Best Motorcycle Boots Reviewed & Rated
There are few things more freeing than the feeling of the wind in your hair as you race along on your motorcycle, but getting on your bike means having to take a few precautions in order to make sure your journey is safe and enjoyable. Everyone knows the importance of wearing a helmet when you ride, but how often do people focus on the importance of the shoes or boots they are wearing. Just like a leather jacket and leather pants can help protect the body, so can a pair of leather motorcycle boots. The boots you wear will ensure you have a firm and steady grip on the foot pegs, allowing you to ride more smoothly and easily.
Your feet control a lot when you’re on a bike, and you need boots that are comfortable and sturdy so that you can shift, break, and balance with ease. Of course, you could wear a pair of running shoes or regular boots, anything that has good grip and traction really, but motorcycle boots go beyond just that function. Unlike in your car or truck, you have no protection from the elements when you ride. This means your body is fully exposed to the weather, and it’s sudden changes and fluctuations. Running shoes may provide a decent grip, but they aren’t going to hold up when the rain starts pouring down. Even if the weather is in your favor, regular shoes and boots don’t offer as much warmth or protection as motorcycle boots.
- Harley Davidson Abercorn
- Moto Inspired
- Oil and Slip Resistant
- Cortech Accelerator XC
- Water Repellent
- Anti Slip Rubber Sole
- Skechers USA Pilot
- Thick Lug Traction Outsole
- Light Padding on Footbed
No one goes out on their bike with the intention of falling off or having some type of accident, but things out of our control can happen and we can be left injured if we don’t take the right precautions. Falling off a moving bike is extremely dangerous, as the road below you can do some serious damage to your skin. The best way to take care of your body and reduce the amount of injury that occurs is by protecting yourself in a layer of leather. Leather is such a tough and durable material, giving you the ultimate in protection and the best chance of walking away from an accident unscathed. By opting for a pair of leather boots, you have that extra layer of durability which will make for a significantly more comfortable, enjoyable, and safer ride.
In order to select the best motorcycle boots on the market, we focused on high-quality brands that would hold up well over time. Anyone who rides knows how much of a beating your shoes can take, and you want to be spending your money on something that will last. Another main focus was on how comfortable each pair of boots is, as a rider needs to be fully comfortable so that they have no distractions. If your mind is focused on a tight or painful boot, you won’t be focused on the road and other drivers, leaving you open to accidents. With these factors in mind, we have found 15 of the best motorcycle boots on the market that you can buy today!
15 Best Motorcycle Boots
1. Harley Davidson Abercorn
One of the most important features your boot should have is a sole that is grippy, oil and slip resistant, and will allow you to balance and shift with ease. These Abercorn boots have gone above and beyond in making a sole that will keep you secure, safe, and comfortable for your entire ride. The toughness of the rubber is abrasion resistant, meaning these boots will hold up even if they happen to hit the ground while you're on the move. They have also made the boot itself more durable by using a Goodyear Welt stitching system to ensure that these will accompany you on far more than just a couple rides. These boots are very dependable, and you will feel that added sense of security each time you put them on.
Comfort in Style
The full length sockliner has added cushioning to prevent your foot and ankle from chaffing or blistering while wearing these boots. The padding is comfortable and soft, allowing you to focus on the road and not on your boots. To give you a more personalized fit, this boot features a locking zipper on the inside which will help keep the boot snuggly fitted to your calves as you ride. While there has obviously been a lot of thought put in to how these boots perform, Harley Davidson hasn't compromised on appearance in the process. These are boots you are going to love to wear, as they look just as great as they feel. With logo hardware added on, everyone will know you're serious about bikes as you rock these Harley Davidson Abercorns.
Cost and Value
Motorcycle boots in general are not cheap, and when you'r purchasing a major brand name you can expect the cost to rise a bit. With that said, these boots are fairly inexpensive given how well made and durable they truly are. This is another factor that put these at the top of our list, as the value on these is exceptional. Cheaper than other models on our list, you really can't go wrong with these boots if you're a road rider and cruiser. These will last you a long time and keep your feet very comfortable, making for a well priced and well made purchase.
