LAST UPDATED: January 06, 2021

The Best Motorcycle Boots (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice Durango Men’s 11” Harness Boot Durango Men’s 11” Harness Boot
Premium Pick Harley-Davidson Men's Brake Light Boot Harley-Davidson Men's Brake Light Boot
Best Value skechers men’s pilot utility boot Bruno Marc New York Men’s Military Motorcycle Combat Boots
Best Value Bruno Marc Men's Stone Motorcycle Combat Dress Oxford Snow Boots Bruno Marc Men's Stone Motorcycle Combat Dress Oxford Snow Boots

Part of the excitement of hopping onto your motorcycle is the freedom. You aren’t held back by a bulky car — you can throw on your leather jacket, don your helmet, and hit the open road. You can ride anywhere, any time, and enjoy a wholly different kind of driving. But while you get incredible freedom sitting on your bike, it’s important to protect yourself and make sure you’re riding with the right gear each time you leave your driveway. And your motorcycle boots are one critical piece. While battered old boots are a sign of many miles and much history, it’s a smart idea to invest in a new pair of motorcycle riding boots every so often. If you’re searching for a pair that’s hardwearing, comfortable, and cool, you won’t want to miss our picks for the best motorcycle boots. Check them out right here.

The Best Motorcycle Boots

First up on our list of the best motorcycle boots has to be the Durango Men’s 11” Harness Boot. These calf-high biker boots feature a supple leather upper, stylish harness ankle strap and dual pool handles, to enable you to pull them on quickly when the urge to ride strikes. The 11” calf on these boots not only looks great but is highly practical too, offering good ankle support and protecting your lower legs from flying mud and debris.

Available in five colors, including Oiled Black for a slick look, and Distressed Brown for a more ‘Wild West’ appearance, there’s a pair of these boots for every biker’s wardrobe. With a non-removable foam insole offering added comfort, it’s clear that Durango has combined quality materials and years of manufacturing experience to create these practical and stylish Western biker boots. All that remains is for you to mount your trusty steed and speed off into the horizon. Yeehaw!

Key Features
  • Leather calf boot with harness ankle strap
  • 11.5” shaft
  • Oil and slip resistant
  • Available in 5 colors
Specification
  • Brand Durango
  • Model DRDB594
  • Weight 2 lbs

We’ve definitely saved one of the best until last with these awesome Harley-Davidson Men’s Brake Light Boots. For bikers who want to stand out from the crowd and make a statement with their motorcycle shoes, these Harley riding boots are sure to draw admiring (and envious!) gazes from fellow bikers and the general public alike.

These heavy-duty motorcycle boots have all the usual practical features you’d expect, including full-grain leather uppers, a cushioned inner sole and a thick, oil-resistant outsole with Goodyear welt construction – but the real selling point is their style. These statement boots showcase dual silver YKK zip fastenings, Harley-Davidson logos on the side and tongue, and silver tabs on the toe and heel, creating a tough, ‘bad-boy biker’ look – exactly what you were going for, we know!

Key Features
  • Full-grain leather Harley riding boots
  • Dual YKK zip fastening
  • Oil, slip and abrasion resistant sole with Goodyear welt construction
  • Harley-Davidson logo and accents
Specification
  • Brand Harley-Davidson
  • Model D91680
  • Weight 6 lbs

If you’re looking for a motorcycle shoe that can take you from street to bike, look no further than these Men’s Military Motorcycle Combat Boots by Bruno Marc New York. These faux leather motorcycle boots feature a fashionable military style that would be just at home in the clubs or workplace, as on your motorcycle.

With an ankle length, there’s no additional protection for your lower leg, and you might find them less hardwearing than some of the real leather options on our list BUT they do have a cushioned sole, a non-skid outsole and a side-zip fastening for easy on and off, so there are some practical features for the motorcycle rider. They’re also available in a range of black, brown and grey shades, so you can match or contrast with your existing leathers – and it’s worth noting that they’re one of the most affordable options on our list.

