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RST Paragon boots - tested to destruction

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Now that I have destroyed these boots it's time to write a review of them. I have had them about 5 years and they've had a hard life. The sole is now worn off and the leather has split across the right hand toe box.

They are budget boots and not GoreTex but they have Sinaqua breathable waterproof membrane and until the leather split on the right boot they have been totally waterproof.

They have been worn all year round and the breathable membrane must be pretty good because during the summer I've never felt too hot in them. In winter I do not wear extra socks and I've never had cold feet. For budget boots that's pretty impressive.

They are very comfortable and easy to get on and off. Trying to find a replacement pair that are as comfortable and not a pain in the back to get on and off proved to be a challenge. So that's another plus for these.

The zips have never jammed or broken. Several of the more expensive boots I recently tried had terrible zips.

So coming back to the fact that I have destroyed them - to be frank I haven't looked after them very well. I live in a rural area so they are usually covered in mud from the local fields. This contains high levels of manure and fertilisers which are apparently very bad for leather. I have rarely cleaned them or treated them to any form of polish or wax. Plus my right foot is narrower than my left so all my right shoes fold and split. The Paragons have a rigid plastic protector across the top of the toe box which means any flex is limited to the leather immediately adjacent to the plastic section. That's where mine have split. If I had worn an extra sock on the right foot, or looked after them, I suspect they wouldn't have split yet. The left one is fine.

RST has replaced these with the Paragon 2 which are about £120 from J&S, £114 from SportsBikeShop (their size chart is wrong by the way 41 is UK 8, 42 is 8.5, 43 is 9)

Criticisms - not many. I don't think the leather is the best in the world. I replaced them with a pair of TCX X-five GoreTex which were reduced to £99.99 at J&S which I think have better leather, but then the rrp is £190. But invest in some Leder Gris wax and look after the Paragons and they'll last for years.

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