Best Motorcycle Boots Reviewed & Rated

There are few things more freeing than the feeling of the wind in your hair as you race along, 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.

Last Updated: July 26, 2018
By Carmen Landrum:

The most recent update includes the removal of five products that didn't meet our criteria, the replacement of three with brand new products (#2, #6, and #10), revision of the pros/cons of the remaining products, and bulletpoints in the criteria for information that is bite-sized and digestible.

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.

Featured Recommendations

Harley Davidson Abercorn
  • Harley Davidson Abercorn
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Moto Inspired
  • Oil and Slip Resistant
  • Price: See Here
Bruno Marc Apache
  • Bruno Marc Apache
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-Skid Outsole
  • Versatile Combat Motorcycle
  • Price: See Here
ONeal Rider Boots
  • ONeal Rider Boots
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Air Mesh Interior
  • Snap-Lock Closure System
  • Price: See Here

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 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 10 of the best motorcycle boots on the market that you can buy today!

 

10 Best Motorcycle Boots

 

1. Harley Davidson Abercorn

Coming in first on our list is the Harley Davidson Abercorn Motorcycle Boot. It should be no surprise that Harley Davidson would appear on this list, given that they are one of the absolute biggest names in motorcycles and gear worldwide. This is a company that knows bikes and knows riders, and they have put their knowledge to good use by crafting an amazing pair of motorcycle boots that will be loved among most riders. This boot combines all of the features you're going to want in a boot, and it's thick leather makes it extremely durable and long lasting. There is a cushioned sockliner, real silver hardware, and Goodyear Welt stitching to ensure this boot doesn't come apart any time soon. Harley Davidson has a massive line of different motorcycle boots, but this one in particular really stands above the rest. Not only is the Abercorn heavy duty, but they have made sure that comfort was a top priority when designing this. With many wearers claiming it as the most comfortable boot they've ever owned, it's pretty safe to say you will love riding in these.
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Enhanced Security Features
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.
Pros

Locking zipper

Collar is quilted

Goodyear welt stitching

Abrasion, slip, oil resistant

Complete premium leather

Silver hardware construction

Complete cushioned sockliner

Cons

Very lightweight

Sizing runs large

Unstable backstrap

2. Bruno Marc Apache

Stylish, edgy, and comfortable, the Apache will be your favorite riding boots to wear. Made for the winter, the upper is constructed with synthetic leather and the lining is a smooth faux fur finish with a footbed that is cushioned. With a round toe box, you’ll have extra room and closure is a zipper for easy put-on and take-off. The outsole is non-skid and the lacing is a lace-up design.
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No Lacing Required
The lacing is placed strictly for fit and aesthetics. Not too tight and not too loose, the lace-up will provide a snuggle fit for the whole foot and help to stabilize the ankle area. The design of it gives it an industrial type style without the industrial work. Just slip-on and off.

Combative But Soft
Hardness is usually equated with combat but these boots are soft while still being very strong. The combat construction ensures you have materials that are not easily punctured, wounded and an outsole that protects your underfoot while avoiding unnecessary slips. However, the padding, cushioning, and lining gives your feet a soft and comforting feel.

Cost and Value
Low-end but high quality. The Apache gives you strong protection but a soft comfort. You can’t ask for a better blend. With these specifically being winter based, these will last you much longer as you will only wear them during one season.
Pros

Easy on/off

Faux-fur lining

Made for winter

Cushioned footbed

Thick rubber outsole

Cons

Sizing runs large

Zipper deconstructs easily

3. O'Neal Rider Boots

Bringing up third place on our list is another pair of sport bike boots that are great for anyone who loves hitting up trails and parks with their dirt bike. These are certainly an entry level boot, which is a big part of why they are included on this list. Long time riders generally have a brand or model they prefer, but for those who are newer to motorcycles and sport bikes may need a but more help in locating the right boots for them. For this reason we have tried to focus more on beginner boots which are less expensive and don't have any unnecessary features that newer riders don't need. These are one of the absolute best entry level boots you can buy, and they comfort and stability will amaze you as it's the type of construction you would expect to see in a much pricier boot.
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Reinforced with a Metal Shank
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.

