Best Motorcycle Boots 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Introduction

Motorcycle riding boots are a crucial part of equipment for any biker. They aren’t just for fashion, though – motorcycle boots are sturdy and will provide you with the protection from weather and impact.

It is not unimaginable for a person to ride while wearing regular boots and shoes – a lot of people do it, but their footwear won’t live long – the winds pierce the fabric of the boot, destroying it after prolonged usage. This is the main reason why motorcycle boots are ideal for bikers – they are sturdy and durable.

More importantly, most injuries when it comes to motorcycle accidents occur in the areas of the biker’s legs and feet. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What to look out for when purchasing riding boots?

There are various models and types of riding boots, and each category offers different features and benefits. However, if we compare all of the different categories, we could conclude that there are certain similarities between them.

Since motorcycle boots are, after all, boots, their main features to look out for are not unlike other boots – you should look out for the height, the material from which they were built, the closures, the construction, the soles, and the fit. But most importantly, riding boots should also provide you with enough armor and protection.

The Height and Construction

When considering this feature, you should decide what you value the most – comfort, security, or the outward appearance of your boots. If it’s comfort, you can easily go with the casual motorcycle boots. They are meant to provide simple protection, they have a plain outward appearance, but they’re very comfortable to wear.

If you have decided that you value protection the most, there are two kinds of motorcycle boots that can give you what you need. The Full Height Boots are quite stylish, and they provide protection to the leg up to the knees.

Another type of boots that could satisfy your needs for safety are adventure boots and dual-sport boots. They are made for people who enjoy off-road sports, so they’re more durable and provide additional protection.

Lastly, if you value fashion above all else, you can go with full-length boots (motorcycle harness) or short boots (riding shoes). They are decently comfortable to wear, offer very little protection, but they look ravishing. Of course, don’t go speeding with them, and be very, very careful.

The Material

This is the most important feature as it defines pretty much all of the other features. The type and quality of the material mean the difference in the levels of protection, comfort, and many other factors. While most normal shoes are manufactured from soft leather, canvas, or similar materials, the best riding boots are made from a very thick leather in order to provide high abrasion resistance and impact absorption.

If you are the kind of person who enjoys riding even in really cold and rainy weather, you should definitely look out for the riding boots that are made from treated leather. In any other case, your boots will absorb the water and the cold, rather than repel them.

The Closures

This is an entirely subjective matter – Only you know best which type of closures fits you best. You can choose between standard laces, Velcro, or buckles. There’s only one thing that separates buckles from the rest of the closure types – security. They’re firmly attached to the leg of the wearer, staying in place even if a crash occurs.

The Soles

This feature determines the grip your feet will have over the footpegs. While softer soles have a tighter grip, they tend to wear down faster as well. The sturdier soles will last longer but will grip the footpegs a bit weaker. Either way, your soles should be oil-resistant, because oil builds up on the roads, and it could lead to a crash if you slip on your footpegs.

The Fit

It’s quite obvious that you want to buy riding boots that fit you perfectly. Good riding boots made of quality materials will fit your feet better than motorcycle boots made of cheap stuff. But even more importantly, they won’t wear down as quickly. Because when you buy cheap riding boots that fit very good initially, and you go on a few rides, low-quality boots can quickly lose their form / stretch a bit resulting in a very bad fit.

Armor & Protection

You should be well-protected while you ride. Most models of motorcycle riding boots come equipped with either natural protection or padded and armored areas. The natural protection comes from the material from which the boots were built. Thick leather, for example, offers abrasion resistance and it’s very durable.

Armored and padded areas are specifically designed to provide protection in the most fragile areas. Plastic, Kevlar, and other forms of protection are commonly placed on the areas around your ankles and shins.

What are the different types and their benefits?

As there are many different types of motorbikes, there is a vast variety of ways to use them – this determines the riding style which affects the overall equipment of the biker. Depending on the way you ride, you will need different boots.

Sports Boots and Motorcycle Race Boots

Racing motorcycle bootsMain benefits 
Xelement Motorcycle Biker Boots• High-quality leather
• Oil-tanned upper compartment
• Neoprene sole and heel
Harley-Davidson Men's Beau Boots• Combat style
• Moc-toe stitching
• Padded collar
Alpinestars Motorcycle Street Boots• Rubber sole
• Increased abrasion resistance
• Lightweight

Preferred by professional racers and bikers, these boots are ideal for extreme sports and racing. They come equipped with special soles that grip the footpegs tightly, and they’re made from special materials that gives them a very high level of protection.

