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Advice on buying leathers and boots?

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I am not specifically looking for sport leathers for a track day but, I may want to do a track day or two in the future.

The Taichi jacket at ~$550 fit me really well in a 54 (Triple XL in Japan apparently) but, the pants were laughably wrong, being massively long with the knee protection hanging well below my knee caps.

The Alpinestars Missile 54 Short pants fit really well but, the jackets had laughably long arms for me.

The Alpinestars SMX V2 boots fit my foot really well but, my calves are on the large side, barely catching the Velcro.  When get back to work outdoors, they aren't going to fit and, I can't see putting leather legs in them.

Coming out of Winter I am also a bit heavier than I am in Summer working outdoors and a tend to move a bit of my gut to my lower legs.  Right now, I'm right at 172lbs , wear a medium polo shirt, and 34x30 Wranglers in America/Vanity sizing.  In Summer, my calves really fill out my Blue jean legs.

This has me stuck with how to spend ~$1K on motorcycle leathers that would be suitable for a trackday while being reasonable for more everyday 'street' use.  I am on a Triumph Speed Triple 1200RR for what its worth.

At the moment, it seems best to find someone to sew a compatible zipper onto either the Taichi Jacket or Alpinestarts Missile Pants but, what do I do about some street boots.  I really need to get out of hiking boots or ADV boots and into a more appropriate sport shoe but, how do I find something that will fit my calves?  Even better, work with some leather pants?


TIA, Sid from East Texas

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Hi Sid!

The first thing I'll say is that if you're looking towards track days you should review the rules for groups in your area. Some orgs require one piece suits which might influence your decision here (I wouldn't advise a one piece for the street, I've done it a few times and it's a lot of trouble).

In my experience higher end gear usually comes with a zipper that goes around the majority of the suit (I've seen it called a 360° zipper but it's more accurately 270° or so). I've only mixed brands once but when I did those two meshed up readily. Obviously, I'd want to try it in person if possible since different zipper designs might not work. Most of the better motorcycle gear shops could install matching zippers for you, though obviously that's an extra cost. I know a few shops that I'd recommend for this but none in the Texas area off hand.

As for boots the only recommendation I can make is to shop around and find something that has the adjustment range for the calves that you'll need. Also, most boots are designed to go over the leg leathers which gives them more room in that region if you can find pants that are large enough at the bottom to invert that relationship (though in that case I'd recommend long socks to make sure you don't chaffe your legs up too much).

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17 minutes ago, yakaru said:

Hi Sid! ...

Thanks Yakaru!

Regarding socks, I have to wear tall socks with everything because my lower legs break out against the leather in most of my shoes and boots.  My wrists are pretty bad too with leather and metal allergic reactions to watches and various bracelets.  I'm thinking it is most likely dye or tanning related because my Cortech leather gauntlet gloves don't cause me any issues though I think they might be kangaroo leather so, not the normal leather I find I'm allergic too.  The leather trim on my current motorcycle jacket also doesn't pose any problems but, it is pushing 20 years of use and is getting a it worn out at this point.

Regarding two piece leathers on a race track, that is a risk I need to live with today because a one-piece tracksuit isn't going to happen for a one or two day a year (or lifetime) track day experience.  Regarding sewing a new zipper, that is something I'm likely going to have to send off there aren't even shoe cobblers around here that could work with leather.

Shoes is the really hard one to figure out as there are VERY FEW stores with anything within 200 miles of me to see in person.

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2 hours ago, Red_Baron said:

Most likely the reason you are allergic to leather is, your metal allergy.

A form of Chromium is used in the leather tanning process.

Yes, that's a likely cause since different tanning processes have variations which would explain why I have real problems with some leather and basically none with a few select pieces.

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