Protective Features
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.
Pros

Metal toe guard

Moderate grip sole

Ample Heel Support

Heat Shield Protection

Breathable mesh interior

Snap-lock buckle system

Cons

Stiff like feel

Interior rips with usage

High Profile Toe Affects Gear Shifting

4. Harley Davidson Annadale

4. Harley Davidson Annadale
This 13 inch boot is made for both riding and casual wear, so you are getting a lot more versatility than in some of the other boots we have looked at. Easy to dress up or down, these boots will be a hit with anyone who likes to ride to a location, and then look great when they get there. These boots are Harley Davidson, however, so the appearance isn't the only point that put these so high up on our list. As comfortable and well performing as they are attractive, the Harley Davidson Annadale Boots are crafted with a full grain leather upper, and contain many of the same features we saw on the Harley Davidson Abercorn's. The sole is very durable and performs well on any terrain, and is slip resistant in both wet and dry conditions. Feel good and look good with these boots, knowing you have the same protection and durability as other, clunkier boots.
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More Stylish Boot
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.

Cement Construction
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.
Pros

Flexible rubber sole

Interior locking zipper

Two adjustable straps

Full grain leather upper

Complete cushioned sockliner

Cons

Calf runs tight

Large logo plate

Rubs against toes

5. Bates Ultra-Lites Tactical

5. Bates Ultra-Lites Tactical
Although this boot isn't specifically classified as a motorcycle boot, it has many of the features that a rider would need while hitting the open road. These are some heavy duty boots that have been worn by military personal, police officers, and other uniformed men and women over the years. If you want a boot that will be durable, rugged, and keep your feet protected then you should look no further than these tactile sport boots. Featuring a high top cut, these offer great ankle support which allows your to shift and balance while remaining comfortable. In order to keep the weight of these boots down, a cement construction has been used which allows for a lighter overall feel while also adding to the flexibility. The sole on these are slip resistant, keeping your feet on the pegs where they should be.
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1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon
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.

Removable Insole
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.
Pros

High top design

Easy side zipper

Slip-resistant sole

Long-lasting leather

Ballistic nylon upper

Breathable mesh lining

Removable cushioned insole

Cons

Very heavyweight

Lacking arch support

Large Toe Area May Affect Gear Shifting

6. Polar Fox Wyatt

6. Polar Fox Wyatt
The Wyatt is another popular pair for your weekend riding. Handcrafted, the construction is durable synthetic leather giving you a lot of comfort during your rides. Even better, these boots are breathable and water-resistant helping to keep your feet cool and dry. Also, these will stay on with you as they have two heavy metal buckles that are adjustable plus a zipper.
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Crafted Comfort
The interior is padded and the exterior is double-stitched to give you comfort that is securely fit. The soles are flexible slip-resistant and impact-resistant rubber with traction crafted for all riding terrains and conditions. Your boots are hard workers without working your feet.

Support of Ankles
The mid-range of the ankles are stabilized and protected for a variety of activities. You have two buckles that are adjustable to give you the support you desire. There are a zipper and a heel tab to help prevent any folding of the boot and to reduce any stress during wearing. Easy to put on and off, this is great for being on the go.

Cost and Value
Low-price range but doesn’t skimp on quality. If you want a riding boot that is simple and easy to wear without costing a lot but still providing your footwear needs, the Wyatt just might be the pair for you.
Pros

Secure fit

90-day warranty

Hand wash only

30-day guarantee

Great for hot weather

Cons

Sizing runs large

Casual riding only

7. Skechers USA Pilot

7. Skechers USA Pilot
Skechers isn't known for making motorcycle boots, but they are known for being relatively inexpensive and very comfortable when it comes to their footwear. While these technically are not motorcycle boots, they are a great choice for people who are new to biking and want a boot they can cruise in. Not only will these serve well as cruising boots, but the versatility of them will allow you to enjoy them off the bike, as either a hiking or walking boot. Dress these up or down, and enjoy a comfortable fit that has light padding in the footbed and a padded collar. The bottom of these boots has a thick lug pattern which gives you great traction on and off your bike. The added ankle support will add to your balance and let you maneuver and ride with confidence.
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Lightweight Work Boot
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.
Pros

High ankle height

Plush padded collar

Thick lugged outsole

Light footbed padding

Leather upper construction

Cons

Short lifespan

Leather is squeaky

Limited motorcycle usage

8. Durango 11 Inch Harness

8. Durango 11 Inch Harness
Coming in five different color options, these are great looking boots that can easily suit any occasion. Dress these up or down for a versatile and comfortable look that will pair perfectly with jeans or other tight pants. Not only do these look great, but they are a fantastic pair of motorcycle boots that are sure to impress. Eleven inches in height, these harness boots are sleek and comfortable, offering foot, ankle, and calf protection while your ride. The steel shank in these boots will give you firmness and support, while ensuring you have great balance on your foot pegs. As these are motorcycle specific, there should be little to no hindrance when you shift gears, and the toe should see no discoloration.
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Oil Resistant Sole
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.

