Best Motorcycle Racing Boots: Protect Your Feet and Shins on the Track
Safeguard your feet with these top motorcycle racing boots
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Boots are an integral part of a biker's riding gear, particularly those who race. They provide protection to the rider's feet and ankles in a crash. If you don't wear proper footwear, you're susceptible to some serious injuries. All bikers need to make safety a priority, and along with the proper helmet, gloves, jacket, and pants, the right boots can make a huge difference. Check out the best motorcycle racing boots in our buying guide below.
These boots have a breathable mesh lining, and the ankles are protected with shock-absorbing foam. They feature an adjustable inner lacing system.
These aggressively-styled boots are tight in the right spots yet are comfortable and look good. They keep your feet dry and cool.
They tend to run small, so you may need to order a half size up. The lacing system may fail prematurely, and they take a while to break in.
These boots have TPU shin plates, toe caps, and calf guards, as well as an internal lacing system. The adjustable lock closure system makes them easy to put on and take off.
They are lightweight, durable, and comfortable. They fit well, and the fasteners are easy to use. They're also a great value.
You need to wear these boots in because they are a bit tight. The inner laces aren't the greatest quality, and they're not comfortable for walking.
They feature a lightweight, flexible shell that's built to resist abrasion. The inserts are comfortable and flexible, and the boots feature a three-buckle, quick-release closure system.
Your feet stay dry in the rain, and they are very sturdy, comfortable, and supportive. The calf strap is adjustable, and they fit well overall.
You need to break them in, and they are not meant for people with large calves. They may also squeak when you walk.
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Benefits of Motorcycle Racing Boots
- Provide protection. The best race boots for motorcycles are designed to safeguard your feet and lower legs in an accident. They have extra ankle support and protect against hard impacts and asphalt abrasion.
- Rider-specific features. Unlike street boots, sport boots, or other types of motorcycle boots, racing boots have features such as molded ankle protection, oil-resistant soles, and torsional stiffness. These types of factors prevent the boots from flexing too much or slipping.
- Variety of styles. One of the great things about racing boots is they have a variety of different features and looks. Some are very colorful, while others stick to black and white color combinations. Some have buckles, and others have zippers and lacing systems.
Types of Motorcycle Racing Boots
It's not uncommon for boots to contact the pavement in a race, so the best rated motorcycle racing boots are designed to be form-fitting and stiff without much flex. The soles are flat and smooth, and they sit as high as the mid-calf.
Track boots have armor on high-impact areas, including the ankles, heels, and shins. Toe sliders enable the boots to slide when a rider leans at extreme angles. Some brands feature shifter pads to prevent wear. These boots are not comfortable to walk around in because they're so stiff.
MX, or motocross, boots are usually full height to protect the feet, ankles, and shins. They are durable, form-fitting, and stiff because they frequently come into contact with the bike, the ground, and other objects. They are made of heavy-duty materials and open lengthwise.
Many feature leather side panels for heat protection and so the rider can better grip the bike with his or her legs. High-impact areas have plastic and metal armor reinforcements. They feature buckle closures because zippers can get full of mud. They also have shift pads to ward off wear, and they're not comfortable to walk around in.
Alpinestars got its start in a small town in Northern Italy in 1963. Founder Sante Mazzarolo focused on building boots for local enduro and motocross riders and eventually made boots for all forms of motorcycling. Alpinestars USA opened in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s. Its top products include the Alpinestars Tech 3 Motocross Boots and Alpinestars SMX-6 v2 Vented Boots.
Fox Racing is known for its motocross and mountain biking gear. The company, based in Irvine, California, was founded in 1974 by Geoff Fox, who founded team Moto-X Fox before launching his business, which these days focus on moto gear, apparel, and outerwear. One popular product is the Fox Racing Comp Men's Off-Road Motorcycle Boots.
California-based Cortech manufacturers performance protective motorcycle apparel and luggage for the sportbike, sport touring, adventure touring, and dual-sport community. One popular product is the Cortech Men's Impulse Air Road Race Boot.
Motorcycle Racing Boots Pricing
- Less than $200: You can find a decent pair of boots in this price range. The best budget motorcycle racing boots usually feature thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which resists oil, grease, and abrasion. The boots have toe caps and calf guards, sturdy buckles, and are often water-resistant.
- $500 and up: More expensive racing boots have advanced features, such as double pivoting systems that provide more control and flexibility, dual compound removable footbeds, double density foam, and shock-absorbing padding.
