The road is long and winding for sure, but regardless of your level of experience and skill as a biker, anything can go wrong when riding your bike – from severe feet injuries to even a broken ankle.
Consequently, you can’t underestimate the importance of good boots. You just can’t!
Yes, you can easily slip on a pair of regular boots, jump on your motorcycle and head out, but what about your safety? The best way to reduce the damage to your feet and ankles after a bike accident is wearing a quality pair of boots.
These boots provide you with a blend of control and protection without sacrificing comfort and style. They’re not your regular boots, but with their lace retention, slip-resistant soles, extra rigidity, reinforced shifting pads, and molded protection, your safety lies in good hands.
There’s a wide range of options when choosing the best motorcycle boots, but I’ll be your guide in picking out the one that suits you best. Let’s go!
All biker boots will not be the same. Some will have different uses, brands, style, and other distinctive facets. Besides, there’s a wide selection of different riding boots that is available for purchase – some cheap, and some expensive, and some high quality and some low quality.
#1 Engineer or Harness Boots
Engineer or harness boots are the most traditional styles that different riders wear. These boots are offered in various heights, but the most common height ranges from 10 inches to 12 inches. The boots take on a well-built appearance with a long-lasting style.
Generally, harness boots have a square toe and come with a strap that wraps around your foot, all the way across the back of the heel, and affixed with a ring at either side.
Engineer boots typically have a round toe and a single strap with a buckle across the instep.
Both engineer and harness boots have some commonness between them, but it all depends on your personal preference regarding which style to go with. Some of the average and high-end engineer and harness boots have a Vibram sole which provides exceptional traction.
You can find many brands of engineer and harness boots, but the best quality and value for your money comes from brands such as Wesco, Chippewa, and Boulet.
#2 Touring Boots
Whether you are a tourer, commuter, or anywhere amidst, the touring boot is an excellent option. The major distinction of these boots is the unparalleled comfort it provides when riding for the entire day, but not necessarily the most-loved feature.
Nearly all touring boots focus on water-resistance, support and protection, and comfort. You can compare them to a tennis shoe. However, they provide the much-needed support in all areas, giving you the capacity to ride longer distances.
Its taller construction is perfect for safeguarding your shin and other areas while helping you to withstand harsh weather conditions. If you’re someone who enjoys riding in multiple seasons and climates, then there’s a high possibility that you’ll purchase a pair of touring boots.
From their waterproofness to their complete GORE-TEX construction, touring boots are any rider’s “besties” whether on a rainy or cold day.
#3 Motocross and Dirt Bike Boots
Motocross racing is a type of off-street motorcycle event that takes place in rough terrains. To handle these kinds of conditions, bikers need to have boots that will have them to ride in comfort and in the best possible protection. Additionally, because the motorcycles are ridden at high speeds, the need for special boots arises.
Motocross and dirt bike boots are typically knee-high (around a height of 16 inches), and constructed from a mixture of plastic, metal, and/or composite material, and leather to create a comfortable and form-fitting boot.
For easily slip on or off, the motocross boot has a shaft that allows the boot to open lengthwise. The rider can tighten the boot according to his preference by using the adjustable straps (a multiple of 4 or 5).
Customarily, a metal place is screwed in place to protect the boot sole’s leading edge against a rigid terrain. The heel is usually very low (1/2 inch and below) and helps the rider to move his feet quickly in the right positions while gracing those corners.
Besides, some manufacturers decided to include a quick-lacing system on the inside between the harder external shell and the soft inner leg of the boot shaft as a way of ensuring that the boots are tight but fit comfortable.
On a dirt trail, dirt can be thrown all around as the motorcycle goes across at a high speed. As a result, the boots have a composite plate or a curved plastic that covers the shin to protect the rider from such debris.
Comprehensively, when compared to other boots, motocross boots are fancier because of their additional technical features.
#4 Racing Boots
If you want boots that will help you to excel at great speeds by maneuvering, protecting, and gripping those rear sets, then look no further than racing boots. Keep in mind that riding at high speeds require that your gears are more performance-driven and high-quality.
Motorcycle racing boots are advanced in technology and are designed with an extensive trail of performance features to provide sufficient protection. To help you move at high speeds, these integrated technologies will provide the avenue for easy braking, shifting, optimal traction, and the overall feel on the peg.
The comprehensive design of racing boots is aimed at helping you to go faster – From the enclosures and buckle systems to the design of insoles and outsoles.
