PRODUCT: The Freedom boots have been in the AXO line long enough for us to do a real long-term test. Usually, by the time we have this much time on a product, it’s gone. We live in a fast-moving world. The Freedom is a minimalist boot well-suited to adventure riding, although it technically is in the street line. It uses the BOA closure system that has a steel lace that is wound on a reel. A Velcro flap conceals the lace behind a very plain Jane leather shin guard. There’s no plastic guard in front.
POSITIVE: We’ve been using the Freedom boots on virtually all of our adventure bike rides for two years, and they’re still doing great. The end is nowhere in sight, and we’ve been through several motocross boots in that same period. There are a number of reasons we keep dragging them out when other boots are available. For one thing, they can be worn all day comfortably. Adventure rides can last days, and with the Freedoms, we have learned we don’t need to carry along a set of street shoes in the luggage. The lack of a shin plate is actually a very good thing. That means regular pants can be worn over the boots, and you don’t get as many weird looks if you go to a good restaurant. We’ve also worn them in mud and rain; they don’t let water in, and they clean up well. After literally thousands of miles, wear is excellent.
NEGATIVE: You surrender some protection in order to get so much comfort. The boot is much shorter than full dirt boots, and the sole is more flexy. You can stand on the pegs for a while, then your feet start getting tired. Also, the BOA system is slow and noisy when you “wind up” the reel.
BOTTOM LINE: The Freedoms have outstanding comfort and wear. When we first got these boots, the price was $300. That was fair. Now, AXO is having a sale on the Freedoms at $130. That’s amazing. We don’t think this deal will last, so hurry.