Their main features are specialized performance design, replaceable parts, and superior protective capabilities. Even though they’re favored by pro racers, they’re not reserved for them.

Pros

  • These boots offer very high protection from impact;
  • They are ideal for professional racers and extreme sports;
  • Phenomenal grip on the pegs;
  • They’re quite durable and most parts are easily replaceable;

Cons

  • These boots are often quite fashionable, but also very bright and colorful. This may not suit everyone.

Touring Motorcycle Boots and Sports Touring Boots

Touring bootsMain benefits 
Durango Men's 11" Harness Boots• Very high-quality leather
• Rubber sole
• Oil-resistant

Harley-Davidson Men's Rory Harness Boots• Leather design
• Skull embossed ring buckle
• Welt construction of the outsole
Fox Racing Motorcycle Boots• Reinforced Toe Guard
• Breathable design
• Very durable

These motorcycle boots belong to the most versatile category of riding boots. They are extremely comfortable to wear, even on longer trips. They offer mainly natural protection, but there are models that come supplied with padded sections (shin and ankle area).

The main characteristics of these riding boots are supreme versatility, amazing comfort, decent protection, weather resistance, and satisfactory support. The weather resistance is an important factor, as these riding boots are mainly used by bikers who enjoy very long trips.

The support and decent protection make them very handy when it comes to abrasion properties and impact. However, being versatile means that they aren’t the best in any particular field other than comfort. Still, they’re often the choice for anyone who is looking for the best motorcycle boots that perform in a variety of circumstances.

Pros

  • The touring boots offer the greatest comfort rating when compared to other categories;
  • They mainly offer natural protection which is more than enough if you don’t drive extremely fast;
  • These boots are capable of a tight grip on the pegs because of the exquisite soles they come supplied with;

Cons

  • They don’t excel in any field other than comfort;

Motorcycle Short Boots (Riding Shoes)

Motorcycle short bootsMain benefits 
Harley-Davidson Men's Scout Boots• Harley Davidson quality
• Short Boot design
• Decent movability
Harley-Davidson Mens Axel Boots• Premium leather
• Highly durable
• Reinforced cap and heel compartments
Bates Performance Motorcycle Boots• Waterproof membrane
• High-quality leather
• Molded protections

The comfort of the short boots comes close second to that of the touring boots. These boots are designed to be short, and most models are made from high-quality material. Even so, they’re very practical for daily tours and rides, but they won’t be able to keep your feet safe like the previous categories in a crash.

The main attributes of the riding shoes are the comfort, decent grip on the pegs, satisfactory protection, and appealing design. These boots are favored by casual riders, mainly because they are so comfortable to wear and because of the attractive outward appearance. However, when it comes to weather resistance and protection, they’re somewhat inferior to other categories of boots.

Pros

  • Very comfortable;
  • Very attractive design;
  • Firm grip on the pegs;

Cons

  • Inferior protection and weather resistance capabilities;

Cruiser Boots and V-Twin Boots

Cruiser bootsMain benefits 
Forma Adventure Off-Road Motorcycle Boots• Full-grain leather with a vintage finish
• Double density anti-slip sole
• DRYTEX lining with waterproof properties
Harley-Davidson Mens Axel Boots• Premium leather
• Highly durable
• Reinforced cap and heel compartments
Xelement Motorcycle Biker Boots• High-quality leather
• Oil-tanned upper compartment
• Cushion Insole

A recreation of the old work boots design – the Cruiser boots are extremely durable and decently comfortable to wear. You’d be in luck if you ever happened upon any models that were made by the leading manufacturers, as some of these boots are equipped with advanced comfort features. However, most models offer very little additional comfort.

