If you value your ankles and feet, heed the motorcycle boots advice on this page! Given that it is a motorcyclist’s legs and ankles that have to support the weight of a heavy motorcycle on uneven, wet and challenging road surfaces – it is important to wear a pair of quality motorcycle boots. These should be sturdy, with good ankle support and non-slip stitched and bonded soles that should be at least 4 mm thick.
Motorcycle boot soles should also prevent twisting of the foot, will have a strong heel and toe. Ideally, they will also feature armour over the ankle and shins, along with a metal plate running through the sole. The best motorcycle boots tend to be made of a good quality waterproof leather that is at least 2.5 mm thick. Read on for further essential motorcycle boots advice!
Above ankle motorcycle boots
They should also secure firmly above the ankle, as motorcycle footwear that ends beneath the ankle will likely not stay on during an accident. Given the very high prevalence of ankle/lower leg injuries for motorcycle accident hospital admissions, this item of motorcycle clothing is an essential investment.
Motorcycle boots advice: No work boots!
Do not substitute work boots with metal toe caps. They are not suitable as motorcycle boots and have been known to cause even worse injuries during accidents. Time should be taken to properly fit/try on motorcycle boots and this should ideally be done using socks that would normally worn. Wearing two pairs of socks is not advised and can result in discomfort and blisters. When trying new motorcycle boots on for the first time, it is a good idea to try them on a motorcycle and to ensure that it is possible to operate the foot controls.
Motorcycle boots advice - always ensure a proper fit
Motorcycle boots must fit properly. If they are too tight, discomfort will result and this can create a significant rider distraction. If boots are too loose, a rider can have problems operating the foot controls. Also be aware that leather motorcycle boots will become softer and more comfortable with regular use.
The European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 1989, requires any clothing or personal equipment sold to provide protection from injury, for example motorcycle clothing, to comply with the relevant European Standard. To comply, the gear has to be independently tested and certified. The manufacturer is then issued with a CE (Conformité Européenne) label which shows that the motorcycle clothing conforms to the relevant European standard. The clothing or gear must carry a permanently attached CE label with the number of the Standard.
Boots – CE EN 13634
Motorcycle jackets, trousers and suits – CE EN 13595
Impact protectors and body armour – CE EN 1621
Helmets (sold in the UK) – British Standard 6658: 1985 or ECE Regulation 22.05
'Think' essential guide
Do some research online or ask fellow bikers what gear they’d recommend. Remember we’re all different shapes and sizes, so what fits someone like a glove may not be good for you. Whether it’s a new pair of gloves, boots or full leathers, trying them on when on a bike is very important so you can see if they get in the way at all. Don’t leave yourself exposed to the elements or to injury. Make sure every part of you is covered up as seamlessly as possible. Remember if something is even slightly uncomfortable, it could cause chafing over a long journey and end up becoming a dangerous distraction from the road. Bear in mind wearing bright and fluorescent colours during the day and reflective elements in the dark can help improve your chances of being seen by others.