Last year, I searched for a mid-height boot for my commute with similar features as you identified. I don't think there is a perfect boot that is comfortable, stylish (i.e. looks good in office attire), easy on/off, water proof (or resistant), breathable, and offers reasonable crash protection.
I ended up buying the Sidi Champion Te-Por as a good compromise. It is available in both a vented and non-vented model so you can trade off weather protection for more breathability. I like these boots a lot, but when they wear out, I'll shop around again hoping to find that perfect boot that probably doesn't exist.
Anyone know of a boot like the Diadora City Boot? That's more of what I was looking for, but it doesn't appear to be available anymore.
I ride the sidi City boots which are pretty tall (mid to upper calf). I do get hot in the Oregon summer. So I would recomend a boot that is shorter and/or perforated if it gets hot where you live. I would check these out. http://www.newenough.com/sidi_champion_tepor_boots_page.htm. Nothing beats a good sale.
I have a pair of SIDI Vertigo Tepor boots....all black, all waterproof, crashproof, etc. about $300. Also check out Aerostich's Combat Touring boots, made by SIDI as well. They are my next acquisition. Good shopping!
I also have the Aerostich Combat Tourers (made by SIDI). Fabulous with a capital F. Always comfortable and naturally water resistant. The only time I got water in them was after 13 hours of steady riding in a steady rain. They are comfortable and very easy to put on and fit very well under a shift lever.
They don't have any funky new wave water membrane, but I don't think they need it. They can get a bit warm if you walk in them a lot on a hot day, but I am usually on the bike. I have worn them in every weather and they work everywhere.
I would buy another pair in a heartbeat. However, after now having around 60,000 miles on them, I am not sure I will ever have too. They still look nearly new. Fantastic. Andy G., I will be back!
I use Military issue combat boots. They last forever. The first pair that I was issued when I went to Vietnam (thew leather ones, not the jungle boots) lasted until 1986 and I had them resoled twice. I'm still using the second pair that I bought in 1985.
I've been wearing Sidi On-Road Sympatex for four or five years, They work great, I wear them to work on the bike, then all day at work and they're pretty comfy, good protection and rain proof, plain black leather. You could probably wx them up and get a decent shine on them if you wanted. I'd just leave a pair of dress shoes at the office myself. I think when these wear out I'll get some Chippewa or Wesco engineer boots because i really should be wearing steel toes at work, but the Sidi's are excellent boots.
Many of my bike tours include stops for hikes in the mountains etc. Miliatary or Hunting style boots with goretex or other membrane will keep your feet dry and are up for a nice hike when off the bike. I find a bit of thinsulate insulation really extends the comfort range of the boot too - it doesn't seem to make my feet too hot, even when in the desert, and can be really nice to have when riding a cold mountain pass. (Wools socks are a must!!)Many MC boots are not so good for hiking, or even walking in for long periods thus requiring an additional pair of footgear. Danner, Matterhorn, Rocky, Wolverine are all great brands. Try Ranger Joes or Cabellas online. Cabellas has nice boots under $100 if you don't mind 'mossy oak'...
I've got some Wesco Jobmasters that were on their irregulars list, on the website. Got 'em for more than 50% off, since the size isn't normal(B width). They'll probably last me another fifty years. Most comfortable boot I've ever owned, built to last, and good looking, to boot!(groan)
There are many excellent boots. I wear Alpinstars at the moment, BUT, almost all of the boots I have tried are too wide. (Need a B width.) I agree with the recommendation for Oxtar Matrix! Nice boot if you have a wide foot. In fact I have a pair that I have never worn because they are too wide. Excellent quality; construction; etc.
I've been looking at the four boots below, one of which is the shorter ("Lites") version of Aerostich's combat touring boot that we've heard so much about. What the three (four) have in common is that they all have laces. This is important for my somewhat narrow feet; slip-on/velcro just doesn't work for me. I will wait for MO's article, but I'd also appreciate anybody's experience with these or similar boots: