Ultimate Motorcycle Boots Buyer’s Guide: Updated March 2018


The Right Pair of Riding Boots Makes All the Difference

Welcome to the Most Comprehensive Buyers Guide You’ll Read All-Year!

The idea that special footwear is needed when riding a motorcycle is often a great debate among riders. There are those riders who will proudly proclaim that they have been riding for decades in their trusty sneakers and have never had an issue. But those are the fortunate few of the over 8 million riders in the United States.

In many cases, riders have experienced issues such as a twisted ankle, a foot sliding on loose gravel or debris, or some other incident that could be attributed to a poor choice in footwear. Most of these issues don’t result in a major injury or accident but they could have easily been avoided by the riders wearing proper footwear.

And then there are the more serious accidents or events that leave both bikes and bodies with a great deal of damage…

We all take good health and mobility for granted but the 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the human foot and the ankle are rather delicate. So why not wear the proper footwear to provide protection and comfort for the type of riding that you will be doing?

Before going any further, I want to confirm that there is no magic motorcycle boot out there that is perfect for every rider. Nothing is a one size fits all when it comes to the human body, personal riding style, different types of riders and personal preference. But by answering a few simple questions about those factors, riders can determine which riding boot will best meet their needs.

To help you along in your search for your perfect riding boots we will cover some basic information and help you determine the correct answers to the questions that will determine which boot style is best for you. We worked with major brands, motorcycle experts and our comprehensive library of riding boot reviews to provide you with the most current and complete information available when making your choice on how to spend your hard-earned money.

The Basics of the Boot

Some might argue that motorcycle boots do the same thing that any pair of shoes: they protect your feet. But that is only half of the truth. Motorcycle boots are designed to provide a great deal of protection against the two most common injuries that a rider suffers in an accident: impact and abrasion.

Impact Protection

Impact injuries can be as simple as a rock or other debris flying up and hitting a riders foot or a tree branch smacking an ankle. More serious impact injuries occur during an accident when a rider hits the ground or another object (such as a car).

Proper riding boots provide multiple layers of material, padding, and armor to reduce the damage that the impact does to a riders foot, ankle and leg.

Abrasion Resistance

Less severe abrasion injuries can occur when a rider dumps a bike and a foot or ankle is scuffed along the asphalt. More serious abrasion occurs when a rider is thrown from the bike and slides across the asphalt as a high rate of speed.

There have been many studies done to understand abrasion injuries and how to prevent them. These studies have determined that riders lose 1 millimeter of skin for every mile per hour over 30 that they were travelling. Some quick math lets you know that a slide at 45 mph is going to cost you about a half an inch of skin.

In the instance of abrasion, many riders are quick to say that they are always wearing long pants and socks for added protection but that is no match for asphalt. If your pant leg doesn’t slide up your leg, it will quickly disintegrate anyway and provide you no real protection.

Riding boots provide roughly 1 millimeter to almost 3 millimeters of leather or man-made material for protection as well as other armor and padding material.

Ergonomics & Comfort

In addition to these two main safety features, riding boots provide a rigid sole with good grip for stopping and launching. This enhanced grip can also be a factor when shifting or braking as the motorcycle boot helps to keep your foot securely on the peg.

Comfort is also a concern, though maybe not to the extent of safety. Being uncomfortable can be a distraction that can compound other issues and result in an accident. Riders can also select boots which are designed to provide added comfort in specific environments such as extreme heat or cold.

Other weather-related benefits include waterproof boots for wet riding conditions and boots which facilitate wicking of moisture away from the skin in hot or humid conditions.

Riders all accept that there is a certain level of risk when on a motorcycle, but a smart rider will take every precaution which includes wearing the proper gear. Motorcycle boots are designed specifically for riding and offer the best protection and in most cases the greatest comfort available to a rider.

Buyer's Guide

What to Look for When Shopping for Motorcycle Boots

Riding a bike is like an art, something you do because feel something insideValentina Rossi

Safety should always be a rider’s first consideration when evaluating motorcycle gear. An important part of the safety factor of motorcycle boots is getting the right boot for the type of riding that you will be doing.

We recommend that all riders, whether you are just starting out or have been riding for years, place safety at the top of their list when looking at new boots. Of course, there’s a lot of other important elements to consider, too: fit, comfort, price, and the type of boots are almost as important.

It would be great if money were no object when buying safety gear but that is not true for most riders. So getting the best motorcycle boot in your price range is always the real goal.

We’re operating under the assumption that you’re relatively new to motorcycles and riding gear. More advanced riders looking for information on the best gear should check out our recommendations for each motorcycle boot type.


