Why You Should Wear Motorcycle Boots: The Benefits Explained
Often, riders overlook the value of good motorcycle boots, prioritizing other gear like helmets and jackets. However, one must understand that motorcycle boots are not just a statement of style but a significant contributor to a rider’s safety and overall riding experience. The role of motorcycle boots extends beyond mere foot protection; they provide ankle support, help maintain a firm grip on the footpegs, and even protect riders from the harsh weather conditions. In this article, we will delve deeper into the reasons why every rider should wear motorcycle boots and how they can make a world of difference to your riding experience.
Why Wear Motorcycle Boots?
It is essential to have the right pair of motorcycle boots in your riding gear. As well as protecting your feet and ankles in the event of an accident, they also provide comfort and support while riding. Without proper footwear, a seemingly small mishap on the road can result in serious foot injuries. Injuries can range from cuts, scrapes, and bruises to broken bones, which can take weeks or even months to fully heal. Additionally, many riders fail to realize that injuries sustained in a crash can cause long-lasting damage, leaving you with permanent disabilities.
Fortunately, these tragic accidents are preventable by taking safety measures such as wearing the right protective gear. Motorcycle boots are specifically designed to offer increased foot and ankle protection against abrasion and impact during an accident. They’re able to provide extra cushioning around crucial areas like your toes, heels and ankles.
In some cases, riders may feel that sneakers or other types of shoes will suffice because they provide enough protection for day-to-day activities. But when it comes to motorcycling, there’s no comparison – regular shoes just don’t cut it. Similar to how a soldier wouldn’t forget to wear comfortable, rugged boots during battle, a rider should never forget to suit up in protective gear before getting on their motorcycle. A seasoned rider knows that the key to staying safe and focused during a ride is by taking necessary precautions.
Check out the Top Street/Racing Motorcycle Boots article for Boots suggestions.
Benefits of Wearing Motorcycle Boots
“Motorcyclists without boots stand almost double the chance of receiving lower-leg open wounds in a crash” – Australian Transport Accident Commission research has found.
Foot Safety and Protection – Your feet are vulnerable while riding – they’re prone to scrapes and bruises along with potential burns from hot exhaust pipes. Just as importantly, they’re often one of the first parts of your body that touch the ground when you fall over or get in an accident. Injuries can range from minor abrasions to serious fractures. Wearing the right type of motorcycle boots can help reduce the risk of serious foot injuries. Thanks to their construction – with common features like reinforced toes, padded soles or specialized shanks – riders are able to safeguard themselves against injuries associated with conventional footwear.
Weather Hazards – Motorcycle boots also offer greater protection against weather hazards like rain, strong winds, snow, and hail. This is because most of the motorcycle boots are designed to be waterproof or water-ressistant, and protect against dirt and grime that can accumulate on your shoes while you ride.
Waterlogged qualities in conventional footwear can lead to discomfort and problems like skin irritations or blisters, which are all huge distractions when on the road.
Similarly to how a diver wears specialized flippers that help them navigate any water-based obstacles they encounter under-sea – having the precise footwear helps you navigate the open road with ease and flow.
Comfort and Support – Motorcycle boots not only protect your feet, but they also provide the necessary comfort and support needed for a safe ride. The design of motorcycle boots ensures that the rider’s foot is protected from impact while maintaining proper circulation in the legs.
Think of it this way: if you’re wearing sneakers or regular shoes while riding your motorcycle, there is a higher chance that your foot will slip off of the pedal or shift lever as these do not provide enough grip. When this happens, you risk losing control of your bike, which can be dangerous at high speeds. Additionally, if your shoes lack the right design to support your foot, you may experience numbness or fatigue during extended rides.
