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Daytona Ladystar GTX boots

[This review originally published on, November 2000.]

Oh yes, it's rough being a short motorcyclist sometimes. Potholes, gravel, sloped roads -- these little nuisances for everyone else can cause our bikes to topple left and right as our little legs fight to keep 400 pounds of vehicle upright. Fortunately, the folks at Frey-Daytona have heard our plea and have come to our rescue with the LadyStar GTX boots. Men, don't let the name scare you off -- wear these boots with impunity, as the larger sizes carry the more masculine name of "M-Star".

First, the boring details. The Frey-Daytona LadyStar (or M-Star, if you prefer) GTX boots come in sizes 35 - 43, though rumors of a size 34 being in the works bounce around from time to time. They're available in black only -- you won't see any brightly colored plastic or toe sliders here. Zippers and velcro on either side of each boot guarantee a snug, comfortable fit, and Gore-Tex (the GTX in the product name) waterproofing makes sure your footsies stay nice and dry once you're wearing them. In order to catch the attention of daydreaming drivers, a reflective patch on each heel make the boots visible from behind at night; in case that doesn't work, the heel and ankles are nicely armored and provide protection from both impact and abrasion.

That's all well and good, but what makes the LadyStar boots different from Daytona's other touring and street riding boots? Why are short motorcyclists flocking in groves to their closest Daytona distributor? The answer lies in the LadyStar's sole. A 2.5 cm platform is built directly into the inside of the boot -- add that to the boot's ~1 cm rubber outer sole, and you're looking at an instant 3.5 cm increase in inseam! You won't be able to magically flatfoot that Aprilia Falco you've had your eye on, but this delta can certainly make the difference between a financially painful tip-over and a heart-in-the-throat near miss.

Personally, I adore these boots. My previous riding footwear were a nice pair of Carolina brand combat boots, leaving me somewhere between my tiptoes and the balls of my feet while stradding my Suzuki SV650S. After having my foot trapped under the bike when an inattentive driver rear-ended me, I decided that I needed better foot protection, and ended up with the LadyStars. I rode home in my LadyStars the day I bought them, and have never looked back.

The very first time I wore the boots, I found the inner platform slightly uncomfortable against the arch of my foot. A Superfeet brand insert solved this problem and also provided an additional half-centimeter of rise inside my boot. Once this slight setback was taken care of, the LadyStars were as comfortable as my two-year-old combat boots. There was no painful breaking in period and no annoying heel blisters. And, as an extra bonus, the LadyStars continue to be comfortable even off of the bike, and I've happily walked around in them for hours.

I've worn my LadyStars exclusively on the bike for about four months now (approximately 3500 miles), and they've held up pretty well. Scuff marks tend to appear on the very tips of the toes, but they're easily shined away with the same Kiwi shoe polish that I use on other black leather shoes. The velcro on the boots is still clean and unmatted, the zippers have held up perfectly, and the liners have withstood mud, rain, heat, and frolicking at the paws of my two cats.

Now to the most pressing question for the vertically challenged: do they work? The answer is a resounding yes! While wearing my LadyStars atop the SV650S, the balls of my feet are firmly planted on the ground. I can tiptoe my boyfriend's Honda Superhawk. I can even touch both feet down on an BMW F650GS! Now, I've worn platform shoes on motorcycles before, but haven't liked the unstable feeling of being on stilts. Since the LadyStar's rise is physically inside of the boot, they feel completely solid. Plus, they look just like normal boots -- you'd never guess that your foot doesn't go all the way down to the outer rubber sole.

Now, nothing in life is perfect, and by far, the easiest thing to complain about here is the price. At $289.95, these boots ain't cheap, and if you end up with nice inserts, you can go ahead and add another $20 to the price. The LadyStar boots are, however, less expensive than a custom seat and lowering kit for your favorite bike, and work just as well for getting more of your foot on the ground -- not to mention that they're more easily transportable across different motorcycles! If you're vertically challenged and tired of spending money on broken levers from those annoying tip-overs, use some duct tape and start saving your pennies -- the Frey-Daytona LadyStar (or M-Star) GTX boots just may be the answer to your prayers.