Motorcycle boots are an essential piece of gear for any motorcycle riding trip from popping out to the shops to a mountainous touring trip. Some riders believe that they are not necessary for all situations, but we disagree! Motorcycle boots protect the rider’s feet and ankles from debris on the road surface and offer protection in case of a spill or crash.
In this blog post, you will learn when it is important to ride with motorcycle boots in each different situations and terains so that you can make an informed decision about your riding gear.
Statistics about Motorcycle Footwear
Before we dive into the main reasons why we believe that motorcycle boots are an essential piece of kit for all trips, let’s go through 5 motorcycle boot statistics (because we all love stats!):
Stat 1: In a survey of motorcyclists, nearly half (48%) report never wearing motorcycle boots. 12% say they usually wear them when riding on dirt roads or trails only; another 23% typically use them for commuting and short rides. Those who wear boot are more likely to engage in offroad riding than those who don’t.
Stat 2: Motorcycle riders are six times more likely to suffer foot injuries if not wearing protective footwear, such as a properly fitting motorcycle shoe or boot.
Stat 3: Helmet-wearing motorcyclists with no foot protection had an injury rate that was fifteen times the risk of helmeted motorcyclists whose feet were protected from being injured by their footwear!
Stat 4: Motorcycle riders are six times more likely to suffer foot injuries if not wearing protective footwear, such as a properly fitting motorcycle shoe or boot.
Stat 5: 100% of people who have had a motorcycle drop on their foot without boots wish they had boots on 😉 Trust me, I know
What makes motorcycle boots better than normal shoes?
Motorcycle boots are made with a hard outer shell that can withstand the heat of the exhaust and direct contact.
They have thick soles to provide traction in wet conditions, high top shafts for protection from bugs and debris, waterproof lining to protect riders feet against moisture coming up through the pegs or boards (although water resistant shoes also do this), removable inner linings for easy on-and off convenience, Velcro straps around ankles so they don’t slide down when riding and durable rubber heel guards as well as tough toes.
Riding boots offer great flexibility because they come in both shorty styles which fit low over your calf muscles like hockey goalie pads but also regular length models that cover your entire ankle area just below the knee cap.
Motorcycle boots are also designed to protect your toes and ankles during crashes and accidents on motorcycles.
A high-quality boot will have the ability to withstand a substantial amount of impact and abrasion. The construction should be fireproof so they won’t catch on fire if you ever go down with your bike.
What to look for in motorcycle shoes?
When looking for a pair of motorcycle shoes, expect that you get what you pay for. Not all motorcycle shoes are the same. Typically buying leather with all of your gear (including your motorcycle shoes) is the way to go.
Think about the climate that you live in. You should also look for boots that offer good ventilation, if you live in warmer climates, perspiration can cause blisters and other foot problems when riding motorcycles all day long. A breathable material like leather or synthetic is more appropriate than jean fabric blends which don’t allow sweat to escape as quickly.
What are motorcycle shoes made from?
The material that motorcycle shoes are made from can be plastic, leather, nubuck, or fabric. The difference is really in the durability of the shoe and the breathability. Leather is going to offer the best protection by far but will not breathe as well as a textile or something of the sort.
Are steel-cap boots a good alternative if I don’t have motorcycle boots?
The steel-cap boots are a good alternative if you don’t have motorcycle boots. They offer protection for your feet, but will not protect the top of the foot like regular shoes do because they only extend up to about mid calf which means that anything below can be exposed with potential injury or burns from hot pipes and exhausts. They also will not offer the ankle protection that you should really have if you came off your motorcycle.
Why most people do not wear motorcycle boots:
It’s understandable that most people choose not to wear motorcycle boots. They are expensive, often heavy and bulky, difficult to walk in when they’re on your feet, uncomfortable for those with wider or narrow feet (and there is no room inside the boot for them), tricky to put on once you’ve laced up their laces all the way – and it can be a little overwhelming deciding which pair would be best suited for your needs.
Many riders find themselves wearing more comfortable footwear instead of true motorcycle shoes because they have trouble walking around after putting them on. Others don’t want the hassle of struggling into an unfamiliar shoe before going out riding. And many others still just prefer having something simple like sneakers as their go-to footwear while on a motorcycle.
Motorcycle shoes vs motorcycle boots
There are two very different types of riding footwear – boots and shoes, which means you’ll need to consider your needs when deciding what type is best for you. Sometimes people will opt for one or the other because they can’t decide between them so we’re going to go over both with our pros and cons below:
They offer more stability on foot pegs while at speed than either sneakers or flat-soled show tugs, their heeled soles keep feet away from hot exhaust pipes (or cold ones in winter), and some models come with thicker rubber that protects better against road debris and pinch points like curbs or manhole covers.
Shoes typically offer better protection and grip on slippery surfaces like gravel or wet pavement, they’re lighter weight than boots which is good for riders who are touring long distances.
They can be difficult to walk in, especially with a lot of gear on your back (jacket, helmet), their heeled soles make them more unstable while trying to stand up from sitting position on the bike’s seat, some models have leather uppers that don’t breath well so feet sweat inside when it’s hot outside.
Shoes offer less stability at speed because there isn’t as much foot support and often times not enough traction underfoot – this makes shoes unsuitable for riding dirt bikes over rocky terrain where stopping hard necessitates doing so without sliding forward.
Are motorcycle boots necessary for a short trip to the shops? And why?
Most will tell you that Motorcycle boots should be worn, even for short trips, but most don’t do it. The truth is, most of us don’t expect that it is us that will get into a crash, but when we do, even at 20 mph, you’re going to wish you were wearing more protection on your feet.