- Full Premium Leather
- Silver Hardware and Logo
- Quilted Collar
- Locking Zipper
- Cushioned Full Length Sockliner
- Goodyear Welt Stitching
- Abrasion, Oil, and Slip Resistant
- One of the Most Comfortable Boots
- Long Lasting Construction
- More Lightweight than Other Boots
- Back Strap Not Sturdy
- Sizing May Run Larger
2. Cortech Accelerator XC
While some people do prefer the heaviness that often accompanies a motorcycle boot, that heaviness can cause foot fatigue and pain after long distance rides or just over time in general. If you like to ride your bike to destinations, and then walk around once there, having a lighter boot will be more comfortable and enjoyable all day long. These boots are made with a combination of leather and PU which is what adds to the lightness, but that doesn't mean they've compromised on safety and security. These boots will still protect your feet, ankles, and calves in case of an accident, and they will keep your feet warm on colder riders.
Well Designed Shaft Area
When it comes to sport bike shoes, having a sturdy and stiff shaft area is necessary, and these boots certainly offer up a good degree of stiffness. You want your boots to stay up, feel secure, and give you that boost of support every time you put them on, which is why that stiffness is important. You won't find these restrictive, but just more secure and well fitted than boots that are looser and softer. Not only do they have the necessary stiffness, but they also have a textured portion of the leather on the inside where your boot meets the bike. With all of this, these boots still remain very flexible so that your movement isn't restricted during your ride or while walking.
Cost and Value
Similar in price to the Harley Davidson Abercorn's we looked at, these are a well priced boot for those who participate in light sports. While not as heavy duty or durable as some other pairs on the market, these have all the same necessary features to give you a safe and enjoyable ride. These are quite comfortable, flexible, and supportive so they are easily worth the money. For those who participate in more intense moto sports, these may not last as long as you need them to, so these really are best for casual and road riders.
- Water Repellent Leather
- Breathable and Waterproof Membrane
- Heel is Reflective
- Oil and Slip Resistant
- Heel Cup
- Toe Cap
- Good Shock Absorption
- Replaceable Buckles
- Anti Bacterial Insole
- May Affect Gear Shifting
- Can Make Your Feet Hot
- Buckle Straps Do Not Stay In Place
3. O'Neal Rider Boots
For those who may not be familiar with all the terms of shoe and boot construction, the shank refers to the piece that is located between the midsole and the outsole. Although this seems like a pretty unimportant part of the boot, the shank is actually incredibly necessary when you want to make and own a pair of boots that are sturdy and durable. In order to make the boot supportive, O'Neal has used a metal shank to offer superior support and stability with these Rider Boots. The reinforcement offered will give you better balance and support on your pegs, making it easier to ride and compete. This will also help maintain the shape of the boot over time, so you get more use for your money.
The front of these boots features injected molded plastic plates which are meant to protect your legs and shins from any falls or accidents. Just like a helmet, these plates will absorb any impact and reduce the likelihood of any broken bones or damaged skin. The metal toe guards will also help protect you and your boot, preventing the layers of the boot from coming apart over time. Similar to other boots on our list, these feature a Goodyear Welt stitching to give you more balance and stability, as well as a decent gripped sole. With an air mesh interior your feet will stay cool and properly padded on the inside, and the outside is protected from heat damage via a synthetic leather shield.
Cost and Value
These boots are nicely priced as entry level boots, while still including a lot of the features and high construction standards of far more expensive boots. You should find that you are beyond happy with the price tag on these, as these clock in as one of the cheapest pairs we have listed. For such a low price you would expect that they were manufactured to be less durable, but instead you are getting a pair of boots that will hold up over time and offer you sturdy protection and a balanced feel. As long as you are using these for light sport riding or cruising they will hold up well, but for heavy competing and moto sport use, these aren't going to last as long as other pairs.
- Protective Plastic Plates
- Metal Shank Reinforcement
- Snap Lock Buckle System
- Metal Toe Guard
- Sole Has Moderate Grip
- Breathable Mesh Interior
- Ample Heel Support
- Cushioned Insole
- Heat Shield Protection
- Interior May Rip Over Time
- Boot Can Feel Quite Stiff
- High Profile Toe Affects Gear Shifting
4. Harley Davidson Annadale
Given that these are designed more as a women's boot, there has been more focus on overall appearance than some of the other boots from Harley Davidson. While it doesn't make these any less durable or well performing, they are lighter and more flexible so that they can be worn on or off the bike. There are no front laces, and instead these boots feature a more decorative lace up deign along the back of the boot. To help with snugness and a good fit, these boots have a locking inside zipper and adjustable straps to allow you more control over the tightness. The Harley Davidson Shield emblem is prominently displayed on the top front of the boot, so there is no mistaking that these are genuine motorcycle boots.
