When I was young I would sometimes find myself wrapping plastic grocery bags (or bread sacks with cut ends) around my feet, which were also covered in multiple layers of socks – all in an effort to keep my toes warm and dry for a full day of riding.
When selecting gear for the 2017-18 sledding season I knew I wouldn’t need that level of resourcefulness again no matter the brand I ultimately selected – the majority of quality aftermarket products provide a level of comfort and durability that an old boot a few sizes too big wouldn’t rival.
When I began testing Fly Racing’s Marker Boot, it seemed like a good fit based strictly on the aesthetic characteristics of a sleek black and silver boot that matched a jacket and pant combo of a similar scheme. However, the beauty wasn’t only in terms of design when it came to testing in the elements.
According to specs, the Marker Boot provides 600 grams of thermal insulation comfort rated to -40 degrees Fahrenheit and a Hydroguard breathable waterproof membrane. There was never a ride in which my feet felt cold – even in prolonged exposure to subzero temperatures. Unlike the crafty bag combo mentioned previously, these boots didn’t trap sweat needlessly.
On the outside, a durable rubber sole minimized wearing against running boards, with reflective side and back panels for maximum visibility. Oversized padded bootlaces provided easy tightening, while the tight-weaved lacing pattern provided seemingly airtight protection, and the laces themselves were durable all season long (to this day showing no visible signs of wear). Specs also boast double stitching for extra durability.
My only qualm with the boot came as a result of my own indecision – when ordering I could not decide between size 12 or 13, and went with the former when it turned out I should have chosen the latter. After some time and a few rides to break-in the boots, the discomfort did ease slightly but would still be noticeable
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