Riding Boots Part 1 – Choosing Your Motorcycle Boots

Here’s a two-part special guide to help you choose the right riding boots.

Some riders simply like to choose their favourite pair of leather boots before hitting the road, but other motorcyclist may want to know all their options. There are several types of riding boots for all types of riders. Additionally, each boot works in its own special way to help you on your most common terrain, whether it’s dirt, asphalt or on the track.

To decide exactly which boot is best for your riding purposes, you need to know all the main types of motorcycle boots. Here are the most common styles:

Cruiser Boots
This type of boot provides the least amount of protection for your feet and is simply there just to give you better grip on your ride. While most cruiser boots are made to look like work boots, the most protection you will likely get is from shoes made from leather. Most cruiser boots come in leather or a similar style of material with thick soles to last years on the road.

Also, the majority of cruiser boots are only ankle-length, which means they will have less protection than knee-high leather cruiser boots. These higher types can protect you from hot exhaust pipes as well as hot engine components.

Off-Road Adventure Boots
Those who do a lot of off-road riding are far more prone to suffering knee and shin injuries because of the unpredictable and uneven terrain. The increase in vulnerability with the terrain you ride on should factor heavily into what type of boot you will need.

For off-road riders, you’ll need sturdy boots that will protect your most vulnerable spots; your feet, ankles and shins. While off-road boots can seem like a lot of motorcycle equipment, you want to ensure you can still shift gears easily and comfortably without any resistance.

Additionally, off-road boots come with thicker soles, which will work better on rocky or dirt surfaces. Standard cruiser boots would not be as flexible as off-road motorcycle footwear.

Touring Boots
When riders encounter multiple types of climate and weather scenarios, they will need materials that can last. Touring motorcycle boots are ideal for those who perform long-distance riding as well.

This means that comfort should be your No.1 priority for touring boots. To give riders more flexibility and comfort, touring boots are usually 10 to 14 inches high and have a bendable sole to adjust to the type of riding you encounter.

It’s always good to remember that for long periods of riding, you’ll want motorcycle riding apparel that will not bug you, distract you or get tiring over long periods of time, which is why there are specific touring boots available.

Racing Boots
For track day riders, you’ll want a boot that is just as technical as the course you’re riding on. Motorcycle racing boots tend to focus on comfort, protection and being able to be in a tuck position when riding sport bikes.

The additional protection is necessary for those who might bail on their bike during a turn on the circuit, which means you want to have higher durability too. Racing boots are certainly a high-investment type of equipment and the only real downfall is that they are only truly built to work the best on the track.

Using racing boots on the road might get uncomfortable pretty quickly and you’ll likely have stiffer material, which makes it harder to adjust to street riding. Additionally, these boots are not made to walk around for long periods, so meeting up with some friends and walking around town will get extremely uncomfortable in a hurry. It’s always good to know how you will use your boots when you’re off your bike.

We’ll look at how to choose the right style of boots and what to look for in part 2 of Boots.

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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