Fly Racing FR5 Boots

Vital Rating: (Good)
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Tested: Fly FR5 Boots

Semi-hinged motocross boots for a semi-cheap price, the FR5 are both comfortable and durable.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Fly FR5 Boots
The Good:

Great control feel, sizing is spot on and snug like high-end boots, offers plenty of dexterity and comfort, and sole is both grippy and long lasting

The Bad:

Sole rigidity is lacking, ankle support is so-so, and bio-mechanical hinge can use a little help.

Overall Review:

Boots can be some the most expensive pieces of a rider’s kit and to be honest, at over $500 a pair, you should expect stellar performance from all of the premium motocross and off-road boot models. Where things get interesting is trying to find mid-priced or entry-level boots that offer a good bang for the buck. Fly Racing in the last couple years has really stepped up their program across the board and now has a mid-priced boot, the FR5.

Fly Racing FR5 Features:

  • 3D molded plastic shift panel with added grooves and texture
  • TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel piece connect with lateral/medial TPU pieces for full coverage
  • Pre-shaped molded plastic 3D shin
  • Soft interior foam surrounds the ankle and collar
  • Contoured TPU calf plate
  • Full textile lining
  • CE Approved to EN13634:2015
  • One-piece

Overall Review:

Boots can be some the most expensive pieces of a rider’s kit and to be honest, at over $500 a pair, you should expect stellar performance from all of the premium motocross and off-road boot models. Where things get interesting is trying to find mid-priced or entry-level boots that offer a good bang for the buck. Fly Racing in the last couple years has really stepped up their program across the board and now has a mid-priced boot, the FR5.

Fly Racing FR5 Features:

  • 3D molded plastic shift panel with added grooves and texture
  • TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel piece connect with lateral/medial TPU pieces for full coverage
  • Pre-shaped molded plastic 3D shin
  • Soft interior foam surrounds the ankle and collar
  • Contoured TPU calf plate
  • Full textile lining
  • CE Approved to EN13634:2015
  • One-piece plastic injected ‘fish tail’ midsole
  • Molded outsole
  • Padded microfiber gaiter
  • Bio-mechanical pivots on the inside and outside of the ankle
  • Rubber heat shield
  • Adjustable aluminum quick-lock buckles

First Impressions

To be honest, when I first opened the box of the FR5 boot, I wasn’t too impressed by the look. This is personal preference, of course, but rather than a Tech 10/7-like molded sole look, the FR5 has more of a sneaker/hiking boot looking sole. Some might not care, it just caught my attention as slightly cheesy looking. On the other hand, the “hinged” section of the both sides of the ankle look pretty legit and make the boot stand out as a mid-level, rather than entry-level boot.

Putting on the boot, the functionality of the aluminum buckles is just OK. It isn’t that easy to adjust their length but the simple latches snap close with a positive click, but they take some effort to do so. The fit is pretty spot on, which is a huge relief. I tried a pair of Fly Maverik boots years back when they had stitched soles and they were like a full size too big. I wear a size 10 in all moto boots, andt o be fair, I prefer a very tight fitting boot, like they are welded to my feet. I would say that the FR5 boots have a pretty snug fit, in a good way. Really cranking down on the first buckle to get them as tight as possible creates a bit of a pressure point on the outside of my foot, but nothing painful or truly annoying.

The toe box is nice and snug without being cramped. In other non-premiere boots, there is sometimes so much room top to bottom I can fully curl my toes and still have room to spare. The FR5 give my toes enough room to move a bit, but holds them where they should be. The width is neutral. I have a standard width foot and booth edges of my foot meet the sides of the boot, but it isn’t constraining. If you have a narrow or standard width foot, you’ll be fine. I would make sure to try on if you have a wide foot, as these might be a little too tight.

On The Track

One great thing about the FR5 is the weight. I noticed right away that they are much lighter than SG 12s or Tech 10s (only 7.9 pounds for the pair). But this is a give and take since top level boots have many other features that add weight. Break in time is pretty much non-existent. I felt like I had full mobility right out of the box. These boots are very easy to flex (pointing the foot up) but a little harder to extend (point the foot down). That being said, overall, the FR5 are very flexible and make it very easy to articulate the ankle. This makes shifting and braking effortless.

