Incognito Motorcycle Boots Review

These Motobailey boots are stylish and protective

The Motobailey ElBulli boots are a great way to stay safe while not looking like a Power Ranger.Jeff Allen

I'm proud of riding motorcycles and love bench racing as much as the next guy, but sometimes I just want to go to a friend's barbecue or aunt's birthday party and not talk about bikes. However, some of my favorite riding boots are a dead giveaway—and for sidestepping NASA or Napoleon Dynamite jokes, look no further than the ElBulli from MotoBailey.

Ostensibly, it’s simple, over-the-ankle, French-leather footwear that any other partygoer might wear. The boots are stately and, as far as I can tell, pretty stylish. What’s not obvious are the polyurethane pads over the ankle bones or the full Kevlar lining. An extra swath of leather laid over the toe as a shifter pad is the only clue that they’re made for anything other than keeping your feet clean outside.

The break-in period was surprisingly quick, and the leather has worn nicely. My main gripe is that the soles are soft and feel a little thin. That makes them comfortable but also allows footpegs and centerstands to poke at my feet more than I like. Other than that, they’ve provided as promised. Be irked by the $220 asking price if you like, but it’s not exorbitant for motorcycle footwear—or even generic leather boots.

From a safety standpoint, there are more comprehensive boots available—there's a reason MotoGP racers don't wear casual boots. But for getting across town and avoiding "My uncle had a Honda!" being breathed at you on a wave of mai-tai-flavored air, MotoBailey has you covered.


Grade: A
Summary: Real shoes, laced with as much style as protection.
Price: $220