It's very common for motorcyclists to suffer from impact injuries when they're riding. Minor injuries may include rocks and debris hitting the foot or a tree branch striking the ankle. Other, more serious, impact injuries include hitting the pavement, dirt, or another object, such as a vehicle. The best motorcycle road racing boots feature armor, padding, and multiple layers of material to protect the foot, ankle, and leg.
Abrasion injuries are not as severe as impact injuries. They occur when riders scuff their feet or ankles on the asphalt or dump their bikes. Abrasion injuries can also happen if a rider is thrown off his or her bike and slides across the pavement at a high speed. Long pants and socks are not enough protection. Motorcycle racing boots feature leather and other materials, as well as armor and padding to shield against such injuries.
At a minimum, everyday motorcycle boots should come up over the ankle. High-top racing boots tend to be stiffer and less comfortable; however, they provide much more protection to the foot and lower leg. In a crash, your foot can get trapped, which can cause the ankle to sprain or break. Since the ankle bone sticks out a bit, it can easily scrape the ground in a crash. Full-height boots support and protect this vulnerable area.
Motorcycle boots are made of various materials. Natural materials, such as leather, stretch as you break them in. This can affect shifting, so keep that in mind. Some brands feature vented material, which is preferable in hotter climates. Leather, Kevlar, Cordura, and TPU are abrasion-resistant materials. Some textiles are lighter than leather and provide just as much or more protection. Also look to see if the boots have ankle padding, double or triple stitching, rigid inserts, armor, and toe sliders.
Not all manufacturers make their boots the same way, so check the sizing guide to make sure you get the proper fit. Some of the best motorcycle racing boots come from European companies, which use EU sizes that you need to convert to U.S. sizes. Keep in mind that European boots are often more narrow. Consider the type of socks you will wear with the boots as well. Many boots are hard to put on and take off, but that means it's less likely to come off in a crash.
It's important that your racing boots are comfortable; otherwise, they can be a distraction, which can cause an accident. If you're thinking about your feet, you're not focusing on the track. Some boots are designed to be more comfortable in certain temperatures (hot or cold). They may be waterproof or sweatproof, which helps on hot and humid days.
- Maintenance: Some track boots feature fitted booties that provide a better fit but are also removable, so you can air them out and clean them. Another advantage of buying a pair of boots with removable and replaceable parts is that you can swap these parts out if they start deteriorating. This will save you from having to purchase a new set of boots.
- Closures: Some boots feature laces, while others have Velcro or buckle closures. Many people prefer laces because they make it easier to remove the boots, and they provide a more customized fit. However, they can get loose when you're riding. The hooks may also catch on things when you're getting on or off the bike. Velcro and buckles also provide a secure fit and ensure that the boots stay on in high-speed crashes. Ultimately, the closure type is a personal preference.
- Soles: Softer soles grip footpegs better than harder ones, but they tend to wear down more quickly. Harder soles are more durable, but they don't have as much grip. Determine which type of riding you plan on doing when you look at the soles. They should also be oil-resistant, which is particularly important when it's wet outside.
Best Motorcycle Racing Boots Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Safety should be your number one priority. Make sure you choose the proper boots for the style of riding you plan on doing. Choose the best boots, not the cheapest ones.
- When buying your first pair of motorcycle boots, look for entry-level boots in a median price range. Once you wear them for a while, you will figure out what works and what doesn't, and you will know what you need on your next pair of boots.
- You're less likely to wear boots that are too small or uncomfortable, and large boots won't provide enough support and can come off in a crash. Boots that have an A or B in the size description mean they're narrow. Boots with a C and D provide a medium fit. Boots with other letters are wide.
Q: Are motorcycle racing boots true to size?
A: That depends on the brand. Some European brands are a little more narrow than American brands. It’s important to check the sizing chart for a proper fit. Also, read reviews to see what other riders say about the fit.
Q: Are motorcycle racing boots waterproof?
A. Again, it depends on the brand. Some are designed for all-weather riding, while others are more suited for hotter climates.
Q: What do I do if a part breaks on my racing boot?
A: The good news is that many brands provide replacement parts. If something breaks, contact the manufacturer.
Q: Are there any other brands I should consider?
A: Other well-known brands include Sidi, Forma, Gaerne, and Dainese, which are excellent companies with good reputations in the industry.
Our pick for the best motorcycle racing boots is the Cortech Men's Impulse Air Road Race Boots. They are comfortable, look stylish, and keep your feet dry and cool.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Fox Racing Comp Men's Off-Road Motorcycle Boots.