SHIFT Racing Fuel Street Shoe Review
Motorcycle boots are a key component of protection while riding. They protect you against the wind, rain, hot exhaust and the pavement if you are unfortunate enough to crash.
I’ve heard horror stories of riders tennis shoes flying off in a crash and then the rider grinds their feet against the rough asphalt. I love my feet, they get me around quite well and I don’t want anything to happen to them.
I regularly ride with motorcycle racing boots so I was eager to see how these new Shift Street Shoes stacked up against them.
The first thing you notice is that these boots are not very tall. They are a short boot which means you won’t be tucking your riding pants into the top part of the shoe. This immediately made me a bit wary, but I tried them on anyway and was pleasantly surprised. The shoes felt extremely secure and protective once they were on my feet. They have a double closure system that includes standard laces with an additional Velcro strap that goes over the laces. This really plants your feet in the shoes and I’m confident there is no way they would slip off in a crash. I actually feel a bit more confident in the Shift Street Shoes ability to stay on my feet than my older motorcycle racing boots which are only closed with a zipper and velcro. Plus 1 point for shift! The Velcro strap serves another purpose though which is to keep the loose ends of your laces in place and out of the way. As a new rider one of the times I dropped my bike is when I was riding a short distant to work wearing some lace up hiking boots. I pulled up to a stop slight, slowed down and I was about to put my foot down to stabilize myself but my my laces caught in the footpeg! I frantically tried to shake myself loose but it was too late and I toppled over at 0 mph much to the amusement of the drivers behind me. Ever since then I’ve been very hesitant to wear anything with laces. The inclusion of the Velcro strap is proof positive that the shift designers are riders themselves and include things that are applicable to the real world.
Look and Feel
The overall feel of the shoe is excellent. The padding is nice and comfy and the heel gives fantastic support. The shoes seem to be hard in all the right places but you never seem to feel the protective plastic bits while you are wearing them. The shoes seem to be a bit more low profile near the toes to aid in getting underneath the shifter, they also have some rubber on top of the foot to help with gripping and to protect the leather. The Shift Street Shoes are a perfect match for either the Shift Havoc Pants or their Riding Jeans. They let you stay as comfortable off the bike as they do on the bike. I’ve walked around in these shoes for a few hours and they were just as comfortable as my Vans during that time. I can’t say my other motorcycle boots would have been nearly as forgiving, but then again they were not designed to be worn for extended period of times off the bike.
There has to be something bad about this shoe right? Well yes, there are two things that I don’t really like. The first one is they are a bit squeaky when you first get them, but this is a pretty small nitpick since that squeakiness goes away after a little use. I feel like shift could have avoided that by making the tongue of the shoe another material besides leather. Not a big deal but it is still noticeable, especially if that is the only leather in your motorcycle outfit. If you are wearing a leather jacket or leather pants you might not even notice the squeaks, but if you are wearing that much leather why not wear a full length motorcycle boot? The other complaint is they take a little bit longer to put on because of the dual closing system. Don’t get me wrong I love the dual closure, but it is a double edged sword. Supposedly the shoes were designed with a “Speed-lace system for easy on/off,” but they look like normal shoe laces to me. Maybe you have to do a special knot or something to utilize that feature. I experimented with leaving the laces loosely tied and just fastening the velcro but I found the shoes nearly impossible to get on unless you loosen the top 1 or 2 rows of laces. This isn’t a big deal, but it does add to your gear suit up time which can range from 10 seconds to 2 minutes depending on your level of protection.
These street shoes are a really nice piece of footware for those of you that want protection without wearing a full sized racing boot. They look great and I bet most people wouldn’t be able to tell that they are made specifically for riding. The tread on the bottom grips the pavement well and I have no problem getting under the shifter or reaching the brake with these on.
- Really comfortable right out of the box
- Great ankle support and protection
- Looks modern and casual
- Squeeky until they are broken in
- Double closure makes them harder to take on and off
Tackle the concrete jungle without compromising your style in the Shift Fuel street shoe. Features:
- Split Grain leather/synthetic leather chassis for exceptional stability and protection.
- Proprietary last and bonded sole for an ultra comfortable fit.
- Medial and lateral plastic ankle protection for impact and abrasion resistance.
- Molded PU outsole for durability and comfort.
- Direct inject rubber guards the shifter area.
- Adjustable Velcro® lace cover offers protection and a secure fit.
- Speed-lace system designed for easy on/off.
- Breathable, moisture wicking interior materials offer exceptional comfort.