Key Features
  • Faux leather ankle boots
  • Fashionable military style
  • Side zip closure
  • 1” heel
Specification
  • Brand BRUNO MARC NEW YORK

Another ankle length boot that you could wear on or off of your motorcycle is this Skechers Men’s Pilot Utility Boot. Unlike our last pick, these motorcycle boots have a real leather upper and reinforced seams, which will likely make them more hardwearing. There’s also a padded collar, cushioned insole, and thick high-traction outsole, for added grip.

It should be noted that these boots, as with some of the others on our list, are not designed as motorcycle shoes, and so there is no reinforced toe, or lower leg protection. We would say these are more of a general all-rounder, suitable for light use, and great if you need a biker boot you can continue to wear after you dismount.

Key Features
  • Ankle high leather utility boot
  • Thick high-traction sole
  • Padded collar and foot bed
  • 1.25” heel
Specification
  • Brand Skechers
  • Model Pilot
  • Weight 3 lbs

The Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots are a great option if you want a more combat-style motorcycle boot. Made from hard-wearing leather and nylon, these mid-calf length boots will keep your feet dry and protected, whilst the gusseted tongue repels dirt and debris. There’s an EVA midsole to keep your feet comfy, and a steel shank and board-lasted construction for torsional rigidity and added support. A YKK side zipper makes them easy to get on and off – no need to undo all those pesky laces every time.

The rubber, the non-slip sole has a deep tread to maximize traction loss on a variety of surfaces. These aren’t fashion boots – they’re strong, tactical trade boots, designed to reduce the foot fatigue of workers who are on their feet all day, so you can be fairly sure they’ll withstand a few hours hard motorcycling.

Key Features
  • Leather and nylon combat boots
  • YKK side zipper for easy on and off
  • Steel shank for added support
  • Foam padded collar and tongue for increased protection
Specification
  • Brand Smith & Wesson

The first boot on our list by the iconic Harley-Davidson is this Men’s Scout Boot. These iconic motorcycle boots feature a mid-calf length and harness style and are a fan favorite. Made from a full-grain leather, these Harley riding boots are distinguished by the silver bar and shield Harley-Davidson logo on the top side of the boot – perfect for Harley owners and hardcore fans.

The durability of these motorcycle boots is another drawing point – the tough rubber sole is designed to be abrasion, oil and slip resistant, whilst the YKK zip guarantees secure and comfortable fastening, and the tough, calf-high leather will protect your ankles and lower legs from debris while you zoom along the highway (like the free spirit you are!)

Key Features
  • Mid-calf harness Harley boots
  • YKK inner zip for a snug fit
  • Abrasion, oil and slip resistant rubber sole
  • Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo to side
Specification
  • Brand Harley-Davidson
  • Model SCOUT-M
  • Weight 4 lbs

A pair of O’Neal 0324-111 Rider Boots will offer you just about everything you need from motorcycle riding boots. These boots are tough, highly protective, and very supportive. They’re heavy-duty and high quality, not to mention a piece of riding gear you’ll use in all weather and all road conditions. Each pair of boots features injection-molded plastic plates that offer protection in the event of an impact. A metal shank insert keeps the boots in proper shape and supports feet and ankles. 

Once on your feet, these O’Neal riding boots will be secure. They feature a snap-lock adjustable four-buckle closure system, with an air mesh interior that’ll keep feet well-ventilated. There’s even a synthetic leather heat shield that protects against heat damage. Keep in mind that you’ll want to choose the next size up if you wear a half size — otherwise, these boots may be a bit tight.

Key Features
  • Injection-molded plastic plates are impact-resistant.
  • A metal shank insert offers extra reinforcement.
  • Grippy rubber sole works for motorcycles as well as dirt bikes, ATVs, and more.
  • Snap-Lock adjustable buckles are extra secure.
Specification
  • Brand O'Neal
  • Model 0325-111
  • Weight 6 pounds

We’re back to the classic, harness style of boot with these Adtec Men’s 11” Harness Motorcycle Boots in Black. These pull-on biker boots feature a leather upper and a Goodyear welt construction, designed to make them extra durable and long-lasting – perfect for the committed biker who’s in it for the long haul.

