Waterproofing is the most vulnerable feature of a motorcycle boot and always the first component to fail. It is the same issue for any brand and we are fortunate that the Forma production team have a strong focus on waterproofing and we see a very small quantity of WP failures.
From our research and inspection there 5 common reasons why waterproofing can fail prematurely.
- Excessive heat is the biggest threat to waterproofing. The WP liner relies on special adhesive tape to double seal the liner seams and any reasonable amount of heat can cause the tape to release. We see it all the time when riders dry their boots too close to an open fire or radiator. Footwear, especially waterproof boots need to dry naturally, or be dried 10 feet away from a heat source.
- Toe nails! No joke, many riders have sharp or over-grown toe nails, and your nails can easily cut through a WP liner. A rider will complain that the boots are leaking in the toe area, and when we dismantle and inspect the boots, we find the liner has been damaged under the shift pad. Keep your toe nails short and wear socks that are in good condition so they can protect the inside of your boots.
- Excessive walking! Forma boots are super comfortable and we find riders will wear the boots for longer periods of time on and off the bike. Walking is hard on WP liners, there is a lot of flexing, pulling, stretching on the liner, especially tall boots. Eventually the liner will fail, sometimes well before the boot’s sole and leather outer. Even WP hiking shoes will see the WP liner fail first and usually within 12 months with regular use.
- Crash or Wreck! If you are unfortunate to crash and the boots sustain a heavy impact, the boots will have protected you and look ok on the outside, but on the inside the WP liner will most likely have been damaged from the shock or impact. You will still be able to use the boots, but don't expect them to be waterproof.
- Production imperfection! Yes, Forma is 100% focused on quality and it hurts when we see a WP failure on any of the Forma boots. The factory has an amazing testing system where they use air pressure to test every WP pair for H2O leaks. Your new boots are not tested in water because a H2O submerge test would stain the boots and then take days to dry properly. With thousands of stitching holes on every boot to seal up, it is possible to have a manufacturing failure that sneaks through testing or develops soon after production. Based on our current data, WP failures are less than 1% of production. Of course we make right any production faults or early failures.
We have your back on waterproofing for the first 12 months. Always remember that the waterproofing feature is vulnerable on any WP boots, so treat your boots with respect and care and they will reward you with long service. We are always encouraged by a Forma rider who went around the world 4 times on one pair of Adventure boots and they were still waterproof at the end.
If you have any waterproofing issues, even beyond 12 months, please contact us, we want to hear your story and help. It's important we collect data and build better boots into the future.
Forma Boots USA.