop closures. Matching replacement soles are available from Aerostich, and acceptable replacement work-boot type soles are available locally at most shoe repair businesses. Replacement inner speed laces and hook and loop areas are also available from Aerostich or may also be substituted locally.The CBTB arch straps occasionally fail, and these are available from Aerostich.
As with all manufactured products, there are multiple (and subjective...) cost and design compromises and trade-offs.For example, the and upper hook and loop areas provide a reliable, easy-to-use, fast, low-profile closure which reduces the boots cost, weight and bulkiness.This helps the boot be easier to put on and remove, and works better underneath jeans and street pants. Those advantages outweigh any slight durability concerns, and in actual use the hook and loop provides an effective closure for many years of wear. And if the hook an loop areas ever need replacing (after fifteen + years?), this is a simple, inexpensive job.Good quality hook and loop lasts for tens of thousands of 'peels' before needing replacement. (The companies making this material test and rate various types for ‘peel’, ‘sheer’, durability, and many other characteristics.)
Beginning about twenty years ago I've worn three pair of CBTB’s. And as you’d guess, I've been mostly satisfied with the various CBTB +'s and -'s. (I recognize this boot is not perfect.) I ride between 5,000 and 15,000mi/yr, and wear the boots mostly for all-day and longer trips, with some general wear use...but not every day.For my short three mile daily commute I usually wear a lighter ankle-high general-purpose lace work boot, which Aerostich does not sell. CBTB’s were designed to function first as heavy duty 'touring' boots. (This probably means different things to different riders...) Here are my individual experiences:
- My first pair. Prototypes. Over twenty years old now.I wore them for two years. Hook and loop was fine the entire time I evaluated them. Afterward they were given to a friend who still wears them. The hook and loop may need replacing, but I don’t know. I think they've been resoled several times, and maybe the lace has been replaced once or twice. Not sure. The leather lining may also have worn in a couple of places, but these boots are still in use.
- My second pair.I wore these for about twelve to fifteen years. Resoled once or twice. Speed lace replaced once, I think (?). Hook and loop was always functional, though slightly weaker at the end than when new. Again, these boots were given to another rider, but I've forgotten whom. (Funny to know the friend who still wears the prototypes, but not this pair...) These boots were replaced only because my foot size changed (Left foot lengthened, apparently age-related). They were in good overall condition when I replaced them, and I was grumpy being forced to break in a new pair.
- My third pair.In current use for the past three or four years. Hook and loop in excellent condition. Resoled last fall. Broke the buckle strap on this pair about a month ago. First time I've broken one of these straps on any of the three pairs.
My Combat Touring Boots took a little more time and effort to break in than some boots, but for me and many riders the extra work is worthwhile because these boots have no decorative styling or trim, were put together using as few separate pieces of leather as possible, have no areas of thin leather or pleated gussets, as few stitched seams as possible, and no hidden waterproof membranes. Combat Touring Boots are a simple, heavy-duty all purpose riders boot, designed to be as comfortable, protective, easy to wear and durable as possible. I hope you will give a pair a try.
CBT Boot Break-In:
Breaking them in? I did it last week, to have a pair to leave with a motorcycle I co-own in Arizona. This was the fourth time in twenty years I've had to break in a pair. I ride in the third pair every day. The first pair are still in use by a friend, after 20 years. They were the prototypes. The second pair are also in use. My feet got longer and this pair went to another friend. This time and the last time (#3 and #4) I soaked the boots in a sinkful of water, let them drip dry for a couple of hours, then went for a two mile walk in them. And got blisters. Then I left them for several days to air dry fully, with the tops propped open with a chopstick. The I oiled the folds and hinge lines, and let that soak in for a couple of days. Now I've worn them for about the last week on a motorcycle trip (I'm in the middle of it now...) and they are perfect. I added our fancy semi-orthotic insole and I'm set for life, probably. A pair in MN and this pair which will stay in Arizona...
Executive Summary: They need two things: 1. A two week break-in, starting with soaking overnight in water, draining for an hour, walking in them wet for a couple of miles, then slow drying for several days, propped open. Then lightly lubricating the hinge folds (or the whole boot) with a soak-in leather dressing. 2. A higher quality insole. I use the more expensive of the two we sell. The standard insole is not supportive enough for me.