Finding the right equipment to go with your bike could prove a challenging task, especially since there are thousands of products that might seem suitable at first. And, while the leather jacket, helmet, and gloves seem mandatory, not all people understand the importance of a good pair of motorcycle boots.
Indeed, you can also ride using a regular pair of sneakers or trainers but they won’t provide the same level of comfort or protection to your feet and ankles. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in a good pair of motorcycle boots and how to find the right pair, according to your needs.
Why are motorcycle boots important?
Impact and open wound protection
Riding a motorcycle is quite dangerous, even if you stick to the speed limit and ride carefully. There are a million things that can go wrong on the highway or any other road and you need to be prepared to face the challenges and protect yourself.
While you are riding your bike, your feet are exposed, leaving them vulnerable to vehicles rolling over or falling onto your feet. To protect yourself from all dangers, you should opt for a pair of reinforced boots, preferably made with steel.
These are specifically designed to protect most of your bones in your feet from sudden impact or extreme weight. Protective boots will absorb shocks caused by impact and lower the risk of fractures or open wounds.
According to studies in the field, special riding boots provide 10 times more protection than regular shoes, keeping your feet away from severe injuries. In some cases, motorcycle boots can make the difference between keeping and losing your leg after a severe crash, as one customer of the Harley-Davidson boots mentioned in a review.
Full foot and ankle support
Most regular shoes offer some support for your feet but they rarely protect your ankles as well. If you want to avoid sprains, ligament injuries or any other unnecessary visits to the hospital, it would be best to invest in a high-quality pair of motorcycle boots with extra protection.
Another reason why you should wear specific riding boots is that they can offer increased protection in all climates. In places with warmer climates like Nevada, California, and Florida, we recommend using breathable motorcycle boots, providing maximum air circulation to keep your feet cool and dry throughout the day.
In colder climates, it is always best to choose shoes or boots that absorb extra moisture while also protecting your feet from water, snow, and low temperatures. Leather is the best fabric for all seasons as it is lightweight, breathable, and weatherproof at the same time.
Traction is extremely important when operating your motorcycle, so you need to choose a pair of appropriate boots. Whenever you lose control of your bike, you have the tendency of sticking the feet out to the ground to regain your balance. This action is even harder to perform when it’s raining or the ground is wet.
If you want to avoid injuries and have better control of your feet no matter the weather outside, you should opt for a pair of motorcycle boots that offer adequate traction.
They look cool
The best way to compliment your black leather Harley jacket and your Harley motorcycle is to choose some similarly cool boots. Style represents an important aspect for many passionate bikers, and you cannot create a great outfit with a pair of regular trainers or sneakers.
Heavy-duty riding boots that are both elegant and chunky to provide improved protection to your feet not only add a couple of inches to your overall height but will also make you look cooler and tougher. They might weight more but will certainly do their part when it comes to style and protection.
How to find the perfect pair of boots?
With so many great options available on the market, how can you be sure you bought the perfect motorcycle boots? If you follow these simple criteria, you will easily come home with the most comfortable pair of riding boots.
Consider the type of riding you’ll be doing
How often do you ride your bike and for what purpose? Do you use it simply to get from point A to point B faster or is it a vehicle that can help you boost your adrenaline level by choosing more difficult roads that require special skills?
If you’re used to riding dirt bikes, most probably you already own a pair of MX boots specifically designed for off-road terrains. They are quite heavy but provide good protection for both your feet and ankles. However, there are dozens of other brands and products that might offer even more comfort, better traction, and weather-proof features than your old boots.
If you’re mainly using your motorcycle around town and rarely take it out for a longer ride, there is no point in investing in heavy-duty boots, especially if you don’t get on the highway to test the speed limits of your two-wheeler. In this case, you can opt for more generic brands like Forma, Harley-Davidson, and even TCX.
Consider the level of protection
You should also choose the required level of protection depending on your riding style. For instance, motocross and track days need maximum protection, so you’ll have to pick a pair of boots with built-in components that will keep your feet and ankles safe even in case of impact.
As a general rule, any type of specialized motorcycle shoes will cover your ankles to prevent sprains and other injuries. The shorter the boot, the less protection it provides, so you need to also take this into account.
If you prefer adventures and practicing dual sports, you’ll need a pair of boots that are waterproof and weatherproof. They should be made of full-grain leather to allow your feet to breathe properly but will also require steel shanks for increased foot support. You’ll also need anti-slip and all-terrain soles, as well as internal molded protection areas.
Sportbike boots should come with contoured heel, ankle, and shin protection and should absorb shocks. They should be lightweight and have superior abrasion resistance. Look for boots that are also flexible to ensure proper articulation.
Touring boots are specifically designed for long wear and should mainly focus on comfort, ergonomics, weatherproof features, and protection. That being said, you’re looking for boots made of leather or Gore-Tex with heel, toe, ankle, and shin protection, and with breathable liners to keep your feet cool and dry no matter the temperatures outside.
Cruiser boots are designed for regular bikers who travel for short distances daily. They should be sturdy and have good traction upon contact with the ground.
Ideally, cruiser boots are made of full-grain leather and are available in various heights, depending on your preferences. They feature steel toe and shank reinforcements for increased protection and shock absorption. The double or triple stitching makes the boots suitable for long wear.
If you’re looking for some motocross boots, protection is one of the most important features to consider. Off-road riders prefer an aggressive and fast style of riding, subjecting their legs and feet to the terrain.
A good pair of motocross boots should be made of high-quality, full-grain leather and should come with replaceable buckles, soles, and booties since these elements are the ones that will wear the fastest.
Steel shanks will provide increased support to your feet and protect them against continual flexing which could lead to injuries. Gaiters are required to prevent water and dirt from entering the boot. If you want a good fit you should also make sure the buckle closure system resists against high-impact and features Velcro straps for more comfort.