Motorcycling - Gear/Equipment

Gear Basics: Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide

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Biker boots are an important part of your motorcycle safety gear. The best-fitting pair of boots must provide a good grip for your feet, tight support for your ankles and have a strong sole to protect your feet from the impact in the event of an accident. There is a plethora of riding shoe varieties available in the market which could be very confusing. This motorcycle boots buying guide offers you information and tips on buying riding boots that will help you choose a pair best suited to your needs.

This article is part of the ‘Motorcycle Gear Basics’ series, read our buying guide for Helmets & Gloves.

In case you commute to your workplace on a motorcycle your biker boots need to look appropriately presentable as well. After all, you may want to stay in them during your working hours. So, safety, style, comfort, and fashion all come into play while deciding on the right boots. Read this guide to know what to look for in motorcycle boots. Believe us, after you learn the basics then choosing motorcycle boots will never be easier. This guide covers shoes for all types of riding.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide – Know Your Shoes

Learn more about the various types of riding boots, construction, protection, and use in this buying guide.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
The Type of Motorcycle Boot You Buy is Important

Different Types of Biker Boots

Motocross Boots

Motocross boots also known as MX boots are perfect for off-road or dirt bike riding. These are loved by professional riders. You can look for the hinged ankle design in motocross boots as it enables free movement of your feet and at the same time protects you from injuries that can happen because of twisting or rolling. Comfort and adjustability are of paramount importance in these boots because an ill-fitting pair can really give you a difficult day on the track.

These boots are generally made of heat-resistant materials and reinforced with steel, polyurethane etc. They also have extra shock absorbing padding to defend you against the varied and bumpy terrain that you may ride on. There are many more features in these shoes as they are specially made for professionals in motocross. Not really the type of shoes that you’ll wear for everyday riding.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
Motocross Boots

Adventure and Dual Sport Boots

These biker boots can be comfortably used for both on and off-road terrains . They have the features of street bike boots as well as dirt bike boots. These motorcycle boots come with ankle protection and support as well as abrasion protection. Dual sports boots are useful for more than one type of riding sport.

These boots are of full-grain leather or various other textures that are also water resistant. There is a lined inner padding and all-terrain sole. These shoes are also made for serious riding and not for everyday users.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts

Sports bike/Track Day Boots

These are motorcycle racing boots with shock absorption and abrasion resistance features and offer protection from the high impact of accidents on the racing track . This is a part of your must-have safety gear while riding a sportbike.

The sport bike boots are more flexible and less stiff than track day boots, but overall construction is the same. These boots comprise of hard plastic armor with a heat resistant interior. Leather is typically used as construction cloth and hard metal or plastics are added on the exterior. These come with many features depending on the brand and price you’re willing to invest in. They are ideal for anyone who wants to ride on a track, not really used for daily wear.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
Sports Bike Boots

Cruiser Boots

Cruiser boots are on-road biker boots and provide heavy-duty protection from crash impacts with waterproofing and weather resistant features. Depending on your style of riding you can opt for high boots that cover the shin or short motorcycle boots with ankle protection along with the choice of zipper, laced, or buckle closures. Mostly made with heavy duty leather, these boots sometimes have a slightly raised heel made of rubber.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts

Motorcycle Touring Boots

These biker boots are made to provide all-day riding comfort, support, and protection along with weather resistance features. These are suitable for your workplace too.

They are built to be waterproof with materials like Leather or Gore Tex. They allow temperature regulation through the breathable inner lining.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
Motorcycle Touring Boots

Short Boots/ Riding Shoes

Riders that do not want to wear high boots or are casual riders not in need of heavy duty protection, typically opt for riding shoes. These shoes are becoming increasingly popular, they look like normal sneakers, and can be worn as everyday shoes. Despite their look, they can come with good sole and ankle protection, or even be made of sturdier abrasion proof external materials.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
Short Boots

Before Buying Biker Boots

It is important to consider the following factors before buying yourself the perfect pair of biker boots that will meet all your biking, safety and comfort needs. Use this motorcycle boots buying guide to understand the various elements of these boots to find the perfect one for you.