While most of the boots we have looked at feature the Goodyear Welt stitching method, these boots take a bit of a different approach by using cement construction. Contrary to the name, this doesn't mean the boot is made out of cement, but rather that the upper part of the boot is attached to the outsole via and adhesive. The benefit to the cement construction method is that it tends to produce a more lightweight and flexible boot. As these are women's boots, it would make sense that they have tried to reduce the weight so that foot fatigue and pain doesn't occur over time. The wearer should also notice more give and flexibility, making these much more suited to walking around and casual wear.
Cost and Value
Harley Davidson is always going to rank a bit higher in price, and a lot of that comes down to the fact that you are buying for a very well known and highly reputable brand name. With that said, if you want to be sure that you're getting boots specifically designed for motorcycle riders, and are made with premium, high quality materials, then these boots are certainly worth the price. One of the main benefits to these boots is how versatile they are, allowing you to wear them on more occasions that just riding. For that you are getting a more useful boot, making the price tag worth it.
- Upper Made of Full Grain Leather
- Flexible Rubber Sole
- Cushioned Full Length Sockliner
- Cement Construction for Lightness
- Locking Zipper on the Inside
- Versatile in Appearance
- Two Adjustable Straps
- Decorative, Unique Back Lacing
- May Rub Against Toes
- Harley Davidson Symbol Plate is Large
- Calf Can Run Tight
5. Bates Ultra-Lites Tactical
There are a couple components that go in to this specific type of material, so we will break it down piece by piece. Thee upper of these tactile boots is crafted from leather and nylon to give them a flexible yet durable fit. The nylon used is ballistic nylon, which is what bulletproof vests are made out of. As a motorcycle rider this translates in to a boot that will keep you safe and protected in any sort of accident or mishap. Not only is it ballistic nylon, but the specialty denier type offers up a much more lightweight weave so that your boot remains flexible and lighter than if it were made of full leather.
Having your foot comfortable and cushioned is an important, but often overlooked feature. These boots come with their own cushioned insole to give your foot that additional padding it needs. No matter how long your trip, your foot should feel no discomfort, and there is a bit of added arch support to help with any foot fatigue. For those who need additional or customized support, the insole is easily removed so that you can quickly replace it with any insole you desire.
Cost and Value
For such a heavy duty boot the price on these is unbelievable, and it's hard to pass up such a great offer. Not only will these last you for years to come, but they are versatile enough that you can use them for hiking, winter activities, and general boots. As one of the cheaper pairs on our list, a lot of the cost cutting comes from the fact that they aren't full leather, but you don't need to worry as the nylon is durable and strong enough that you shouldn't notice any lack of support.
- High Top Design
- Durable Leather
- Ballistic Nylon Upper
- Removable Cushioned Insole
- Lightweight Cement Construction
- Slip Resistant Sole
- Mesh Lining Makes These Breathable
- Side Zipper For Ease of On and Off
- Large Toe Area May Affect Gear Shifting
- Much Heavier Than Other Boots
- Lack Enough Arch Support
6. Gaerne Balance Pro-Tech
These are technically Trials Bike boots, they honestly can be used for a variety of moto cross sports and adventure riding. The grip on these boots is exceptional, and they are made with a gum rubber sole so that you can get the optimal feel and support while you ride. You will find that these are much better than cheaper, lesser quality boots and the difference will be very noticeable. When you're going over jumps or hitting an off road area, these boots will give you a feeling of control and stability that isn't found elsewhere.
Wearers of this boot have often found them to be one of the most comfortable pair of motorcycle boots they have ever worn. The flexibility of the leather makes them comfortable on and your leg shouldn't feel restricted in any way. The Italian leather is soft enough to form to your foot and leg over time, making them feel like custom boots rather than generic fits. These are handmade, and the quality of the stitching lends to a boot that will last and remain comfortable for years and years. The break in period is generally only around one day, so you should find that you don't experience chaffing or blistering while wearing these boots.
Cost and Value
It's already been mentioned that these are the most expensive boots on our list, but it's important to emphasize that they are significantly more pricey than any other boot we looked at. What this means for you is that this is a sizable investment that a beginner just won't want to make. For those who need a boot that is exceptional in almost all regards, the price on this will seem a fair as these are going to last and give you exactly what you need in a pair of trials bike boots.
