The Ultimate Buying Guide for Picking the Right Motorcycle Boots
Motorcycle boots are more important than most beginner motorcycle riders realize. Motorcycle boots need to do double-duty. Boots need to protect your feet and legs while riding and if you’re ever unlucky enough to have an accident. In addition when you get to your destination they need to be comfortable to walk around in like a regular shoe or boot. So while the best motorcycle helmet brands can focus exclusively on the one thing they need to do well (protect your head), boot makers need to balance two pretty important objectives and do an amazing job at both.
The good news is that motorcycle boots come in lots of styles and types. We will go into some of the details around what to look for when shopping for motorcycle boots later in this post. We will also discuss the different motorcycle boot types in this ultimate guide, but the most important thing you must remember is that when riding on your motorcycle you need sturdy leather boots that protect your feet and make riding comfortable.
Best Motorcycle Boots
Let’s jump straight into some of the recommended motorcycle boots. We’ve found a great assortment by researching online, talking to riders, looking at customer reviews and hands on testing of specific products. We’ve rounded out the top motorcycle boots in each category for you below:
Best Sport & Race Motorcycle Boots
High performance motorcycles require high performance motorcycle boots for their riders. We talked to riders of fast bikes and stalked people on forums to find the best sport and racing motorcycle boots.
Sometimes you need motorcycle footwear that is more shoe than boot. That means a low profile that doesn’t go too far up your leg and more style and design over straight up protection. Here are the best short boots and most stylish motorcycle shoes.
Black leathers, loud bikes and the motorcycle culture at full force, that’s the Harley motorcycle culture. For that rider the perfect boot is a rugged, tough leather boot that not only looks like “the business” but it also useful in the real world. Here are the best cruiser and Harley motorcycle boots.
Daily commutes, racing, off-road riding or going out for the night. The best women’s motorcycle boots have the coolest features while balancing being more customized for women. Here are the top women’s motorcycle boots.
The different Motorcycle boots available today are fit into a few big buckets as you can see above. For example, motorcycle boots such as Sidi ST Motorcycle Boots are unmistakably racing sports boots. They are mostly used on the track as are the Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots which are also clearly racing boots. There are boots which fit into the Harley and Cruiser boot style which are brutish and traditional, perfect for riding and everyday walking around. So what should motorcycle boots have in common, how do we reconcile that?
Any motorcycle boot you select should have:
Oil resistant soles to prevent you from slipping when you are foots down on the road.
Molded ankle protection to make sure that your most sensitive bone isn’t destroyed if you fall.
Torsional stiffness to prevent flexing of the ankle/foot
The good news is that most motorcycle boots have all of the above features. It is when you start looking at boots that are nontraditional and you feel like you can make them work for motorcycle riding. Boots that are not specifically designed for motorcycle riding often “look” like they have great protection. Be careful and do your research.
How to Choose Motorcycle Boots
We agree that in most day to day circumstances (unless you’re a sportsbike rider or on a track) you need a multi-functional boot for working, riding or walking. Here’s how to choose a boot that does it all.
1. Choose the motorcycle boot style you want
There are different styles of motorcycle boots available, so you need to pick between them. In addition to the main styles we mentioned above, there are a few others worth considering:
Motorcycle Riding Shoes (also known as Shorty motorcycle boots)
These are short boots as the name suggests and they are used by police and even firefighters who ride motorcycles. They are comfortable especially when you are riding and working all day. This boot has high flex and solid ankle armor but they aren’t as protective as a higher boot. A nice balance for those who need to wear boots all day long and ride a lot.
These boots are available for both men and women. These boots come in in different heights. The harness boots have a strap which wraps around the foot. There are many brands available but the best value for money and quality boots include styles made by Chippewa, Boulet and Wesco.
Tall Biker Boots
The tall biker boots are preferred for different reasons. They help protect you from getting injured by the hot exhaust pipe that is usually close to the legs. They also provide warmth to your body, especially during cold season. The tall biker boots appear to look impressive especially when you are wearing jeans.
This is an important boot to wear especially when you are driving at a fast speed because the leather will protect cold from getting into your body through legs.
2. Shaft height of your motorcycle
There are motorcycles that have tall shaft and those will require operations that can impact upper shin and potentially up to your knees. In those instances consider a taller boot to protect those areas.
3. Motorcycle Boot sole design
The main purpose of wearing a boot when riding on the motorcycle is to have grip on and off the motorcycle and to protect your feet in an accident. A good motorcycle boot sole should be oil resistant and have great grip.
