Aerostich Combat Lite Boots
- Product Review (submitted on September 8, 2011):
I’ve now had my Combat Touring Lites with cleated sole for one year and over 15,000 miles, and I’m very happy with them. They were stiff at first. But they’re basically comfortable after a couple weeks of near daily wear. In my opinion, you don’t need to soak them in water or anything else too strange. All they need is a dab of leather conditioner and some time on the feet. Mine have broken in nicely, the shifting is easy, and I often wear them all day at the office. The lower portion of the boots molded nicely to my feet within a month. I do wear Wigwam ski socks with them, though, since I tend to get a blister above my right heel with ordinary athletic crew socks.
They're fine for normal walking. I wouldn’t want to hike in them, but I have a desk job, and for everyday walking and getting around they're perfectly comfortable for all-day wear. I’ve also done my share of 400 mile rides where I’ve walked a few miles over the course of the day, and they’re fine for that, too.
I don’t do much maintenance. Every four or five months I clean them with a little water and a brush. Let dry, then rub some leather conditioner (I use Bick-4) into them, then apply a thin coat of Sno-Seal, and they’re good for another few months. I also bought a pair of replacement buckles if and when the originals break. But so far, so good.
The CTLs are wearing as one would expect from motorcycle boots. The shifting area on the toe of the left boot is scuffed up, but it doesn’t hurt the boot. The left boot’s sole is wearing faster than the right, which makes sense as that’s the boot I have on the ground when stopped. I figure that I’ll replace the soles next spring.
The boots are also comfortable in the north Texas heat. I’ve worn them all summer, and my feet have never been uncomfortable. They’re actually more comfortable and breathe better than my TCX (Oxtar) Gore-Tex lined mesh boots. I’m convinced that good heavy leather makes for a better and cooler all-round boot than anything with Gore-Tex.
- I bought the size 10 (Aerostich’s Euro 45) and it was perfect. My normal U.S. sized shoe is 11 to 11 ½.
- They’re heavy. But you get used to it.
- The toes are boxy. But you get used to it.
- I was initially annoyed at the laces sticking to the velcro, but I don't even notice it anymore. Its no big deal.
- My feet have never been wet in the CTLs.
- I thought I'd miss shin armor, but the thick leather does just fine against the typical pebbles and junk that hits my shins.
They’re a fine pair of boots. I hope to wear them for a long time.