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Whether you’re a new motorcycle owner or you’ve been riding for years, the temptation is always to throw on your leathers, jump on the bike and hit the road as soon as the sun comes out or the weekend arrives. But what are you putting on your feet before you blast your cares away? If it’s those battered old motorcycle boots that you’ve had for too many years to count, it might be time to invest in a new pair. After all, high-quality boots are essential for safe and comfortable riding as well as maintaining that cool biker dude image you’ve got going on.
So, which of the many motorcycle boots on the market are hard wearing, comfy and stylish enough to be exchanged for your hard-earned cash? Read on for our picks of the best men’s motorcycle boots available as well as our buying guide and FAQ to help you make the right decision and avoid any footwear fails.
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!
Leather calf boot with harness ankle strap
Oil and slip resistant
Available in 5 colors
- Weight2 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!
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
- Weight6 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.
Faux leather ankle boots
Fashionable military style
Side zip closure
- BrandBRUNO 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.
Ankle high leather utility boot
Thick high-traction sole
Padded collar and foot bed
- Weight3 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.
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
- BrandSmith & 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!)
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
- Weight4 lbs
If you’re more interested in dirt bike style motorcycle boots (and you’re not bothered about being able to wear them in the street), then these O’Neal 0324-110 Rider Boots might be for you. These heavy-duty moto boots have a plethora of features designed to protect your feet and lower legs in ATV, track or trail conditions.
There’s a metal skank to reinforce the boots and offer you support, and multiple injections molded plastic plates to protect your feet in difficult conditions. The durable Goodyear welt sole is properly balanced and offers moderate grip, and there’s a metal toe shield to protect the sole from delaminating. An air mesh interior and padded sole ensure a comfortable riding experience, and the synthetic leather heat shield prevents heat damage. All in all, these are the kind of biker boots men with a love of off-road riding need in their lives.
Motorcross track/ trail boots with snap-lock 4 buckle closure
Metal skank and plastic plates for protection
Air mesh interior and padded sole for comfort
Moderate grip sole with metal toe guard
- Weight6 lbs
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’.
Harness style motorcycle touring boot with leather upper
Goodyear welt construction for durability
Oil resistant outsole
- Model13 Inch Harness Boot-M
- Weight4 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!
Mid-calf work boot made from leather and fabric
Removable cushioned insole
Durable, slip-resistant outsole
Available in Black or Sage
- ModelENFORCER 8
- Weight3.86 lbs
Best Motorcycle Boots Buying Guide & FAQ
Still not sure which motorbike boots you should be strapping on before you ride off into the sunset? Our full buying guide and FAQ will help clear everything up, so you can be on your way faster than you can say ‘Ducati Monster’.
What To Look For In Motorcycle Boots
- Type of Riding You’ll Be Doing
When choosing motorcycle boots, you should consider what type of rider you are. Are you a sports or street bike rider, who will be riding mostly on the highway, touring and stopping at various points of interest? In which case, you will most likely want a motorcycle shoe that is also suitable for street wear, such as the military or harness style options here. Or, are you an off-road, dirt bike or trail rider? In which case you may want some more heavy duty boots with added protection, such as the O’Neal 0324-110 Rider Boots, which are specifically designed for ATV, track or trail 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, longer boots which offers more leg coverage, or boots with a faux fur lining.
- 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 features such as plastic plating, reinforced toes, and heat shields, to better protect your lower legs in harsh conditions, or in the event of an accident. 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, oil-resistant outsole, 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.
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.
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 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 mean 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!
Best Motorcycle Boots FAQ:
Q: Are all motorcycle boots waterproof?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: Motorcycle boots will usually have additional features which 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.
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 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.
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