Review: Forma Adventure Boots
A couple of years ago, before I set off for my trip around Australia, I had very little knowledge about adventure riding gear. All my riding life I only owned sport touring boots; they were solid and safe, but uncomfortable to walk in and not waterproof (even when they were advertised as being).
One year, while at the Philip Island Moto GP (spectating, not racing!) I spotted a rider wearing Forma Adventure boots and I could not stop staring and thinking “those are the coolest boot I’ve seen!”
I promptly interrogated the unsuspecting boot model, to ask him three important questions:
“Are they comfortable?” … “Are they waterproof?” … “Are they durable?”
Without missing a boot, sorry, I mean a beat, he said:
“yeah mate, the best boots I ever owned!”
This is exactly what I was hoping to hear, so before heading on the road I ordered a pair and they turned out to be a perfect fit. And off I went exploring Australia …
Testing them out
So are they comfortable? Let me put it this way: one week into my trip around Australia, I stopped at a Post Office and sent a few excess item home, including a pair of Cons that I was lugging around. I wasn’t using them at all, ‘cause my Formas were so much more comfortable to walk on EVERYWHERE … there’re like hiking boots! And if your feet need to have a rest day – just wear a pair of thongs (because it’s Australia, and that’s how we roll). They’re easy to adjust via plastic buckles and it only takes a few seconds to put them on / take them off.
Photo by Ninety Nine Co
So how about the durability? During my travels I’ve gotten to test them in all sorts of conditions: from 45°C in the dusty outback to -5°C mountainous terrains, plenty of creek crossings, plenty of rides in the pouring rain, and many, many kilometres of walking. These boots have passed all the tests – they’re surprisingly breathable in hot conditions, light and comfortable to walk in (never caused me any blisters!) and for almost 40,000 km they were completely waterproof. Unfortunately, after that amount of wear and tear, the left boot finally started to let in a bit of water. But in speaking to other riders, we all agree: there’s no product out that that will be perfectly waterproof forever, given the rough and tumble nature of adventure riding.
And how safe are they?
Compared to hard-core off-road boots, Formas are not as rigid and so perhaps the protectors aren’t as heavy-duty. But that’s the trade-off for the comfort and the reduced weight. And they are safe. They’ve protected my feet from any injuries during a few small slips/falls on gravel and sand, and I even got to test them in a worst-case scenario: a head-on collision with a car on bitumen. I came out of it with a bruised heals, but no real injury to the ankles / feet!
So will I keep on using them? Hell yeah! When the left boot started to leak (again, after much use and abuse) I set out to replace them without hesitation and can’t imagine any other boots I’d pick.
It was at this stage that I got in touch with Forma and they agreed to sponsor me with a brand new pair, which I’ll be happily using, and abusing, for many thousands of km’s to come.
Why? “Because they’re the best boots I ever owned, mate!”