An oil-resistant outsole prevents slips on and around your motorcycle, whilst a padded insole ensures your feet remain comfortable, even after a long day’s touring. The split shaft, square toe and O-ring ankle harness strap create a classic-style biker boot that looks equally great worn with leathers on your motorcycle, or with jeans when you’re ‘off-duty’.

Key Features
  • Harness style motorcycle touring boot with leather upper
  • Goodyear welt construction for durability
  • Oil resistant outsole
  • 1.5” heel
Specification
  • Brand AdTec
  • Model 13 Inch Harness Boot-M
  • Weight 4 lbs

Moving on to a more ‘worker boot’ style, and the Bates Ultra-Lites 8” Tactical Boots are an impressive combination of full-grain leather and 1680 dernier ballistic nylon which will protect your feet from whatever you and your motorcycle throw at it. These heavy duty combat boots count everyone from military personnel and cops to postal workers and civil servants as wearers, so you can be assured of their comfort and durability.

A fully cushioned EVA sole, moisture-wicking mesh lining, and padded tongue and collar mean these boots are super comfortable, whether you are walking or riding. The oil and slip-resistant outsole, and half gusset designed to keep out debris are added features that make these boots particularly appealing to bikers – after all, nothing spoils that cool and aloof biker looks like slipping and falling on your backside!

Key Features
  • Mid-calf work boot made from leather and fabric
  • Removable cushioned insole
  • Durable, slip-resistant outsole
  • Available in Black or Sage
Specification
  • Brand Bates
  • Model ENFORCER 8
  • Weight 3.86 lbs

Best Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide & FAQ

Trying to pick out the perfect pair of motorcycle riding boots isn’t easy. You have a lot of choices — and every pair offers something different, something special. From highly protective boots to versatile boots that suit motorcycles, motocross, and other heavy-duty use, to stylish leather motorcycle boots, there’s a pair for every possible need. 

If you’re wondering which pair of motorcycle boots is the best of the best, you’ll want to take a look at our buying guide and FAQ. We’ll help you consider and compare your options and find the right boots for every adventure.

What To Look For In Motorcycle Boots

Type of Riding You’ll Be Doing

When you’re choosing motorcycle boots, consider what type of rider you are. Are you a sports or street biker who rides primarily on the highway? You’ll most likely want motorcycle boots that are suitable for streetwear, such as military or harness style options here. A pair of full grain leather boots can also be a great choice. 

Are you an off-road, dirt bike, or trail rider? You’ll need a pair of heavy-duty boots with added protection, such as the O’Neal 0325-111 Rider Boots, which are specifically designed for ATV, track, or trail conditions. You can also consider motorcycle boots that are slip-resistant or built to protect your feet even under the toughest, most challenging conditions. 

You should also consider the types of weather conditions you usually ride in — are you a fair weather rider or an all-weather rider? If it’s the latter, you might prefer waterproof motorcycle boots or longer boots that offer more leg coverage. Side zip boots with taller shafts can do the trick. You can also consider warmer boots with winter-weather perks like faux fur lining or extra layers of material so you stay cozy in any wind, rain, or inclement weather.

Level of Protection

Some styles of biker boots offer more protection than others. Generally speaking, calf-high styles will offer you more protection from dirt and debris than ankle boots. Some specialized motorcycle boots have additional protection thanks to features like plastic plating, reinforced toes, and heat shields, all of which can better protect your lower legs in harsh conditions or an accident. Heavy-duty boots can also offer impact protection or additional safety benefits you might not think about, like oil and slip resistant soles. A trendy, faux-leather boot that is designed with fashion, not motorcycle riding, in mind, is likely to offer less support and protection than a specific motorcycle boot. You should also look for a high-grip outsole, like soles made with Goodyear welt material, to help prevent slips and falls whilst wearing your moto boots.