- Handmade in Italy
- Real Italian Leather
- Aluminum Adjustable Buckles
- Gum Rubber Sole
- Exceptional Grip and Traction
- Shin Guards are Injection Molded
- Very Flexible
- Foot, Ankle, and Leg Protection
- Quick Break In Period
- Comfortable for All Day Use
- Not Waterproof
- Toe May Get Discolored from Shifter
- Clip System Can Come Loose
7. Skechers USA Pilot
Generally designed to be a lightweight work boot, this is a pair you are going to get extensive use out of. While most motorcycle boots tend to be clunkier and heavier, these are designed for people that spend all day on their feet, so they are made with long term comfort in mind. The lightness of these boots will save your feet from any aches and pains and will reduce the likelihood of you experiencing any foot fatigue. The padded collar is going to give you a softer, more plush feeling while ensuring you have full ankle support and stability. On a motorcycle your foot is responsible for so much, and you want to ensure it has the proper support to do so.
Flexible Upper Design
Made of full leather, the upper part of this boot is sturdy and durable regardless of what you're wearing them for. Instead of a full length design, these mid ankle boots will give you more flexibility and freedom so you don't feel trapped or restricted in your movement. This also allows these boots to be more comfortable in the long term, so you can take your bike to the mountains, hike the trails, and ride home all without feeling any discomfort. While these are more flexible, they are still good quality leather that will keep you protected in any accidents or falls. You won't have the leg protection, but your feet will be safely encased in this sturdy leather.
Cost and Value
These are the cheapest boots on our list, and that has a lot to do with the fact that they technically aren't motorcycle specific boots. If you purchase this pair you will get a good pair of boots for cruising, that can also be used as work, trail, and hiking boots. What they lack is any special features that make them motorcycle specific, such as shin padding, shifting enhancements, and more stiffness and bulk. New riders who don't want to spend a fortune on boots will find that the incredibly low price makes these a worthwhile purchase even if they end up switching to a more motorcycle specific boot down the line.
- Leather Upper Construction
- Thick Lug Pattern on Sole
- Ankle High Height for Support
- Utility Work Boot
- Light Padding in Footbed
- Plush Padded Collar
- Metal Plated Shaft
- Very Inexpensive
- Not Specifically Designed for Motorcycle
- May Not Last a Long Time
- Leather is Squeaky
8. Durango 11 Inch Harness
When you spend your time around bikes and on the road, you're bound to come in contact with spilled oil and slick spots. The sole of these boots has been specially designed to keep you from slipping, even on liquids such as oil. With a unique and sturdy tread, you will be able to lean in to turn while ensuring your foot doesn't slide from it's peg. Regardless of the surface you're on, you should find these boots really do offer superior traction, and that makes them versatile enough to use as a walking boot on trails and other terrains. The two inch strider heel helps you stay on the pegs, and also gives that added cushioning while walking so you feel comfortable in these all day long.
To ensure these boots are comfortable on Durango has added in a couple of features to give you a better and longer lasting fit. To start, there is a cushioned insole which gives you a bit of extra padding and support with every step you take. The insole also features a flex forepart, letting your foot move more naturally and allowing for a relaxed and comfortable stride. The side seams are tapered for a sleek look, as well as for a more snug fit so you don't feel like your foot is going to slip out at any moment. Lastly, these have two pull tabs on the sides which allow for a fairly easy on and off process.
Cost and Value
Pretty mid range when it comes to this list, you won't find these boots to be too expensive to buy, but you also wont find them too cheap to be questionable in quality. Fairly and reasonably priced, these are just an all around great boot that will work on and off your bike. Well made, the quality is noticeably good and these should hold up for quite some time. They are highly rated, and widely available, making them a great addition to any bikers closet.
- Oil and Slip Resistant Sole
- Full Leather Design
- Side Seams are Tapered
- Cushioned Insole
- Steel Shank for Support
- 2 Inch Heel
- Dual Pull Tabs
- Very Comfortable
- Very Wide Heel Area
- No Lining on the Interior
- Sizing Runs Narrow in Width
9. Harley Davidson Scout
While these may not offer full leg protection, for the average cruiser and road warrior, these are boots that will give you the exact protection you need. The heat of the bike shouldn't penetrate the leather, and you will find you are comfortable and covered for the entire ride. This length is also great for wearing these boots off the bike, as they pair great with jeans and can be worn for more casual occasions.
Tough Rubber Outsole
Like you've seen with most of the boots on our list, these Scout's from Harley Davidson have a very durable and rugged sole that gives you the ultimate traction regardless of the surface or terrain. Abrasion, slip, and oil resistant, you will be fully glued to the floor or your bike pegs regardless of the conditions.
Cost and Value
These are pretty average priced, which is one reason why they are such a favorite among bikers. For what you're getting, these are low priced and you should find that it is money well spent at the end of the day. These boots are not water resistant, and the don't offer a lot of arch support, so you will want to spray them and add an insole to make them as perfect as possible. With that said, at this price point they are worth picking up and will be well used and loved.