Moving at a faster speed means a greater risk of falls and damages to your feet. Besides, the most critical areas that racing boots protect are your shin, heel, toes, etc. Furthermore, these boots allow you to replace damaged parts to extend their overall longevity.
In addition, racing boots are sturdy and tough due to their high-quality leather and provide superior traction for those winding corners. The full construction of these boots is designed with much focus on safety on your bike, no off.
So, if you’re not a speed freak, you may need to consider a different type of boots that meets your budget and style.
#5 Police Patrol Boots
When duty calls, you need boots that will help you to ride safe and comfortable. The primary aim of a police patrol boot is that it operates in the way it should.
Police patrol boots is a style of boots that specializes quick actions when the need exists. Usually, they are 17 to 18 inches in height, but may vary if it is custom built. In terms of color, black is the norm.
The boots convey an impressive overall appearance on motor officers, and can be considered as a part of their uniform. They possess laces at the instep or no lace at all. You’re most likely to find a Vibram sole with a lug thread or rubber design.
A police patrol boot provides a good appearance, protection, all-day comfort, and wear sustainability for riders. Also, they are also lightweight enough to smooth the way for quick movements such as quick operation while riding a motorcycle, but hefty enough to stand up to cold, rainy, or hot conditions, as well as protect you from the heat emissions of the engine.
The sole brings about exception grip; thus you should be comfortable in them while standing for long periods such as waiting in heavy traffic.
Several of the most popular brands of police patrol boots include Wesco, Chippewa, and Dehner.
#6 Cruiser Boots
Cruise boots are one of the toughest and roughest classic boots a biker will ever come across. If you should examine closely, you’ll observe that these boots can stand up to any open road by way of their integrated features and excellent protection.
Additionally, with many manufacturers incorporating comfort and performance features, you can ride safer and longer. Besides, most manufacturers don’t focus on high-tech features and style when making cruiser boots.
Cruiser boots are made from premium leather to provide waterproofing properties. Their slip-on style also adds the waterproofness. However, you can choose a breathable internal Dri-lex membrane if you wish.
The outsoles are acid- and oil-resistant and have sufficient flexibility to provide immediate comfort and strength for a long wear. Some cruiser boots also have a layer of ballistic nylon to protect your ankles, and a fiberboard footbed to lessen the impact of vibration.
What Should You Look for When Buying?
Given the extensive array of boots that exists on the market today, it’s rather difficult to choose your best pair instantly. Besides, not all bike boots will give you the same performance. Inevitably, some will cause you significant discomfort and weak protection while some will provide all-day protection and superior performance.
There are several things to consider when purchasing your best motorcycle boot. Some of these factors include:
#1 Your Motive
Firstly, you need to determine the type of boot that you need, based on the type of motorcycle riding that you engage in. For instance, if you indulge in dirt riding, your boots should provide you with the much-needed protection and coverage, and should be rigid and sturdy.
Contrastingly, if you’re a street rider, you can choose boots that are more stylish, unique, and simple, or those that provide more protection and brace.
A touring rider, on the other hand, may desire to have boots that offer superior protection and water resistance.
With that said, it is important to base your boot choice upon the type of riding that you do. After that, you’ll be a big step closer to finding your perfect pair.
#2 Type of bike
This is one of the first factors to directly influence the type that is best for you. Whether you ride a Ducati or any other type of bike, it is best that you choose boots that complement your ride. Doing this will help you to ride in great style and comfort, and stand out from the rest.
With regards to protection, it is crucial to consider the height.
For the most effective protection, boots that cover the ankle (riding shoes or ankle-length boots) are best, but those which go above that will be preferred since they’ll safeguard additional areas.
Be careful when choosing low-ankle motorcycle boots as they may barely protect your ankles or even ride low on your Achilles muscle which may have you feeling quite vulnerable to injuries.
Taller boots which go beyond the ankle will protect more areas, whereas mid-length boots or three-quarter length boots will offer more coverage.
Full-length boots will cover midway between your ankle and your calf and still can fit perfectly underneath some riding jeans if you prefer those over leather riding pants.
Conclusively, boots that are taller will provide more coverage, thus increasing protection.
The method of construction is a very crucial factor in the amount of protection and comfort that you’ll get while riding.
Boots that have double or triple stitching will have the highest quality. Besides, this is a feature that can help if an accident should occur.
If you examine the connection of the sole to the boots, you’d see that they are placed either glued or sewed. Usually, sewn boots are stronger and more durable when compared to those that are glued. Therefore, you should ensure that your boots are stitched and not glued.
