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<strong>The Best Motorcycle Shoes: Which Boots Are Made For Riding?</strong>

If you ride motorcycles, you know having the right gear is important. Not only does it keep you safe on the road, but it also helps you to stay comfortable, alert and visible to other road users. One of the most important pieces of gear for any motorcycle rider is a good pair of motorcycle shoes or boots. 

In earlier posts, we’ve covered other motorcycling gear. Choosing the best motorcycle helmet type, motorcycle jackets and even motorcycle jeans and trousers. But your feet and hands bear the brunt of any spill you might have. So, your choice of footwear is important too.  Motorcycle shoes need to offer the right amount of protection and comfort. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the different types of motorcycle footwear choices and why they’re such an important piece of your kit.

Why motorcycle boots are important

No matter what type of motorcycle or scooter you have, it’s important to wear proper footwear while riding. That’s because there’s very little protection for your feet and ankles when you’re on a motorcycle. Wearing proper motorcycle footwear – shoes or boots – will help reduce your risk of injury by providing support and padding where it’s needed most.

After the head, the majority of motorcycle injuries happen below the waist. According to a global study of injury patterns from motorcycle accidents, foot and forearm injuries were secondary only to head and face trauma. Elbows, and hips tended to bear the least impact. But motorcycle shoes and boots don’t only protect your feet and ankles if you fall. They also provide grip and protect your feet from debris kicked up by other vehicles.

Some motorcycle boots come with features like built-in toe sliders or shifter pads to help protect your foot gear from wear and tear. Reflectors on boots and shoes are also fairly standard. Newer additions to motorcycle safety wear include motorcycle shoes with lights embedded in the sole. These lights link to your motorcycle via Bluetooth to act as another pair of indicators, brake lights or emergency lighting. That improves your visibility on the road which is important for safety too.

What kind of shoes should I wear on a motorcycle?

So, which motorcycle shoes are right for you? There isn’t one perfect answer for everyone. The best way to choose the right pair of motorcycle shoes is to consider what type of riding you’ll be doing most often and choose footwear that’s designed for that purpose.

If you do a lot of long-distance riding, touring boots might be a good choice. Or if you mostly ride around town or commute, street-style motorcycle shoes might be more your style. No matter what type of riding you do, make sure to choose a pair of motorcycle shoes that fits well, provide adequate support, and protect feet and ankles. You’ll want to match your personal sense of style too.

Mentioning your personal style may sound a bit strange. But, if you don’t like your motorcycle shoes or boots, you probably won’t wear them. Even the best motorcycle shoes or boots won’t protect your feet from the wardrobe!

The different types of motorcycle shoes

When you’re shopping for motorcycle shoes or boots, look at the different levels of protection that are available. The materials used to make the motorcycle shoe or boot should be abrasion resistant. Additional armour around the toes and reinforced soles are important too. These will keep your feet protected when riding or if the worst were to happen.

Street-style motorcycle shoes and boots

Street-style motorcycle shoes or boots look like regular sneakers, but they’re made of tougher stuff. Special soles, armour plating, and abrasion-resistant materials are used in their construction, without being overtly motorcycle-ish.

This makes them an ideal choice if you use your motorbike for everyday getting around, commuting or for your day job. They offer a reasonable amount of protection for your feet and ankles and are comfortable enough to wear as regular shoes too.

Racing boots

Racing boots use technology developed from lessons learned directly from the MotoGP races. They’re meant for riders and offer maximum protection while on the track. They’re usually made from leather or synthetic materials and have reinforced ankle support. Most racing boots also have a higher heel to help keep your feet on footpegs while riding.

As you might expect, racing boots are designed for…well…racing! If you’re serious about racing, good quality racing boots are a must. However, they’re not the most comfortable option for long-distance riding or walking around off the bike.

Touring boots

Touring boots give a combination of comfort and protection and are designed for longer rides. They’re usually made from full-grain leather or tough textiles with extra padding. You’ll find most touring boots have waterproofing to keep your feet dry during rainy rides.

Motorcycle boots for touring are a good middle ground between racing boots and street-style boots. They offer more protection than street-style motorcycle shoes, but they’re not as stiff and constrictive as racing boots. They won’t leave your feet feeling sore and cramped after a few hours on your bike. Most also have waterproofing and reflective panels.

Adventure boots

Designed for both on-road and off-road riding, adventure boots for motorcyclists offer protection and comfort. These are a little like touring boots but with a shorter leg section and more flexibility.
If you enjoy the thrill of getting off-road on a dirt bike and also riding on tarmacked roads, these are a great choice for comfort and protection. As with other motorcycle boots, you’ll get weather protection, reinforced soles, and extra support for toes and ankles.

Cruiser boots

Cruiser boots are designed with comfort in mind. They’re usually made from softer materials like leather or suede, which makes them more comfortable for walking around when you’re off your bike. However, this also means that they don’t offer as much protection as specialist motorcycle shoes or boots.

If you mostly ride in urban areas where you’ll be doing a lot of walking, cruiser boots may be a good alternative to street-style motorcycle footwear.

Motorcycle shoes with lights

A reasonably new innovation for motorcycle gear is motorcycle shoes with lights. These offer similar protection and style as street-style motorcycle boots but with the addition of LED lights. These motorcycle shoes look the same as regular trainers. The great thing about them is the additional protection—abrasion-resistant materials and reinforced soles—plus the lights that link to your motorcycle and work like additional indicators and brake lights.

Not so great for trail riding or racing, these motorcycle shoes are worth considering if you’re getting about town or commuting with your motorcycle.

Tips for choosing the best motorcycle shoes or boots

When it comes to choosing the right pair of motorcycle shoes, there are four main things to consider: fit, support, protection and style.

  • Make sure that the shoes fit well so that they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time. 
  • Look for a pair that offers adequate support for your feet and ankles in the riding conditions relevant to your situation.
  • Find a pair of motorcycle shoes that will offer you the protection you need while riding and if the worst were to happen. That means considering boots with an integrated hinge/brace system at the ankle to protect you from flexion and torsion-type injuries. These are the injuries that push your ankle and feet in directions they weren’t meant to go.
  • Choose a style that matches your personal taste! Consider the type of riding you’ll be doing most often, where you go with your motorcycle and any walking needs too. Then choose a boot or motorcycle shoe to match.

Having the right motorcycle gear will give you confidence on the road and keep you comfortable. That’s just as important for your safety as rider attitude, knowing how to ride and sticking to the road rules.

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