I do not make money from or have an affiliate agreement with Icon. This review is purely based on my experience with the helmet as a result of an unsolicited purchase. I will not profit from you clicking the link, heading to the Icon website, and making your own purchase.
I have a collection of motorcycle boots in my closet next to my collection of high heels. Like my other shoes, I have different boots for different riding activities. However, my collection was missing something. I didn’t have a pair of motorcycle riding shoes. They look like fashion shoes but have some protection features you find in boots. I’ve heard and read about them but hesitated to buy. It seemed like manufacturers were trying to find the perfect balance between fashion and protection. I’ve finally made taken the plunge and bought my first pair of motorcycle shoes.
TLDR: Fly Racing M16 Waterproof Motorcycle Riding Shoes
Let’s start with the basics.
Safety and Protection
Hidden behind the fashion exterior is a solid protection plan. Starting with the sole, it’s crush and oil-resistant. The crush feature is a must in case you are in an accident. The oil resistance is nice for just everyday riding. From personal experience, I can tell you it sucks to put your feet down, realize you are on oil, and have your feet sliding. Then, you have a coating of road oil on your shoes that you can track into your home or office. With these, you don’t have any of those issues. Putting your feet down at red lights means you’ll have a solid and secure foundation.
I wish the toe box had more protection, but the lack of protection gives you a more textile feel of the clutch on your foot. It also keeps the shoe looking more like a shoe and less like a boot. So you’re sacrificing some tow protection for looks. However, there is some slide heel protection. The heels are reinforced and strong, giving you plenty of protection on the backside of your foot.
Finally, there are hidden safety features. For example, dual-density ankle protectors are on both sides of your ankles. These protectors are also supported by a crush-resistant composite shank. This gives you the lateral support that you need to keep your ankle where it’s supposed to be.
When I got my pair, I was in Pigeon Forge, TN. There’s a JP Cycles store there. We were casually browsing through the store, looking for nothing in particular. I wandered through the boot section and found myself staring at a pair of Fly Racing M16 waterproof riding shoes. They didn’t have many pairs, but there was a pair that happened to be my size.
The shoes had two pairs of laces, one white and one black. I tried them on the way they were laced, but found it illogical and had a ton of extra laces length. I ended up taking the black laces out and saving them for later. I only have the white laces in mine now.
What I like about the boots is the amount of cushioning the inner sole has. It feels more like a pair of sneakers than boots. I also like how they cover my ankles without being too restrictive. Sure, the lack of rigidity means a lack of protection. However, I’m willing to sacrifice the protection to make them more comfortable to move and walk in.
Once I had the shoes on, I immediately noticed how lightweight they felt on my feet. I walked around the store, feeling lighter than air as the inner sole cushioned every step. It wasn’t exactly like wearing a pair of Nike’s, but it was pretty darn close. That feeling didn’t go away. I wore them walking around the small towns of NC as we cruised around the mountains in the following days. Breaking the boots in was super easy. I was grateful for this because walking up and down the steep streets in the mountains can be a nightmare if your shoes don’t flex with you.
When I’m on the bike, the lack of steel toe means you can really feel the clutch. Initially, this was a bit disconcerting for me because I’m used to my hefty boots. However, once I settled into the feeling, it was nice to have that additional feeling. In conjunction with this, there are a ton of lacing loops, making it possible for me to get a custom fit.
Finally, these shoes are actually waterproof. They aren’t just water resistant. They have a waterproof liner, and your feet get completely wrapped up and protected when you lace them up. I rode in heavy rain and through puddles with my feet staying dry.
So far, I’ve sung the praises of these motorcycle-riding shoes. However, they are not perfect. It doesn’t have a steel toe to keep the design looking more like fashion shoes and less like a boot. So while it is reinforced with layers of material, it will never be as protective as steel toe reinforcement.
I also find the lacing to be a bit annoying. You have to loosen up and tighten a lot of lacing when taking the shoes on and off. I find it time-consuming to do this. While it isn’t a big deal, it would have been nicer if they weren’t such an ordeal to wear.
The sizing wasn’t a problem for me, but the lack of half sizes could be an issue for some. The sizing of these motorcycles is pretty accurate, but it is men’s sizing.
My final complaint is the lack of airflow. I will withhold a true judgment until next summer. However, given my experiences, I suspect these motorcycle shoes will feel really hot during the hot and humid Florida summer.
I’m pleased with my purchase of new motorcycle riding shoes. They are comfortable enough to wear all day while rigid and walking around. They kept my feet warm and dry while riding in North Carolina. However, I find my feet sweat when wearing them in Florida in the hotter weather. I don’t find it unpleasant enough to stop wearing them. I’m really happy about the amount of traction they give me on the asphalt. I will probably wear them when I expect to do a lot of walking or going somewhere that I don’t want to be all geared up.