Another feature to look for is Goodyear Welt Construction. This feature enhances the durability of your boots.
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#5 Highly Flexible and Supportive
The proper flexibility and support are just a few of the critical factors that you must consider when purchasing your new pair. The right level of flexibility in your boots can allow for comfortable walking and riding, and also when shifting gears. Nevertheless, your heels, shins, toes, and ankles should adequately get protection and support while riding.
The soles should have enough flexibility to allow for comfortably and easily shifting gears. The boots should offer great support for your ankles – crucial feature while riding your motorcycle – while the top of the boots should have a stable construction.
Different parts of your body such as your heels, toes, knees, and ankles are a few of the important factors you just cannot afford to ignore.
Gears that are designed for motorcycle riding are made with the focus on accidents. A quality boot is made from leather to provide the best possible degree of protection for your ankles and feet.
#6 Ventilation vs Water-resistance
With the major focus on biker boots in their detail, they have a sturdy and all-inclusive construction that brings about a combination of comfort and protection. However, you can still experience that same level of protection while maximizing on the degree of comfort in any particular extreme condition.
Vented bike boots are quite simple in their design and usually have a leather construction with perforations that allow more air to flow through the boots. As a result, your feet will be cooler in warmer climates, and the warmer months of the year.
Your boots should be water-resistant yet should allow your feet to breathe. You can accomplish this with several special surfaces along with interior linings.
An important thing to note is that boots that are lined with leather are not necessarily warmer than those which are unlined. Manufacturers use leather to design their boots because leather breathes.
Water-resistant boots are a great thing to have! It’s not a desirable situation to get wet after getting caught in the rain. Apart from the cold and fevers that you may experience, your feet will feel rather wet and uncomfortable.
Water-resistant boots may be constructed with the Gore-Tex feature, but will still have your feet feeling dry in wet weather. Nevertheless, it is important to note that if you’re inappropriately dressed (non-waterproof gears), then water may enter the boots through various paths, thus defeating the purpose of having waterproof motorcycle boots. Therefore, you should dress in accordance.
You may choose to have boots that are perfect for rainy days or those that will maximize on the cooling of your feet all-day. Depending on your riding experience in terms of weather, you can go ahead and make your choice.
The option of having your boots close or open is dependent on your preference. Several of the most well-known closures are Velcro and laces.
A high number of motorcycle riding prefer laces because it allows for the easy removal. On the other hand, some riders will go with Velcro as there’s no chance that the laces may untie while riding.
Another type of closures it buckles – a style that most people love because of how it makes the rider look.
When riding a motorcycle, it is important to consider the degree of traction. This can affect your riding experience and even how well-protected you are. Furthermore, the type of motorcycle riding that you engage in will assist you in picking out a sole.
Boots that come with a hard sole are more durable, but will not have the best gripping ability. Contrastingly, boots with a soft sole will give you more grip on the foot peg area, but will wear down quickly.
In this case, it is essential to abide by the manufacturer’s sizing guide. There exists a wide array of manufacturers, with each of them having different sizes. For instance, if you are a size 8 and one manufacturer has a size 8 boot, that doesn’t necessarily mean that another manufacturer’s size 8 will fit you.
Finding a good pair is not easy, but with the primary factors (listed above), you are one step closer to arriving at the best motorcycle boot to suit your needs.
It is critical that you shop in accordance with all the factors to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. It would be rather sad to see you spending your hard-earned money on boots that’ll give you no justice! Be a smart shopper! It is that simple.
Regardless of the type of bike that you ride, you definitely need reliable, high-quality, and protective equipment for a better riding experience. Now, boots play a crucial role in protecting you from possible injuries after a bike accident. With their many advanced technical features, they can determine how much damage will be done to your knees, ankles, shin, and other areas.
Motorcycle boots are mostly constructed from premium leather which allows for waterproofness. However, there are a few that lean more to the breathable side.
There are many different kinds for different situations, namely: motocross, dirt bike, cruiser, touring, and police patrol boots. These come in different styles and with different technologies to provide the rider with the best possible protection and comfort possible.
With so many brands and types on the market, one must shop in accordance with several factors to ensure that he finds his best pair of riding boots.
You just can’t underestimate the importance of a quality motorcycle boot. It can even determine whether you’ll be in a hospital for days or just a couple of hours. Bikers, don’t set up yourself for injuries. Anything can happen on the road. Protect yourself by purchasing good footwear today by following this guide. Happy shopping!