As a motorcycle owner, your footwear is one of the most important pieces of gear that you own for riding, besides your helmet and your ride. A good leather motorcycle boot will include thoughtfully-engineered safety features, a cycling-specific design, and durability. Carefully evaluate your needs as a motorcycle enthusiast and decide which kind suits your needs.What kind of motorcycle boots are there?
Motorcycle boots come in a variety of styles depending on the terrain, surface area, and conditions in which you typically ride your bike.
- Cruisers - This is the classic black motorcycle boot. Typically constructed of thick leather with a harness over the instep, this type of boot is designed with safety and crash protection in mind. Made to be durable, cruisers typically provide stability for the toe, foot, and leg. They also feature abrasion-resistant, nonslip traction where the soles come into contact with asphalt or pavement. In the event of a slide, the solid, durable construction helps to protect the lower leg and foot. Steel toes are a plus, as well.
- Motocross, Sport, or Racing Boots - These armor-reinforced, high-tech boots provide enhanced protection at high speed while giving feet and joints the dexterity to maneuver while riding. Durable plastic armor sliders shield the shin, heel, and toe and are often replaceable. This helpful feature extends the life of the boot.
- Short Boots - These motorcycle boots closely resemble casual sportswear or tennis shoes rather than work boots or the classic cruisers. Although they do not offer shin and lower leg protection, they are easy to wear off the bike, as well.
First and foremost, motorcycle boots should protect the wearer. Many safety features such as steel toes, non-slip soles, reinforced leather, waterproof materials, or armor exist to prevent accidents or injuries. Riders should always wear specific footwear. Well-made motorcycle boots offer a variety of safety design options. In particular, pay attention to:
- Material: Many motorcycle boots are made of thick leather treated to repel water. Plastic or Kevlar are sometimes used in dual-sport or adventure-style motorcycle boots. These materials are found in armored sliders located on the ankle, shin, or foot to provide additional protection.
- Height: Look for boots that protect the sole and foot while coming up far on the lower leg to cover the shin.
- Sole: The sole should be oil-resistant and anti-slip to protect the feet in any weather. To remain attached in adverse conditions, soles should be sewn, not glued, onto the shoes' upper.