Comfortable Fit
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.
Pros

Double pull tabs

Oil, slip resistant

Full leather design

Tapered side seams

Supportive steel shank

Cons

Heel area wide

Sizing is narrow

No interior lining

9. Harley Davidson Scout

9. Harley Davidson Scout
Another model from Harley Davidson, the Scout boots are a popular and durable pair that will last you for many rides. Made of full grain leather, these boots are crafted with toughness in mind, and the Goodyear Welt stitching ensures that these won't fall apart any time soon. The classic harness styled design makes these noticeable, and they fit securely enough that you will be both comfortable and safe.
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Ankle Protection
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.
Pros

Heat, debris protection

Goodyear welt stitching

Complete leather upper

Oil, slip, abrasion resistant

Cons

Loose fitting upper

Rocks stick in the tread

Lacking arch support

10. QOMOLANGMA Outdoor

10. QOMOLANGMA Outdoor
From motorcycle to hill hiking, the Outdoor is lightweight and waterproof and can be used for trail trekking in addition to riding. The construction is leather that is premium and heavy-duty helping to reduce any wear and tear and providing your feet protection. The collar is padded, the midsole is lightweight, and there is back support which helps to absorb any impact. A reflective strip gives you visibility for safety and a velcro strap keep your laces in place. Lastly, the outsole is rugged and lugged to help grip for all kinds of terrains.
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eVent Membrane
The membrane is constructed with polytetrafluoroethylene, material that is waterproof and two times more breathable than other breathable material. Sweat is directly vented out giving you dry feet that is comfortable in any conditions. All kinds of moisture build-up is prevented.

Direct Venting
This is a dry system technology that keeps all of the Apache waterproof and breathable. Made for all kinds of conditions and temperatures, you’ll stay in the dry zone with regulated humidity and temp. You’ll stay in balance with high performance and not have to worry about your footwear working for you.

Cost and Value
Mid-price range and for all the features that they offer, it’s the best price you can get. What’s the greatest value is its multi-use. If you’re one of those active types who like to ride your motorcycle out to the countryside and take a quick hike or trail walk, the Apache has you covered.
Pros

Fit is adjustable

High-quality leather

Lightweight cushioning

Slip-resistant and waterproof

Cons

Sizing runs small

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 10 best motorcycle boots has helped, and that you enjoy many rides with your new boots!

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Motorcycle Boots

Durable

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.

  • Focus on the construction of the boots to determine their durability. Stitching can let you know if you have a durable pair or not. Check for any fraying and what kind of stitching such as double or triple. The kind of motorcycle boot you choose varies in durability too.
  • A lightweight, cruiser boot will have less padding and can be a great option for easy going and occasional riding. For heavier riding and racing, you need heavy duty boots with plenty of padding. More active boots need more frequent replacement compared to cruiser types.
  • There should be no gluing, only sewn or stitched. The look should be simple too. Motorcycle boots are all about function and construction so aesthetics will take a backseat. Outsole needs to be flexible but sturdy and a soft sole is okay but will degrade quickly. Make sure the construction is oil and water resistant.
  • The pricier the boot, the better the durability usually. All motorcycle boots should be genuine leather as synthetic materials are not safe and will do more harm than good. Also, make sure your feet from the toes to the ankle and even the calf is protected by the boot and a durable boot will do just that.

Comfortable

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.

  • Riding boots will be slightly hard to put on and wear in the beginning as they should be tough for protection reasons. Over time, they will conform to your feet and the fit should be a glove-like feel. However, the footwear has to be comfortable for you to continue to use them and most riding boots will provide adequate padding for that reason.
  • Different bikes require different boots so know what kind of bike you will be riding, how much you’ll be riding it, and where. This is critical as an uncomfortable boot or footwear for the wrong kind of the bike will cause discomfort and could potentially make riding unsafe for you. A lot of motorcycle footwear is versatile for all kinds of activities but make sure the footwear is actually motorcycle boots in function and not looks only. Cruiser boots are the most commonly versatile but they are best used with cruiser bikes.
  • The fit should be snug but not tight and conform to your feet, ankles, and calves. There should be no laces and only buckles and zippers are acceptable. There are internal lacing systems for a more hug-like fit but mostly buckles, velcro, and zippers will do the trick. Also, the lining determines comfort as well. It should give you cushioned and work with whatever season (thicker lining for cold seasons and thinner lining for hot seasons) while adding an extra layer of protection.

Protective

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.

Sources

  1. Motorcycle Maniac, Choosing the Right Style, blog, May 09, 2015
  2. KapscoMoto, How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Boots, Webpage, Feb 09, 2015
  3. Rachel Bretzing, 6 Things to Consider Before Buying a Motorcycle Boot, Webpage,


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