The sole, with a plastic midsole, is also very flexible. This is good and bad. The good is that it gives the rider a ton of control feel. There is no “ski-boot” numbness and blindly stabbing at the shifter or brake. You can accurately modulate the foot controls with confidence. The other plus is that walking in the FR5 is comfortable and natural as well. Either walking around the pits, or climbing up trails to scope out an obstacle or pushing a buddies bike up a hill, having some walkability is a plus. The downside is that you can get “bird feed.” Meaning, the sole is flexing while you ride and over time, it feels like your feet are curling around the pegs. This is an exaggerated visual metaphor, but I wore these boots both days of the 450 MX shootout, some of the longest days we spend at the track, and my feet were pretty sore the days after.

Heel retention isn’t the best, meaning that when I point my toe, my heel comes up out of the heel section of the lower boot. But bike grip is pretty good, especially for mid level boots. The rubber inner calf section is big and actually rubbery, rather than plasticy like some others I’ve worn. From the heal to the top of the boot, there inside is relatively smooth, even with the hinge, offering a wide neutral surface to connect to the bike, without much to hang up or snag.

Speaking of the hinge, this is a cool feature of the FR5, but not that cool. Let me explain. Rather than just flat pieces of plastic, the “biomechanical hinge” is a tab-in-slot design where there is a triangular tab of plastic that points downward from the upper section of the boot. On both the inside and outside of the ankle these tabs slide into slots that are part of the lower/foot section of the boot. When the ankle is bent, rather than bowing out and deforming like a solid section of plastic would, the hinge lets the upper and lower articulate pretty naturally without much bowing. Secondly, the ankle section is normally where a less-expensive boot will start to break down and wear out, and I haven’t seen any of that with the FR5.

Now the not cool part. While riding I caught my foot in a rut and it was yanked to the side; nothing too violent or painful. But then my right boot suddenly was getting caught up in the bike and it was difficult to put my foot out or move it around. When I looked down I noticed that the inner ankle tab had popped out of the slot and was getting all hung up on the bike. I took the boot off and bent it over the edge of the bed of my truck to get the tab back into the slot. I haven’t had any issues since but for a boot that is closer to $300 than $200, I would hope that these issues would have been worked out by the R&D department. I’m not a professional boot designer but it seems like all Fly has to do is make the ankle tabs longer.

The last thing I want to touch on with riding in this boot is that, all that flexibility and comfort and lack of break-in gives the boot a not-super-protective feel. Now, I haven’t had any gnarly crashes or T-bone incidents with the FR5s so I cannot definitively say that they lack protection or would underperform in those situations. But I do have an informed opinion that these boots, on the scale of comfort and protection, are much closer to the comfort/flex end of the spectrum.

Durability

One of the highlights of this boot is the sole, as far as grip and durability go. The sole has pretty impressive peg grip and so far there are not holes, rips, or missing chunks, and I’ve worn these boots off-and-on for about six months. The seams and soft parts of the boot have withstood the blast of a pressure washer and are maintaining their integrity.

Last Words

Straight up, the FR5 boot is better than any entry-level boot I’ve worn, but definitely not for the pro-level motocross racer. There is just not enough support and protection to withstand the demands of huge jumps and fast pace riding where stiffness is needed and big get-offs are a possibility. On the other hand, the comfort, fit, and performance would suite any weekend track rider and off-roader. For the price, I would like to see a little more refinement in the buckles and latches, and more support in the sole and ankle, but it is a solid boot that slots in above the basic offerings and below the top level products.


Specifications

Product Fly Racing FR5 Boots
Type Men
Construction Molded-sole, plastic, and TPU
Colors White, Black, Hi-Viz, Orange
Size 7-13
Miscellaneous CONSTRUCTION
- Don’t miss a shift with 3D molded plastic shift panel with added grooves and texture that also saves boot from premature wear
- TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel piece connect with lateral/medial TPU pieces for full coverage
- Pre-shaped molded plastic 3D shin adds impact resistance and comfort
- Soft interior foam surrounds the ankle and collar
- Contoured TPU calf plate
- Full textile lining

FEATURES
- CE Approved to EN13634:2015
- Innovative one-piece plastic injected ‘fish tail’ midsole
- Molded outsole provides a modern stylish look and helps to keep the weight down
- Outsole rubber compound provides good levels of grip while remaining durable
- Padded microfiber gaiter provides a comfortable rim around calf while sealing the opening from debris
- Bio-mechanical pivots on the inside and outside of the ankle for increased stability and support
- Rubber heat shield is long lasting, won’t melt, and provides good grip

FIT
- Adjustable aluminum quick-lock buckles provide a solid locked in feel and open design keeps dirt from clogging the function
Price $269.95
More Info

​flyracing.com

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