As motorcycle users, we are becoming more and more aware of the correct equipment we should wear before sitting at the controls of our beloved motorcycle. We know that when riding a motorcycle we should not be overconfident and we have to be cautious, but even so, we have to equip ourselves properly and choose the best protection depending on the type of motorcycle we use or, for racing , the type of motorsport we are going practice.
For this reason, brands are working hard to improve their different products and to ensure maximum safety and protection, in part also conditioned by increasingly stringent laws that entail a series of very severe endurance tests that must be passed. Choosing the right footwear for motorcycling is just as important as wearing a helmet, jacket, gloves, and other protective gear. In addition, ensuring proper maintenance of all these elements is as necessary as maintaining our bikes.
Scratches and fractures are the most frequent injuries in motorcycle falls, the legs being the most affected body part according to statistics. We also know that the city is where most accidents occur, so if we use a motorcycle every day, we should never let our guard down and it is advisable to always be well equipped. In addition, foot and leg injuries not only occur when riding. They can also be caused by when parking or in falls while stationary, so the use of specific riding boots is always advisable. They can prevent injuries or, at least, reduce their severity.
For this reason, there are different types of boots on the market. These should be chosen according to the use and type of motorcycle we use. It is not the same to ride a low displacement scooter in the city, a dirt bike on a dirt track, a high displacement scooter on the road, etc. For each occasion, there are specific motorcycling boots and it is important to make the right choice, so we are going to try to help you.
When riding around town on a motorcycle, it is necessary to use light and comfortable footwear, bearing in mind that we are likely to walk in them when leaving our bike parked, and that its use may be prolonged. Thinking about the hottest days of summer, the footwear shouldn’t be too hot. Therefore, it is best to use boots that cover and protect the ankles, but do not go too high up the leg. There are leather boots on the market with laces similar to those used in motor racing, or casual boots that resemble basketball shoes. We can also find very smooth models and without laces, which go unnoticed while going about our day not riding our motorcycle.
Touring bike boots
For traveling and road routes, you should wear medium-calf leather boots that provide good protection for your ankles and shins. They must be comfortable, bearing in mind that we may them for many hours and that we may be walking when we get off our motorcycle. Likewise, they must have some kind of membrane that makes them waterproof and keep our feet dry in case we ride in the rain. On the outside, they are should be robust and have a simple design, except for protection for the gearshift on the left foot boots. In addition, they are should be black to better camouflage stains caused by grease or other thing that can be found on the asphalt. There are also some that are more suitable for colder days and others that are less warm, more appropriate for the summer season. In general, they have zippers on the sides and Velcro fasteners on the upper part to adjust properly to our calves.
Sports bike boots
Designed for riding sports bikes, both on the road and on the circuit. They are usually of medium length and are also mostly made of leather, although they have different strategically placed protection on the outside. In addition, interchangeable sliders are included on the outer sides, next to the toecaps, in order to be more resistant to possible friction with the asphalt when leaning hard in the curves. In general, they are very rigid against lateral movements to offer high protection, and although they allow the ankles to move up and down to change gears and brake, they are not particularly suitable for walking in them once we get off the bike.
In addition, they usually have brightly colored leather to match the decoration of the motorcycle and/or the rider’s other equipment. The top-of-the-range ones may include an inner liner with rigid elements made of fiber to further increase protection against possible falls. Putting them on and taking them off takes time, because their fasteners are very secure so that the boots do not come off in high-speed falls. Some boots combine zippers with laces, Velcro, and ratchet straps.
Off-road bike boots
A few years ago, there were differences between motocross, enduro, and supermotard boots, but nowadays, the main manufacturers have managed to use the same formula for all three disciplines. Even so, there are still some old-fashioned models, with smooth soles in the case of motocross and supermotard, and with soles with a marked pattern in the case of enduro. However, the more modern design models use striped soles that provide the grip required when putting your feet on the ground in enduro, and the necessary sliding in motocross and supermotard when “resting” your feet on the curves. At the same time, the central part of the soles is interchangeable, as it is an area that is worn down more than the rest due to its friction with the footpegs (especially if we are talking about motocross).
In addition to being the highest (you could say they were full-leg boots), off-road bike boots are clearly the heaviest and most robust, and therefore, the ones that offer greater protection to the feet and lower legs. The diameter of their upper part may seem excessive, but once they are on, in addition to hugging your calves, they also leave room for the orthopedic knee pads used in the three disciplines mentioned. Normally, in addition to Velcro fasteners, they have four hooks for fastening. This type of boot is also used on dirt track bikes, although the boot of the left foot is fitted with a metal sole to better withstand the almost continuous friction with the ground. It is also true that some manufacturers have already developed a specific model of boots for this discipline, with the left boot having a replaceable sole.
Trail bike boots
Trail riding is a growing discipline and the manufacturers have been quick to develop specific boots for this class of motorcycles. They are a combination of touring boots and off-road boots. They are made of very thick leather and have two or three hooks for fastening depending on their height, as there are both low and high cut boots. However, although they provide good protection for off-road riding, they are not as robust and bulky as actual off-road boots, as they must also be comfortable for extended use on the road.
Trial bike boots
Trial boots are similar to the boots used for enduro, motocross, and supermotard, but their design is simpler, and their soles are thinner, as well as having a slightly lower shaft. For trial riders, the added weight is very important and when developing trial boots, the aim is to keep the weight as light as possible. They must offer the degree of protection and flexibility necessary for this discipline. When it comes to fastening, some models maintain the traditional hooks while others have opted for a boa-type fastening, accompanied by a Velcro strap on the upper part, this makes them considerably lighter.
These are the most traditionally designed boots, resembling what we know as off-road boots, such as those that used to be used for horseback riding. For this reason, some of them look very much like “street” boots and some of them have high heels. It is also not uncommon for them to include eye-catching buckles with ribbons and other decorative elements. There are also some whose design is inspired by military boots with the entire front part laced up. They are available in black or different shades of brown, and are not usually particularly high.