Updated February, 2018
Boots are a critical piece of gear for any rider, but the type of riding that you do and the type of bike you are riding can have some impact on the type of boot that will best meet your needs. Sports bikes normally encourage a rider to sit in a more aggressive position, meaning that the rider is leaning forward and in a crouched position rather than the upright style of an adventure bike or cruiser.
The geometry of your body in this sports mode is now a driving factor in your boot selection. Picture the aggressive ride position and notice that the rider’s knee is in front of the ankle and not directly above it as in the upright seating position. This means that the ankle is flexed forward to create an angle of fewer than 90 degrees where the leg and foot meet. So a boot that is constructed at a 90-degree angle is not going to conform to the riders foot, ankle and leg. But a sports boot or a racing boot does offer that slightly forward slant and also integrates flexible panels at the ankle to allow riders to comfortably maintain that aggressive stance for long periods of time.
In addition to providing more comfort in a race type foot and ankle position, sports boots offer abrasion protection, ankle stability and a sole which easily anchors to a foot peg. All of these features allow a rider good range of motion, comfort and a heightened level of safety for the higher speeds achieved by sports bikes.
Our Top Picks
Sport Boots Buyers Guide
Buying a sport boot is a lot like buying any boot or shoe in that each rider is going to have certain preferences and sizing concerns but there are other factors which should be given equal consideration. Riding position and the angle of the ankle will play an important role in the selection process. Overlooking this information can result in at best discomfort and at the worst fatigue and blisters on the ankles.
Riders should also evaluate how they like to position their foot on the pegs. If you are accustomed to hanging it by the heal with the top of the foot forward then be sure that the boot offers some type of heal. If you place your feet flatter on top of the pegs then a heel is not an issue. Length can also be a huge factor for some riders. Some like the boot over the pant leg while others want the boot to fit snugly under the pant leg.
Having answers to all of these questions will allow riders to address their personal preferences and apply our safety and durability information to make a great selection of new sport boots.
The Sidi Cobra is a great blend of safety features and sport style at a very reasonable price.
- The Lorica outer construction with double stitching in the high-stress areas provides both abrasion and impact protection for the entire foot and ankle.
- Thermoplastic resin provides additional ankle support and protection while the Vertebra System in the rear protects the riders Achilles tendon.
- The large heel cup provides great protection and also includes a shock absorber which can be replaced.
- The toe sliders are also easily replaceable.
- The composite inner sole also comes with an additional arch support which can be removed if the rider prefers a flatter surface.
- An elastic panel next to the zippers allows for easier zipping and also customizes the fit slightly more to the riders calf size and shape.
- The perforated Teflon treated liner adds to the comfort and also promotes wicking to help keep feet dry.
- A dual compound sole offers great durability while still providing the needed grip for stopping and launching.
The Sidi Cobra sport boot offers great protection from abrasion while also providing much-needed ankle support and impact protection. The smaller foot size makes these boots more comfortable when off the bike and can be purchased in a vented model or solid depending on the climate and riding conditions.
All of these features and options make the Sidi Cobra our selection for Best Sport Boot Overall.
Cortech Impulse Air RR
The Cortech Impulse Air RR offers riders a solid selection for a warm weather sport boot at under $200.
The airflow and the protection provided by this boot are phenomenal considering most safety features tend to eliminate airflow.
- The synthetic leather upper is laser perforated and the breathable mesh lining wicks moisture away from the feet for great comfort in hot riding conditions.
- The Impulse uses an inner lacing system with a drawstring capability to allow riders to quickly establish a custom fit each time they put the boots on.
- A hook and loop flap is then secured over the fastening system.
- The carbon fiber ankle protectors are backed with shock absorbing foam for added comfort as is the vented TPU molded shin guard.
- The TPU heel protector is also vented to promote complete circulation of air throughout the boot.
- The low profile toe design is achieved by using a TecnoGI Thermoplastic toe cap. The toe cap is also topped with a TPU shift pad for greater grip.
- The aluminum and plastic toe sliders are removable and replaceable depending on the riders preference.
- Finally, the VR two color Cortech RR sole provides riders great stability and grip when stopping or launching the bike.
Just around the $200 price point, the Impulse Air RR offers riders a great selection for a warm weather sport boot with great safety features at an affordable price making this our selection for Best Value in the Sport Boot category.
Dainese Axial Pro In Boot
For riders who want the best, that is to say, the boots that are being worn by the stars of the MotoGP world, the Dainese Axial Pro In Boot is the only choice. These boots are designed to interface with Dainese race suits to create a seamless transition from boot to suit but street riders are finding that the Axial Pro works very well as a standalone sport boot.
However, riders are going to need to be prepared to pay top dollar for these boots as they are over the $500 mark. As a reward though, riders will quickly discover that $500 buys a lot of features and safety in a sport boot.
