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Women Riders Now - Motorcycling Lifestyle. Women. Men. Men Riding with Women.

The #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women, and Men Who Ride With Women


By Heather McCoy, Scottsdale, Arizona


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The average female in the United States is about 5-foot-4—the average male, about 5-foot-10. The average sportbike rider is (overwhelmingly) male. You can see where I’m going with this. If you’re an average American female, go out and find a stock sportbike you can reach the ground on. Go ahead... I dare ya. Unless you’re an Olympic gymnast/powerlifter mastering the one-cheek butt slide, keeping a 500-pound bike up at a stop requires quite a steep learning curve. Enter the ICON Bombshell boot.

Heather McCoy riding her sportbike while wearing her Bombshell boots with added rubber sole.
Heather McCoy riding her sportbike while wearing her Bombshell boots with added rubber sole.

Oh, sure, I know what you're thinking—what serious rider would wear these? With a 3-inch wedge and bondage-begging buckles, I thought they looked way too sexy to be functional. But then, balancing on tippy toes, I’d drop my bike again. Dammit! I remembered meeting a Kawasaki factory rep, herself vertically challenged, who proudly told me, “I ride any bike I want,” and then pointed to her platformed, steel-toed work boots. Hmm... time to give these things a try.

Not convinced the $170 retail price wouldn’t be a complete waste of money, I snagged a barely worn pair on eBay for a hundred bucks. Hmm... ankle armor, reenforced shift zone, a bit tight in the calf (couldn’t quite get ‘em zipped up, actually), but surprisingly sure-footed. There’s so much support—strong leather, padding, armor—you really, really don’t feel like you’re wearing heels. I’m not kidding. And then the big test: I threw my leg over my bike and felt this strange sensation: the balls of both feet were touching the ground! I felt an amazing boost in confidence, and thirsty for more, I took ‘em to a shoe repair shop and had an additional 1-inch platform applied. I haven’t feared a stop since!

As much as I love these boots (I’ll probably never wear anything else), they could be better. The calves are not generous enough for a woman’s curves (come on, ICON! I’m 5-foot-2 and weigh 110 pounds). I had them stretched at the shoe repair shop before I could get them zipped up all the way (which, by the way, was the reason the original owner sold them). Also, the bottom tread is thin and smooth. I’d prefer a thicker, knobby sole for some added traction. 

For function and style, though, and as a guaranteed conversation starter pretty much anywhere you go, I give these boots an enthusiastic four-and-a-half revs. Vroom, vroom, vroom... vroom!!!

PS - Check out the Bombshell’s little sisters, the Hella and the Hella Street Angel, for ankle-length versions.

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Review: ICON Bombshell Boots

Reader Comments

Nice review. I enjoyed reading it. As a tall 5-foot 11-inch woman reaching the ground is still an issue even for me on my big giant Road Glide. I have had my Icon Bombshell boots for two years now and I love them. The wedge heel has my whole boot firmly on the ground, even on these very steep and bumpy San Francisco streets.

The boots are slipper soft and comfortable and I can wear them all day long. I love all the motorcycle specific features added to the boot and they're just plain sexy.

San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
My calves are quite large due to riding a bicycle for so many decades. I can't get the boot to zip up no matter what and no stretching in the world could make them fit. This is a problem I've had with any boot that goes up the calf...until I walked into Red Wing shoes one day and discovered their motorcycle boots for women. I love the non-skid, oil resistant sole, the heel is perfect for not sliding off the footpegs and best of all, they fit my calves! They do look rather nice, but you can't see the decoration on them since my pants cover them up.

I do love the look of the Bombshell, but there's no way they would fit on my calves. I'm 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds (I'm a body-builder and it shows) and my calves are 16 inches.

Anna Edgcomb
Concord, CA
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I have a Suzuki 1250 Bandit and it's really great to see an article by a woman who rides a sportbike! Love to see more of these.

Liz Meade
Ithaca, NY
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I was skeptical about these because I am short with a very muscular calf (I'm 5 feet 1 inch and 115 pounds), and the tall version won't zip at all, but I tried on the shorter version (yes, there is one) and it works great for me. Both of my bikes -- one a Ninja 250 and the other a V Star 650 Classic -- are lowered but it's still nice to have that extra sense that your feet touch the ground without stretching.

Orlando, FL
Thursday, June 17, 2010
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