Women's Riding Gear - From Rally Seminar - Long
I‘«÷m the one who talked about riding pants and boots for women during the Q&A at the Women Who Ride seminar at the National. I was asked to post the information here on the forum and I just got back home ‘«Ű went from the rally to Red Lodge, Montana; Cody, Wyoming; Paonia, Colorado (Top O‘«÷ the Rockies rally); toured the Black Hills then home to Minneapolis. 3300-plus miles.
PANTS: The pants I was wearing are custom-made by Motoport. They‘«÷re made from a Kevlar fabric ‘«Ű the stuff bullet-proof vests are made of - blended with Lycra, so what you get are basically stretch pants that are very comfortable, even if your bike has a forward riding position. If you go to Motoport.com, the pants are called Kevlar Street Jeans. They use a pattern made from your favorite jeans, so you know they‘«÷ll fit. The directions say to sit on your bike in a riding position and mark where your knees are, then send the jeans to Motoport. When my husband ordered his, we didn‘«÷t know the jeans would come back intact, so we marked his knees with permanent marker ‘«Ű he still wears weird jeans with black circles at his knees. I marked mine with chalk. They come standard with taffeta lining, but we both ordered a light mesh liner ‘«Ű why have stretch jeans with linings that aren‘«÷t? I also ordered mine about 2‘«ō longer, so they accommodate my riding boots (more about the boots later). They look just like black jeans, with the same pockets, beltloops and change pocket of regular jeans. I have zippers at the outside of the leg from the knee down so it‘«÷s easy to put my boots on and off. The protective features are discussed on the website, including the thigh and shin armor, and it was enough to sell me on them. Three other features that I like ‘«Ű (1) the air goes right through them, so they‘«÷re at least as cool as jeans and cooler than my old Cordura pants, (2) they‘«÷re water resistant and don‘«÷t soak water into the crotch, so you won‘«÷t look like you had a Depends moment, and (3) best of all, they‘«÷re machine washable!! Armor and all! Not cheap, but considering the excellent protection and the fact that THEY FIT, they‘«÷re probably no more expensive than most other good riding pants. No regrets.
I also have one of their Kevlar jackets ‘«Ű same comfort features on the jacket. Mine is hi-viz yellow and let me tell you, it is VISIBLE.
BOOTS: If you‘«÷re height-challenged like I am, you‘«÷ve probably purchased your share of ‘«£fashion‘«ō boots with tall, chunky heels. I‘«÷ve had lots of them and found that they just don‘«÷t work ‘«Ű for one thing, you don‘«÷t need a tall HEEL, you need the height at the ball of your foot for traction. The boots I was wearing are called Daytona Lady Star GTX, made especially for women by a German company named Frey. They have an invisible three-quarter inch lift inside the boot and are Gore-Tex lined, which means 100% waterproof (I vouch wholeheartedly for that).Very comfortable, not too narrow with a nicely rounded toe, but they don‘«÷t look like Six Toe Boots. European sizing - my shoe size is 6-1/2 and I purchased a 36. They have a zipper and Velcro opening on the outside of the foot, and two Velcro and elastic adjusters at the calf, so whether your legs are model-thin or sturdy, they‘«÷ll fit. Sold by only one company in the U.S., a shop called Helimot in San Jose, California (helimot.com). There sometimes is a wait if they‘«÷re out of stock, because they come from Germany. Again, not cheap, but if touching the ground is important to you, worth it.
Because I am REALLY height-challenged (almost 5‘«÷1‘«ō), I had a shoemaker add another half inch sole on the bottom.
Hope this information helps someone. Everything I menbtioned here is available for men, also. If you have more questions and want to contact me off-line, my email address is email@example.com.
Or if you just want to talk about gear, let me know. I‘«÷ve been riding a long time and have a closet full of ‘«£expensive research,‘«ō if you catch my drift.
Disclaimer: I‘«÷m just a satisfied customer, no connection to either company.