- These boots are constructed of Lorica, D-Stone fabric, and leather for durability, range of motion, and comfort.
- The D-Axial jointed anti-ankle twist system is made of Carbon and Kevlar to provide maximum protection in the event of an impact.
- The heel also contains a steel insert and shock absorbing system to minimize damage.
- Stainless steel sliders, a nylon toe, and outsole offer additional foot protection.
- An internal adjustment strap is a final detail which allows the rider to custom fit the boot for maximum protection from all of these features.
Other amazing features of the Axial include elasticated bellows, a closing zipper at the back of the boot, double jersey airgap liner, a padded insert for the gear shift guard and a non-slip differentiated design sole.
For the rider looking to wear what the pros wear, the Dainese Axial Pro is the boot to buy and is our selection for the Best Fully Loaded Sport Boot.
Other Great Sport Boots
Joe Rocket Speedmaster 3.0
Joe Rocket has achieved the perfect blend of armor, comfort, and mobility in the Speedmaster 3.0 sport boot.
The perforated split grain leather upper offers great breathability while still providing durability and superb abrasion protection. A reinforced ankle provides great stability and ankle support as well as impact protection. Injection molded shin, heel and ankle armor take that protection one step further, and the reinforced titanium ankle plate take protection to the next level.
Even with all of this amazing armor, the mobility of the ankle is still unobstructed thanks to the innovative articulated design.
- The boot also offers closed cell foam cushioning throughout for added comfort and protection.
- Steel shank in the midsole provides improved weight distribution for a better balance between stiffness and flexibility.
- A Velcro closure covers the zipper and is reinforced with a ratcheting strap for an added feeling of security.
- The strap is topped off with replaceable magnesium sliders which match the sliders on the heel.
For the price, the Joe Rocket Speedmaster 3.0 offers riders a great deal of safety in a sport boot that also looks and feels great. This boot is a good selection for a rider looking to experience more than an entry level boot without spending $500.
Alpinestars SMX 6 v2
The Alpinestars SMX 6v2 is the latest generation of a very versatile sport boot.
Ergonomic alterations allow this boot to better conform to a rider’s foot and also to provide a better range of motion. And the SMX 6 v2 is available in a vented model or solid to meet the needs of almost any riding conditions and rider comfort demand.
The upper is constructed of microfiber for durability and abrasion protection. It has less weight than a leather upper. The innovative TPU lateral ankle brace provides a biomechanical support between the calf and the ankle. This feature allows for greater stability and a better distribution of weight.
TPU injected shin guard, calf protector, heel counter, shaft pad and toe slider all help to reduce the shock of impact and protect against abrasion. The instep and Achilles accordion flex zone provides the needed support but also allow for a full range of motion.
An internal insole is reinforced with a shank to better support the arch and reduce impact force.
- EVA and lycra provide added support and comfort to the removable footbed liner.
In addition, the breathable textile liner features anti-sliding suede reinforcements on the heel area to keep the foot in a secure position when riding.
- The medial side entry zipper is elastically mounted to close easily and increase the secure fit of the boot.
- These CE certified boots offer the Alpinestars exclusive compound rubber sole for great grip, water dispersion, and extended durability.
Riders who are looking for a durable, high-quality hot weather sport boot should definitely consider the Alpinestar SMX 6 v2.
The GP-1 provides riders all of the benefits of 50 years of track research and innovation in a sport boot that is comfortable enough to wear anytime. Safety, comfort and Italian style all come together in this boot to give riders a great option if they are willing to invest a little bit more in a sport boot.
The proprietary Gaerne Floating System is made of a carbon composite and is designed to allow for natural movement of the foot and ankle while preventing twisting. The system also prevents hyperextension or compression in the event of an accident.
- External polyurethane protectors minimize impact and are designed to aid in sliding.
- The non-deformable polyurethane shell is protected by a low friction magnesium slider which can easily be replaced.
- The toe slider, also made of magnesium, is compact and also replaceable.
- A PU anatomically shaped front shin plate provides additional impact protection and is replaceable as is the nylon front slider.
The GP-1 upper is made of Lorica, a comfortable, breathable man-made material which functions much like leather but with less weight and better durability.
- The internal zipper is protected by a rubber strip and the elastic insert at the ankle facilitates the closure of the boot.
- The antibacterial liner is pre-shaped to fit the shin, ankle and heel areas.
- The grip of this boot is enhanced by the variable density sole which is oil and wear resistant.
- The inner sole is removable and fully washable.
- The heel of the inner sole is reinforced with a special shock absorbing material and the toe area is perforated to promote airflow and rider comfort.
The cost of the Gaerne GP-1 will deter many riders, but given the long list of safety features and the attention to comfort and style as well, the GP-1 is a great choice for a rider who is looking for that next level of protection from a sport boot that is built to last.