Price

Price should never be the driving factor behind any gear purchase but the fact is that we all must live within a budget. When you are looking at purchasing motorcycle boots you should be looking for the best quality boot within your price range.

The material and features of the boots will have some impact on the cost. A durable man-made material is often a good trade-off for the more expensive leather style. Investing a few hundred dollars in a pair of motorcycle boots will get you solid protection for about the same cost as a regular pair of boots. Also, consider that a more casual looking boot can do double duty as you will be able to wear them for riding and at other times as well.

If you are just getting your first pair of motorcycle boots it is also a good idea to remain in the entry level to the middle of the pack price range.

Never having worn motorcycle boots, you don’t know what you don’t know. Get a decent pair but understand that you might have much more information and a long list of must-haves for your next pair of boots after experiencing the first pair for a few months.

And a final note about price, don’t blow your entire gear budget on your first pair of boots. It is also important to have functional gloves, a jacket, and a solid helmet. Get some seat time with all of your basic gear and then start to build out your perfect riding gear package as you can afford it and as you become more certain of your wants and needs.

We’re advocates for riding ATGATT.

Safety

Safety is by far the most important feature for motorcycle boots. It’s easy to get caught up in what looks cool or the latest features but in the end, you want to be able to walk away from a wreck or a slide and that’s it.

Stability and durability are two factors that will be important every day on every ride. You will be putting your foot down to stop and you need that good grip, sure footing and stability in your ankle to support the bike and your body. The sole also needs to be durable and rugged enough to take a beating without delamination or cracking.

The other safety features to look for are impact protection and abrasion protection. Padding, double and triple layers of material and armor are all going to absorb impact and keep all of the tiny bones in your feet intact. Leather, Kevlar, Cordura and other man-made textiles are going to provide you with protection from abrasion injuries and loss of skin and muscle. Racing boots have safety standards and long technical codes to express a given level of safety, but for the average rider or a new rider safety is easy to see.

A boot does not need to be heavy to be safe. New textiles are much lighter weight than leather and actually provide better protection. Look for features such as double or triple stitching, padded collar, padding around the ankle, rigid inserts or exterior armor and toe sliders.

Also, make sure that the lacing or closure system is durable and reliable. And finally look for a sole that is durable but also provides the ability to shift and brake easily.

Shopping Now? We Recommend:

webBikeWorld has worked closely with RevZilla over the years to provide our testers with products to review. In addition to being a great site to shop from, they’re also a great partner. Both Amazon and Revzilla have a big selection of helmets from the great helmet manufacturers.

RevZilla

Free shipping on orders over $40
30-day no-nonsense return policy
Excellent selection of all major brands
Awesome pricing

Buy Motorcycle Boots on RevZilla

Amazon

Free shipping (with Amazon Prime)
30-day return policy
Excellent selection
Competitive pricing

Buy Motorcycle Boots on Amazon

Fit & Comfort

Everyone has worn shoes and boots before and all of that basic fit information carries over to motorcycle boots. But, you also need to think about body position when you are riding and not just about how comfortable a boot feels when you try it on in a store. Ankle position will play a huge role in how comfortable you are wearing your new boots on your bike.

Another factor to consider for rider comfort is the material the boot is made of. Some people love a full leather boot but don’t think about the added heat coming off of the motor. If you are in a warmer climate, take a look at the vented options as this can be a huge benefit and keep you much more comfortable.

Also, remember that natural materials can stretch a little bit as they break in. In an average shoe a little stretching is not an issue but in a motorcycle boot, it can impede shifting or at least make it uncomfortable.

Best All-Around

Touring & Adventure Boots

Alpinestars Belize Drystar

Ideal For

Adventure and touring boots are a hybrid that offers riders the comfort needed for long rides but also the protection needed to venture off the beaten path to do some exploring. They are a little taller than some boots and provide impact protection throughout the foot and lower leg area. In general, they are a little bit more durable than a simple cruising style boot.

Strengths

Increased height and the design offers superior ankle protection compared to short boots. The best “all arounders” and generally the best “on foot” as well.

Common Features

  • Excellent protection/armor
  • Classic styling that is close to a “normal” boot

See More


Maximimizing Protection & Minimizing Weight

Sport & Racing Boots

Ideal For

A sport boot is more use and ride style specific than just a short boot. The sport boot often offers a more aggressive foot and ankle position. These boots also tend to offer more protection than the average short boot for both impact and abrasion. And finally, the sport boot is a smaller profile for added comfort when the rider is tucked in an aggressive race posture.

Strengths

Maximum armor and minimum weight- the name of the game for the sport boot.