4. Ventilation and water Resistance.
Ventilated motorcycle boots means less sweaty feet and good foot health. Motorcycle boots are mostly designed with ventilation especially for racing bikes where you will have to ride at very high speeds and the boots are really high. The ventilation will help to aerate the legs and reduces sweat. Boots should also be water resistant, especially where you have to ride during rainy season.
The Tips on Choosing the best Motorcycle Boots
Motorcycle boot pricing is all over the place. You can spend $5 or $500. Like everything else you pay for what you get. The boots which are the most expensive are packed full of features that cheap boots just don’t have. They are made of better materials, have more safety built in and are usually much more comfortable.
Type of Ride
The type of bike riding you do matters. If you’re cruising on your Harley on Sunday mornings in 70 degrees sunshine and that’s your only riding, clearly a race boot is overkill and would look stupid. If you are riding offroad and motocross a cruiser boot is clearly not appropriate from a safety perspective (and also looks stupid).
When riding your motorcycle during winter you should also make sure that the boots you wear are relatively warm and comfortable. The same will apply when you are riding your bike during a rainy or wet season. If you ride in the summer, ventilation matters a lot so look for that in a boot.
Your boot’s height is relatively important in determining the type of boot you purchase. The height of the boots is usually dependent on the purpose for which the boot is intended for.
The racing and sports boots must always be tall to make sure that the knee and the legs remain protected. The short boots are mostly cruising with your buddies rides or day to day do-it-all type boots. Take your time and understand what you want from your boots before buying.
Boots are usually constructed using different materials such as leather, woolly, plastics and other advanced materials (for race boots mainly). You can’t go wrong with a high-quality leather boot. Look for quality stitching and a sole that will stand the test of time.
The material used to make the boot you intend to purchase is worth understanding its originality and if it can serve you the purpose you intended to purchase the boot for. The high grained leather motorcycle boots are greatly recognized and have been proven to be the best one can purchase if you needed to purchase a motorcycle boot.
The leather material ensures that your boots durability. Make sure you purchase boots with the high-quality leather and you will find yourself throwing away after a long time service to you.
How Does Your Motorcycle Boot Fit?
The boot you purchase should fit. Yes I know we are stating the obvious, but we’re shocked by the number of times people say they bought bad boots that make them uncomfortable only to find they bought an awesome boot in the wrong size. Boots that fit you properly will keep your toes and foot comfortable and somewhat snug. Knowing your boot size is important and don’t assume it is the same as your shoe size.
The size of your boot is also another thing you should always check out when purchasing your boot. The sole should be thick enough to make sure nothing can injure your foot even though how sharp the object is. The sole should be durable and does not wear out easily. The grip is the most important feature of the sole. Grip is significant especially when you are riding at fast speed and also when racing.
Extra Features offered.
Different bikes comes in with different types of features which are intended to make them have a bargaining power in the market. The features are definitely relevant for the sake of your bike riding experience and you have no chance of neglecting this features.
You will need to weigh between price and the features you want and this will be a very significant way to measure what you want to achieve. The best bike you purchase must have many features and hence expect to chuck off some more pennies.
These are a few features that you should consider especially when you are in need of purchasing a motorcycle boot. Some of this tips will greatly depend on the customer’s personal needs and the reason for purchasing a motorcycle boot.
The difference between Men and Women’s Motorcycle Boots
Men’s and women’s boots are different and it isn’t just about style (although that is the case too). There are a lot of motorcycle boots that are perfectly unisex but in recent years we’ve seen a much bigger selection of gender-specific riding boots than ever before. Some difference between the two we’ve observed:
Size – Men’s motorcycle boots are constructed with a larger last and this is meant to cater for the additional volume and size of the Man’s foot. Women mostly have feet with less volume and therefore will need their boots designed separately. Vendors such as Daytona design motorcycle boots for women and it is clear they understand that sometimes men’s and women’s feet are different shapes.
Weight – Men’s boots can be heavier. Not sure why this is, but we’ve found that men’s boots are often chunkier and heavier. This may be a style thing, but worth noting.
Higher ankle support – The motorcycle boots for men will come up higher on the ankle. Again this seems like a style thing.
Colors – There are just way more color options for women than men when looking at motorcycle boots. That’s probably because we (men) have no style and can’t tell the difference between tan and brown.
Choosing the best motorcycle boot may seem to a daunting task. We hope this guide to buying motorcycle boots was helpful in explaining things to look for. Don’t forget to check out some of our recommended boots for 2017 because you really can’t go wrong with those.