Road Tested: Forma Adventure Boots Review

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UPDATED: 12/2/14

I have a general disdain for shoes, boots, sandals, pretty much anything that goes on my feet. Whether at home or backpacking on the trail, I kick off the galoshes first chance I get. This context is important when discussing the Forma Adventure boots that I wore on my 4500 mile South American solo moto expedition.

Quite simply, the Adventures are the most comfortable footwear I’ve ever owned. Of all time. Ever. In my entire life.

Frankly, the notion of long days in some skanky moto boot wasn’t something I was particularly looking forward to. I have a wide foot with a collapsed arch, so a good fit is paramount. Having accepted that riding barefoot was a generally poor idea, I had some lengthy discussions with BP at Atomic-Moto.com. He eventually concluded that the Adventures would fit my foot and fulfill my South American mission parameters. He was right.

Against all of my behavioral patterns, each and every day of my three week trip I eagerly pulled them on, forgot they were there, and was in no hurry to pull them off after 13 straight hours. When I got back home I thought about wearing wear them around the house instead of slippers. Me, boxers, and the Formas. Resist the mental imagery.

Performance: There was rain on 11 days of my trip, ranging from brief thunderstorms to full on deluges. My feet stayed bone dry. During the days of 95 degree rides in Santiago, my feet only sweated a little bit, which is remarkable given the Adventures’ Drytex waterproof lining.

forma_feat2Protection: On the Carretera Austral and Ruta 40, there was no shortage of rocks (not pebbles) constantly being kicked up, either by the KLR or the construction trucks barreling the opposite way. I fell on three occasions, the bike landing on my ankle each time. The Formas laughed at it all. No bruising, no twisting, nada. The hard side ankle protection seems particularly sturdy; not MX sturdy of course, but damn durable nonetheless.

After returning home from my trip, I cleaned and treated the Adventures and have been wearing them in the seemingly always hot environs of Los Angeles. The only days I don’t wear them are the days I don’t ride at all because it’s so blast furnace hot. I don’t know that any fully waterproof boot is going to breathe well when the mercury surges into triple digits, but the Formas can handle short jaunts around town on those sweltering days.

And after months of drought, L.A. finally got a long steady day of rain that again would put the Adventures’ waterproof capabilities to the test. I was soaked head to toe for 12 hours, but my feet were once again completely dry. I can’t ask for anything more.

Boots are a highly personalized piece of gear; no brand is a perfect fit for all shapes and sizes of feet. I hold the Formas in high regard, and without question they are my favorite piece of protective equipment.

13 thoughts on “Road Tested: Forma Adventure Boots Review”

  1. I’ve had a similar experience with Forma Adventures and with the Bombers at Atomic Moto. They are ugly but they know their shit.

    1. Good to hear you like your Formas, Dave. I try to only deal with Atomic-Moto over the phone, so their aged scabbiness doesn’t get in the way of their superb customer service. =)

  2. You can probably tell from my email address that I’m another crazy backpacking / moto guy. (Wonder how many of us are out there?) I’ve been riding my S10 in a pair of pretty good Montrail hiking boots for several years. The Montrails fit my 11-4E feet pretty well and are very waterproof. But probably not the best at protection.

    I’m planning a 6,000 mile round trip on the S10 from Ohio to Colorado for June that will include a lot of off-pavement miles and I knew I needed better boots. Had been looking at the Forma Adventures, but your review, especially your mention of wide feet and a general dislike of footwear definitely resonated. So I’ve ordered a pair of the Adventures from Atomic Moto.

    Also read through your S. America trip blog…helluva ride, some nice photos, and I admire your mechanical persistence. Thanks for sharing the experience, and your review of the Forma Adventures.
    Mike

    1. Howdy Mike! I suspect there are a few more backpacker motos than I originally thought, seems like there’s some decent crossover from the two activities. I think both are all about the solitude, the exploration, the adventure, and the scenery.

      I’ll be surprised if you’re not very pleased with your Adventures and the service from the Bombers at Atomic-Moto. Glad the review was of some help to you, and thanks for the kind words about the South America adventure. I think about it every day.

      Keep me posted on your trip! 6000 miles, I’m jealous!

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  4. I’m in Scotland we have very changeable weather but reading this review I don’t think there will be a problem with the boot wet,cold or dry . Did you just go for your size in the boot or up a size for the right fit…
    Ride long Ride safe
    thanks
    John

    1. John, thanks much for the question. As for sizing, I trusted that to Brian at http://www.atomic-moto.com .

      I highly recommend his video on boot sizing at https://youtu.be/IVRcvsz27M0 and/or then drop him an email (or call him if the time difference allows, he is on the west coast). But his method for boot sizing and advice have never steered me wrong, and I think it’s better than a blanket statement on upsizing (or not) in order to get that perfect fit.

      Enjoy riding in your country, I was there two years ago in a cage but vowed to some day explore Scotland’s splendors from a bike. Stunning, stunning place.

  5. Hey there, I enjoyed your review.
    I’ve been looking for a boot I can wear all day long (I often commute by motorcycle) and that’s still rugged enough for the occasional adventure (my TCX boots’ soles are too smooth for that, and their adventure boots don’t fit me, I tried).

    Based on your review, among others, I went to a dealer and fitted the Forma Adventure boots; I find them a little high for my needs so I ordered the low version instead. Very comfy though, I look forward to wearing them! And the clips are handy (my TCX boots – in fact they’re more like basket shoes with some armor included – are laced which makes it a bit of a pain to get out of my shoes to remove the motorcycle pants at work)

    1. Hey Rob! I also have the Adventure Low boots, they are my “everyday” boot for commuting or all-pavement rides. This past spring I rode with them on a 3200 mile trip throughout the western U.S., I was very happy with them on the days it rained and even on the days when the temps reached almost 100 F. Used for the right application/conditions, I think you’ll be pleased with them!

        1. Ugh! Personally, I struggle when forced to wait for new gear! Hmmm, not sure where you are globally, but if the shipping costs aren’t prohibitive, you might try these guys: Atomic-Moto – Forma Adventure Low If you call or email, ask for Brian, he’s a boot guru and I’m pretty sure he ships world-wide.

  6. Were you using the tall or short version?
    Ever wish you had the other?

    Looking for a pair of boots for essentially the same thing (long-distance KLR adventure). Thanks.

    1. Howdy Marshall. I used the tall version while in South America, and I still use them on low-risk adventure rides. But I also own the short version, which is my everyday street boot. As much as I love my Forma Adventures, I would consider upgrading to their Terra ADV boot if I was doing another long distance ADV ride. They’ve got the same comfort but more protection than the Adventures.

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