Since the introduction of the motorcycle, there’s been a debate regarding whether or not special footwear is necessary when riding. While many riders claim they have ridden for years in nothing more than their trusty sneakers, those are the lucky few.
Of the more than eight million riders in the U.S., a large percentage of them have experienced some type of foot/ankle related injury due to improper footwear, such as a twisted ankle, their foot sliding on the loose gravel or other debris, or another incident that’s attributed to a poor choice in footwear. The kicker is – most of these accidents and incidents could have been avoided with the proper footwear.
This is where high-quality, specially designed leather motorcycle boots for men come in. Designed specifically to protect the foot and ankle of the wearer (and look stylish and sleek in the process) these specialized boots take some of the risks and injury-potential out of riding.
Popular boot options to choose from include:
Some may make the argument that motorcycle boots do the same thing any other pair of shoes can – protect the feet. However, that’s not the entire truth.
Motorcycle boots are uniquely designed to offer more protection against two of the most common injuries a motorcycle wearer faces if an accident occurs: abrasion and impact.
An impact injury is often as simple as a rock or another piece of debris flying up, off the road, and striking the riders foot or ankle. More serious impact injuries occur during an accident if a rider hits the ground or some other object.
A properly designed riding boot offers protection with several layers of leather and other materials, padding, and in some cases, armor, to help reduce the damages occurring due to any type of impact.
A minimal abrasion injury may occur if a rider dumps a bike and the ankle or foot is dragged/scuffed on the asphalt. More serious abrasions occur if a rider is thrown off of the bike and slides across the asphalt at a higher rate of speed.
Riding boots offer riders between one and three millimeters of leather protection against damage and injuries caused by the road.
While injury prevention is important, motorcycle boots are also designed to provide a rider with a good grip so they can easily stop and launch. This type of enhanced grip also helps when braking or shifting, allowing the rider to keep their foot securely on the pet.
Comfort is also an important concern, but not as important as safety. However, riding while uncomfortable is often a distraction that may compound with other issues, resulting in a serious accident. Riders have the option to choose other boots that are uniquely designed to provide additional comfort for specific environments, including extreme cold or heat.
Some of the other weather-related benefits of motorcycle boots include a waterproof design for wet and slippery riding conditions, along with boots that facilitate moisture wicking from the skin in humid or hot conditions.
When riding, safety first should be the motto of all riders. A crucial part of being safe while riding a motorcycle is ensuring the right type of boot is purchased for the type of riding being done.
It’s important to put safety at the top of the list when shopping for any motorcycle gear, including boots. While this is true, there are other factors to consider too.
While a purchase decision should not be based on price, most people have a budget they have to adhere to, and therefore this is a factor that must be considered. When a person is ready to purchase motorcycle boots, they need to look for the highest quality option that’s within their established budget.
The features and material of the boots will impact the cost. While boots with a durable, man-made material are more affordable, leather is the highest quality option for this purchase. By investing several hundred dollars in motorcycle boots, a rider can feel confident they are receiving solid protection for a good price.
If a rider has never worn motorcycle boots, they may not know what to expect or look for. In this case, choosing a middle-of-the-lane price point is a good idea. It’s important not to blow the entire gear budget on the first pair of boots, as a functional jacket and gloves and safe helmet are also needed.
Everyone has worn some type of shoe in the past, but boots are a bit different – especially motorcycle boots. It’s important to think about the body’s position while riding, and not just about the comfort of the boot when it is put on in the store. The position of the rider’s ankle is going to play a huge role in how comfortable a boot is when riding.
Another important factor to consider for riders is how comfortable the material the boot is made of actually is. It may be a good idea to find vented options, especially for hotter climates.
Always keep in mind, natural materials, like leather, can stretch slightly as the boot is broken in. While this isn’t an issue for the average shoe, if it happens in a motorcycle boot, it can impede necessary actions such as shifting or even make riding uncomfortable.
As mentioned, several times, safety is a top consideration when buying motorcycle boots. It’s easy to get pulled in by what looks trendy or what boot has the latest features. However, in the end, the goal is to walk away from a slide or accident with no injuries.
Durability and stability are two factors that are extremely important when riding. Riders put their foot down to stop, which means a quality grip is crucial, along with stability and sure footing in the ankle to help support the bike and the rider’s body. The sole must also be both rugged and durable to take a beating without cracking or delamination.
Some of the other safety features to look for include abrasion and impact protection. Double and triple layers of material and padding are going to help absorb the impact and keep all the very small bones of the feet intact and injury-free.
Remember, a motorcycle boot doesn’t necessarily have to be heavy to be a safe option. Newer textiles and leather designs are actually made to be lightweight to help add another layer of comfort for the rider. Ensure the lacing or other closure system is both reliable and durable for the boots to ensure it doesn’t become loose or unattached while riding.
While the style of the boot is also going to play a big role in a purchase decision, it should come secondary to safety. Remaining safe while on a motorcycle and preventing injuries when an accident does occur should be a top priority for every rider.
Browse the boot options to find the pair that best suits a rider’s needs, budget, and style preferences.