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 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 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.
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.