What Are the Best Boots for Riding?
Whether it's for riding a motorcycle down to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or it's for a competitive round of motocross, it's important to make sure we're protected. Especially when considering that, according to John Hopkins Medicine, one of the top three reasons most sports injuries occur is because of "inappropriate or lack of equipment."
Often, we tend to focus on the helmet and forget that our feet can also end up irrevocably damaged. In fact, according to Skousen, Gulbrandsen, & Patience law offices, "about one out of three non-fatal motorcycle injuries affect the lower extremities." They also point out that "Boots, special pants and even special armor can keep these areas from becoming more damaged than they would otherwise."
Let's be honest here, a lot of us would generally sacrifice a little comfort in order to look good. This can be tempting but given the serious injuries that can take place when riding in improper shoes; it's better to be on the safe side. Luckily, companies like Chaparral Motorsports have a wide selection of women's motorcycle boots that are both functional and a lot of them are quite sexy as well.
Regardless of our gender, what types of things should we be looking for in riding boots? Check out these top five things to look for in your next pair of riding boots:
Making sure the boot is sturdy and less likely to fall apart is crucial to having a safe and long-lasting pair of riding boots. Look for things like:
Tight sewing (at least double stitching, preferably triple) both in the stitching and the way the sole is sewn to the boot
What type of enclosure do you prefer? Buckles? Zippers? Laces?
Thick leather material and Gore-Tex for waterproofing
Most agree that while a long boot may be a tad more uncomfortable to wear, it is still necessary to protect the whole bottom part of our legs. Long boots specifically designed for motorcycle riding will not only protect the foot, but they will also protect our shins and ankles from damage. Also, full weight boots (I know, more uncomfortable, but - worth it) prevent our ankles from twisting horrifically into a sprain or break. Considering that, according to UPMC Health Beat, ankle sprains are the most common injury in motocross this is definitely something to consider when purchasing our next pair of riding boots.
This is probably the biggest reason we are going to want boots specifically designed for riding instead of boots that just happen to be leather: the grip. Boots specifically designed for riding are all designed with grip in mind. Keep in mind, however, that not all boots are created equal and it's important to make sure we're purchasing a boot that has adequate grip and oil resistance for the type of riding we plan to do.
While we should always be protected when riding, what we plan to use the boots for is important to consider. For example, boots meant for motocross should have extra padding and armor as we're more likely to wreck on these tracks. Whereas we could possibly get away with a pair of stylish cruiser boots for simple commutes on our hogs. Keep in mind, however, that according to the NHTSA, 80 percent of reported motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. Therefore, it's vital to make sure we're wearing the proper equipment for riding.
Tip: while they tend to cost us more, we should still consider a taller cruiser boot to protect our ankles.
Protection from the elements
Depending on how we plan to ride in a new pair of boots, there are a few other things to consider. For example, will we be riding in the heat? If so, it is best to get a boot that is breathable. In almost every situation, we're also going to want something that is waterproof. This way water, mud, and muck don't get inside the boots. With leather boots, we're also going to want to make sure they are weather treated to prevent water damage.