More ideal for general touring, everyday urban riding and all day street and general purpose wear. Obviously shorter and lighter, but incorporating the identical heavy duty materials, design features, and construction quality of the original Combat Touring boot. Top grain leather and fully leather lined.
Compared to most general purpose and riding boots, the Lite has fewer individual leather pieces, less seams and is a stronger and longer lasting boot. The inner speed laces and instep buckle provide a better and more secure fit than any slip-on “engineer” type boot. The lower shaft fits riders with extra large calf muscles better, too. Black. 11" tall (2.42 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 (98)
- 7 Year ReviewReview by Kazu
- Purchased these boots 7 years ago. Wear them commuting 3-5 days a week and all day at work. Have done light hiking in them, touring on the bike, resoled them twice and they still get compliments. Crash tested them too. Several low speed lowsides, but most impressive was getting sideswiped by a minivan. The impact impaled the brake foot lever into my boot (missing my foot by a hair), crumpled the side of the van and shattered the window. Thanks to good gear I was able to ride away uninjured. Still wear the boots and the 1 inch hole in the leather is a daily reminder to never get complacent on the road. These are damn good boots. Only now considering replacing them as they are starting to look old but they have plenty of riding life left. Can't recommend them highly enough for daily riding. (Posted on 4/10/16)
- Aerostich Combat Lite BootsReview by John
I've ridden is Combat Lites for the past 5 years and for me, they are the best boot going. I ride mainly on the pavement and occasionally wander off on dirt and gravel roads on my R12RT and these boots hold up very well. They take a while to break in but after they do, you'll have all day comfort. The best way to break them in is to wear them everyday. When your SO tells you they are sick of looking at your feet in your Combats Lites, you're almost there. I've never had any problems with blisters.
While not being waterproof they are very water resistant. My experience has been to keep them that way, black boot polish works the best. (Posted on 11/2/15)
- Great bootsReview by Alan
- I was originally reluctant to buy these boots because they have laces and my current boots have a zipper. But the speed lace system is as easy and quick as a zipper and the boots are great! Very high quality constuction, comfortable and supportive. Be aware that they require some breakin, but after only a week of heavy use, they are fantastic. (Posted on 10/29/15)
- Combat LiteReview by David
- Best boot out there for the money. (Posted on 8/21/15)
- Combat Lite bootsReview by Oosik
Well - after duck walking around the house for the last five days & greasing them a couple times - they have loosened up quite a bit. Still somewhat stiff - but I've worn them riding for a little over 500 miles also. Surprisingly even being stiff they are very comfortable on the bike. Been riding in some hot wx, for our area, and they are no hotter than any other boot.
The nice thing - I can actually feel them breaking in - walking has become much easier and shifting is slowly returning to my "normal" feel/method.
These are becoming some really fine riding boots. (Posted on 7/29/15)
- BlistersReview by That Guy
- Received my Combat Lites yesterday, couldn't wait to open the box. While I haven't rode in them yet, I tried the soak/break-in routine, to get them ready for riding. Ended up with major blisters on both heels. I used a heavy wool sock and a short two mile walk at a slow pace. Checked both boots and couldn't find anything that should have caused the blisters. Still had the stock inserts, I didn't want to use the new ones in a wet boot. Maybe the stock inserts were the cause, don't know. But boots look well made and I thought fit me pretty well. Got them for riding and not walking, so guess I'll wait and see how then feel with a proper break-in. (Posted on 7/29/15)
- New bootsReview by Oosik
In my earlier review I forgot an important item. The new boots with a new paper thin insole replacing the OEM insole are a perfect fit.
My "normal" size is 10 1/2 - - 3E. I ordered size 11 for my Combat Lite boots. (Posted on 7/23/15)
- New bootsReview by Oosik
Five days after I placed my order FedEx delivered the boots. I've never owned a pair of boots with such thick leather. However - I've worn them around the house for about three hours and I can already feel them loosening up. Contrary to most folks I took the insole out and replaced it with a paper thin insole. I've got a real case of what I call "Norwegian fat foot". Very wide and super thick - kind of looks like a duck. The boots look very nice and have very nice workmanship. I can see what folks say about the laces tangling in the velcro. Just have to remember to tuck them in on the side. Just a note on the fit - my normal size is 10 1/2 - - 3E and these boots with the thin insole are a PERFECT fit.
I'm extremely pleased with my new boots.
Again - Thank You Aerostich for a great product. (Posted on 7/23/15)
- Boot-tifulReview by Mike
This is a review after six weeks, so I'll touch on fit, break-in and initial quality and leave longevity for another time.
The initial fit was spot on per my usual boot sizing and I'm fortunate to not need insoles. I'm of shorter stature (5'7"), with cycling calves, and the height of the Combat Lite comfortably sites and mid calf for me. The quality of the leather, sole and overall construction is fantastic.
As many, many other have stated (including Mr. Subjective, himself), they are very stiff out of the box. I used both Shea Butter and Aqua Seal to soften and improve water resistance, respectively. After application of those substances (not at the same time), I'd walk around for a bit, do some knee bends, and a variety of other funny walks that were apparently of endless amusement to my significant other. Fortunately, the boots began to break-in well before my pride. After needing to be extremely deliberate while shifting during the first couple of rides, it only took a week or so of commuting before they had enough dexterity for my shifting method to return to normal attentiveness.
While the boots continue to break-in with every ride, the initial period passed must quicker than I anticipated and have been one of my favorite motorcycle related purchases of all time. The are amazingly comfortable, the speed lacing concept and single buckle work like a charm and they look phenomenal with all bottom wear, from kilts (just guessing), to bermuda shorts and any and all Aerostich pants.
The only area of improvement I'd like to see, would be the inclusion of the upgraded laces. Previous reviews mentioning the propensity of the laces to catch on anything that remotely resembles velcro are spot on. They're easy enough to replace, but with every other facet of the Combat Lites screaming quality and attention to detail, it does seem out of place.
These boots offer all day comfort, and I am very much looking forward to wearing them for many years to come.
(Posted on 7/18/15)
- Great boots, but...Review by Milt
- I've had mine for about 18 months and have worn them mostly off-road. They are great while riding on or off-road: great protection, great comfort, great quality. But, why would the maker put a sewn seam up the center of the heel cup? The first time I walked around for an hour, my heel developed a deep blister that's still a tender spot. I tried moleskin pads, athletic tape, and a large bandage, but nothing can cover up the ridge that makes walking torturous. I love the boots for riding, but have to take them off when off the bike. (Posted on 7/15/15)
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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.