Firstly, a great start to making sure your riding experience will be as enjoyable as possible depends hugely on your selection of motorcycle boots. You want something comfortable, durable and reliable that won’t manage to break the bank. The first step towards picking the right motorcycle boot for you begins with understanding the different types of boots.
Sport and Racing
Sport boots are often more light-weight and stiffer than regular riding boots. Features such as these assist riders in managing precise foot controls at high speeds. In addition, they also have smoother soles which work to increase touch sensitivity. All though you wouldn’t necessarily want to go walk huge distances in a pair of sport/racing boots, they will without a doubt offer a solid, reliable platform for you on your bike.
The boot’s calf should have a firm fit, but enough space to easily cover the bottom of your riding pants. Functionality wise, sport boots are intended to be used in a tuck position with the rider’s legs pushing to the rear of the bike.
Regarding protection, sport/racing boots are on the front line of innovation. To start, a satisfactory sport/racing boot has outstanding impact dissipation and abrasion resistance. High quality models also have replaceable armor panels. Features like these allow a rider to purchase new plates after a crash, rather than replacing the boot in its entirety.
Cruiser boots are set to a more casual tone with priorities lying primarily in both functionality and style. Some of these boots are more so fashion pieces with top quality leather, soles and insulation. In some cases, other boots will focus on providing as many protective and technical features possible. Ultimately, it’s up to the rider as an individual to decide where his or her preferences are.
Generally more flexible and form-able, these motorcycle boots are suited more towards forward-bias foot pegs. This makes it so they can become more practical both on and off the bike.
When you’re shopping for leather boots, there are a few things to keep in mind. Boots should either be top or full grain leather types. What’s the reasoning behind this? Full-grain will eventually develop a more natural finish as you work them in, while top-grain will continue to maintain its original state.
In addition, leather boots are particularly great at attracting/insulating heat, meaning they can warm up quick! Even though you will be looking without a doubt awesome in your leather footwear, your feet will at one point or another most likely feel like they’re on fire. If you tend to ride in warmer conditions, it’s definitely worth it to seek out a breathable leather or a leather/textile combination.
Cruiser boots can have multiple looks; short, mid or full-length. Shorter options tend to be more affordable and simpler to walk in, while longer boots offer higher quality protection. Usually, cruiser boots are made to be worn under the pant cuff.
Touring boots are typically more of a full-height boot. For a start, they need to be comfortable enough to last you long days on the road and effective in all sorts of unpredictable weather. This could be characterized by features such as waterproofing, insulation and breath-ability. In addition, touring boots have to be flexible enough for some travel on-foot as well.
Ultimately, these boots need to do just about everything. Because of this, touring boots are typically expensive and heavy with the inclusion of all their features.
Touring boots are extremely protection-oriented and designed for a neutral foot peg position. Touring boots are considered to be riding a fine line between sport, ADV and cruiser footwear. For riders who sport-tour, there are specialized boots that push towards the performance side. On the contrary, if you are a cruiser/ADV rider there are touring boots that lean towards those specialties.
As a rider on the commute, you typically won’t be changing footwear in between the destinations you are travelling to and from, some motorcyclists will choose to use touring or cruiser boots if faced with this situation. Most commonly, in the case of a commuter, these riders tend to choose short boots and riding shoes.
Short riding boots are typically cheaper in comparison to their full-length counter parts. This is quite frankly because you’re buying less riding boot.
Short motorcycle boots or ‘Shorties’ will usually cut off right above the ankle, but not any longer. In a sense, they’re exactly like any other riding boot. Short boots can have specialized armour plating, soles, shifter panels and abrasion resistant materials. Though do keep in mind, the single lacking feature of a low riding boot is the sacrifice of overall coverage.
The advantage? Shorter riding boots offer much more versatility. In addition, there is no riding boot better for a rider would has to travel sizable distances both on their bike and on foot. With current innovations in both boot style and safety, many shorties today have been designed to look just like regular sneakers. Talk about low key!
Adventure Touring and Dual sport.
This particular type of riding boot is ready for just about anything, it’s assertive, technical, versatile and robust. Much like a motocross boot, dual-purpose boots are designed to be sturdy and impact resistant. Features such as these can be of importance for dirt riders, where in some cases you might want to put a foot down without exploding your ankle.
In contrast to motocross boots, ADV and dual-sport footwear has plush, more maneuverable soles. They may also integrate things like waterproofing and insulation, these are the little details that can make a significant difference for experience on the road.
One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a pair of adventure touring/dual sport boots; you need to be attentive in understanding how you navigate the road as a motorcycle rider. This brings up questions like what terrain will you be riding on? What bike are you riding? Will you be riding single track? Details like these will help you to make the right buyer’s decision.
The more a boots design leans towards dirt, the stiffer your boot will tend to be. This is due to the integrated buckles, armour and exoskeleton. Riders who ride on paved roads should seek out a more lightweight and flexible boot. A piece of advice; try to find less plastic and more leather.