Kiwi Rider May 2022 Vol.1 - Page 26




Words & Photos : Ben Wilkins

Italian retro style that ’ s not form over function ? That ’ ll be the Matrix boots .

Those of you who remember the 80s and 90s will attest to the fact that many products which came out of Italy were often beautiful ... but critically flawed . Think Italian motorcycles and cars , which either rotted before your very eyes , or had electrical systems that failed just for fun . Today , though , things have changed . Italian bikes are reliable and beautifully built , just look at Ducati ’ s new Desert X – 15,000km between services and 30,000km for the valve checks . So , I approached Stylmartin ’ s Matrix boots with some decades-old scepticism . Waterproof ? Comfortable ? Form over function ? We ’ d see . If you ’ ve not heard of Stylmartin , they ’ ve been making boots since the 70s , and had a very successful period in the mid-90s , their boots being worn by MotoGP racers Eddie Lawson , John Kocinski and Angel Nieto among others , so they know what they ’ re up to . I was on the lookout for a pair of everyday boots with a bit of a retro vibe , something practical but cool . Boots I could wear on my old R80GS that didn ’ t make me look like Power Ranger . I ’ d been eyeing up a pair of Stylmartin ’ s Continental boots – in very retro rosso / red . They , so very , looked the part ( behold their glory below ...) and took me straight back to my youth . Just before deciding to box them up and head out the door , I asked , “ They ’ re waterproof ,