Common Features

  • Robust and ample armor
  • Ankle protection and stability support
  • Lightweight design

See More

Sidi Cobra

Shopping Now? We Recommend:

webBikeWorld has worked closely with RevZilla over the years to provide our testers with products to review. In addition to being a great site to shop from, they’re also a great partner. Both Amazon and Revzilla have a big selection of helmets from the great helmet manufacturers.

RevZilla

Free shipping on orders over $40
30-day no-nonsense return policy
Excellent selection of all major brands
Awesome pricing

Buy Motorcycle Boots on RevZilla

Amazon

Free shipping (with Amazon Prime)
30-day return policy
Excellent selection
Competitive pricing

Buy Motorcycle Boots on Amazon

Comfort is King!

Short Boots

Dainese Dyno Pro D1

Ideal For

Short boots are not designed for any specific type of riding as much as they are designed for a balance of comfort and safety. These boots offer a rugged sole and a height that normally hits most riders above the ankle but below the calf. Short boots offer ankle stability and protection as well as solid protection for the foot. Riders can decide how much protection they want as well as the type of material and level of safety provided such as additional armor or padding.

Strengths

Generally more comfortable than taller styles, and often somewhat less expensive as well.

Common Features

  • Durable sole and robust foot protection
  • Often look the cloests to “normal” footwear
  • Often more lightweight than other styles

See More


For Playing in the Dirt!

Dirt/Off-Road Boots

Ideal For

These boots are all about protection and durability. Motocross and off-road riding is some of the most demanding on both the rider and his or her gear. The average boot will maybe be called into action to save you from a serious injury once but motocross boots provide that service numerous times on every single ride. Think of these boots as body armor with some comfort features added in as well.

Strengths

Off-road boots are designed to take abuse again and again. They aren’t indestructible, but they do offer improved protection over less robust options.

Common Features

  • Plenty of armor
  • Wild designs and color schemes
  • Ultra-lightweight construction

See More

O’Neal Rider


The Classic Riding Boot

Cruiser Boots

Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0

Ideal For

The cruiser style of motorcycle boot is focused on blending a comfortable upright position and safety. Cruising is about being relaxed, sitting upright or even with a slight lean back and positioning your feet straight down below your knees. These boots offer riders a nice 90-degree ankle position but also provide safety features and good ankle support.

Strengths

Classic good looks and excellent protection are the hallmarks of a cruiser-style boot.

Common Features

  • Great styling that passes as “normal” footwear
  • Ample ankle support
  • Considerable abrasion resistance

See More

Our Recommendations

Best Boots (By Type)

We recently evaluated many different motorcycle boots and compiled a list of our favorite Overall Boot, Best Value Boot and Best Fully Loaded Boot in addition to a few other good options in each of the following categories.

Short

Best Short Motorcycle Boots

Investing as little as $100 can get you a high-quality motorcycle specific boot to provide you with all of the safety and comfort you could want. These short boots can also double as a great choice to wear with casual attire or for the day at the office.

Best SHort Boots

Sport/Racing

Best Sport Boots

Each year the new sport boots offer great improvements in safety as well as more comfort and improved touch. The years best are also coming in at a very reasonable price range of $200 to around $550. And at the top end of the scale, you will be wearing the same boots that the pros do.

Best Sport/Racing Boots

Dirt, Motorcross, & Off-Road

Best Dirt/Off-Road Motorcycle Boots

Protection is always critical for offroad and motocross boots. But the years top picks have added great comfort features as well as some incredible advances in safety for the feet and ankles. Our list offers something for every rider and every budget as the choices range from a modest base of less than $100 to an impressive but justifiable $600.

Best Dirt/Off-Road Boots

Adventure & Touring

Best Adventure & Touring Boots

Check out the great options for touring and adventure boots to meet any budget. With a range from under $150 to almost $550 every rider can find their perfect boot to begin 2018. Innovative materials have improved comfort, breathability, and safety.

Best Adventure/Touring Boots

Cruiser

Best Cruiser Boots

Cruiser boots have always offered great comfort but 2018 is offering many great choices that have vastly improved safety features. Everything from a traditional pull-on boot to a casual looking moccasin style and the prices start at less than $100 and cap out at under $275.

Best Cruiser Boots

MENU

Back

Categories & Brands

A to Z

A full list of brands, review categories and motorcycle brands
See Them All
Hands On For Over 20 Years

Product Reviews

Reviewing motorcycle products for over 20 years. Reliable and unbiased advice here.
Check Out Reviews
Make Smart Decisions

Product Buying Guides

In-depth guides to help riders understand what to look for, how to weigh options and make good buying decisions
Learn More
Trending Topics

Helmet Buying Guide

Shopping For A New (Or Your First) Helmet? You’re In The Right Place.
Explore Helmets