We spent over 40 hours researching and testing over 20 different types of motorcycle boots and found that comfort, large range of available sizes, and style were the most important factors when consumers were shopping for motorcycle boots. Polar Fox Patrick MPX808583 Motorcycle Boots scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. These stylish boots are made from premium synthetic leather that is durable and long lasting while providing plenty of comfort as well. The heavy waxed laces used in these boot laces are water resistant and stay tight longer than other traditional laces. The rubber soles and hearty, triple stitched exterior provide the wearer with traction, durability and tons of comfort.
Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide
Motorcycle boots are designed to do more than just cover your feet they are made to protect your feet from two of the most common injuries a rider can get, abrasion and impact. Below we have listed the basic aspects of the motorcycle boot along with explaining how they work.
Protection from Impact – Impact injuries can be caused by flying debris or something as simple as a rock hitting a rider in the foot as they are riding or a brand that smacks their ankle. While these things may not seem like a big deal, when you are going 35-60 miles per hour, what seems like a small thing can suddenly cause a big injury. Even more serious impact injuries include the rider actually making contact with the ground of another object like another car. Motorcycle boots are designed with many layers of padding, material, and armor that will protect the foot, ankle and part of the leg from these impact situations.
Resistance to Abrasion – Some of the less severe examples of abrasion injuries include a rider laying down a bike in a mild incident and scrapes their foot or ankle along the asphalt road. Much more serious abrasion injuries happen if a rider is thrown off the bike completely and slides across the asphalt at high speeds. Many riders think that long pants and socks help protect the leg but if you are actually in an accident, you’d unfortunately find that your pants and socks offer very little in the way of protection for your legs and feet. Motorcycle boots provide offer as much as 3 mm of leather or other material for protection and that doesn’t include padding and armor.
Comfort & Ergonomics – In addition to providing protection from impact and abrasion injuries motorcycle boots provide a solid, hard sole with excellent grip that is perfect for stopping and launching with ease. The improved grip prevents your foot from slipping off the peg which is beneficial for safe shifting and braking. Although comfort is not needed for safety, being uncomfortable CAN be distracting that can cause other problems that result in an accident. There are motorcycle boots available for a variety of riding conditions including extreme cold or heat. Waterproof boots are great for keeping your feet dry and warm too.
Types of Motorcycle boots
There are several different types of motorcycle boots to choose from each with a slightly different type of riding that each style of boots is suited for. We have listed the different kinds of boots below along with information about each so you will be able to understand the differences. This information will make it easier to select the motorcycle boots that are best for your type of riding and your personal preferences.
Cruiser/Touring Boots – This type of motorcycle boot is what everyone thinks all motorcycle boots look like. The casual yet stylish look is very comfortable even when you’re not riding. Most touring/cruiser boots are made of 100% leather and are medium height boots. There is a zipper on the side for easy entry with most cruiser styles but some are pull ons. Cruising motorcycle boots may sometimes feature buckles that are designed to cover laces or zippers or the buckles may just be decorative only. You can expect cruiser motorcycle boots to be very stiff and will be made from thick leather for the ultimate in protection and durability. They have a slight heel made of hard rubber. Some styles feature reinforced toes, heels, and ankles for added protection. If you ride a lot in the rain, look for cruising boots that have a waterproof liner.
MX Boots – There are specific boots that are designed for off-road and motorcross riding. The type of boots and gear for this type of riding is different than for street riding and touring. Boots that are suitable for MX riding are made from super heavy leather, metal, plastic and other composites. The boots open lengthwise and features buckles and straps that will adjust the fit to be what you need. You will find that MX boots fit snugly and come up over your calf. There are usually leather panels on the inside of the boot that protect you from hot pipes and allow better grip with your legs. You will find that motorcross and off-road motorcycle boots have additional metal and plastic armor that is in all high-impact areas. Your shins are protected by heavy duty plastic that will keep debris and other problematic things from causing impact injuries.
