I bought these beauties with my own precious dollars and I’m breaking my guideline (not a rule) about reviewing only gear submitted for that purpose, mostly because these boots are a limited production run and if you don’t get ’em now, you might never get ’em. I wasn’t even shopping for boots at the time but I spied the Elsinores from across the room and, though I went through the motions of “thinking about it,” it was all for show because they look so good I knew I had to have them.

As an adherent to ATGATT (ignore that time I zoomed around Belize on a dirt bike in a strapless dress and sandals, I’m sure that, like, doesn’t count), I think proper riding boots are a must-have. Delicate human feet can get all kinds of banged up from crashes or even just falls, and proper armored boots keep your feet from being crushed, mangled, twisted, or otherwise destroyed when they otherwise surely would be. And the Elsinore boots are confidence-builders for sure, as they are seriously burly. As part of the breaking-in process, I wore them to a Michael Franti concert which, in my town, always involve getting stepped on and trampled in large part because he always wants to see us jumpin’, but also because people in my town are douchebags and I swear, attending a concert can be just as hazardous as a motorcycle crash. The Elsinores were my strategy for keeping my personal space and wow did they work. A couple taps on wayward dudes’ shins and knees with the metal plate on the backs of these things, and my personal dance space was my own for the duration. Added benefit: all the jumping around really did wonders for breaking in the boots.

And you are going to want to factor in some break-in time, because these meaty boots have some heft. You will walk funny and not be able to ride correctly until you get them broken in, but I was fine with that as all that burliness is going to pay off. But the break-in is OK, because just LOOK at those boots – they look phenomenal and you are going to want to wear them all the time anyway. I definitely had to break them in before riding as I couldn’t get enough flex in the ankle to work the shifter due to the bulk of the boots. Once I got them loosened up it’s been fine, though it does take more effort to work the shifter. I’m pretty sure this will continue to get better as they get more broken in.

The fit for me was really good. I bought half a size up to accommodate thick socks and I think that was the right call. I haven’t needed thicker socks with these, even though I’m in Alaska, because the Elsinores provide a ton of warmth and wind protection. The outer buckles are adjustable so once you get them set, you just use the inner zipper to get in and out. Someone told me the buckles also double as sliders, which seems reasonable though one of them turned out to be broken straight from the box, so I don’t know how true the slider idea really is. They probably slide better than leather, I’ll give them that. The broken one didn’t even appear to be metal, but the boots come with a spare buckle so I was even Steven.

These boots are top notch and they’re everything I wanted in a boot. The fit is great; nice and roomy. No pinched toes in these things (why, oh why, are so many motorcycle boots built like cycling shoes?? Oh, the humanity of abused feet), and customizable fit around the calves. They’re safe, they look amazing, and they are nice and warm. My one complaint is that the women’s boots don’t come in the awesome brown version the men get. If they did, I’d have two pairs because both the black and the brown are irresistible. Icon even made a (pretty horrible-looking, if you ask me) red, white, and blue pair for the dudes, but us ladies don’t have a choice; all we get is the black. Maybe if you join me in clamoring, next year we’ll get the brown version in our lineup. All together now…clamor!

Or at least go out and buy a pair of the black ones, because they are awesome. But just look at the brown ones:
brown Elsinore