It took a good deal of time, money and WhatsApp discussions to find a suitable riding boot for me, even though my requirements were pretty simple! It should offer good protection, should be full length, should be usable in office with my formal pants and should not devour my wallet. Ran through many online sites, and even tried some industrial safety boots, but couldn’t make a decision.
After reading Akhil’s review of the Tarmac Venom boots, I thought of going for it, even though it cost nearly 10,000 bucks. Went and tried it, but found out that there’s no way I could use it in office. On the way back I tried the Spartan Zeus sports boot which felt reasonably good in all departments. It’s not really a stylish boot, especially for the 8,000 rupee price mark, but it does boast of these features:
- All perforated leather for easy venting and durability.
- Armored single piece mould for heel and toe protection.
- Achilles tendon protection.
- Ankle plate protection.
- Shin plate.
- Heavy duty YKK zipper and Velcro closure.
- Metal toe sliders.
- Steel shank in sole.
- Dual density compound for sole.
Boasting aside, here’s my review of what this boot is really capable of after more than 4000 kms of usage, both city and highway.
1. Ease of use (6/10)
Good news is it’s easy to wear. Just slide your foot in, zip it and the Velcro straps will do the rest. Bad news is the zippers are hard and take some effort to pull up, many a times forcing me to remove my gloves to get it done. If you are wearing jeans and want them to fit inside the boot, good luck with that! The added mass makes it even harder to pull the zip into position. Gear changes are effortless, the only thing is it will take some time to get used to the feel of the shifter through that thick leather.
2. Build quality (3/10)
I didn’t like the build quality, at all. This is not an all-weather boot, and if by chance there’s any spray of water on your boots, you are screwed. It will take a long time to dry and will change its shape while drying (typical leather behavior). On top of that it’s a dirt magnet and will lose its attractiveness after only a few days of use, not that it’s too good looking to being with. Zipper quality is not that good either. Once I tugged on the zip and the pulling string simply broke away! Gotta be careful with that stuff.
3. Comfort (8/10)
This is one area where this boot shines, especially against the Tarmac Venom. Since it’s made of perforated leather, it can be easily used in extreme heat conditions. I tried it in Mumbai and Chennai traffic without much trouble during the burning heat of noon. Air circulation is really good and they don’t smell like a dead rat after a hard day of riding. For touring purpose they work well, and I have done a 1000+ km ride in a day while wearing them without any pain or scratches. I even went for a 6 km hike wearing them! Climbing stairs will be difficult for the first 2 weeks, but you’ll soon get used to the pregnant lady walk.
They may not be this fun in winter and rain, but I didn’t get to test that yet.
4. Protection (4/10)
This is the area where I think these boots miss out the most, they don’t give you that feeling of total trust and protection. One reason for that is that they aren’t really stiff like most other boots out there, which makes you wonder how it’ll protect your foot from getting bent out of shape. I was really surprised when a frickin cycle went over my foot and I could feel all of the pain! Imagine what’ll happen if it’s another bike, or a car, or a truck, or a train? For the asking price, I don’t think they provide enough protection at all.
Some may argue you can only comment on the protection once you fall, but I have no plans of doing that in the near future.
5. Cost (7/10)
Spartan Zeus riding boots cost 8000 bucks, which is quite reasonably priced if you look at the competition that’s going around. However, considering all the above listed points, I feel even this price is a tad too high. These boots were launched for 7200 bucks about a year back, and now the price has been increased, which in my opinion severely reduces the VFM factor. Then again there isn’t much of a competition, which is kinda sad.
6. Spartan ASPIDA Zeus boot review: Verdict (6/10)
After using this boot for 4 months and 4000 kms, I feel that this is not a product where you should invest your money in, unless you are REALLY broke and can’t increase your budget at all. I kinda feel bad for not waiting enough and going for the Joe Rocket Sonic R boots that retail for 12,500 bucks.
Spartan Zeus boots are good enough for short, low-speed rides, but for anything above 120 kmph they seriously lack the beefiness required to make you feel happy and safe. On top of that the price tag doesn’t really justify what you get, making you feel kinda cheated. On top of that reading about Akhil’s experience with Spartan’s customer service doesn’t elicit much confidence either.
For someone looking to buy good riding boots that’ll work well in the long term even if you upgrade your motorcycle, I would recommend NOT going for these.
This article has been written by my good friend Joseph Dsilva, with some minor alterations by me 🙂