What Makes a Good Motorcycle Boot?

Whether you’re first learning to ride a motorcycle or have been cruising for decades, the right gear can enhance your biking experience. Your boots in particular can improve comfort and safety. However, it can be tricky to narrow down your options with so many motorcycle boots on the market. 

The best motorcycle boots will withstand wear and tear, protect your feet, and suit your style of riding. When shopping for a boot, be sure to consider the following factors. This guide will break down the features that matter most and how to know that you’ve found the perfect boot. 

Quality Material

Even if your day-to-day boots appear to be high quality, they likely aren’t up to riding standard. Motorcycle boots are generally made of thick leather that will support your ankles and offer a layer of protection. If you’re looking for a leather boot, be sure to talk to the retailer about whether their products are treated to be water resistant. Otherwise, you could end up with damaged boots after a few rides in the rain. 

If you ride in a warm climate and are looking for a cooler alternative to leather, you can pick up boots made of a synthetic textile. Many retailers engineer their boot materials to provide the same amount of protection with more breathing room than leather. 

Protective Features

If your legs hit the pavement, your boots will be the first layer of protection for your skin and ankle bone. So, you first want to look for a boot that is tall enough to protect your ankles. If you ride off road or prefer motocross-style, you might want to buy boots that cover your calves as well. The right boot will also protect your ankles and legs from flying debris like rocks. 

After deciding what height boot you want, consider how much outside padding and protection you need. Motocross boots have extra padding on the front and side of the boots, which are usually secured with buckles. Some road bikers will choose this style for optimal protection. However, a cruiser boot can usually offer enough protection for casual rides and commutes. 

Sole Design

The soles of your motorcycle boots allow you to grip the footpeg on your bike. If you tend to ride slowly and need less grip, a harder sole will work well for you. However, you should look for a softer sole if you are fast rider and need more grip. Keep in mind that softer soles may wear down faster, so you might need to replace the boots or have them resoled more often. 

No matter what type of sole you look for, be sure that they are oil-resistant. If your boot walks over oil on the road, it can make your foot slippery on the footpeg and potentially cause you to fall. Oil-resistant boots will wick away oil, keeping your feet firmly in place. 


You certainly want to ensure that your boots are functional and will protect you on the road. However, uncomfortable boots will make the rest of the perks secondary. Be sure that you put on your boots and wear them around the house before taking them out on your bike. Notice whether the material is pinching or if the boot is too tight on your foot. These comfort issues can hinder your entire riding experience. If you notice any issues, send the boots back for another style or size. Finding the perfect fit will be worth it when you wear the boots for years. 

Finding the right motorcycle gear for your needs can take time. However, you can find the perfect products by doing your research and knowing what features are most important. Once you purchase the perfect boots, you can enjoy an enhanced riding experience and an increased sense of safety.