Review Feature

Stylmartin Matrix boots protecting the adventurous streak in all bikers



March 6, 2018 | Rahoul Ghose

stylmartin matrix : the details | rahoul ghose

Whether you choose to steer your two-wheeled conveyance off road -- through hills, dirt and rocks, or you negotiate the daily wiles of crosstown traffic in the proverbial ‘concrete jungle’, protective gear should always be your first consideration.

That’s not to say you can’t mix form and function, though. Enter Stylmartin’s newest entry into the motorcycle footwear fray – the ‘Matrix’.

Retailing for $375US, the Matrix is a deft tip of the hat to enduro styling and technology, combined with the comfort, design elements and materials seen in adventure touring boots.

It’s not an unexpected fusion as the European company was born out of an area – Montebelluna, Italy – known for technical ski, mountaineering, and motorcycle boots, says US Stylmartin distributor Fabrice Piard from Minneapolis, MN-based Moto&Co.

“Alpinestar, Sidi, TCX, and more, all come from the area,” Piard says.

stylmartin matrix | rahoul ghose
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  They use quality leathers and components, they have an edge for design, and the fit, as you might have seen, is really good.   

-- Fabrice Piard, Stylmartin USA
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Stylmartin, itself, was first formed in 1979, the creation of Giacomo Martinazzo, who forged the company’s first successes in the ‘80s and ‘90s with US race sponsorships including the likes of American former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion and brand ambassador Eddie Lawson, a factory rider for both Yamaha and Honda, originally from Upland, CA.

“Then for some reason the brand got left out ‘floating’ around, and almost disappeared,” Piard says.

It was revived by shoe entrepreneur Antonio Binotto (Antis Footwear) a decade ago and has since made a strong comeback in the street/touring segment worldwide.

“They use quality leathers and components, they have an edge for design, and the fit, as you might have seen, is really good,” Piard says.

stylmartin matrix | rahoul ghose
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  Fit on the Martix boot is comfortable with the design allowing for flex and movement, even with pants tucked inside. The plastic clips – two on each side, which cinch down the boot near the bottom of the shin area, are highly adjustable and look very similar to mechanisms on ski and hard (racing) snowboard boots.   

-- NYC Motorcyclist
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Getting back to the Matrix boot, this new-for-2018 offering – conceived for long-range touring and on/off road excursions – features a Vibram, anti-slip rubber sole, a waterproof and breathable lining, a full-grain water-repellent leather upper, and built in protection for the shin, heel, toe and sides of the foot.

Also included in the box are a set of black anodized metal toe caps, installed with a collection of small screws – brass ones for the bottom – if you require the extra protection.

The boots are PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) certified and meet the EN 13634:2015 European standard.

Other notable specifics include:

  • a charcoal grey two-tone effect leather upper, stitched to a Vibram sole (which allows for easy replacement)
  • a heat printed brand logo and lettering
  • two adjustable self-blocking levers, assisted by an upper hook and eye adjustment, enabling a snug fit, along with Velcro to seal the boot upper
  • an Antex membrane which provides wind and water protection while remaining breathable, allowing the release of any built up moisture in the boot due to overheating
  • armor on both sides of the ankle, and a shin and calf bone protective strip
  • reflective swatch above the heels for nightime visibility
All the company's boots are manufactured at a Stylmartin-owned factory in Slovakia, Piard says, adding “raw material and components from Italy are shipped to the factory and then the finished product comes back to Italy for final inspection and warehousing.”

Fit on the Martix boot is comfortable with the design allowing for flex and movement, even with pants tucked inside. The plastic clips – two on each side, which cinch down the boot near the bottom of the shin area, are highly adjustable and look very similar to mechanisms on ski and hard (racing) snowboard boots.

Piard says these buckles should last a lifetime, but in the unlikely event the plastic fails, they are completely replaceable.

stylmartin matrix | rahoul ghose
____________________________________________________________________

  Raw material and components from Italy are shipped to the factory and then the finished product comes back to Italy for final inspection and warehousing.   

-- Fabrice Piard, Stylmartin USA
____________________________________________________________________

Ultimately the Matrix is an investment at just under $400 (with taxes). But the build quality, projected longevity, protection vs comfort compromise, and look of these boots make them well worth the money. They should give you comfortable and protected riding for years.

In the New York area, Stylmartin boots are available at Union Garage NYC (Brooklyn), Asbury Park Moto Club (New Jersey) and Montclair Riding Co (New Jersey).

In the Los Angeles area the brand can be found at New Century Motorcycle, Motoclub di Santa Monica and Aether Apparel.

Piard says if the Matrix is not in stock it can be ordered through these brick and mortar locations, all authorized Stylmartin dealers. Online, other US-based stores can be found at: stylmartin.it.

You can find out more about Stylmartin on their website and social media at the links below, or download the complete 2018 catalog (PDF), featuring urban lifestyle, cafe racer, touring, racing and off-road footwear options.

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Comments

  • These are lovely. I hope they come in small sizes ...

    Jen Sheehy
  • I have confirmed the smallest size is a 39

    NYC Motorcyclist
  • That might do it. A 38 would be ideal. Thanks for checking 😊 They might want to consider the eternally shoe obsessed female contingent ...

    Jen Sheehy
  • Did you get to test the claim of 'Waterproof'? I am willing to pay for good boots, but I won’t ever take non- waterproof boots touring again. My Sidi On-Roads lasted almost 15 years and 100,000 miles of touring before they leaked ... worth every penny. I bought them after Jamie Elvidge did a boot test for Rider Magazine where she stuffed a dozen 'waterproof' boots with paper towels and a brick, put them in six inches of water, and checked the paper towels for dryness every 15 minutes for an hour, then every hour for the next five hours. After three hours only the Sidis were dry, and they were still dry the next morning. Unfortunately Sidi now uses synthetic “leather” for the current version. I love the Stylmartin look, but until this model they didn’t offer waterproof. If you can say whether they will keep me dry in an all-day frog-drowner, I will have the missing data.

    Adam Zuckerman
  • Hi Adam ... the inner membrane is listed as waterproof, the leather outer as water resistant. As to whether the boots will stay dry inside through an all day storm of riding ... will have to test that in the field.

    NYC Motorcyclist
  • Please do! Lots of bootmakers claim to have a waterproof membrane, but few actually keep feet dry. I guess buying the membrane material is easy. Assembling a liner out of it requires more care than most manufacturers are willing to pay for. I look forward to the followup!

    Adam Zuckerman
  • Sick.

    @the_hangry_rider

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