- Full Grain Leather Upper Design
- One Inch Heel
- Goodyear Welt Stitching
- Oil, Slip, and Abrasion Resistant
- Metal Shank for Stability
- Shield Protects Against Heat and Debris
- Classic Harness Design
- Rocks Can Get Stuck in Tread
- Lack of Arch Support
- Upper Has a Loose Fit
10. Forma Adventure Off-Road
One of the most important things, especially for ADV riders, is that their boots offer them protection during spills and falls. As you're at a higher risk of falling, you want to make sure your boots can handle your intense play, and these boots include numerous features that will give you peace of mind. The plastic molded plates protect your shins and legs, while there is additional interior plastic parts for more support. The ankles have been reinforced and there is a specialty midsole made of stiff nylon. Lastly, the buckles on these boots are made from an unbreakable material, so regardless of how you land your boots will still function
One of the features that we haven't seen come up on this list is that these boots are fully waterproof and feature a drytex lining that ensures a dry interior. The lining is also very breathable, keeping your foot cool on hot summer days, and reducing the build up of moisture. Your boot should last longer since the lack of moisture wont cause degradation.
Cost and Value
As the second most expensive boots on our list, these are certainly made for more experienced riders who know what they are looking for in a boot. Novices may find these to be too expensive and that they don't appreciate a lot of the features these boots have to offer. For ADV riders, these are a beautiful boot that will be able to stand up to the pressure and use, making them great value for the money.
- Fully Waterproof
- Great for ADV Riders
- Oil Treated Full Grain Leather
- Plastic Plates for Protection
- Velcro Closure is Adjustable
- Reinforced Ankles
- Specialty Midsole Made of Stiff Nylon
- Breathable Drytex Lining
- Memory Foam Padding thats Antimicrobial
- Not Good for Kick Start Bikes
- Sole is Large and Deep
- Too Rigid in the Ankle
11. Frye Valerie
Your feet should not only feel safe and protected while on a motorbike but warm and comfortable as well. You want as much durable leather and cushioning between your feet and legs and the motorbike as possible, and these Frye boots are lined with genuine shearling as well as made with durable genuine leather to keep you staying cozy, year round.
Fit is crucial when picking out the right pair of boots and while most motorcycle boots are simply slip ons, the added touch of having adjustable buckles makes sure your foot feels snug and secure the entire time. Your boots should not fit too tight, but they should form to your foot and leg, especially if made with genuine leather.
Cost and Value
One of the most expensive pairs of boots, and brands on this list, however, Frye has over 100 years of experience crafting boots and therefore knows exactly what it is they’re doing and are one of the best at it. If you are looking to truly invest in a new pair of boots that you can wear year round and that will last you for years and years, these are a great option.
- 100% Genuine Leather
- Lamb Shearling
- Rubber Lug Outsole
- Ankle Height
- Not Great on Ice or Snow
12. Dr. Martens Triumph 1914
These boots are basically a two in one and are perfect for those who do not want to solely invest in a motorcycle boot but something they can get more use out of. Dr. Martens is a very popular everyday boot that easily pairs with any outfit. Keep them folded down and expose the floral or plaid print for a more laid-back look, or tie them all the way up for a sleek biker chic look.
Made up of sturdy leathers along with the sewn and heat sealed construction throughout ensure long lasting durability, these Triumph boots are made to last and are a more heavy duty style than others on this list. Not waterproof but use a balm to help seal them every now and then and you will have a pair of boots that can last a lifetime.
Cost and Value
These are a fairly average priced pair of boots considering their versatility, and how popular Dr. Martens are. These are the perfect choice for anyone needing everyday casual boots, that can also be easily switched up to look sleek and stylish.
- Air Cushioned Sole
- Long Lasting
- Warm Lining
- Sturdy Construction
- Not a Lightweight Boot
13. Ugg Kesey
Although something you would think to be common amongst all boots, it isn’t always, however it is an extremely important feature and can make or break a good pair of boots. There is always the option to waterproof them yourself, but why go to that trouble when it is already done in boots like these. From the heat off the motorbike, to oil, dirt and everything else, your boots should protect your feet.
Ugg is known for their ethically sourced wool that lines all of their products, and it truly is the softest most luxurious feeling to slip your feet into a pair of their boots. This will keep your feet toasty and cushioned while still allowing them to breathe and be comfortable.
