Guest Author - Nancy Brotherton
The legs and feet are the least protected part of the body when riding and the most likely to get scraped or sprained. We wear a helmet to protect our head and a jacket to protect our upper body. It is logical that we would wear a good pair of motorcycle boots to protect our feet as well.
Riding footwear should protect your feet and ankles from debris and burns from hot pipes. They should also provide stability and support to your ankles when stopping your bike.
Comfortable footwear, preferably boots, that completely cover the ankle are recommended. This is to protect your ankles from burns from hot pipes, add support when stopping your bike, and to keep flying road debris from scratching or damaging your skin.
Riding boots should have oil resistant soles and good traction, so that when you plant your feet on the pavement they don't slide on water or oil. A good sole with traction will also help keep your feet from slipping off your bike pegs. The heel should be wide and even with the shoe or less than 1 inch high for stability purposes. I recommend a pull on or zip up boot for ease of putting on and no worry about the laces coming undone.
Steel toes are an added bonus for protection from sharp objects slicing through the toe of your boot. Always make sure that the toe of the boot will fit between the foot peg and shifter. Some of the boots are fashionable, but not road worthy because they are so clunky you can't shift properly. Make sure the boots are riding boots because some manufacturers make fashion boots for after riding events.
There are a variety of manufacturers and styles of riding boots. There are lines for sport riding, touring, cruising, traditional, and custom made boots. Check out my protective clothing link to visit some of the boot manufacturer websites. I have a pair of Aerostitch Combat Touring Boots and a couple of pairs of Harley-Davidson brand boots. I alternate between these three pairs depending on the type and length of riding I will be doing. The Aerostitch boots are very durable and comfortable and I generally wear these on long rides.
Prices run the gamut for boots depending on the features and quality you select. Keep in mind when purchasing a good pair of boots, that they will last a long time and provide good service. For safety features, price shouldn't be a consideration. They should be comfortable to wear, easy to put on, have the basic riding safety features, and be a style that you can live with.
Until next week, ride safe.