FirstGear Kathmandu WP Boots - 2013
- Full leather upper
- Waterproof-breathable Hipora® lining
- Dual cam-buckle closures
- Accordion leather fore-arch and Achilles heel panels
- Hard toe box and shin protection
Read on for more details.
FirstGear sells these boots in US sizes. In trying them on, we found the boots to run about one size small in the larger sizes and about a half size small in the smaller size range. We therefore recommend that you use our chart to make a selection (see below).
For each boot size, there is a European size printed in each boot also. The European sizes listed seem to be a good estimate of fit, so if you know your Euro size in most boots, then use our chart to select the “FirstGear Boot Size” based on your usual Euro size.
Why is this sorta messed up? Well, I asked FirstGear, but didn’t get a response. My personal guess is that FirstGear bought these boots from a manufacturer that was used to making boots in European sizes, but then FirstGear decided to sell them in US shoe sizes, and unfortunately they messed up the Euro to US conversion. In any case, just choose by the sizing advice we give and you should be fine.
|Our Estimate of
How They Fit
Labeled in the Boots
The width of these boots tends toward roomy. Some brands like Sidi and Tour Master are more narrow, perhaps a C or D width, and I’d estimate the width of these FirstGear boots as slightly more wide, say D or E. Other brands that run wider like these FirstGear boots are TCX and Alpinestars.
Our Two Cents
The FirstGear Kathmandu is a taller boot with styling and features aimed at adventure touring riders or dual-sport riders. A boot like this typically is taller than street boots and will have some features and style that are more motocross-like. For example, the lower portion of the boot closes with adjustable buckles and the inside surface of the boot has a more suede-like finish. This finish will act as a heat shield material and also offer more tactile grip than a slick leather surface. The tactile grip is more of a factor in off-road/dual sport, adventure type riding because you’ll use your legs and feet more to control the bike. The soles of these boots have a bit more aggressive tread for stability and grip on non-asphalt surfaces. There is also a built-in waterproof breathable liner. The toe box and heel areas are reinforced and there is a protection pad where your shifter will hit. The armor on the sides of the ankles and the shin are what I would call “light padding” so they don’t have hard plastic inserts that I would otherwise call “armor”. Anyway, you’ll notice the price on this boot is MUCH less than similar boots from Sidi, TCX and Alpinestars. Why? Well if you could handle this boot alongside the others you’d realize it is a “light” version of those other boots. The thickness of materials, the sturdiness of the armored areas, the quality of the closures…. all of that are “light”. I’m not saying it is not a good boot because I would judge it to be a reasonable quality product, but I can’t tell you it is in the same class as the others. Will it work for you? Well, consider what type of service you want and how “hard core” you are. If you don’t really work your boots hard on the bike and you don’t ride a lot of miles, then you’ll probably be very happy with the FirstGear boots. In fact, you’ll probably be more than happy because you didn’t drop $350 and then not really use it to its full capacity. But if you are the flipside, then realize that these boots are not an equal of the others and love them for what they are. And for the price, they are hard not to love :) :: Paul, 01-26-13