Whether you ride a cruiser, sport bike, ATV, dirt bike or some other type of machine, you must wear protective gear. You want the gear you choose to fit great and look cool, though. Put simply, your motorcycle boots say a lot about you. Therefore, you must be sure you shop for only the best motorcycle boots on the market today. This guide helps you determine which boots are right for you and your riding style.
The Nature of Riding Boots
Even if you live for the moments you spend behind the handlebars of your favorite motorcycle, you eventually have to walk away. When you do, you probably continue to wear your boots. That is, unlike other essential pieces of gear, your boots must work well on and off your bike. Therefore, you must choose riding boots carefully to get the most out of them.
That said, you do not want your boot to be too flimsy to protect your feet, ankles and legs from injury. If you do not have the best possible protection, you may sustain a serious injury to your lower extremities in a crash, slide or drop. As such, you must understand what makes a high-quality riding boot.
Motorcycle Boot Design
Before you shop for your new footwear, you must know what to look for in motorcycle boots. Riding boots are often more expensive than street footwear. The reason for this is simple: a motorcycle boot must facilitate riding while offering optimal protection.
Motorcycle boot design often differs from your work, western, casual or other types of boots. For example, riding boots must have a slip-resistant sole to ensure you stay in command of your machine. Furthermore, a motorcycle boot must resist flexing. If you regularly race, your boot also must have reinforced armor to protect the vulnerable parts of you from track or trail hazards.
Riding boots may also come with a variety of integrated features that improve the quality of your ride. Buckles, incorporated shifter pads, reinforced stitching and other modern options are available on many types of boots. As such, while your everyday footwear may work in a pinch, opting for a pair of boots that has a motorcycle-specific design likely makes a great deal of sense.
Motorcycle Boot Selection
When selecting a new pair of boots, you have a variety of options. You should, though, think about the functionality of your riding footwear. At a minimum, you want to choose a boot that covers your ankle. In doing so, the construction should offer motorcycle boots ankle protection. That is, you want a boot that has reinforced support. While low-rise boots may look great on the street, high-top boots are better for protecting your ankles.
After picking a high-rise boot, you must consider the following:
As you may know, motorcycle boots come in a variety of materials. Still, because you want ultimate protection, you need to opt for a material that is substantial. Thick leather is a good option. Still, many boot manufacturers use modern textiles to create high-quality boots. These are typically fine, but you may pay a premium for them. Additionally, when choosing a material, you must think about where and when you ride. If your trips regularly include inclement weather, picking waterproof or water-resistant materials is essential.
You also want your riding boots to have excellent construction. Because your boots must put up with some punishment, you should check the seams. Picking boots that have double or triple stitching is a good way to ensure your boots will have a long life. Likewise, because glue is weaker than stitches, you should try to find boots with limited adhesive.
A boot’s sole is one of its more important parts. After all, soles prevent slippage. When looking for your new footwear, you must consider the makeup of the bottom of the boot. If you pick a soft-soled boot, you usually have better grip. Still, soft soles tend to wear out faster than hard ones. If you wear your riding boots all day, opting for a harder sole may be a better option.
You do not want to spend forever putting your boots on or taking them off. Many riding boots come with buckle closures that streamline these processes. If you ride a dirt bike, buckle closures may be essential for your footwear. They may be less important for rides on other types of bikes, though. Regardless, you should choose boots that close securely and comfortably.
How much armor you need for your boots likely depends on where you ride. If you ride motocross, you may have an increased risk of a crash or slide. Therefore, you probably want reinforced armor on your boots. For other rides, though, armor is less important. That is, you must look for general protection that resists flexing.
Motorcycle Boot Pricing
While you may want to invest in a high-quality pair of boots, your budget may have other ideas. While riding boots can be expensive, the financial sacrifice is often worthwhile. After all, a good motorcycle boots is strong, durable, comfortable and protective. Therefore, you probably do not want to scrimp on your boot purchase.
If you are working with a limited budget, you have some options. That is, even economical riding boots typically offer better protection than ordinary boots. Fortunately, you can pick up a pair of good boots for around $100. For example, Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 Boots offer molded plastic protection and leather construction for roughly the same price as most work boots.
You can also find great deals on boots by looking for clearance specials. Often, prices drop when new versions of riding boots hit the market. If you do not mind wearing last year’s model, you can usually get a bargain.
Now that you know the ins and outs of motorcycle boots, you are ready to shop for your new pair. Remember, though, your boots are only as good as their fitment. Therefore, be sure you consult sizing guides when purchasing new footwear. Then, break in your boots before your ride so that you know how they perform in real-world conditions.