Cost and Value
Reasonably priced considering how well made and luxurious these boots are. Each detail of these boots is high quality, and well made and they are sure to quickly become your go-to boot when you want to be comfortable and protected while still looking extremely stylish.
- Rubber Sole
- Shearling Lined
- Great in All Conditions
- Run Narrow
14. Frye Phillip
The Phillip boots feel comfortable right off the bat, and do not need to be worn in before they start to feel good, which can be a frustrating period of time when you get your new pair of shoes. That isn’t to say the leather won’t appear more worn with time and mold to your feet, it just does not require time to feel good.
A good leather sole is not only extremely durable, but it also looks and feels great too. You typically see leather soles on more formal dress shoes, so adding that gives them a touch of elegance you wouldn’t normally see on these otherwise rugged, biker boots and makes them an easy boot to dress up if need be.
Cost and Value
Another expensive option, however, most motorcycle boots are made of genuine leather and are high-quality investment items, so it is not likely to find a low priced pair. Everyone’s budget is different so it is important to purchase what fits you best, and not exceed your price range unless you find you will get a good amount of wear from the boots.
- Leather Sole
- Full Length Zipper
- No Break-In Time
- Sleek Look
- Runs Large
15. AdTec Harness Boot
The last thing you want to worry about while out riding your bike is your feet slipping at any point. From mud, oil, water, and any other substance there are many opportunities for your outsoles to become slippery which is why it is extremely important to ensure the sole of your boots is resistant to any of that.
It is important for your feet to feel comfortable for your entire ride, and the first step to achieving that is a boot with sufficient cushioning on the insole. Most motorcycle boots will not have immense cushioning are thick springy midsoles, but they should be comfortable enough to where your feet don’t feel achy or in pain by the time you reach your destination.
Cost and Value
One of the more reasonably priced pairs on this list, these AdTec boots are simple yet fit like a glove and guarantee a smooth, comfortable ride. Your feet will feel cushioned and protected whether you wear these every day or solely on your bike.
- Oil Resistant Outsole
- Cushioned Insole
- Pull On
- Goodyear Welt Construction
- Sizing May be Off
As you can probably tell from the list above, not every motorcycle boot is made the same. Depending on what you do with your bike, and even what type of bike you have, will affect which type of boots is best for you. Road bikes and cruisers will have different needs that motocross racers and dirt bikes, and you want to make sure you’re buying the perfect pair for your specific needs. Durability is going to be one of the main factors, especially for those who compete or go hard on their dirt bikes. Opting for a leather boot will save you time and money in the long run, but can be quite the investment up front. With motorcycle boots tending to be on the larger size, a lot of leather is required and that can bring the cost up very quickly.
Knee pads and shin pads are a great additional feature, but for those who are just cruising this may be a bit of overkill. While it will protect you if you fall, a good pair of leather pants should do the trick already, so you may just find the pads to be restrictive and uncomfortable. Regardless of what you prefer doing on your bike, make sure your boots are comfortable, sturdy, and slip resistant. You want your foot secure on your peg, and the less your boots slip around, the safer you will be. This list is by no means exhaustive of everything on the market, but when looking at motorcycle specific boots, we have tried to cover the best of the best so that you can be confident you are purchasing something well made, safe, and long-lasting. We hope this list of 15 best motorcycle boots has helped, and that you enjoy many rides with your new boots!
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Motorcycle Boots
When on the hunt for your new pair of motorcycle boots focus on how they are built and how durable they look. Look at the stitching and note whether or not it is reinforced by being double or triple stitched, and if it appears to be fraying. Although not something you want to think about, if you were to ever be in an accident, these boots need to be able to stay together and protect you.
Depending on what you ride, the type of boot you need will vary quite a bit but the one thing they will all have in common is how durable they should be. A cruiser boot will be similar to a work boot or combat boot at first glance, but it is what is inside the shoe that will differentiate them. If you just like taking your bike out on the weekends and do not want to spend the money on a heavy duty, expensive name brand pair of boots you will still need motorcycle specific boots, but the amount of padding is up to you.
With racing boots, although they are durable, every part of them should be replaceable just in case something were to damage them, or you begin to see wear. Unlike cruiser boots, these take much more of a beating on a day to day basis, and every few months you don’t want to be repurchasing an entirely new pair of boots, so ensure that any part that could start to show wear quickly is replaceable.
The boot should be rather simplistic with strong well-constructed features like a sewn-on sole. No part of the boot should be glued on, as this not only looks cheap but will not last very long, and can begin peeling away from the boot with just everyday wear. When it comes to the type of sole you want there are a few things that come into play.
