Are the Xpd XP3-S Carbon the perfect sport-touring everyday boot? I’d certainly say so, with nothing I’ve seen or tested coming close. Review: Kris Hodgson
Having used and worn out various motorcycling boots over the years, there’s been very few which actually suit my exact needs and expectations…
Those are that the boot be well built, preferably mainly leather, breath well, offer good support, exceptional comfort, and also be capable of doing some light walking duties off the bike. A bonus is being water resistant and looking good on and off the bike.
Now obviously as you head towards race boots, the walking part can become a challenge, but as an everyday rider who needs a good boot that will do it all, those are my expectations.
Comfort is another important factor, especially with the ability to walk in these boots, as if you need an all-round boot, you won’t want to carry around a pair of sneakers and worry about storage/carrying. Good comfort and breathability also ensure it isn’t a chore to gear up, and good airflow ensures they don’t end up stinking.
I’m now testing a set of Xpd XP3-S Carbon boots, which are essentially a different version of the standard XP3-S boots I have been wearing for over two years. And while those original pair are looking a little worn after all that time, they are still in great condition. A bit of leather cleaner and a good brush with some boot wax and these boots stay in tip top condition, and are also very water resistant. In fact they have proven more water resistant than many waterproof boots I’ve tried. Go figure.
The XP3-S Carbon, essentially features sections of ‘carbon’ styled outer body, where the standard versions have leather, making for a cooler looking boot. Apart from that, there doesn’t seem to be any significant difference that I’ve discovered. It’ll be interesting to see how the carbon material holds out long term in comparison to the all leather version too.
With all this said, the XP3-S Carbon fall directly into the same category as the standard offering for me. They are just perfect, and could have been made for me. If you’ve seen my original review, they did lose a few points for protection and price. This is due to the fact that there are race boots in this price range which offer more protection, such as greater ankle protection, while the price factor is that they are $475. I’d like for them to be cheaper, is that necessarily fair? Probably not. Just keep in mind you trade off other areas if you change either of these factors.
So the XP3-S Carbon is to me the perfect boot for the everyday rider, especially if you do the longer commute, it’s comfortable in all conditions, it’ll handle a bit of damp weather, can be worn off the bike, and take it from me, you can sit in an office all day wearing them, very comfortably, while still taking a walk to find something unhealthy for lunch, without undue discomfort, or feeling particularly embarrassed.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me how cool these Xpd boots are, with the toe sliders obviously catching people’s eyes, and quite often that’s when I’m not even carrying my helmet or jacket, so I’m not even obviously a motorcyclist.
Any criticisms? Well one of the boots does still make a clicking noise as I walk and the carbon material folds, however from experience, as the boots wear in and softens, that will go away, so I’m not too concerned there. There’s not a huge need to wear these boots in either, they are very comfortable from the start for my shoe and calf size, and shape.
As far as features, the included Thermoformed carbon ankle pieces offer good protection, with a reinforced heel including an air vent, for aerodynamics and additional strength. Plastic toe slider mounts are clad in a stainless steel replaceable slider, which ensures that having a good fang won’t suddenly leave you without a big section of your boot.
A zip and Velcro enclosure ensure a good fit, with comfortable internal lining around the calf. Wearing the boot for a 12-hour day with short socks, I did notice a little rubbing at one point, but the boots were brand new and I haven’t had an issue since.
There’s also a nylon innersole adding extra strength and wear protection to the interior of the sole, as well as a removable ‘air compressor insole’ which is essentially a foam layer that boost comfort and helps wick away moisture.
The soles have proven very resilient, and are what Xpd call a ‘vulcanised rubber racing sole’ with previous boots wearing through in a season, while my last XP3-Ss look to have another few years in them easily, and the Carbon version is showing no wear at all after a month.
Plus there’s a reinforced shift panel across the toes on both boots, while the boots flexibility and relatively thin and narrow design don’t make using the gear shifter – particularly getting a toe under difficult, unlike some really bulky boots.
So overall the Xpd XP3-S boots are a great offering, yes the $475 price tag is pretty hefty, so it’ll be interesting to see if they hold up as well as the leather version, but if they do, these boots if taken care of, should last a number of seasons. Plus for the overall comfort, protection and utility, these are just a great all-round boot. Capable of the daily commute, weekend touring or sports-riding, and track days, they’ll do it all without blinking. There are boots which will do individual things better, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anything as good across the range.
Xpd is a sub-brand of Spidi and are available in a variety of motorcycle stores, for $475.00 RRP, in sizes 38 to 48, in both the Carbon version as tested and the standard version. For more information see the Moto National Accessories website, or the Spidi Australia website.
The Verdict | Review: Spidi Xpd XP3-S Carbon Boot
Xpd introduce the XP3-S and Carbon boot offerings as a mid level racing boot, but these are effectively a great all rounder, capable of track days, sports-touring, commuting and weekend canyon carving, offering exceptional comfort, protection and value, as they’ll last years if taken care of.