The main characteristics of the Cruiser and V-Twin Boots are the exceptional durability, great protection, very tight grip, and classic appearance. You won’t see any sportsmen wear them, but for the bikers who ride excessively long distances, these are some of the best motorcycle boots to consider.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty protection;
  • Ideal for longer trips;
  • Waterproof and weather resistant design;
  • Very durable;

Cons

  • Most models aren’t too comfortable;

Adventure Motorcycle Boots and Dual Sports Boots

Adventure bootsMain benefits 
Bates Performance Motorcycle Boots• Waterproof membrane
• High-quality leather
• Molded protections
Alpinestars Motorcycle Street Boots• Lightweight
• Rubber sole
• Increased abrasion resistance
Fox Racing Off-Road Motorcycle Boots• Reinforced Toe Guard
• Very durable
• Breathable design

The adventure boots are mainly used by off-road racers because of the sturdy design. Nearly all models come equipped with a buckle system, a plastic body, and water-resistant properties. They’re mainly focused on the weather protection and dexterity, but they tend to be quite comfortable as well.

The main properties of the adventure and dual sports boots are the sturdiness (durability), excellent weather protection, phenomenal dexterity, and decent comfort. They are specifically intended for off-road racing and driving, so casual riders won’t find much use of them.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear;
  • Very sturdy and durable;
  • Superior weather protection capabilities;

Cons

  • Intended for off-road racing;

Top Models of Riding Boots

Durango Men’s 11” Harness Boots

Durango Mens Harness Motorcycle BootsThe first subject of this review are the Durango Men’s Harness Boots – they’re made from high-quality leather which gives them decent durability and some natural protection. The high boot design provides excellent weather protection, and the rubber soles are more than capable of gripping the pegs, so you don’t need to worry about support and dexterity.

They’re oil-resistant and are ideal for touring bikers. The only flaw of these boots is that they’re too tight when worn for the first time, but they will break in eventually.

Pros

  • Very high-quality leather;
  • Rubber sole;
  • Oil-resistant;
  • Buckle system;

Cons

  • They’re too tight when worn for the first time;

 

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Harley-Davidson Men’s Scout Boots

Harley-Davidson Mens Scout BootsA perfect pair of short boots by the leading manufacturer in motorcycle equipment industry – You won’t have to worry about the quality when it’s made by Harley Davidson. These scout boots are made from leather and equipped with a standard rubber sole which is capable of tightly grasping the footpegs.

The short boot design provides excellent comfort and movability, while the buckle system makes sure that the boots are firmly in place. The only flaw of this product is the metallic logo. It’s fairly sharp, and under certain circumstances, it could scratch your leg in a crash. All in all, an outstanding product.

Pros

  • Harley Davidson quality – top-grade leather was used in the manufacturing process;
  • Short boot design – Very comfortable while retaining dexterity;
  • Decent movability;
  • Rubber sole – capable of tightly gripping the footpegs;

Cons

  • The Metallic logo – it’s fairly sharp and in the event of the crash it could harm you;

 

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Forma Adventure Off-Road Motorcycle Boots

Forma Adventure Off-Road Motorcycle BootsThese off-road boots are perfect for extreme riders. They were made from full-grain leather while the lining is DRYTEX which is both waterproof and breathable. The vintage leather style is both appealing and capable – your legs will be comfortable while their movability will remain unhindered.

The special feature of these riding boots is the unique sole – it is denser than that of most models, while it was outfitted with a special anti-slip design. Furthermore, the molded plastic on the front plates is complemented by a gear pad for maximum protection.

These boots feature both the strap & Velcro forms of closure. The only flaw that these boots have is the price – quality really comes at a cost with these boots

Pros

  • Full-grain leather with a vintage finish;
  • DRYTEX lining with waterproof properties;
  • Double density anti-slip sole;
  • Plastic plate and gear pads;
  • Adjustable closures (Velcro & strap);

Cons

  • Pricey;

 

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Harley-Davidson Men’s Axel Black Leather High Cut Boots

Harley-Davidson Mens Axel Black Leather High Cut BootsAnother amazing product from Harley-Davidson, the Axel High Cut is ideal for commuting and casual bikers. These boots are highly reliable and made from high-quality leather, outfitted with a special foam padding on the front and reinforced cap and heel compartments.

The Axel High Cut is also supplied with four straps and multiple entwined laces which perfectly close the boots, but it cuts on breathability. The rubber sole is extremely durable and is able to tightly grip the pegs of your bike. Overall it’s a solid pair of boots for an affordable price.