Your boots sole should be somewhat flexible while still being sturdy. Softer soles are great for certain bikes and gripping the pegs but these will wear much quicker than a harder sole that is much more durable. Regardless of which you think feels and works best for you, always ensure the outsole is water and oil resistant. The oil from the roads can cause your boots to become extremely slippery and dangerous so do not even consider a pair of motorcycle boots if they do not protect against that.
Material plays a big part in whether or not your boots are good quality and well made, and therefore should almost always be made of genuine leather. This is one of the reasons they are a pricier item and is the telltale sign of if they are actual motorcycle boots or not. Any type of synthetic material is simply not safe and is not meant to be worn on a motorbike.
Your boots should have a thicker area around where the shifter will hit, as it will rub against your boot constantly during your ride and if it is not durable enough it will wear through. The entire boot should also be made up of other materials that create a safe space for your feet such as metal, plastics, and waterproof fabrics.
Motorcycle boots will not necessarily be the comfiest shoes right off the bat, and although they do not always require a break-in period per se they should be rather tough to get on and off. This may make you think your boots are not the right fit, however once on, they should fit like a glove and be extremely comfortable. Any boot you can slip right on and off will not stay on in the event of a crash.
If your boots don’t feel good, they won’t be something you reach for very often, so it is important to find a happy medium between comfort and practicality. Regardless of how protective and safe a pair of boots are if they cause discomfort in any way that can potentially distract you while riding and that is very unsafe. When you try them on, look for pressure or discomfort throughout the boot, see if your toes feel pinched, and how stiff the material is.
Depending on the amount of protection on your boot, they may be stiffer and less comfortable for long rides or walking around. Before deciding on a new pair of boots it is crucial to know the type of bike you will be riding because boots meant for dirt bikes or motocross are a very different style and would not be comfortable to walk in once you reach your destination.
Cruiser bikes are the most versatile when it comes to the apparel you can wear with them, and although your boots should still be durable they will look like a more basic leather boot, than those meant for sports bikes. If you plan on riding your motorbike to work, or daily to get to where you’re going, you’re going to want to make sure that they are comfortable for all-day wear.
Many brands are much more versatile than others when it comes to their styles and wearability, and these boots can be worn on days when you are not even planning on using your motorbike; which is great for those who don’t ride very often and still want to get use out of their expensive boots. There is, however, a large difference between the biker style trend, and actual biker boots so be sure to assess whether or not the boots are made to look like they can be worn on a bike and if they actually can and should be.
The fit is very important, and all boots will fit your feet differently so finding the perfect pair for you is crucial. No motorcycle boot will have laces on the outside, so you need to rely on buckles and zippers to make the boot snug and fitted to your foot and leg. Some have an internal lacing system to really make the boot hug your leg but in most cases depending on the boot, your only closures will be velcro, zippers, and buckles.
The lining you want inside the boot is completely dependant on the time of year you wish to ride, and overall what feels best for you. In colder months a nice fur lining will not only keep your feet warm and cozy, it will always act as a cushion and make the boots feel nicer. On a hot summer day though these will not be what you reach for, so having a lighter yet still durable pair of leather lined boots will ensure your feet can breathe and feel cool, yet are still protected.
The boots you choose to wear, along with the rest of your outfit must be chosen carefully because it is what may potentially save your life in the event of a crash. As the saying goes “dress for the slide, not the ride” meaning you can still look stylish, but at the end of the day your focus should be on boots that will truly protect you.
First and foremost your boot should come to at least over your ankle, anything less than that is not going to offer any support or protection. A shorter boot may be more comfortable for long rides or having to walk around in when you get to your destination but it will not offer the same protection as one that covers your calves as well. Regardless of the style you prefer, always ensure your ankles are fully covered and protected. In the event of a crash, your feet are likely to be the first thing to hit the ground and your boots should be able to withstand the force of the crash and protect you.
The lowest style you should get is that similar to a hiking boot, and many motorcycle boots actually look quite similar, however, they are very different. The boot with the most protection will be ones meant for racing, but if you are riding a cruiser bike they will not always be what you reach for appearance wise.
Racing or motocross boots the most protective boots and feature lots of protective pieces, guards and padding throughout. These features help with overall protection as these riders not only go fast but are exposed to muddy, dirty and often times rough slippery terrains. These boots will look much different than your everyday casual cruiser bike boot, however, they can be used on any bike, whereas cruiser boots are not as versatile and should not be worn on a racing bike.
