Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Specific biker boots a MUST HAVE ? safety tradeoffs

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by ianthom, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Being new to riding I'm still debating whether going out and buying a pair of new specific biker boots (eg. Sidi ) are absolutely required when it comes to the safety vs practicality/comfort trade-off scale ?

    I get that there is no substitute for safety and body armour etc if you come off your bike and in fact part of me thinks it may still be the best thing for my future health expectancy to spend $2k at BMW on arguably the best protection gear I've seen so far.

    So, on topic of boots, for weekend recreational riding purposes on an upright/naked bike, are there any strong opinions here on whether I simply must buy biker specific boots, or, I would be fine with something like the Ecco Track 5 hiking boot (pic below) ... all Goretex boot ? Given I will mainly be a fair weather rider and these boots are extremely comfortable and offer reasonable ankle protection as well, I'm wondering if they will be ok ? I know the more expensive biker specific boots offer much greater protection inserts, but be keen to hear of others experiences so far, and especially those who have come off their bikes.


  2. In terms of non MC specific yes I agree they can be good protection (another problem with talk of mandated MC clothing).

    However in terms of comfort the specific boot should have better flexibility for braking and gear changing, and no laces.
  3. I've spent most of my riding life in reasonably high leg lace-up boots, starting with the once cheap and plentiful German paraboot and now my favoured Steel Blue workboots.

    The reason for this is that, when I started riding, such things offered equal or better protection than most motorcycle specific boots that were available at the time, at a fraction of the cost. Motorcycle boots have moved on a long way since then but old habits die hard.

    I've had four significant offs over that time, all of which have involved impact and abrasion to my feet and ankles. My choice of footwear has stood up very well. Back when I had riding mates, most of them wore similar gear and had similar crash experience.

    So, although I'll undoubtedly be accused of making shit up in order to mislead innocent noobs, my opinion, based on reasonably extensive experience, is that no, bike specific boots are not essential. Any robust footwear that won't be pulled off in a crash and is made from materials that won't melt to your foot in a slide is adequate for most purposes. Note that I say adequate, not optimal.

    However, a couple of points are worth bearing in mind. Modern bike boots, complete with armour and whatnot will probably provide rather better protection (although I've seen one or two that I don't think would). Also if you choose to wear anything with laces, there is the possibility of the laces getting tangled in your footrests/pedals when you need to get a foot down. Given reasonable care, it won't happen. Hasn't to me in nearly 25 years around bikes, or any of my mates from way back, but the possibility is there.
  4. those big arse treads would annoy the fug outa me and can be a wee bit dangerous .. flatter soles tend to make moving your feet around on the pegs a bit smoother and less chance of catching when you need to react quickly..

    well that's my opinion .. floors open for discussion.
  5. The boots pictured are too short, you need ones that come up higher,
    Reason being, to stop water getting in, and to keep your legs warm, also for ankle protection, Will stop your your ankle from bending in an off,
    Sitting in one position with the wind will freeze your legs, and will be very uncomfortable after a while,

    Laces let the rain in, Water off your front wheel does go straight into your boots,
    No seams at the front of your boot, Zip at the side is best, with a cover flap over the zip going towards the back of the boot,

    I had my boots custom made for me, Just pure leather, lined, heavy soled, come up to just below the knee, My feet or legs never get cold, I also go dancing in them, very comfortable, Look like a dress shoe, I can wear them any where,

    I used to wear ex air force flying boots, lambswool lined, they were excellent, but you cant get them any more,

    And Yes, I have come off heaps of times,
  6. For accident protection they will save your foot. It may not be attached to your ankle, but the foot itself should be fine.
  7. +1. I've ridden in hiking boots and hated it for that reason. You can get proper boots under $200 if you look around and you'll be safe and COMFORTABLE on your bike (Waterproof is good)




  8. Ankle protection is what a lot of the short boots seem to miss. The rigidity in the ankle area that most of the race orientated boots possess is an advantage in an accident. The ability for the boot to stay on is also a plus.
  9. There are also short motorcycle specific (advertised as such) boots arent there? Wouldnt they also have the same flaw?