Pros

  • Premium leather material;
  • Multiple laces and four buckles;
  • Highly durable;
  • Reinforced cap and heel compartments;

Cons

  • The breathability of these boots is slightly inferior to other models;

 

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Harley-Davidson Men’s Rory Harness Boots

Harley-Davidson Mens Rory Harness BootsA unique model from the Harley Davidson Rory series, it excels in the terms of apparel and quality. These riding boots are made from standard Harley Davidson quality leather, but the usual rubber sole was replaced with a leather one – the friction between your feet and the bike’s pegs is increased, resulting in a firmer grip.

The greatest feature which makes this model so unique is the skull-embossed ring buckle which enhances the attractiveness and reliability of these boots. The welt construction of the outsole makes them oil resistant, which is important for the rides on the open road. You can’t do wrong with Harley Davidson, and the Rory Harness proves it.

Pros

  • Leather design;
  • Leather sole;
  • Skull embossed ring buckle;
  • Welt construction of the outsole – oil and slip resistant capabilities;

Cons

  • The leather sole requires some time to get used to it;

 

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Bates Adrenaline Performance Men’s Motorcycle Boots

Bates Adrenaline Performance Mens Motorcycle BootsA great pair of commuting motorcycle shoes. Their height is somewhat greater than that of a regular shoe, guarding your ankles against the weather and possible impact. The Bates Adrenaline Performance motorcycle boots are supplied with a waterproof membrane that makes them dry even during the heaviest rains.

The molded protections are placed on the heels, toes, and the ankles – you won’t have to fret about getting injured if you wear these beauties. The only downside of these boots is that they were not meant for people who have very wide feet. However, most people will find them very comfortable.

Pros

  • A classic commuting style;
  • Waterproof membrane;
  • High-quality leather;
  • Molded protections in the heels, toes, and ankles compartments;

Cons

  • People with very wide feet might find them uncomfortable;

 

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Xelement 1443 Men’s Motorcycle Harness Biker Boots with Lug Sole

Xelement 1443 Mens Motorcycle Harness Biker Boot with Lug SoleEven though these boots have the Harness design, there’s more to them – they were manufactured in a specific way that makes them more versatile, and suitable for different lines of biking. The ring buckle and the design are what makes them similar to the other harness boots while the neoprene sole and heel make them oil-resistant.

The Xelement riding boots feature a cushioned insole, so they’re very comfortable to wear. The heavy duty grain leather design makes them exceptionally durable, and the only flaw is that they’re not tight enough. when worn for the first time. Overall, a very valuable pair of boots deserving its spot in this list.

Pros

  • High-quality leather;
  • Oil-tanned upper compartment;
  • Neoprene sole and heel;
  • Cushioned insole;

Cons

  • Not tight enough when worn for the first time;

 

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Harley-Davidson Men’s Beau Boots

Harley-Davidson Men’s Beau BootsThese are bike shoes, even though they’re called boots. They’re pretty deep and their height is satisfactory if you’re a casual or a touring rider. The attractive design is also very practical, as they’re lightweight in comparison to other boots. However, this combined with a synthetic sole resulted in less friction which led to inferior grip on the bike pegs.

Still, they’re light, equipped with a moc-toe stitching, the collar is padded, and the standard laces are practical. One of the best casual motorcycle boots overall.

Pros

  • Leather of great quality;
  • Combat style;
  • Moc-toe stitching;
  • Padded collar;

Cons

  • Synthetic sole – it grips the pegs in a weaker way when compared to other models;

 

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Dr. Marten’s Women’s 1460 8-Eye Patent Leather Boots

Dr Martens Womens 1460 8-Eye Patent Leather BootsDr. Marten boots were originally a fashion piece, but the original model was upgraded by various functions, making it suitable even for bike rides. The best feature of these riding boots is the high-quality leather of which they are made.

They come supplied with an excellent synthetic sole which is able to grip the pegs of your bike really well. They are, perhaps, the most attractive biker boots up to date, but they have a lace closure, meaning that they are not for extreme biking. All in all, extremely valuable.

Pros

  • Top-quality leather material;
  • Synthetic sole;
  • Available in various colors;
  • Extremely attractive;

Cons

  • Lace system makes them fit for casual and commuting bikers, not extreme biking;

 

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FRYE Men’s Philip Harness Boots

FRYE Men’s Philip Harness BootsSimple and straightforward – the FRYE Philips harness is very plain and reliable. These boots are somewhat shorter from the other models from the bike harness category, but they’re equally capable of protecting your feet and ankles from weather and impact.

