Women's Riding Gear - From Rally Seminar - Long
IÔÇÖm the one who talked about riding pants and boots for women during the Q&A at the Women Who Ride seminar at the National. I was asked to post the information here on the forum and I just got back home ÔÇô went from the rally to Red Lodge, Montana; Cody, Wyoming; Paonia, Colorado (Top OÔÇÖ the Rockies rally); toured the Black Hills then home to Minneapolis. 3300-plus miles.
PANTS: The pants I was wearing are custom-made by Motoport. TheyÔÇÖre made from a Kevlar fabric ÔÇô the stuff bullet-proof vests are made of - blended with Lycra, so what you get are basically stretch pants that are very comfortable, even if your bike has a forward riding position. If you go to Motoport.com, the pants are called Kevlar Street Jeans. They use a pattern made from your favorite jeans, so you know theyÔÇÖll fit. The directions say to sit on your bike in a riding position and mark where your knees are, then send the jeans to Motoport. When my husband ordered his, we didnÔÇÖt know the jeans would come back intact, so we marked his knees with permanent marker ÔÇô he still wears weird jeans with black circles at his knees. I marked mine with chalk. They come standard with taffeta lining, but we both ordered a light mesh liner ÔÇô why have stretch jeans with linings that arenÔÇÖt? I also ordered mine about 2ÔÇØ longer, so they accommodate my riding boots (more about the boots later). They look just like black jeans, with the same pockets, beltloops and change pocket of regular jeans. I have zippers at the outside of the leg from the knee down so itÔÇÖs easy to put my boots on and off. The protective features are discussed on the website, including the thigh and shin armor, and it was enough to sell me on them. Three other features that I like ÔÇô (1) the air goes right through them, so theyÔÇÖre at least as cool as jeans and cooler than my old Cordura pants, (2) theyÔÇÖre water resistant and donÔÇÖt soak water into the crotch, so you wonÔÇÖt look like you had a Depends moment, and (3) best of all, theyÔÇÖre machine washable!! Armor and all! Not cheap, but considering the excellent protection and the fact that THEY FIT, theyÔÇÖre probably no more expensive than most other good riding pants. No regrets.
I also have one of their Kevlar jackets ÔÇô same comfort features on the jacket. Mine is hi-viz yellow and let me tell you, it is VISIBLE.
BOOTS: If youÔÇÖre height-challenged like I am, youÔÇÖve probably purchased your share of ÔÇ£fashionÔÇØ boots with tall, chunky heels. IÔÇÖve had lots of them and found that they just donÔÇÖt work ÔÇô for one thing, you donÔÇÖt need a tall HEEL, you need the height at the ball of your foot for traction. The boots I was wearing are called Daytona Lady Star GTX, made especially for women by a German company named Frey. They have an invisible three-quarter inch lift inside the boot and are Gore-Tex lined, which means 100% waterproof (I vouch wholeheartedly for that).Very comfortable, not too narrow with a nicely rounded toe, but they donÔÇÖt look like Six Toe Boots. European sizing - my shoe size is 6-1/2 and I purchased a 36. They have a zipper and Velcro opening on the outside of the foot, and two Velcro and elastic adjusters at the calf, so whether your legs are model-thin or sturdy, theyÔÇÖll fit. Sold by only one company in the U.S., a shop called Helimot in San Jose, California (helimot.com). There sometimes is a wait if theyÔÇÖre out of stock, because they come from Germany. Again, not cheap, but if touching the ground is important to you, worth it.
Because I am REALLY height-challenged (almost 5ÔÇÖ1ÔÇØ), I had a shoemaker add another half inch sole on the bottom.
Hope this information helps someone. Everything I menbtioned here is available for men, also. If you have more questions and want to contact me off-line, my email address is email@example.com.
Or if you just want to talk about gear, let me know. IÔÇÖve been riding a long time and have a closet full of ÔÇ£expensive research,ÔÇØ if you catch my drift.
Disclaimer: IÔÇÖm just a satisfied customer, no connection to either company.