    I have some heavy military style boots that have thick leather and rigid ankles for when you put your foot in a ditch or similar.
  10. Yes, they do have the same flaw. Your choice as to what you buy.
  11. I wear Icon Accelerant boots on "nice days" - a little more comfortable than full-length numbers, but they're nowhere near waterproof as claimed, and although there is some ankle protection it's not "complete" as others have suggested.
    They're lace-ups as you can see, but the big buckle allows you to tuck the loops in so you don't risk hanging up on a peg. Under $200 iirc...
  12. Of the boots you have, that's what I would wear.
  13. Just got Shift fuel boots, Still use my dririder tourers for work and when it's wet. However, recently the dririders have really loosened up. I've been using them every weekday since october last year but I expected more wear from them than this; they ARE a touring boot, made for prolonged use.

    I think shorter boots are more likely to catch and cause your ankle to roll if you were in a feet first slide, but as with all things motorcycling (and a great deal besides) it's simple risk management, you have to decide where your priorities lie.
  14. i would'nt wear them on a bike if you paid me to.
    pointless, take a whack from a cage and those things will be in orbit.
    therefore> was'nt much point in putting them on in the first place.

    that's not how they're most likely to **** your shit up though. more likely you"ll pull up at an intersection on your 300 kilo beemer, go to put your foot down, laces will hook on the foot peg, bike falls into oncomming traffic, truck runs over your head.

    keep researching tiger, you have much to learn
  15. and renounce all others and place your faith in zoran , noob infidel.
    For his is the only true and righteous path to enlightenment. For he is the only true god, the god of speed. Yea, though i ride through the shadows of cagers i shall fear no ford territories, for zoran art with me.

    Hail zoran !
  16. Probably confuse the matter but there must be something to be said for wearing boots designed for motorcycle riding as Australia Post issues Rossi to it's posties.

    These are the standard offering (or at least an AP specific variant - the smarter types might know why ;))
    and then there's the option of these for crappier weather (my choice as opposed to the gumboots that some choose)

    There's PLENTY of choice out there and it's going to come down to how much you're willing to pay but the one thing you should never forget is whatever boots you decide on they must, they must, they must be comfortable because if they're not you won't wear them and it doesn't really matter how much protection they offered and really the same can be said for any gear your end up with.
  17. Bollocks.

    Lots of urban myths around but how many authenticated cases? None that I can think of amongst people who've actually learned to tie their own shoelaces.
  18. I've had my sneaker shoelaces get caught on the pegs/heelguard of my Tiger a few times, while being a very naughty non-ATGATT cheetah.

    It's never resulted in me falling off as I've always managed to free my foot in time or I've put down the other foot instead, but the potential is there I suppose. Tuck laces in for security? :) (Or, alternately, wear boots which don't use laces. But definitely don't wear elasticated-side Blundies)
  19. I've had a couple of near misses with shoelaces, and if it had been a 300kg beemer I certainly would have dropped it!
    Two near misses (slow learner) and I don't wear laces any more.

    Here's a couple of other things to consider;
    -At a Toy run a few years ago, a netrider was struck in the upper shin by a sharp piece of steel left on the road. It cut most of the way through the hard armour on the front of his boot and left a substantial bruise, but his leg was intact.

    -Another netrider of times past showed us the damage to a Daytona brand boot which has a massive hard plastic shank in the sole. The boot was all but destroyed but the shank held together and saved his foot from possibly being sheared off.

    The thing is, many (most?) motorcycle boots, even race ones, don't have solid shanks in the sole. But many hiking boots do. They also have laces.

    Weigh the options and make your own choice, but nothing is perfect for every eventuality. I wouldn't write off work boots but it depends on where and how you ride. (I do hate chunky treads though).
  20. A workmate of mine is currently in the Royal Melb Hospital after nearly losing his right foot in a collision. He was on his 2-stroke 250 motard with his right foot resting on the footbrake when a Pajero failed to give way and t-boned him. The foot was smashed between the Pajero's numberplate and the motard's crankcase. He was wearing runners.

    At first there was talk of amputating the foot, then talk of amputating all the toes, but finally they decided to insert a steel rod down the big toe, and graft tendons and skin that they removed from his left forearm.

    When I started out motorcycling, I wore runners. Within a few months I switched to lace-up workboots that covered the ankles. A year later I bought $300 Sidi boots at AMX (review here). For commuting, I consider them a bare minimum, and after a year of use they are completely comfortable, even in warm weather. My next boots will be high-end Sidis.

    The moral of my story is buy the best boots you can afford. When you know motorcycling has become a permanent interest of yours, reassess you gear requirements. When you know motorcycling has become a lifestyle choice, reassess your gear requirements. At the end of the day, even a minor improvement in the outcome of a collision is worth the money spent on better gear.