Construction of Boot

The construction of the boots is important, as it directly influences how hard-wearing they are, and how long they are likely to last – after all, the best motorcycle boots on Earth are no good if you have to replace them after every wear. A common complaint with motorcycle boots is that the sole starts to come away from the boot over time – this is particularly common with cheaper boots. You should look for boots that have a Goodyear welt construction, or similar, which is specifically designed to make the boots and soles more durable and hard-wearing. Also, consider the material the boots are made from – are they full-grain leather, or faux leather? – and the design of the boot – are they pull-on, or do they have a zip fastening? Which would you prefer?

Comfort and Duration

Comfort in shoes is always important, but it becomes more so the longer you wear them. If you’re likely to only be wearing your motorcycle boots for short rides, or track events, you will probably be fine with the lightly padded sole of most boots on the market. If, however, you will be wearing these motorcycle boots for extended rides, or if you want to be able to wear them to work too, then you’re going to need something you can wear all day without discomfort. This might mean you look for boots with a removable cushioned insole, additional ankle support or a lighter weight. Air mesh interior can also be a great benefit, as this offers extra breathability when you’re spending a lot of hours wearing your boots.

Price

Last but not least, you should of course also take into account the price you’re paying for your motorcycle boots. The cost of motorcycle boots can vary between anything from $30 to $300+. As a general rule, the cheapest boots are likely to be made from synthetic materials, and be less hard-wearing – but if you’re only an occasional, casual rider, they might be perfectly sufficient for your needs, and why pay more? On the other hand, if you’re a moderate to frequent rider, you want greater protection, or you’re looking for boots that will last you a few years, then it’s definitely worth investing a little more money for some durable, leather motorcycle boots that are less likely to need to be replaced after just a few rides – they’ll be more cost effective over time.

a couple riding a motorcycle
Motorcycle boots come in all sizes and shapes

Why You Should Use Motorcycle Boots

Just in case you’re still thinking about wearing your sneakers on your motorcycle, here are some reasons why you should DEFINITELY use motorcycle boots instead (aside from the fact that you will look infinitely more awesome and “biker-y,” of course!)

Protect from Debris

It’s fairly obvious that motorcycle boots made from thick leather, possibly with steel or plastic reinforcement, are going to offer you much more protection than fabric sneakers from flying debris, etc. The higher leg of most motorcycle boots means your lower legs and ankles are also protected, not just your feet. Happy days!

Protect from Heat

Following on from the above, high leather motorcycle boots will protect your lower legs from the heat of the bike, with some specialized biker boots also featuring heat shields. Most exhaust pipe burns occur below the knee, and, according to a study by the Athens University Medical School, more than 65% of victims sustain second-degree burns — so it’s pretty clear that a high, reinforced boot is a good idea!

Keep Your Feet Warm

Whilst you want your feet to be protected from extreme heat, as any biker knows, keeping your toes warm whilst fighting cold weather and wind chill on a motorcycle can be challenging to say the least! Properly insulated motorcycle boots, particularly those with a padded sole and faux fur lining, such as the Bruno Marc New York Men’s Stone Motorcycle Combat Dress Oxford Snow Boots, will help protect your feet from frostbite on those less than balmy rides!

Keep Your Feet Dry

And whilst we’re on the subject of adverse weather conditions, wearing waterproof motorcycle boots — or at least, water-resistant boots made from durable materials will help keep your feet dry as you blast through puddles or try to beat the rain home. Because no one likes soggy socks and shriveled up toes, do they? On a more serious note, having dry feet (and being comfortable whilst riding in general) means you are less likely to be distracted — which can only be a good thing for your safety and the safety of those around you.

Good Grip

Most good motorcycle boots also feature a non-slip, high-traction sole, which prevents slips and gives you a good grip when mounting and dismounting the motorcycle, or in wet and rainy conditions. Some biker boots also feature oil-resistant soles, which can be particularly useful in a garage environment.

More Support

Again, the calf-height and stiff, supportive construction of most motorcycle boots means that your foot, ankle, and lower calf are better supported. Adequate ankle support is essential for you to be able to balance the weight of the bike when at a stop, and it will make you less likely to twist or break your foot or ankle in the event of an accident.