They feature a leather sole, which is one of the greatest features of these boots, as you can grip your bike pegs extremely easy with them. They’re designed with the cement construction which makes sure they’re very durable.

Pros

  • Leather sole;
  • High-quality material;
  • Ankle-length;
  • Cement construction;

Cons

  • The back zipper is very hard to use;

 

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Alpinestars SMX-3 Men’s Motorcycle Street Boots

Alpinestars SMX-3 Men’s Motorcycle Street BootsThe Alpinestars SMX-3 motorcycle boots are favored by both casual riders and professional racers – they’re very attractive, provide great protection, and they’re extremely comfortable. The maximum abrasion resistance is ensured through advanced microfiber upper compartment, while the compound sole improves the feel & grip and durability.

The buckle closure provides a rapid fit and increased support while granting superior flex control. A combination of Velcro flap and elastic medial zippers provides optimal protection and practicality. Their only downside is that they’re not too breathable. Either way, that is compensated for through the superior reliability and efficiency of these riding boots.

Pros

  • Lightweight microfiber upper compartment;
  • Increased abrasion resistance;
  • Rubber sole;
  • Elastic medial zipper and the Velcro flap grant optimal protection;
  • The buckle system grants immediate flex control;

Cons

  • They’re not very breathable;

 

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Bed Stu Women’s Cambridge Motorcycle Boots

Bed Stu Women’s Cambridge Motorcycle BootsThis is one of the finest models for female bikers. The Bed Stu Motorcycle boots are very stylish, but they also provide exceptional comfort. They’re very practical to use, even though they’re rather long (20” approximately).

The cutout panel allows the air to freely circulate, which means that your legs will remain healthy and you won’t feel pressured or fatigued after prolonged usage. However, women with smaller legs and calves might find these boots impractical.

Pros

  • Great leather material;
  • Very comfortable;
  • Breathable;
  • Rubber sole;

Cons

  • Not for women with smaller legs and calves;

 

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Milwaukee Motorcycle Clothing Company Men’s Afterburner Boots

Milwaukee Motorcycle Clothing Company Men’s Afterburner BootsAnother pair of riding boots that belong to the motorcycle riding shoe category, the Milwaukee afterburner boots are an exception in a certain way. They’re small enough to be considered as riding shoes, but they provide excellent protection from the weather and impact.

They come supplied with a freedom flex construction soles (non-skid, oil resistant & non-marking) which provide phenomenal comfort, and side zippers & ankle straps which make them easy to wear and adjust.

Pros

  • Great material;
  • Freedom flex construction sole;
  • Oil-resistant;
  • Side zippers & ankle straps;

Cons

  • They look slightly dull to some;

 

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Men’s Genuine Leather Motorcycle Boots by Boulder

Men’s Genuine Leather Motorcycle Boots by BoulderA special pair of motorcycle boots – they’re made from a combination of leather and rubber, which makes them both durable and sturdy. This, however, reduces the movability, but since you’re going to ride in them, you most likely only need to be concerned about the comfort.

Furthermore, these biker boots come supplied quite a few outstanding features. Such as the rubber sole, the oil and abrasion resistant of the outsole, the waterproof and shock absorption of the motorcycle boots themselves, and the leather lining.

Pros

  • Leather and rubber construction;
  • Rubber sole;
  • Lightweight;
  • Outsole with oil and abrasion resistance;
  • Waterproof and shock absorption capabilities;
  • Leather lining;

Cons

  • Reduced movability;

 

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Fox Racing Bomber Men’s Off-Road Motorcycle Boots

Fox Racing Bomber Men’s Off-Road Motorcycle BootsThe Fox Bomber is a pair of leather boots that are highly durable and extremely capable – the freedom of your leg movement is ensured by the breathable design, while the closure system makes it very easy to make adjustments.

The outsole is equipped with the FOX Duratec superior grip, while the toes compartments are reinforced with the Toe Guard for superior protection. The only thing that goes against these boots are the irreplaceable parts. If you happen to lose a screw or a buckle, you most likely won’t find any replacement parts.

Pros

  • Fox Durotac superior grip;
  • Reinforced Toe Guard;
  • Breathable design;
  • Very durable;
  • Leather material;

Cons

  • Irreplaceable parts;

 

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Looking for more?

If you’re looking to buy not only a new set of motorcycle boots, but also some more gear, check out our best motorcycle gear review!

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