Type of Riding You Do

Your choice of biker boots depends on the type of riding you do, the bikes you ride, the terrain you wish to navigate etc. You could be a motorbike racer, an adventure tourer, or a motorcycle commuter. You may ride dirt bikes, sports bikes, or even adventure bikes. If you commute to work on your motorcycle you may even have to stay in your riding shoes at your workplace. In any case, protection and comfort are the basic requirements of your biker shoes followed by features that supplement your ride.

Weather too can make big difference in what you buy. If you ride in summers, check out our must-have summer gear guide .

Fitment

The first thing to look at is your boot size, as ill-fitting biker boots will cause more harm than do any good. Feel the shoes well before zeroing in on a pair.

Materials

Biker boots made of high-quality leather will last longer. Make sure that it’s treated leather as it repels water and will last through rains or wet terrains.

Gore-Tex is a breathable waterproof liner in your boots with sweat-wicking features to keep you dry and comfortable.

Abrasion resistance, impact absorption, and temperature adaptability are features of thermal plastic polyurethane that are used to make biker boots’ armor and sliders.

Kevlar is a strong and high-performing para-aramid synthetic fiber used in the stitching of motorcycle gear and accessories including boot laces.

Vibram and Nitrile rubber soles are good for your biker boots as they are slip resistant.

The Goodyear Welted construction is a tight one that attaches the sole to the rest of the boot giving it a prolonged life with waterproofing features.

Protection

Riding styles like motocross and tracks are aggressive hence require maximum support and protection. Biker Boots for these riding styles need to be designed to meet these safety requirements. In incidents of motorcycle crashes the feet and legs must be protected. The ankle and shin must be adequately covered and protected against the impact of a crash.

Construction of the Boot

Knowing the construction of the bike boots will help you determine its quality, and whether they suit your riding style. A stitched sole may last longer than a glued one. Opt for riding shoes that have replaceable parts like soles, insoles, buckles, or toe sliders. Double or triple stitched seams will hold the boots together in a crash. Check if the boots have protective features such as oil, water, shock, and weather resistance. Laces, buckles, zippers or Velcro – choose a closure that suits your riding style and comfort. Gaiters prevent dirt and water from entering the boot.

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
Construction and Height of the Boots are Important

Height

Full-height riding boots have their own advantage as they protect the foot, ankle and the upper leg. You have the option of going for short motorcycle boots but they come at a cost; you have to give up on upper leg protection.

Duration

Decide on how much time you will be staying in your riding shoes before you embark on shopping for them. Pay attention to safety but try not to end up wearing shoes that are safe but uncomfortable for you to endure them for a longer period of time.

Price

Motorcycle boots are no doubt expensive, but buying expensive stuff is not mandatory. You may get good shoes at a reasonable price. You will need to do your research on different brands and features that you need. Especially, if you don’t ride on motocross tracks, you can settle for boots that are economical and less sophisticated but those that meet your criteria of safety, comfort, and functionality. After all, investing in a good quality pair of biker shoes is like purchasing an insurance policy!

Style

Yes, why compromise on this! We know you are not walking the ramp, but you can do with some fashion and some style for your biker boots. After completing this motorcycle boots buying guide, you’ll find that shopping for efficiency and style is much easier. Your boots don’t have to look ugly and mean!

Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide- Basics for Riding Enthusiasts
Boots Come in All Types of Styles

Livingit Tip: Do not think of settling for basic everyday shoes for your riding. They are terrible and not for bikers! You will be seriously compromising on safety and comfort. You will also reduce their life by using them for riding.

Whether you are a motorcycling aficionado or planning your first motorcycle tour , good riding gear and accessories give you the confidence to live your passion. There are some great bike shoes out there for both men and women, make use of our motorcycle boots buying guide and find the best ones for yourself. Do share your biker boot-hunting experiences with us.

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