Best Motorcycle Boots in 2018 – Offering the Best Protection
After a day’s ride there is nothing more comforting than removing all your riding gear and if you are a biker, you know it feels delectably good. So while you do easily yank off your jacket, gloves, and helmet, here’s a thought – what happens to your boots? The fact of the matter remains that even while going to your workplace, you wear protective gear on your bike. But the motorcycle boots remain the only piece of gear that you have to wear around even at your workplace (Yes, you could carry an extra pair of shoe, but that would be a cumbersome affair).
It is needless to say that you, therefore, have to decide carefully the type of motorcycle boots you would want to invest in. It would be a shame if I had to go on about how you need to protect your feet while riding a motorcycle because you just might encounter things like hot exhaust pipes, stone chips from the road and even the eventual slip of the bike resulting in scrapes and foot injuries (sic).
For many a happy mile that you will spend on your bike, it is imperative that your chosen boot is extremely suited to the task. The fact that motorcycle boots do cost a good amount makes them an extremely cautious investment. Here is a list of what I feel are the best possible options that you can look at when buying motorbike boots.
Best Motorcycle Boots in Our Opinion
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Harley Davidson Scout
When the product is something that sports so iconic a brand name, there is not really a lot that can be wrong with it. Keeping in mind the saying “Old is gold”, you can never get a boot more iconic than the Harley Davidson scout. These can function as an everyday riding boot as well as a cross country motocross riding boot. The Scout provides a fairly good protection and balance and while it is extremely affordable, it has two major cons.
Firstly, the sizing of the boots tends to be a tad inconsistent and therefore, it is recommended that you do make it a point to try the boots out physically before purchasing them. Secondly, the boots are sincerely aimed at heavy riding and not at walking. This often proves to be a problem because the boots are extremely heavy. There can literally be no worse idea than going for a walk in them.
Harley Davidson Men’s Drive Steel Toe
Another classic from Harley Davidson, as mentioned, the brand itself adds to its credibility. Formed with a classic leather upper, the speciality of this pair is the addition of steel toes that not only adds to the cool factor of your boos but secures a hardier protection for your toes while on the ride. A cushioned tongue and collar cradles your feet and EVA rubber outsole provides the best traction. You won’t have to worry about a smoother than average surface with these on.
For your personal comfort, they have added a padded insole and the rear pull tab makes it efficient to put it on or take it off. A speed lacing closure evidently provides a snug fit without the risk of toeing it off as you start your motorcycle.
The Harley Davidson logo on the side screams ‘attitude’ to all who notice your new boots. You can walk with the weight of a legend on your feet.
Ever Boots ‘Tank' Men’s Soft Toe
Don’t you get bored with the traditional black leather? A bad boyish as it looks, this pair adds a splash of colour to your motorcycle wardrobe in its dual shades of tan and brown. Durability is probably one of its key features with Goodyear Welt Construction for Industrial Construction Concrete Safety factor. Built of leather, the pair graces your feet with its incredibly stylish cut. It is equipped with a rubber outsole that not only offers the regular traction but goes a step further and protects you on those rainy nights with its slip-resistant feature. However, it can also be detached f you want it off.
A padded insole provides far more than just security to your boots. Putting it on is no longer a big deal with the Speedy Hooks and back Loop that it adds to the ensemble. A 3 months warranty feature with excellent customer service gives you in all, one of the best choices for your motorcycle look.
Vega Merge Men’s Motorcycle Boots
The best part of the Vega Merge Men’s Motorcycle boots is that they are equipped with a gender-specific design. This means that the soles of the boots are designed as per in accordance with the gender foot size. The boots are lightweight enough for regular use. They are reinforced with a rudder sole that allows better protection. The padding on the boot has a premium feel to it and the boot itself requires no break in period.
Special mention must be made about the fittings of the boots – the dual laces help provide a better fit and ensure that your boot doesn’t slip out while riding. Overall, a decent product at an extremely affordable price.
Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0
The Joe Rocket Men’s variant comes in a very stylish and hip design guaranteed to draw second looks. On the protection front, the boot doesn’t go wrong by providing a polymeric ankle protection and the ankle area is padded for greater comfort. The boot is triple stitched and there is a strap for adjusting the fit complete with a quick lock mechanism.
The boot has no break in period and one can wear them immediately without worrying about flexibility. There are, however, a minor problems with these boots.
The boots quite conspicuously label it as being water resistant and not waterproof. The water resistance is not really something it is adept at and even the lightest of rains can make your socks soggy. If you love to ride the storm and rains, you got better options.
Why Motorcycle Boots?
So, you would ask the essential question, Are my regular boots not good enough? Why do I need to invest in another pair then? To answer this query, it is important to understand that the casual boots that you usually sport are made of thinner layers of leather as comfort happens to be the primary element in such cases. However, in case of motorcycle boots, the boots are higher at least on an average of seven inches and must be flexible and yet strong at the same time. Unlike the casual boot, protection here is the paramount concern. However, we, being the picky consumer, do tend to demand that our motorcycle boots offer the best of both comfort and protection. Most motorcycle boots are thus made with heavier padding than traditionally used materials to ensure comfort along with protection.