It is relatively easy to tell boots apart but what makes a proper racing boot?
- Full grain leather – You want the most high quality, and durable materials encasing and protecting your feet at all times.
- Steel shanks – Used to add support to your feet throughout a long ride.
- Velcro and buckles as closures – You never want the boot to be a slip on as these do not fit tight enough, and any closure like laces are an accident waiting to happen. They can untie while on the bike, get caught in something and cause a crash. Always steer clear of racing boots that are not sleek with flat, secure closures.
- Waterproof & anti slip – All parts of the boot should protect your feet from the elements and help you stay stable and comfortable.
Cruiser boots are slightly more simplistic as you will not be going as fast and furious on different types of terrains in them.
- Full grain leather – Because these boots will be lacking in padding and protective parts, the most important feature is thick, durable materials.
- Oil resistant soles – Throughout your entire ride your feet are constantly touching the ground and picking up oils off the road which can cause the soles of your boots to become slippery on the pegs. This can be extremely dangerous, and therefore always ensure your boots have the correct soles.
- Minimal closures – The most common closures are zippers and buckles. These boots should be snug and fitted but less heavy duty and padded than racing boots.
- Steel toe – Your feet will be touching the ground every time you stop, and potentially dragging, so ensure your boots are reinforced throughout to protect every inch of your foot and leg.
They feature a lot of molded protective pieces that cover the exterior of the boot, such as ankle padding and shin padding. These will aid in impact protection and will also keep your boots from snagging on anything, which will increase the probability of injury. Toe-sliders also tend to be standard, as do shifter pads. The latter will keep the tops of your boots from wearing out due to constant gear changes. Some models are a lot more sophisticated than others. Lower end boots may not feature any explicit protection at all and will mimic a pair of street shoes, but it pays to opt for the extra protection. Plus, it looks a lot cooler, too!
Although motorcycles are best in dry, warm weather, they can be used in all climates and if that is your only mode of transportation you will find yourself stuck in some pretty bad, wet weather. Many boots are built to protect against everything, including weather, however, ensure your leather is treated, and if not apply a protective spray before wearing them in the rain. If it is not treated it will absorb, rather than repel the water and not only is this unsafe, it is extremely uncomfortable to have soaking wet feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are motorcycle boots necessary?
A: Yes, they are extremely important and can mean the difference between being seriously injured or not in an accident. Depending on the type of bike you will be riding, the level of protection needed will vary. With cruiser bikes, general boots will suit you just fine as long as your entire foot and ankle are well covered. Never ride, or get on the back of a bike in sneakers, everyday casual boots or at the very worst sandals… this is an accident waiting to happen.
Q: Are motorcycle boots waterproof?
A: Generally all motorcycle boots are water and oil resistant especially on the sole, which is very important for your safety and not slipping on the pegs. Maintain your boots but cleaning them thoroughly and applying a protectant spray or balm on them every few months or so.
Q: Are motorcycle boots expensive?
A: They are definitely an investment piece, and although you do not need to overspend on them, any pair under a couple hundred dollars will not protect your feet sufficiently. If you wish to ride, you need to factor in the costs of doing so safely. This is not a cheap sport or hobby and there is no point in buying a nice motorbike if you are not also willing to buy nice, protective equipment to wear while on it.
Q: Will they have a steel toe?
A: Not all boots will have a steel toe, but that is a feature you can easily find if you think it will better protect your feet. It will add quite a bit of bulk to your boot, and make them more heavy duty however for long rides it can give you peace of mind knowing every part of your foot is well protected.
Q: Are all boots the same?
A: No, all motorcycle boots are different as there are many different types of motorbikes. The type of boot you will need is completely dependant on the bike you wish to ride. Racing boots will look and feel much different than cruiser boots and will have much more protective padding on it. You need to know your specific needs and buy accordingly to ensure you are getting the most out of your boots.
Q: Are the type of closures they have important?
A: Every motorcycle boot will have some sort of closure. Cruiser bikes have the least amount as they are for more laid-back and relaxed rides, so you will typically only find a zipper and or buckles on them. Racing boots need to be much tighter and secure on your feet and legs, and often times have many types of closures all over them, like velcro, zippers, and buckles. You should never, ever consider wearing a boot that has any type of lace closure on it as this can be very dangerous if it were to come undone and get caught on any part of the bike.
- Choosing the Right Style, blog, May 09, 2015 ,
- How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Boots, Webpage, Feb 09, 2015 ,
- 6 Things to Consider Before Buying a Motorcycle Boot, Webpage, ,