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Motorcycle riding is no doubt a culture and lifestyle of its own.
Beyond being just a form of transportation and a pastime, riding a motorcycle is an important part of many riders’ lives and surprisingly, it is quite beneficial in more ways than we can imagine.
Studies have shown that riding a motorcycle actually helps increase brainpower by activating the prefrontal areas of the brain.
It has also been proven to reduce stress and improve your mood by helping your body release endorphins.
If you’re looking for a more fun way to exercise, riding a motorcycle can also help you burn calories and strengthen your core.
One of the best ways to make the most out of your motorcycle riding experience is by wearing the right gear.
One of the things that you should definitely invest in would be the right pair of shoes.
But what exactly should you choose? Will you get by with wearing your trusty sneakers or do you need something more specific for riding?
Motorcycle Riding Shoes Vs. Riding Boots
Unfortunately, wearing a pair of sneakers is a big no-no because riding a motorcycle means traversing through bumpy roads, highways and small lanes that require you to take full control of your ride while keeping your feet comfortable and safe.
In the event of a crash, normal footwear will not keep you protected.
When it comes to buying the right pair of shoes for motorcycle riding, you will come across two main options: riding shoes and riding boots.
But which is best?
Motorcycle Riding Shoes
Quite popular for casual riders, riding shoes look like your everyday sneakers but they offer more protection and comfort both on and off the bike.
Riding shoes are usually made of heavy-duty canvas and water-resistant leather.
They also have ankle guards, heel and toecaps, and rubber soles with a reinforced shank to protect your feet from the elements as you ride.
They’re designed to keep your feet and ankles protected in the event of a crash while keeping you comfortable for day-to-day riding.
Motorcycle Riding Boots
As the most recommended style for both leisure and competitive riders, riding boots are designed specifically for the comfort and safety of the rider.
Most of these boots rise past the ankle and other hugs just below the knee to protect the calf.
They are made from high-quality materials like weatherproof leather and they have skid-proof soles, built-in padding, extra cushioning and toe shifters for optimal protection.
Many motorcycle riding boots focus on function over form, so don’t expect for them to look as good as your sneakers.
But these trusty boots offer more surface area to protect your feet from debris while riding and during a crash.
Many riders find that they fit better with the right seal around the legs than your typical shoes.
Riding boots are a great investment because they’re guaranteed to be durable.
In fact, you can replace their buckles, soles and other moving parts, so you don’t have to buy a new pair every time.
Casual Shoes for Motorcycle Riding
Whether you want to buy a pair of riding boots or you’re more into riding shoes, we rounded up some of your best options to make shopping a lot easier:
Speed and Strength Moto Shoe
Stylish, comfortable and functional, the Speed and Strength Moto Shoe looks like your everyday sneakers, but it offers so much more protection.
Known to a lot of casual riders as the ultimate casual motorcycle riding shoe, these riding shoes feature toe, heel and ankle reinforcements and an anti-slip rubber outsole for better grip.
The Speed and Strength Moto Shoe is perfect for weekend rides but not for off-road riding or during wet weather.
Aside from being a great motorcycle shoe, it is also used by skateboarders because of its safety features.
Alpinestars Joey WP Shoes
One of the most stylish shoes in the bunch is Alpinestars Joey WP Shoes, which you can get in standard black or add up some style with fluorescent laces reminiscent of LA Gear’s light-up sneakers.
This also offers added night visibility while you’re on the road.
The Joey is made of canvas with a wax treatment to make it waterproof and its collar and tongue liner is made of breathable mesh to keep your foot from overheating and smelling after a long ride.
It also features a reinforced heel and toe box for added protection in case of an accident.
Gaerne Voyager Aquatech
Designed with the daily commuter rider in mind, the Gaerne Voyager Aquatech combines style and safety to make it perfect for those who ride their bike to the office and don’t have to time to change to another pair of shoes after.
It’s suede material has a breathable membrane and it features additional props on the shifting region for utmost comfort during stop-and-go driving, which usually happens on the city.
The Gaerne Voyager Aquatech also has a unique locking system that keeps zippers and laces in place even during harsh outdoor weather.
Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Riding Shoe
Featuring the best of Italian craftsmanship, the Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Riding Shoe is CE certified and has everything you need for efficient and comfortable riding.
Its soles are made of oil-resistant rubber for better traction, it has anatomical padding for extra comfort and it has added shank reinforcement provides arch support for excellent stride.
The Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Riding Shoe is extremely stylish with its full-grain leather body that makes it perfect for casual walking or even a Friday night dinner.
Motorcycle Riding Boots
Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 Motorcycle Riding Boots
The Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 Riding Boots is a crossover type of boot perfect for street riding, cruising and even touring.
It is stylish enough to be worn on your daily commutes and sturdy enough for those weekend offroad adventures.
The great construction of these boots ensures that your feet are protected against road rash and they hold up pretty well in the event of a road collision or crash.
The Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 Riding Boots also feature a quick-lock buckle mechanism, padded ankle cuff for comfort and triple stitching in stress areas.
It also comes with a built-in shoe protector to make the shoes last longer even on the worst of conditions.
Bruno Marc Military Motorcycle Combat Boots
A lot of riders choose the Bruno Marc Military Motorcycle Combat Boots because it gets the job done in terms of efficiency but it’s also one of the most stylish boots you’ll see on the market.
In fact, you can ride your bike to work and go straight to a business meeting looking as dapper as possible.
These everyday boots are lightweight and well ventilated, has a non-skid rubber outsole and it has thinner toe for easier shifting.
The best part is, the Bruno Marc Military Motorcycle Combat Boots is very affordable for the quality and comfort you get.
Icon 1000 Truant CE Boots
Another stylish and efficient option is the Icon 1000 Truant CE Boots that you can get in black or brown.
It has a midfoot retaining strap that doesn’t only protect your feet against the elements but also helps you maintain good riding posture.
These boots also have an axialmetric steel shank, a reinforced toe box and a slip-proof rubber sole for optimum comfort and protection when walking or riding.
Milwaukee Afterburner Boots
If you want to make a statement while riding your motorcycle, the Milwaukee Afterburner Boots is every bit as stylish with its shiny buckle and black leather.
But more than style, these all-terrain boots are perfect for the rough rider with its “freedom flex” construction, non-skid and oil-resistant outsole, and adjustable ankle strap and side zippers.
The boots are suitable for almost every type of riding as it offers excellent grip even when wet and its full-grain leather makes it as stylish as possible.
Choosing the Right Footwear for Riding
To make sure that you invest in the right casual shoes for motorcycle riding, you can follow these tips:
1. Decide on a Style
First, decide on a style that you prefer.
If you’re mostly just riding your bike for daily commutes or running errands in the city, then you can go for casual motorcycle riding shoes.
But if you’re the rough rider who loves spending weekends on offroad terrains or going on long rides with your buddies, you should invest in sturdy motorcycle riding boots.
2. Think About Your Bike
Next, think about your ride.
It’s very important to think about your type of ride when deciding what riding shoes to buy.
A casual riding shoe won’t get the job done if you have an off-road motorcycle that’s perfect for wild adventures.
It also goes the same with heavy riding boots on a casual Sunday ride with friends.
3. Know Which Features to Look For
You also need to know the features that you need.
Depending on your riding style, you need to have a list of features that should be in your riding shoes.
Your regular riding shoes should offer good protection while being light and comfortable.
But if you’re all about long, rough rides, you should invest in boots that are a little heavier but also provide excellent protection against tough elements and in the event of a crash in rough terrains.
4. Find the Right Fit
Everyone’s feet are a little different, so you’ll need to consider the fit.
Some people are good with wearing high cut boots while others are not as comfortable.
This is why you need to consider the ideal boot height and width to ensure that you are comfortable while wearing your shoes.
Taller boots offer better protection against exhaust pipes and from cold if you’re riding in cold weather.
They are also ideal for riders with bikes that have tall shafts.
Shorter motorcycle boots, on the other hand, are perfect for daily rides because they’re more comfortable, although they don’t offer as much protection as longer boots in high speeds and against hot pipes.
Whatever boot height you choose, find one that will offer protection for your ankles against high-impact crashes.
5. Spend a Little More on Your Riding Shoes
Always choose quality over price.
Whether you’re a casual or extreme rider, you should never scrimp on your riding shoes.
Yes, motorcycle riding shoes are pricier than your regular shoes, but they also offer the protection that you need for when you’re on the road.
Always check for the materials used, the features that are included in the shoe and of course, if it is CE certified.
Investing in the perfect riding shoes is definitely one of the best decisions you’ll make.
Aside from keeping your comfortable on your bike, you can also protect yourself against the harsh elements of the road, the dangers of riding a motorcycle, and the potential accidents that you might encounter along the way.