Skip to content

VALUE GEAR–BILT Explorer Adventure Boots UPDATE

June 3, 2013

June 2013 Update:

As you may recall from my last update (found here) I decided to give Cycle Gear’s BUILT line of adventure boots a try.  The prices were compelling (approximately 1/2 of “branded” boots) and the warrantee was far better than any other competitor.  That being said, the product felt cheap and It’s hard to get over pre-conceived notions of quality – e.g. “If it costs more and has a brand name IT MUST BE BETTER”………… Well, let’s see. 

Here’s a quote from my last review – The initial fit was very tight.  I have a D width size 12 foot.  I was not too worried as the Tourmasters also were extremely sung out of the box and the loosened up to provide an excellent fit almost immediately.

Well, I was dead wrong about sizing.  Turns out that size 12 was too small.  I guess years of wearing “race fit” ski boots have distorted my perceptions about a proper fit. 

I was wearing the boots in the backyard while enjoying a fine cigar and trying to break the boots in completely.  It was late April and the weather finally turned nice.  As I sat in the sun, I noticed the boots were getting warmer, and warmer, and warmer – until finally I had to take them off.


Temperatures were in the low 70’s and my feet were broiling.  That’s not a good sign.  It occurred to me that the heat issue was most likely due to a super close fit and not enough air circulation.  So, I called Cycle Gear and explained they did not fit and I wanted a larger size.  “No problem” said the salesperson.  Nervous about the condition of the boots after wearing them for a week or so, I continued…..

Uhhhhhhhhh, I don’t have the box – “No problem”

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, I don’t have my receipt“No problem”

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I’ve been wearing them “No problem”

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, there’s a scuff on one boot and a stain on the other“No problem”

Wow!  That sounded too good to be true.  So I went over to my local Cycle Gear and sure enough, a pair of size 13’s was waiting for me.  I handed them the boots and the sales guy gave me a new boots, box and all.

The last thing he did before I left the store was to remove the security tags from the back of the boots.  When I got home this is what I found:


Yes, you can SEE through the  hole into the box.  Yes, it is possible to read a book or magazine through the gigantic hole ripped into the boot by the security tag.  Sheesh!


Bummer, as so far, Cycle Gear was exceeding my expectations!  The area the security tag was placed into is perhaps the softest area on the boot.  This hole/tear was in the absolutely wrong place – as its going to just tear and tear and tear… Dang. 

The local Cycle Gear is about 45 minutes away and there was no way I was riding back today.  I called and explained what happened and asked for a replacement pair WITHOUT the security tag.  The sales guy said while replacing the boots was no problem, the tags were installed at the factory.  Of course, they were out of that size.  Dang.

He took my information (I won’t nail anyone here by name) and promised to call me back when the replacement boots arrived – and never called back.  He did say to use them until the new boots came in and just replace them.

How’s the fit of the new boot?  Meh.  I dunno.  They fit ok, but I’m worried about them stretching out a bit and then being really loose.  Maybe I’m a “tight fit” person.  I did wear them again on a warm day and did not have the same easy bake oven reaction.  Seems that a size up allows air to flow in the boots. 

I’m headed to Laconia next week and should put close to 500 miles on them in a single day.  Hopefully, I’ll have some new thoughts.  Up until the hole in the boot issue, I have been absolutely impressed by Cycle Gear’s customer service and willingness to stand behind their brands. 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2013 2:57 pm

    I’m interested in purchasing the same boots. How did they hold up after your 500 mile trip?

    • June 20, 2013 9:48 am

      Solid! Very comfortable with zero issues. Looks like a fantastic value purchase

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: