Riding in Style and Safety: How to Buy Motorcycle Boots and Find the Best Pair for You

When it comes to cruising on a motorcycle, you have to consider more than just your bike. For safe riding, you need to assemble the right gear—and one of the essential pieces is finding a proper motorcycle boot.

Motorcycle boots do a dual job of providing protection and giving you a comfortable ride. But not all shoes are equal, and it's critical to find a pair that will suit your riding style and stick with you for the long run. So what exactly does that footwear look like and how can you find it?

Things to Consider When Shopping for Motorcycle Boots

Since your style of riding can impact what you need, not everyone will get the best results from the same pair of motorcycle boots—just like you want to pick a motorcycle best suited for your needs. Even so, here are some things you can pay attention to that will help you find the right fit.

Height

How tall you wear your footwear may be a matter of personal preference with any other type of shoe, but when it comes to motorcycle boots, you don't want anything that doesn't at least protect your ankle. If you have that coverage, you can reduce the risk of ankle injuries during a crash and have additional support.

And while you can get away with something that covers your ankle, taller boots are generally best when it comes to protection while biking, even if it means you sacrifice a bit of flexibility overall.

Your Type of Riding

There are plenty of different ways to enjoy motorcycling, from casual rides to rougher terrains. These different approaches can bring various risks to the game, so you'll want to find boots that match. Thankfully, brands make this process simpler by making different footwear suitable for these various situations.

Think about the riding you want to do (or will be doing the most often), then shop for boots suitable for that.

Materials

Just as there's no shortage of ways to enjoy motorcycles, there's also no shortage of different materials used in boots. Each kind can offer their pros and cons, but here are some that generally won't steer you in the wrong direction:

●       High-quality leathers

●       Thermalplastic polyurethane

●       Gore-Tex

●       Kevlar

While you're taking a closer look at materials, don't neglect what goes into the sole of the boot, either. Non-slip designs are essential for having enough traction when riding and will also help you when walking around potentially slippery conditions, so it's a win-win.

Protection

We've already mentioned this aspect before, but we'll say it one more time for emphasis: part of the purpose of motorcycle boots is to protect your feet. Aside from the usual protection while walking around, motorcycle footwear is vital for preventing significant damage to your feet in the event of an accident.

The height of your boots will play a part in that, but so will the overall build of the boot. Ankles, toes, shin, and heel areas are all places where boots can reinforce if your bike lands on you in a crash. Soles should also be shock absorbent; plus you want secure wear that will stay on your feet.

Closure

Speaking of keeping boots on your feet, you should pick out a pair that has a secure closure. Between laces, Velcro, buckles, and other options, this aspect tends to be a personal choice, though you can find products that have straps to keep laces down and reduce the risk of them becoming undone while riding.

Overall, buckles and Velcro tend to be a bit more secure, but the goal is to find a boot that you feel confident will stay on while you ride.

Construction

Solid construction will pay off in the long run, as your boots will last longer and hold up against rough conditions, which will help get your money's worth from the purchase. If you're looking at stitching, see if the seams have double or triple stitches to keep things secure? Do you need weatherproofing? Is it possible to replace parts if necessary?

Fit

Just like any other type of footwear, the right fit is essential for motorcycle boots, as it will impact your comfort and security levels. If you're buying your shoes in person, try them on before taking them out of the store. When purchasing online, pay attention to any available sizing guides, since there can be differences between manufacturers.

Don't forget to account for the type of socks you plan to wear, as thicker ones can impact how well a boot fits. Additionally, motorcycle boots tend to be stiffer than regular shows to provide extra protection, so you may get a different feel than what you're otherwise used to wearing.

Comfort

The toughness of motorcycle boots can also impact their comfort level, which can make it tricky to find the right balance. Part of this aspect will come from breaking them in first, but you don't want to sacrifice safety, either. Thankfully, boot manufacturers have gotten pretty good at making products that can perform well in both areas; you need to look for them.

Price

Budgeting is essential when handling any purchase, and motorcycle boot prices can easily breach five-hundred dollars, depending on what you get. Boots are also an area where you'll get your money's worth, so you don't want to only focus on saving cash, as a cheap product can mean you lose out on the essential protection; plus, cheap boots tend to wear out faster.

Even so, most styles have more affordable options that still have the quality to handle the trials of the road. It's not as pricey as motorcycle values themselves, but it's not something you can ignore.

Style Factor

What we've covered so far is plenty to keep track of, but there's one more area to consider when trying to make the perfect purchase: style. Everyone has their preferences, and there are some pretty slick options available.

You shouldn't pick out a pair of boots just because they look good, but if you feel stuck between a couple of comparable choices, there's nothing wrong with picking out the style you like best.

Types of Motorcycle Boots

While motorcycle boots are a category different from more casual footwear and work boots, there are still multiple subcategories that work best in different situations. When considering how you ride, here are some of the larger styles that will help you get the best fit for your needs.

Motocross (MX) Boots

This style of boots has some of the highest levels of protection and stability, and they work best for people who ride off-road and in harsh conditions. These boots are also suitable for riding in different terrains, and they usually come with replaceable parts to let you get the most use out of them.

Touring and Cruiser Boots

These types of boots are what comes to mind when people think of motorcycle footwear, and they have a rather utilitarian look, opting for pull-on and side zippers rather than laces. Most of the time, these boots will use heavy duty leather and allow for some reinforcement. You may be able to find waterproofed lining, but it's not a guarantee.

Dual Sport and Adventure Boots

Boots that fall into this category tend to work well in both on and off-road situations, thanks to their all-terrain soles, water and weatherproofing, and breathable internal liners for high levels of comfort and practicality. For those planning to have a lot of walking time in their boots along with the time on their bike, these types make a good match.

Short Boots and Riding Shoes

If you can't just convince yourself to go for a tall boot, then motorcycle riding shoes can provide an alternative. In most cases, this style will cover the ankle, but won't reach entirely up to the leg. You lose out on some protection this way, but you get a more casual appearance and have much better security than trying to wear regular shoes while cycling.

The Importance of Finding the Right Boot

Looking at everything we've covered so far, it may seem like a hassle to think about so many things when essentially picking out a pair of footwear. But it's well worth the effort to find the right boot that matches your riding style and other preferences. So why does all this matter?

Undeniably, safety is one of the most pressing concerns. Motorcycles don't provide the same coverage as cars do, plus they easily weigh a couple of hundred pounds. Getting into an accident can be dangerous, and your feet and legs are at risk for serious injury without the proper protection. A sturdy pair of boots can help with that.

Picking out just any style without consideration for the riding you plan to do can also be dangerous; for example, wearing short boots while riding over rough terrains is very risky. Not being considerate can lead to further issues.

Outside of looking for safety, factors like how comfortable your boots are and if you like them can impact how likely you are to wear them, so you want to get the best choice for you.

No matter if you have a traditional bike or a 3 wheel motorcycle, you can't deny the need for a reliable pair of riding boots. When looking for a bike, be ready to invest in suitable gear as well.