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MD Product Review: Gasolina Boots

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Is it just me, or did my body start to decay when I turned 35? Stuff started to sag, flake, go limp, and just plain fall out. Things look blurry before my evening scotch. Last week I sustained a serious sports injury when I reached too far over my head to get the T.V. remote.

I thought at least my feet were safe from this slow death, but no. They keep getting wider and wider, which means my favorite boots, boots I’ve had for years, are too tight. Too bad it’s impossible to buy a new pair of old boots for obvious reasons—or is it?

Did you know Guanajuato, Mexico, an old colonial town tucked up in the mountains is known for fine leathercraft? I didn’t either, but I didn’t know about Gasolina boots. The small company advertises on all the hipster cafe-racer sites, because hand-crafted artisanship is valued by the Hipster, and that’s actually a very good thing. But rather than take advantage of the bulging wallet of the hipster crowd, Gasolina is taking the high road, selling high-quality, hand-made leather footwear for mass-produced, made-in-China prices.

Send Gasolina a detailed set of measurements, including a tracing of your foot. You can custom-order almost any aspect you choose, including shaft height, sole type, color, thread color and you can even get perforated leather in case you’re a sweaty-footed little feller like me. I ordered mine with perforated leather, no straps, gold stitching and the 10-inch shaft (settle down! There are ladies present). List price, with those options was $229—the basic “Shortcut” boot is $199. The ordering process was fast and easy, with good response via email from Gasolina.

Just a few weeks later, I got a Fedex box with the boots tucked into a heavy woolen bag inside. All of a sudden, my office smelled like 1973, redolent with leather and oily wool and I wanted to smoke an unfiltered Pall Mall. But no time to start a new vice—I slipped on my new boots instead.

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I was expecting an uncomfortable, plasticky, stiff, made-in-China experience at this price level, but these boots are nicely made and don’t really need break-in, though that may be due to the flexibility of the perforated leather. They are as comfortable as a pair of hard soles can be—get some thin insoles and you could probably get away with using them as work boots—and the look is timeless class, with no plastic parts or bright logos. There is no armor other than some light padding and double leather over the ankles, but they do stay securely on your feet (opt for the adjustable strap for even more security) and the leather is tough and thick. No, they don’t qualify as ATGATT, but nobody wears ultimate protection every day unless they drive their car (you’re asking for it! – ed.).

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to like these boots as much as I do, but they’re pretty great—boots I can wear day in and day out for years (they’re re-soleable, though the soles don’t have a brand name on them—I expect them to wear quickly). Getting this kind of hand-crafted gear for under $200 is a great thing. I’d rather get my old feet back, but this is the next best thing (when can we expect the beard and flannel shirt? – ed.).

Gasolina Boots

22 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Arrrr- be that a beloved 1st gen multistrada? Nice boots, as well.

  2. 35? Youngins! Try 56, if you are lucky, you will and I am still the young guy in some of the groups I ride with! Nice boots…

  3. Larry Kahn says:

    35? Have you seen the first gray hair on your balls yet? THAT’S when it gets real!

  4. Asterix says:

    What’s the actual protective features in these? “There is no armor other than some light padding and double leather over the ankles” sounds like it’s even less suitable for motorcycle riding than a bog-standard steel-toed work boot. How is that not “taking advantage of bulging Hipster wallets”?

  5. SmokinRZ says:

    These look great, I hate to see my money go half way around the world to China and India when it could go to a neighboring country.

  6. Norm G. says:

    40.

    wait for it… wait for it…

  7. stinkywheels says:

    You got ‘em going with the decay at 35 thing. Reality sucks, thanks for writing it. I (like you) have topped the 35 by a couple of decades and what I used to do all day now takes me all day to do. Those boots look like Wellingtons with zipper and a little padding. I’m glad to see quality Mexican products priced accordingly and proud of their heritage and country of origin. What I hate is American made prices made with sweatshop labor and rightfully ashamed of their country of origin. Carhart, Levis, and Harley gear come to mind off the top of my head.

  8. Vance says:

    I ordered the Gasolina “Midnight” with the lugged sole. First ever custom anything. They are very comfortable and easy walking, nice soft leather lining, fit is superb, the YKK zippers are a little balky but I am sure they will wear in. The outside leather is rugged but soft, and appears like it will last a lifetime. These are the nicest footwear I have ever owned except for Luccese cowboy boots that I got a good deal on in 1979 for $250! Please keep Gasolina a secret else they will be forced to go to China to keep up with demand.

  9. James Buchanan says:

    You always slay me Gabe… entertaining as usual. Framing the boots on Rizoma-Duck ups the class a bit too. Nice touch.

  10. Butch says:

    Falling apart @ 35 ?
    I’ve got boots older than you.

  11. blizzard says:

    Man, you’re starting to fall apart kinda early……wait ’till you’re over 60 to start complaining!

  12. roadrash1 says:

    Yup. Wait until you’re over 50!
    I like those boots!

  13. Txsupermoto says:

    35??? Man are you in for a rude awakening. Just wait until 40 … 45 … 50! Can’t wait to see what you “Hipster Dufuss” guys look like then.

    Seriously, thanks for the article on Gasolina … looks like a bargain.

  14. Blackcayman says:

    The “Midnight Edition” (black stitching rather than the gold) of the Classic Boots are quite handsome…even lust-worthy.

    I’m quite sure that if I get a pair, I’ll then have to get a Bonneville or Moto Guzzi “modern-classic” to go with them. Not to mention a classic Vanson leather, Bell Bullit helmet, etc etc.

    So I refrain…for now.

  15. Ricardo says:

    Guanajuato is the leather garment manufacturing capital of Mexico, I am mexican and have personally experienced the good quality of the products from the city. They also manufacture leather jackets and fancy sport jackets as well as coats. And all variety of men’s and women’s shoes…

  16. MGNorge says:

    Some of the most comical prose I’ve read on Motorcycle Daily. Keep it coming! As for ATGATT, I most often ride with a comfortable pair of low tops that offer supreme comfort in most of the weather I ride in. Am I taking a chance, yes, more than if I booted up more securely, which I do on longer trips. But after 50 years of riding it’s a choice I make. I don’t criticize others but see shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops as taking comfort too far.

  17. sliphorn says:

    Gabe, if all that bodily decay started at age 35, you’re in for a rough ride, brother. Nice write up, nice boots. Thanks

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