Choosing your riding footwear is a lot like choosing the right tires for your bike. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as how aggressive a rider are you? What type of riding will you be doing? What sort of weather to you expect to encounter? And, perhaps the #1 question these days, how much are you willing to spend? Recently, two sport boots have caught our attention. The AXO Primato II Boots, and the Cortech Latigo RR boots. Both of these motorcycle boots are offered at a very attractive price-point, and both have some race inspired features.
First, let’s talk about fit. The AXO Primato II is a slightly taller boot, with a much larger opening at the top. This is great for guys with big calves, but may leave guys with smaller legs feeling like there is too much room around their shins. Both motorcycle boots have a stretch panel at the top for some flexibility in the calf area, but if you have monster calves, the Primato II boots are for you. The Cortech Latigo boots, in contrast, have a more standard sized calf area, and seem to be a little more snug through the instep.
One major difference between these two boots is the Primato 2 is only available in one, non-waterproof version, while the Latigo has both a perforated “Air” version (the Cortech Latigo Air RR Boots), and a waterproof version with a Hipora liner. The AXO Primato II does offer a decent amount of ventilation, with mesh intake vents on the shin, and a small exhaust vent in the heel cup. The Primato II won’t flow quite as much air as the fully perforated Latigo Air RR, but it should still do a great job keeping you cool in warmer weather.
Both Motorcycle boots feature a synthetic upper (the Latigo boots do use real leather for the stretch panels), and both also have reinforced polymer shift pads. The Primato II does have a slightly thicker toe box, which makes them a little more comfortable, but just slightly more cumbersome to shift with. One thing that really impressed us about the AXO Primato II’s was how comfortable they were right out of the box. They are extremely flexible and really could be worn all day on and off the bike. Of course this translates to less support (especially in the ankle area), and that is where the Cortech Latigo boots really has the Primato II’s beat. The Latigo RR Boots feature an external molded ankle support that really stiffens up the boot, and makes them much more suitable for occasional track duty.
For protection, both of these motorcycle boots have you pretty well covered. If you are a rider who occasionally touches a toe down, you will appreciate that both of these boots have replaceable plastic toe sliders. The AXO Primato II takes it one step further, with a replaceable calf slider that is built into the shin plate. Both boots have molded shin plates that offer some impact protection, although coverage on the Latigo RR boots is a little bit better. Both boots also feature a reinforced toe box and heel cup to protect those parts of your foot.
If your two-wheeled adventures take you places where you will be walking around quite a bit, the added flexibility of the AXO Primato II Boots will be very nice. Conversely, if you are more of an aggressive rider or plan on taking these boots to the track, the Cortech Latigo RR boots will probably serve you better as they offer quite a bit more ankle support.