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The A-Z of riding boots

Posted on 15 January 2017

Footwear. An important component of any motorcycle rider’s ensemble, not just for its fashion forwardness (ok maybe a little more than you’d think) but for its protective characteristics above all else. With so many to choose from these days, it’s easy to think you’re buying the right one that's suited to your riding style. Are you really, though? This A-Z of riding boots should help you find out.

Boot Height
How high your boot is important to the type of riding you’ll be doing. If you’re an off-roader you’ll want your boot height to cover your shin for extra protection.

If you’re a cruiser type of rider, you’ll want a boot that will protect your ankle and Achilles, though its best to have your boots come up to at least the middle of your calf, with plenty of stability up top.

But if you plan to wear your boots all day, on or off the bike, opt for lower cuts for more comfort and less restrictive movement so you’ll still be able to walk and keep your ankles supported.

Cruiser Boots
All you can typically expect to get from these boots are a 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 which gives them longer wearing time on the road.

Stylemartin Indian boots

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

Forma Adventure Off-road boots 

Protection
Majority of dirt bike, motorcross and off-road motorcycle boots come with protective shells and armour to keep rider’s shins and feet safe. Because these types of riding are common to high impact, you’ll want to have a boot that comes with Kevlar, carbon or plastic armour around the shin area and top of the foot.

Some motorcross boots come with steel-toe protection, which is highly recommended for riders experiencing more frequent impacts from flying off dirt ramps.

For added ankle and shin protective padding that give the rider a more comfortable armour feel inside the boot, shifter pads and toe sliders are something to consider.

Racing Boots
If most of your riding is done on as track,, 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.

Sidi Vortice Air boots

Sole
The sole of the boot is incredibly crucial to the kind of riding you do. When you’re looking for a motorcycle boot, you’ll want to have enough grip for the type of terrain you’ll be riding on. A softer sole helps you feel your brake and shifter pedal better — and give you better control of your motorcycle as a result.

Softer soles have a shorter wear and tear lifespan though, and can be uncomfortable on rocky terrain. Harder soles will last longer, have more durability in case of a crash, but will ultimately provide less grip. Soles should be oil resistant, which is essential for street riding where encountering oil patches are more frequent. Good soles also means better grip of wet roads.

Touring Boots
Exposure to multiple types of climate and weather conditions means that riders will need touring motorcycle boots made of long lasting materials and suited for long-distance riding.

Alpinestars Roam 2 Waterproof boots

 

Vented Or Water Proof
Opt for a waterproof type of boot if there’s no way for you to gauge what kind of weather you’ll be riding in so your feet stay dry no matter what.

Vented boots have more airflow for those hot days and keep your feet staying cool. There are some boots while being water proof, also offer proper venting and most of these boots are quite expensive due to the Gore-Tex (or Sympatex) membrane used inside them. They’re great for all-weather use though.

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