What’s the second most important piece of motorcycle riding gear? Well, a helmet is the first because it protects your head but not a lot of people know that motorcycle footwear comes a close second. The reason is simple. After your head, your legs are the most integral body part for everyday activities and that is why it makes sense to protect them as best as you can when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Now, picking the right motorcycle boot can be a daunting task as so many different types of motorcycle footwear exist. Should you go all-out out on knee length boots or will a casual riding shoe do it for you? Read on to find out.
Riding shoes have been born out of the need of people needing to walk around in their riding gear. Imagine this - you ride to your office every day and you need to carry a separate piece of shoes just so you can get out of your tightly fitting riding boots, that are, let’s be honest, not made for walking around. Enter, the riding shoe. These feature a sturdy sole, reinforced sides and go just above your ankle, but they have enough room that you can walk around in them with relative comfortable. To be fair, these shoes are for those who ride the same route everyday and know how to minimize their risk on a motorcycle. If you ride aggressively and don’t follow defensive riding techniques, you should look for better protection. If you are a defensive rider, in that case Stylmartin Vector WP Boots or the TCX Street 3 WP boots are a great option to look at.
Once you enter the category of boots, there is no getting away from the fact that this footwear is strictly made for riding. In general, riding boots have a sturdier and more rigid construction than riding shoes, which in turn better protects a rider’s feet in the event of a crash. Riding boots come in three different categories - short, medium and full-length - in that order of protection. Ideally, if you can, get the full-length boots. They offer the maximum protection, but they are the most cumbersome to wear as well. The TCX Infinity 3 GT-X boots are a great pick for those interested in maximum protection. Medium length boots strike a balance between protection and mobility, and if that’s where you feel the most comfortable, you should check out the TCX Hub WP boots. They go a decent distance above your ankles covering the lower part of your legs. Short length boots are again for casual riders who don’t necessarily push the motorcycle. They will protect your feet with all their might, but that’s about it. The TCX Pulse or TCX R04D WP boots are two great examples of short length riding boots that work well for everyday riding.
If you visit the track often, nothing but maximum protection will do for you. Track boots are designed to lock your feet into place and only allow the minimum movement required to maneuver a motorcycle. Walking in them, let’s just say, is not recommended. They also have thinner soles, but don’t let that make you think that track boots offer less protection - they offer the best there is out there by using thinner materials, which makes them a tad bit expensive. If you are into track riding, we recommend you check out the TCX RT-Race or TCX RT-Race Pro Air racing boots. Once on a motorcycle, they just mold around your feet.
If you belong to the opposite end of the spectrum and love to go off-roading, you should look at off-road boots. These are full-length boots that offer the most heavy-duty levels of protection, because off-road riding is unpredictable to say the least. This is one of the best protections you can buy for your feet, but they don’t work well on-road as they are thick and don’t offer good feedback. However, in the event of an off-road fall, you can be rest assured that you will be thanking your stars for buying them. The Stylmartin Navajo Evo WP and TCX X-Blast are some of the options you can look at when looking for an off-road boot.
TakeawayUltimately, riding boots are of many kinds and what you need will depend on what, where and how you ride. You might even need to buy multiple boots if you visit the track and go off-road as well, but all we can say is that investing in the right boots is worth the money as they can be the difference between just shrugging off a fall or spending three months in bed recovering from one.