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motorcycle boots
work boots
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cowboy boots
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matter what kind
nice leather
How To Buy Motorcycle Boots
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How to Buy Motorcycle Boots

This is the 4th in a series of 6 articles of how to buy good motorcycle gear. So far you've bought a helmet, some gloves and a jacket. You really should consider buying some good quality motorcycle riding boots no matter what kind of bike you ride. I'll give you a few reasons:


Motorcycles weigh from 250 lbs for the motocross racer to one thousand pounds for a full boat cruising trike. Whenever you come to a stop, you will always put at least one foot down on the ground. You want a boot with a heavy rubber non slip sole. When you have that inevitable crash, you want a leather riding boot that covers the ankles.

Leave the tennis shoes and flip-flops at home, please. You can get by with work boots or combat boots just fine. Even leather oxfords are better than nothing. Not everyone can afford to go out and buy some nice leather motorcycle boots right away. Most experienced riders will say that the ankles need to be covered. A serious ankle injury can result from a heavy motorcycle falling over on your foot.


Believe it or not, good riding boots do not have to be uncomfortable. You are not going to find riding boots at your local shoe store. You will find good looking boots like engineer boots, work boots, combat boots and cowboy boots. These boots will work, buy they aren't designed for the job. Go to a bike retailer and see what's available. They don't have to cost a fortune either. Every brand fits differently. You need to go out and try some boots on.

Peer Pressure:

I'm a sportbike guy, but this peer pressure thing is a factor no matter what kind of bike you ride. Many of us want to fit in with our group, so we buy the gear that everyone else is wearing. Sorry, but H.D. always comes up here. Personally, I think the Harley Davidson logo plastered on a lot of the gear some of these riders are wearing is really tacky. Harley boots are heavy. I've heard they aren't very comfy either. You'll just have to try some on and see for yourself.

Fit & Materials:

If your boots don't fit right, they will hurt and you won't wear them. You might consider wearing boot socks. These can be heavy cotton or wool. Some sportbike socks are lightweight and designed to wick away moisture. I used to wear those. Now, I wear heavy knee high boot socks that the touring riders like. Please wear knee high socks with boots.

The predominant boot material should be leather. There is the traditional thick boot/saddle leather and the synthetic Lorica leather used in roadracing sportbike boots. Carbon fiber is being used in the high end boots too. The soles should be made of some type of non-slip composite rubber compound.

Boot Closures:

Traditional lace up boots are still common. It takes awhile to take them on and off. You've seen the motorcycle cop's Pull Up boots. These can be custom made to fit your feet. Of course they're Expensive. Buckle closures are excellent. Buckles on motocross boots, cruiser boots and even some high end touring boots. You will see some buckle combination closures on roadracing boots.

Zipper closures are common. Make sure you are getting high quality zippers. If you don't know, ask. Good quality motorcycle boots should last a very very long time. The exception would be some sportbike boots. These thin race soles may wear through in a season due to the rider putting pressure on the peg while cornering hard. Some of these sportbike boots have replaceable soles and other parts designed to wear when the crash occurs.

Touring Boots:

These are the best compromise to consider for street riding. These leather boots have been around for a century. They are the high top variety. Comfort is equally as important as safety here. Gortex versions are available for riding in wet weather. Tour boots make much more sense from a safety and comfort standpoint than the stylish cruiser boots. Ask your retailer to let you try some touring boots on. The boot in the picture is the Dianese Visoke D-WP. It's an excellent touring boot.

Cruiser Boots:

If style is your priority, these puppies are for you. One of their advantages is that they aren't that expensive. So, you afford to buy a few pair. If you find some cruiser boots that are comfy for you, congratulations. Many of them are not.

Road Racing Boots:

These are the boots for sportbike riders. We wear them on the street and at the track. They are the most protective motorcycle boot available. They do not rise as high as motocross boots. They come in both solid and perforated leather/lorica. Some have an internal bootie for even better fit and protection. Strong lightweight materials are used throughout.

Colors and graphics are available from mild to wild. There is a lot of crash engineering here. The more expensive models can be customized to a rider's fit preferences. Once I have the Supertechs on, my feet and ankles feel invincible. Well, it feels like that to me anyway. I don't wear the Sidi race shoes anymore.

Sportbike Race Shoes:

These shoes are designed specifically for the sportbike rider in mind. They maybe a full race boot that has the top half trimmed off. These shoes can be very lightweight. They cover the ankles completely. There are zipper closures, buckle closures and pull-ons available w/velcro closures. I've seen The BOA lacing system like ski boots too.

I've owned a couple pairs of these race shoes. I recommend these for a street rider who needs to walk around after the ride. Walking around the mall in full race boots kind of sucks. The full roadracing boots tend to squeak a little also. Race shoes shoes are good for short rides.

What about Cost?

How much are your feet worth to you? I've found that buying shoes is like most things. One gets what one pays for. I guess this isn't true for some of the pricey designer brands. google some reviews. Try some boots on. You should be able to find some good leather riding boots in the neighborhood of $125.00 to $275.00. You can spend $500.00 on some top quality roadracing boots.

What about Brand Names?

I can think of a dozen boot manufacturers off the top of my head. You might consider these 6 companies:

Milwaukee, Garne, Alpinestars, Sidi, Dianese, Tourmaster. I'd also add Icon to the mix. Some of these power sports gear manufacturers make boots for every type of riding you might do. Women's and Kids styles and sizes are readily available.


I hope this article helps you a little in your search to buy some good motorcycle riding boots. Again, I've just scratched the surface. The idea here is to buy some quality riding footwear that fits properly. You are going to own these boots for a long time.

Street Talk

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