However, it is not merely this binary that makes the motorcycle boots different from the casual ones. Motorcycle boots are also built while integrating a host of other features like intense ankle protection, resistance to slippery surfaces like oil, shifter pads and buckles to ensure a proper fit and even triple stitching to maintain durability. These are features that you cannot individually highlight, they combine together to form a pair of wholesome and secure motorcycle boot. The other determining factor is the pricing. While much like everything else in the world, cost equals quality, however, it is very true that even the cheapest of motorcycle boots offer more protection than your most expensive casual boots. As a wise man quipped “Don’t dress for the ride, dress for the slide”
Riding the Storm
When the going gets tough, the boots get going. Motorcycle boots have long acquired the distinction of being a tough footwear. This reputation is entirely well founded as a pair of motorcycle boots can always be relied upon to make sure that the user reaches the destination (no matter how long) safely. The motorcycle boots have a tall order that is expected of them. While they must never compromise on protection, they must also be immune to the ravages of weather, waterproof and at the same time breathable and most importantly durable. Comfort is also of paramount importance as the user may sometimes wear the boots for hours while taking a long ride. Just a look at the things expected of these types of boots would reveal that nothing short of perfection is expected of them. However, the right pair of boots would ensure that you enjoy your riding to the fullest or cover all that distance as Robert Frost puts it- “Miles to go before I sleep”.
Types of Boots
The diverse biking styles and needs of the modern age have branched out and now there are actually many types of motorcycle boots depending on their function and use. As such, motorcycle boots can now be classified broadly into five categories:
- Off-Road and Motocross Boots – Off road and cross country riding seems to be all the rage these days and thus, if you want to explore beyond the dusty sunsets, these are the boots for you.
- Adventure and Dual Sports Boots – For those who love to live in a blended reality. Enough said!
- Cruiser Boots – Cruiser boots are the new kids on the block, mixing style with personality to give you a boot that you just could not say no to.
- Motorcycle Shoes – The shoes are kind of like the boots themselves, only classier. The typical motorcycle shoe is a fortress inside which you feet reside. These shoes offer you the benefits of the professional kind and are formal enough to be worn at your most official event. Talk about double timing.
- Street Boots – These are the type of boots that you may want to use if you are more into local and short distance bike riding. While they won’t offer you as much protection as the conventional motorcycle boots, they make up in terms of comfort while even walking about and general commutation.
- Sports and Racing Boots – These are the sorts of footwear you must be aiming for if racing is your thing and speed is the factor that fuels you. They offer perfect balance, protection and help you get those turns right.
Factors That Are to Be Considered in a Good Motorcycle Boot
Height matters! And when it comes to motorcycle boots, height is synonymous with protection. Any decent pair of motorcycle boots should at least be ankle high and rounded off with quality padding at the top to enable the user to have an all round amount of support. While a boot which is higher than that may actually restrict movement, however, in terms of protection, it works absolute wonders.
The most common injury that a person has in a bike accident is that the leg is often trapped between the road and the fallen bike. This leads to a lot of things ranging from sprains to fractures. The ankle area is also an extremely vulnerable area when it comes to bike accidents. It is for this and many other reasons that you must always try wearing a full-length motorcycle boot.
The everyday office footwear or sports shoes are usually made from leather or canvas, which for all their comfort are not really great when subjected to asphalt at high speeds. This is probably the reason why motorcycle boots tend to be made in a fashion where they do not give away even under high friction. Modern boots are now made double layered with high resistance materials outside and a comfort material inside for a greater comfort. An important point that ought to be remembered is that motorcycle boots should compulsorily be waterproof. There is absolutely no compromise or substitution to be made on that front.
While how you like your shoe to be in terms of closure is almost as personal a choice as underwear, there are a lot of options to choose from. Laces have the edge as most people seem to prefer it because of its general ease of use and precision of fit. The general disadvantage to laces is that they get untied at awkward moments and could intertwine with the bike while riding. There is also boot which has these straps affixed on the laces that help keep the lace in place. Other types would obviously include Velcro and buckles but I feel that laces are typically the best option available.
As I have already noted before, there are an array of boots that the user can choose from. One essential feature that varies with each type of boot is their soles. Soles are literally the souls of the boots. The softer variant of the sole will always have a better grip than its harder counterpart but will wear down very fast. A harder motorcycle boot sole will, as expected, be extremely durable but won’t have a strong firm grip. While this may not matter in a normal climate, it makes a lot of difference if you are riding on rainy days and roads are wet. A simple life hack to increasing your boot grip would be to smear oil on the sole.
Personality exudes from the feet and what a man wear on his feet do reveal a lot about him. However, the standing pub joke on motorcycle boots is that if you see a man wearing them, you should buy him a drink but never let him getting near your wife. Simple leather boots, while being very effective, otherwise are just unable to deal with the heat and sweat over a long period of time.
Throw in durability over circumstances such as one will encounter while riding and you shall find that your leather shoes will be a hard option. Given the large variety of options that you may encounter in the motorbike boots segment, it would be difficult to make a choice. However, always remember when it comes to boots, safety is of paramount importance and thus, always buy the best quality boot you can afford. It is precisely for this reason that you need the motorbike boots. Because when you decide to ride in style into the sunset, don’t let your footwear ruin a happy ending. So many Boots so less time!