Essential Design and Material Considerations
When choosing a motorcycle boot to purchase, several features should be considered depending on what type and style of riding you intend to engage in. Following table gives a more in depth look.
|Type of boot||Off-road dirt boots: Designed specifically for off-road riding, these boots have a more substantial sole with spikes or lugs. This design allows for excellent traction and grip on uneven terrain, making them ideal for dirt biking or motocross. They often feature reinforced toe and ankle protection to withstand impacts and debris. Additionally, they typically have buckles or straps for secure closure and ankle support.|
|Street riding boots: Designed for street or highway riding, these boots have a flatter sole that provides a good grip on the road surface. They offer a balance between comfort and protection, making them suitable for everyday riding. Street boots usually have a sleeker design and may resemble regular boots, with features like zippers or laces for closure. Some models incorporate ankle protection and reinforcements for added safety.|
|Toe protection||Steel-toed boots: These boots have a steel cap over the toe area, providing enhanced protection against impacts and collisions. Steel-toed boots are especially beneficial for riders who prioritize safety and ride in more hazardous conditions, such as busy city streets or rugged terrains. They offer robust defense against potential injuries and accidents.|
|Leather boots: Leather boots offer a balance between style, comfort, and protection. They are often made from durable, high-quality leather that provides abrasion resistance. While leather boots may not have the same level of impact protection as steel-toed boots, they offer flexibility and ease of movement, making them suitable for casual and everyday riding. Riders who prioritize comfort may prefer leather boots for shorter rides or commuting.|
|Ankle and heel support||Boots with molded ankle protection and reinforced heel offer increased support and stability. These features are essential for protecting the ankles from twisting or hyperextension during sudden movements or in the event of a crash. The reinforced heel provides additional impact absorption and reduces the risk of heel injuries. These features contribute to overall safety and reduce the likelihood of strains or fractures.|
|Waterproof capability||Waterproof boots are designed to keep your feet dry during rainy or wet conditions. They have a waterproof membrane or coating that prevents water from entering the boot. Riding with wet feet can lead to discomfort, loss of concentration, and reduced control over the motorcycle. Waterproof boots help maintain rider comfort and prevent distractions caused by wetness. It’s important to ensure that the boots also have proper ventilation to allow moisture and sweat to escape, keeping the feet dry from within.|
|Ventilation||Adequate ventilation in motorcycle boots is crucial to prevent excessive sweating and discomfort during longer rides or hot weather conditions. Boots with breathable materials or ventilation ports allow air circulation, which helps in moisture management and keeps the feet dry. This feature enhances overall comfort and reduces the chances of foot-related issues like blisters or fungal infections caused by prolonged moisture exposure.|
|Material quality||High-quality motorcycle boots are typically made from durable materials to ensure longevity and protection. Some features to consider include:|
|Built-in shifter pads: These pads are strategically placed on the boots to provide protection and durability specifically for gear shifting. They prevent wear and tear caused by repeated contact with the motorcycle’s shift lever.|
|Oil-resistant soles: Boots with oil-resistant soles offer better traction on oily or slippery surfaces commonly found on roads. This feature enhances safety and stability, reducing the risk of slips or skids.|
|Thick heavy leather reaching over the ankles: Thick, heavy leather offers superior abrasion resistance and protection against impacts. Boots that cover the ankles provide additional support and help safeguard this vulnerable area from injuries. The extended coverage also reduces the risk of debris or stones entering the boots while riding.|
|Sewn soles: Boots with sewn soles have increased strength and durability compared to glued soles. Sewn soles are less likely to separate from the boot upper, ensuring a longer lifespan for the footwear. This construction method provides added reliability, especially when subjected to rigorous use and stress during motorcycle riding.|
In Ohio, about 75 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury compared to about a 25 percent injury rate for car crashes according to Ohio’s Department of Public Safety. Again this statistics highlights the importance of wearing proper motorcycle gear including motorcycle boots.
Another Study done in 2019 called Effectiveness of protective clothing for motorized 2-wheeler riders results confirmed “the potential for motorcycle clothing to protect users from injury, in particular abrasions and lacerations. However, it did not show any significant protective effect against more serious injuries, such as fracture, dislocation, or sprain, except for knee-high or ankle boots, which reduced foot and ankle fracture risk.”
Ultimately, the choice of which motorcycle boot to wear comes down to individual preference as well as ride conditions. Whether the rider is commuting in an urban area, touring cross-country or indulging in sport riding, the right pair of boots provides ample support and protection to minimize the risk of accidents and injury.
In summary motorcycle boots provide essential protection for your feet and ankles while riding. They are designed to be non-slip, durable, and protect your feet against common road hazards and injuries caused by accidents. Additionally, they provide adequate ankle support and traction in case of a crash and can help stabilize your feet when stopping the bike.