Thinking of buying boots for motorcycle riding? It isn't a simple question of using chunky looking outdoor wear boots. Riding boots require to have different qualities to help you protect your feet. Let's have a look at common questions asked while selecting motorcycle boots:
- What is special about motorcycle boots?
- Are safety shoes good for motorcycle riding?
- Why should you wear boots on a motorcycle?
- What are the types of motorcycle boots?
- Which are best bike riding shoes for me?
- How to choose correct size?
What is special about motorcycle boots?
While every other element of motorcycle riding gear has to perform only one job, Bike Riding Boots have to play two different roles. You would take off your helmet, gloves, riding jacket and may be riding pants once you stop for food or complete the ride. But you won’t surely carry a spare pair of shoes. So your riding boots have to protect your feet AND also be comfortable for walking and being worn whole day.
Are safety shoes good for motorcycle riding?
There is a big misconception that safety shoes with steel toe caps are perfect for motorcycle riding. They are not. Neither are the outdoor woodland type shoes.
Safety shoes are designed for work environment. They would surely protect your feet from something falling on them or from you slipping on slippery surface. Woodland type shoes are designed to be tough while trekking or just looking stylish. What both these types are not designed for is protecting your feet while they are moving at speed.
So the answer to the question is – NO.
Why should you wear riding boots on a motorcycle?
As mentioned in earlier paragraph, riding boots are designed to protect your feet even if you crash / fall at high speeds. Of course, nothing in this world makes you invincible or immune to injury. But if you compare injuries between crash while wearing riding boots Vs. crashing wearing any other boots, your feet will suffer much less injury if you are wearing riding boots.
In most of the motorcycle accidents, the toe and ankle area is most affected. So the principal purpose of a riding boot is to protect your toes and ankles from twisting / breaking. Riding boots are designed to prevent ankle area from twisting and specific protection like toe sliders. Most of the boots would also have one piece steel shank inside the sole. This reduces the chance of boot folding like an accordion in case of an accident.
Also almost all motorcycle riding boots would have a special padding at toe shifter area, reducing the chances of shoe getting torn due to frequent gear shifting.
If you want the purpose of biker boots in one single line, here it is – “Riding boots / reduce unnatural twisting / bending your feet. “
Types of Motorcycle Riding Boots
As with any other riding gear, boots are designed with various purpose in mind. Let’s first see a broad categories of riding boots
Short riding boots are increasingly becoming popular among riders who want to wear them whole day, while riding or in the office. They don’t want to change over from full size, bulky riding boots once they reach office. These short boots are about ankle high and offer lesser protection as compared to full sized riding boots. But are sufficient for inside the city riding. Short boots are usually quite trendy looking and you can wear them in office / college without people looking at you weirdly.
Here are some short / city riding Boots for you:
These boots are mid-calf high and offer a balance between short and full length boots. They compromise on upper calf protection and offer more versatile usage. Less height means less bulk so if your ride involves some decent distance walk, go for these boots.
Full Length Boots
Full length boots include everything from touring to full racing boots. These boots offer you the maximum protection but at the same time are bulkier than others. Most injuries during a crash happen when the foot is trapped during the fall. The ankle bone juts out of the leg so it can easily be scraped into the ground during a slide, even in a simple low-side crash. This is why we use only full height boots.
Of course not all boots are created equal. So check for the protection / features to see if the boots offer you what you need.
Here are some full height boots for you:
These boots are built for one purpose and one purpose only. Off-road riding. They can be identified by their typical external fasteners. Off-road boots have extremely rigid exterior and can take a knock from stones flying from motorcycle wheels. Of course, they can’t and shouldn’t be used for any other purpose.
Here are some Adventure / Motocross / Off-road Riding Boots for you:
How to choose the best motorcycle riding boots for me?
If you intend to use them inside city, short boots work the best. They are short enough to mostly get hidden in your jeans / trousers so you don’t look like an alien and still get protection for your feet.
If you intend to go out on highways / track, you can choose either of the two -
Racing Oriented Riding Boots
These boots are meant for one and only one purpose. Safety while riding fast / racing. They offer the maximum safety but aren’t really comfortable for whole day. But hey, you don’t race for whole day. Race / track oriented riding boots have maximum protection and rigidity among all of riding boots.
So if you ride aggressively and protection is the first priority for you, these boots are for you.
Sports Touring Oriented Boots
Sports Touring oriented riding boots are designed for tourers who want to ride whole day and want to be comfortable wearing them. These boots on are not as heavily armoured as racing oriented riding boots. They provide more flexibility and less stiffness. Comfort with good level of safety is the primary purpose of these boots. Many of sports touring oriented boots would be waterproof.
If your riding style is more leisurely, you should opt for comfort offered by these Sports Touring oriented boots.
Sizing of riding boots
In a way, sizing of riding boots is fairly simple. Look at the size of your favourite sneakers / sport shoes. Check the EU size mentioned on those and buy similar sized riding boots. Here is the conversion chart for your reference –
In case of any doubt, buy one size bigger riding boots. Never ever buy smaller size.
Did you find this guide useful? Do you feel we should provide more info? Please let us know and we will be happy to oblige.
So choose wisely and ride happily.
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