Bates Bonneville Boots Review

Riding boots built for the fast lane

The classic Bonneville Boot, built to last.Jeff Allen

The Bates Bonneville Boot isn't just thoughtfully designed, it's handmade in Long Beach, California. When you call to order—because you can't order these boots online—you'll get a walk-through of how to measure your foot properly to ensure the best fit. Most boots are sold off the rack. By comparison, the Bates way is a process. But the results—especially if you have an unusual foot size—are a boot that couldn't fit better.

The leather used to construct the upper part of the boot is oiled, so the boots stay watertight in light to medium rain, but ours soaked through during some long-distance touring. The welt is sewn internally and glued on the outside, so there is no visible thread around the base of the boot, also adding to the waterproofing.

Only a single zipper seals the boot onto your foot, ensuring there’s nothing to get caught up on your bike’s moving parts. A white Vibram sole adds a hip, casual vibe previously unseen in Bates’ boots, making them much more wearable off the bike. The boots took three days to break in but have seldom left my feet since. They’re priced right, and I’ll probably get them resoled half a dozen times before I even think about replacing them.


Grade: A
Summary: Classic riding boots, handmade, and built to last. What's not to like?
Price: $270