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Know Your Motorcycle Boots: Part I - Styles

Chaparral Motorsports
May 7, 2015
Last Updated: May 8, 2020
2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750

Some riders simply like to choose their best pair of leather boots before hitting the road, but other motorcyclists may want to know all their options. There are several types of motorcycle boots for all different riders. Additionally, each boot works in its own special way to help you on your most common terrain, whether it's dirt, asphalt or on the track.

To decide exactly which boot is best for your riding purposes, you need to know all the main types of motorcycle boots. Here are the most common styles:

Cruiser Boots

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This type of motorcycle boot provides the least amount of protection for your feet and is simply there just to give you better grip on your ride. While most cruiser boots are made to look like work boots, the most protection you will likely get is from shoes made from leather. Most cruiser boots come in leather or a similar style of material with thick soles to last years on the road.

Also, the majority of cruiser boots are only ankle-length, which means they will have less protection than knee-high leather cruiser boots. These much higher boots can protect you from hot exhaust pipes as well.

Off-Road Adventure Boots

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Those who do a lot of off-road riding are far more prone to suffering knee and shin injuries because of the uneven terrain. The increase in vulnerability with the terrain you ride on should factor heavily into what type of boot you will need.

For off-road riders, you need sturdy motorcycle boots that protect your most vulnerable spots: your feet, ankles and shins. While off-road boots can seem like a lot of motorcycle equipment, you want to ensure you can still shift gears comfortably without any resistance. Additionally, off-road boots come with thicker soles, which work better on rocky or dirt surfaces. Standard cruiser boots would not be as flexible as off-road motorcycle footwear.

Touring Boots

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When motorcycle riders encounter multiple types of climates and weather scenarios, they need a material that can last. Touring motorcycle boots are ideal for those who perform long-distance riding as well.

This means that comfort should be your No. 1 priority for touring boots. To give riders more flexibility and comfort, touring boots are usually 10 to 14 inches high and have a bendable sole to adjust for the type of riding your encounter. It's always good to remember that for long periods of riding, you want motorcycle apparel that will not bug you, distract you or get tiring over long periods of time, which is why there are specific touring boots available.

Racing Boots

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For riders looking to hit the track, you want a motorcycle boot that is just as technical as the course you're riding on. Motorcycle racing boots tend to focus on comfort, protection and being able to be in a tucked position when riding on sportsbikes.

The additional protection is necessary for those who might bail on their bike during a turn on the course, which means you want to have higher durability too. Racing boots are certainly a high-investment type of equipment and the only real downfall is that they are only truly built to work the best on the track.

Taking racing boots on the road might get uncomfortable pretty quickly and you'll likely have stiffer material, which makes it harder to adjust to street riding. Additionally, these boots are not made to walk around, so meeting up with some friends and walking around town will get extremely uncomfortable in a hurry. It's always good to know how you will use your shoes when you're off your bike.

Now that you know more about the different styles, let's look in depth at the various components of motorcycle boots so you can choose your style.

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