When it comes to motorcycle gear, much emphasis is placed on the helmet for head protection. The feet get less attention. Yet, protecting your shins, ankles, and feet are just as important. Your feet are constantly in touch with the foot pegs, the side of the bike, and the ground. In addition, accidents can result in serious injuries if you’re wearing the wrong type of boot.
Types of Motorcycle Boots
All motorcycle boots are not created equal. Beginner riders may be surprised at the selection of boots out there. Finding the right pair of boots comes down to the type of riding you plan on doing.
Every biker needs a pair of cruiser boots. They’re ideal for those Sunday morning cruises down the highway. These are the classic biker boots — the black leather with straps, harness rings, and buckles. They resemble sturdy work boots and are available in short, mid or full-length sizes. They’re fairly flexible making them easy to walk in. Leather boots are hot so if you cruise often during summer, look for boots that provide some ventilation.
Touring boots tend to be mid-length and form-fitting. For long journeys, choose a touring boot. They take into account support and protection, weather resistance, breathability, and comfort. Pick a boot with extra padding where the shifter lever rubs against the toe of your boot. Some also feature removable anatomic footbeds and breathable liners. Touring boots are versatile and make good commuter boots too.
If you travel to work on your bike, you’ll want a dual purpose boot, one you can ride in and walk around the office in. That’s where commuter boots come in. They’re ankle-length and designed to resemble a street boot or sneaker. Commuter boots are flexible making them comfortable enough to see you through the workday.
Sport and Racing Boots
Sport and track-day riders need a tough boot with excellent protection. These are more rigid with armor panels and steel toe and shank reinforcing. They’re designed to withstand high-impact blows on hard surfaces like roads and tracks. They have a smoother anti-slip sole for better precision and foot control. Racing boots often feature ski-boot-style buckles for easy fit adjustment. Opt for the ones with replaceable armor panels. If you damage them, it’s cheaper to replace the panels than shell out on a new boot.
Motocross and Adventure Boots
Motocross boots are the most protective boots. They’re extremely rigid constructed with metal and hard plastic, so don’t expect comfort. They’re designed for off-roading and rough terrain. Motocross boots assume you’ll take plenty of tumbles and sometimes go flying feet first into a rock or tree. For this reason, they have very hard soles. Adventure and dual-sports boots are a mix of on and off-road boots. Think touring boot mixed with a motocross boot. They’re rugged but with a softer more walkable sole.
There’s nothing cooler than a pair of genuine leather riding boots. But their purpose is more than just to make you look badass. Feet and ankles are fragile parts of the body. Don’t skimp on your boots. A good quality pair will protect you and last a long time.