Safer in the Event of an Accident

Speaking of which, in the unfortunate event of an accident, which would you rather be wearing — tough leather motorcycle boots that cover your calves, or a flimsy pair of tennis shoes? We thought so. Of course, no footwear can offer you complete protection, but wearing decent motorcycle boots can reduce the severity of scrapes, bruises, and skinned shins compared to regular footwear. Sounds good to us!

Different Styles of Motorcycle Boots

There are many different styles of motorcycle boots, offering a variety of different looks and performances. Just within this list, there are: harness style motorcycle boots, which offer mid-to-high-calf coverage, are pull-on and are characterized by a harness strap over the ankle; military or combat style motorcycle boots, which feature laces and usually a side zip fastening; trail or dirt bike boots, which are calf-length, buckle-fastened and often reinforced with plastic plating; and Harley boots, which — although technically a brand – let’s face it, are a style in themselves!

motorcycle boots
Black motorcycle boots are stylish and effective

Best Motorcycle Boots FAQ:

Q:  Are all motorcycle boots waterproof?

No. In fact, none of the motorcycle boots listed here claim to be 100% waterproof. Most are water-resistant, which means they offer protection from splashes and light rain, but may not withstand a downpour. This is often due to areas around the zips or tongues, which can begin to leak water over time. You could always add a leather waterproofing treatment to your boots to increase your chances of keeping your feet dry in wet weather.

Q:  Will they have a steel toe?

No, not necessarily — none of the motorcycle boots on this list have a steel toe. Some have a toe plate designed to protect the sole of the shoe, but there are no full metal toes. The biking community is pretty split over steel toes. Some motorcyclists swear by the increased protection, whilst others don’t rate their inflexibility, and the lack of insulation, which inevitably leads to chilly toes. It’s completely up to you whether you want your motorcycle boots to have steel toes.

Q: What is the difference between motorcycle boots and regular ones?

Motorcycle boots will usually have additional features that are specifically designed to offer you more support and protection when motorcycle riding. These include, but are not limited to: a reinforced toe; a slip and oil-resistant outsole; a metal skank for support; heat shields; plastic plates for protection; a padded insole and air mesh for comfort and breathability. It’s important to note that there is no set industry standard for motorcycle boots, and specific biker boots may have all, some, or none of these features.

Q: What are the best motorcycle boots?

In our opinion, the Durango Men’s Harness Boot is one of the best choices in motorcycle riding boots. These boots have it all — they’re stylish, they offer comfort for motorcycle riding, and they can protect your feet. 

Q: What are the most comfortable motorcycle boots?

This depends on what level of comfort you’re looking for. It’s a good idea to check boots for specific features that can enhance your comfort, like full grain leather that’s soft and flexible, grippy soles like those made with Goodyear welt, breathable air mesh interiors, and cushioned heels and insoles. The better cushioned and protective a pair of boots are, the more likely it is they’ll offer great comfort.

Q: Do you really need motorcycle boots?

Motorcycle boots might seem simple, but they offer critically important protection for your feet. It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous — with their support, quality material, and impact-resistant or abrasion-resistant safety features, a good pair of boots can make a significant difference in an accident. It’s better to be safe than sorry and invest in a pair of riding boots you wear every time you get on your bike.

Q: What boots do bikers wear?

Bikers wear a lot of different boots. While there are popular brands that many bikers prefer, like Harley Davidson, Alpinestars, TCX, and O’Neal, every person has their own individual preference. Take a look at features like comfort, protection, and quality of materials to choose the best pair for yourself.

Our Top Pick

Our pick of the best motorcycle boots on the market is the Durango Men’s 11” Harness Boot. Made from thick, durable leather, the calf-high style offers protection from mud and debris, whilst the slip and oil-resistant sole will stop you from falling over when you’re trying to look cool standing beside your motorcycle — which, incidentally, will be much easier when you’re wearing these super-stylish motorcycle boots.

Sources:

  1. How important are motorcycle boots? – How Stuff Works
  2. 6 Reasons Motorcyclists Should Wear Protective Footwear – Safer America
  3. Motorcycle Boots – Wikipedia