Touring Boots – Touring motorcycle boots are a lot like track boots in how they are constructed and designed. The major differences between the two is that touring boots are not going to have as much armor as track boots and they offer a lot more flexibility. Most touring boots are made mostly of leather with additional parts of metal and plastics. Since these boots are meant to be worn on long rides, comfort is a focal point. Many touring styles offer plenty of breathability as well as waterproof features. Touring boots are casual in appearance and can be worn off the bike as well.
Racing Boots – Racing is a very extreme sport that comes with a lot of risk and danger. For this reason, racing boots are designed to offer a lot of protection and are made to be long lasting and durable. They are heavily armored to provide the ultimate in protection. When racing it is possible for your boot to come in contact with the pavement of the track often so it is necessary that your track motorcycle boots are reinforced heavily. Racing motorcycle boots are made from a mixture of plastics, heavy duty leather, metals and various other composite materials. They are extremely snug and form fitting and offer almost no flex. Because they are so stiff they do not make good walking around boots and are best used strictly for racing. If you’re purchasing track boots you will notice they have a lot of hard armor made from plastic on all of the areas that are prone to high impact including the shin, ankle, and heel.
Adventure Boots – This relatively new type of motorcycle boot is a cross between touring and MX boots. Depending on the manufacturer you will find that some favor the MX styling while others lean toward the touring design. Adventure boots will not be as stiff as MX boots so they have an easier time with off the bike walking. Because the lower half of these boots is a lot more casual looking they can be worn even when you’re not riding. There are straps and buckles for closures that handle mud well and they are waterproof also for riding in wet conditions.
Riding Shoes/Short Boots – A lot of motorcycle riders are not interested in wearing full, heavy motorcycle boots and want something much shorter. If you are interested in just wearing a riding shoe there are quite a few for you to choose from. Motorcycle shoes will protect the ankle and some models have TPU armor and toe sliders. Some motorcycle shoes have regular laces while others offer a zipper or buckle closure. Some models offer waterproof capabilities as well. Depending on the company, some motorcycle shoes could have a more athletic appearance or look like tennis shoes which are great for urban riding or commuting to work.
Motorcycle Boot Materials
Leather – Many motorcycle boots regardless of type are made from high quality leather that offers the rider lots of protection as well as durability. Choosing boots made from fake leather results in boots that fade and crack with time so it is best not to waste money on them. They will not provide the rider with the proper amount of abrasion resistance that you will find with real leather.
Thermalplastic Poly – This plastic is used to make a lot of the sliders and armor that is found on many types of motorcycle boots. This material is resistant to abrasion, stays flexible in colder temperatures, and has a lot of impact strength.
Kevlar – Kevlar is a well-known synthetic material that is resistant to abrasion and is super strong as well. Some boots are made with Kevlar stitching that creates a boot that is durable and strong.
Gore-Tex – This waterproof material is used in many types of boots and clothing. It is breathable and durable and is a popular choice for those looking for waterproof products that are really waterproof. Another benefit to Gore-Tex is that it will wick away moisture and sweat which will keep your feet comfortable, dry, and feeling good all day.
Non-Slip Sole – Since you are around motorcycles which can have oil and grease on it, you want boots that are resistant to these potentially problematic substances. Having non-slip soles that are oil resistant so you will have excellent traction when you need it most.
Motorcycle boots are an important piece of equipment for riders regardless of the type of riding you prefer. With all of the different boots on the market it is easy to find motorcycle boots that match what you need and what your preferences are.
Motorcycle boots are made from premium, high quality materials that will protect your feet, ankles, and lower legs against impact and abrasion injuries. Depending on the kind of boots they are, they will have various forms of armor and features that will increase the protective properties and improve traction, comfort, and durability.
The three top-rated motorcycle boots we have reviewed above are great examples of the type of the quality boots you can find for your own riding style. All three of these selections are sure to please. If none of them are what you are looking for or don’t meet the type of riding you prefer, the buying guide will give you all the knowledge you need to sort through all the different choices and make a confident choice on the perfect pair of motorcycle boots for your needs.