Summer boots or shoes - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Summer boots or shoes

Every new riding season brings out new riders with many questions. One question that doesn't get asked enough is about riding gear. While I like to think I'll never go down, the odds are not with me. So I prepare for the least amount of injuries. The choice of wearing protection gear is a personal one. I make decisions on gear from online reviews and talking to other people. With that said let's help some riders that don't know what works and the benefits. Let's talk about summer boots. Do you wear boots? What kind? How long have you had them? How are they holding up? Would you recommend? If No, why not? Another factor is where do you live and your riding condition. What works on the freeways in Houston at 100 degree plus temperatures in stop and go traffic might not work as well on back roads in Canada. If you can post pictures so people can see what you are talking about. It's obvious by our monthly mileage challenge we have many here who ride a lot. Some will ride in just a few months than many all year. (yes, ChiefGunner, AsphaltWarrior, Cliffieg, YamahaPat and others, I talking about you). So help others by reviewing what boots you use. I'm going to start separate threads for different pieces of riding gear so it will be an easy search in the future. So, let's talk about motorcycle summer boots.

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I wear boots 99% of the time. Not just riding, all the time. I work in a warehouse environment and on my feet 100% of the time during my 10 hours there. So comfortable boots are a must. I average walking 8 to 10 miles a day on a concrete floor. I'll show you my phone app, I really do walk that much. I have 60+ employees that take constant guidance, read kick in the butt. For the past few years I have used 2 different boots at work. I rotate daily. The Bates boots are very good, side zip, I'm lazy, mesh, with comfortable padding around calf. I recommend. I get about a year use in these.

Second pair is sold by Academy. These are also mesh, side zip and comfortable. These will only last me about 9 months but they are cheaper. I recommend. By the way, I do polish both pair a lot. Exterior of both pair hold up well. The interior is what wears out first.

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 08:43 PM
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I tried bates once, I wasn't very impressed with it, might have just been the one I picked, or their sizing didn't fit me right, it really hurt my foot.

What I'm currently using are these, not my fav, they changed up the style, ran too many sets of 3 different previous versions, normally last me 18months, been wearing them since around 2000. Normally buy a new one and keep as my nice pair while I finish wearing out the current ones. Normally have to change out the insoles once (I have gone though so many different insoles, most just tear my feet up, expecially the dr soles, and those at the stores), and have found the timerline ones work the best, even put them into my mx boots.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 09:57 PM
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i split time between these:

and these:

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 10:10 PM
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Just bought these. Have about 3 hrs in them. With 30 minutes riding. So far they feel good.
Car is in the shop. So I'll be riding all week. Will let you know how they go.

Ride Smart! Ride Often!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:28 PM
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Let's make a qualification here first. If you have some special needs for some kind of footwear due to your job or upcoming activity, then you will have to address that as you must. Let's just consider boots as to biking use only. Don't be concerned with the name on the boot, no one will care.

Consider that your biking boot has some special purposes:

First is to prevent injury in an accident. To be the best protection, it needs to be as high on your leg as is practical, not just ankle high.

Second is to be comfortable all day. You will probably need to wear them around a store for awhile to be sure you'll be able to wear them all day long--you won't be taking them off in the middle of a ride.

Third is to be easily used. Yes, don't have some that take half an hour to lace up or you'll avoid using them sometimes. For ease of putting on, consider some with wide patches of velcro to wrap around your leg. Some skinny legged folks can use stove pipe designs okay that don't need lacing, so that will work.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 04:15 AM
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Even though I rode an enduro bike for most of my adult life, off road only and mostly on forest trails, when I decided to get licensed and took the MSF beginner course, I was surprised how much I had to learn. You are required to bring a jacket, boots, helmet and gloves. I bought an HJC modular (flip up) helmet from a local MC dealer, and wore a Wilson leather jacket, a pair of leather gloves that are suitable for clearing the snow off your car, and my trusty 20 year old Rockport XCS hiking boots.

During the course I learned that while my hiking boots are excellent for walks in the woods, and even though I could walk thru water up to my ankles and not get wet feet, motorcycle boots are specifically designed to protect your feet and ankles from the most common motorcycle accidents.

I learned just recently the most common injuries to motorcycle riders today are to our feet and legs. The studies do not say whether this is because riders that were injured were not wearing proper boots and riding pants, or because that part of our body is most exposed during the most common accidents. I find it interesting because the first thing we talk about when it comes to protection is our helmets, and the last thing most of us buy (including me) is a pair of MC riding pants.

Motorcycle boots are designed for the specific types of injuries that are sustained in motorcycle accidents. The foot bones are protected. The ankle bones are covered with material to keep that area of flesh from being ground down to the bone if your bike goes over and your foot is sliding wedged under the bike. The shins are protected. Normal work boots or hiking boots do not have these specific design features. MC boots are also designed to keep your feet warm and dry, but not sweaty, while out in an 85mph wind blast.

After the course I went back to the same dealer and got these boots:

They are comfortable for riding, keep my feet warm and dry, except for one summer down pour when the rain soaked all the way to my underwear and drizzled down my pants (over the boots) enough to get water inside. (no rain suit). Ive never had my feet slip out on me when stopped while wearing these.

They are not great for doing a lot of walking. If Im riding somewhere and plan on hiking or acting like a tourist on foot, I either bring a good pair of sneakers in my bag or trunk, or a few times I have reverted back and wore a new pair of the Rockport XCS hiking boots:

To be clear the rockport XCS boots are not motorcycle boots.

I realize I sound like I am contradicting myself now, but just as MC boots are designed for riding, hiking boots are designed for hiking, and if that is where you are going and will be spending most of your time, hiking on wet rocks or slippery trails can actually cause you to slip and fall, wearing the wrong hiking gear can cause you to have an accident. That elevates the requirements above wearing boots to protect your feet in the event of an accident on your motorcycle.

If I have the option, I bring both.. but sometimes when your bag or trunk is full, something has to be left home. When I commute to work (over 100 days / year) I wear my Tourmaster MC boots, and I keep a pair of comfortable sneakers that I wear at the office and on the shop floor.

I recommend for new riders: get your boots and gloves and helmet and jacket from a local MC shop. Your gear has to fit you perfectly or you will be miserable while riding. If you are really pressed for money you could goto the local shop and have a salemans help you pick out your gear, try everything on, and then walk out empty handed and go buy it all online and save a few bucks. Dont be surprised if the next time you go there you find an empty building. A good MC riding gear salesman is worth the small extra expense.

After a few years I discovered an interesting thing about motorcycle boots. I worn the sole thru on my left foot right under the ball (behind the toes). I patched it a few times with rubber, but by the 3rd summer I had to get new boots. My right boot was still in good shape. I dont know of anyplace where you can buy just the left boot. Since then I have gotten good at slowing down short of a stop sign or red light, creeping the bike forward at 1mph without putting my feet down, and taking off if the cross road is clear. Putting a lot less wear on the left boot now.
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Last edited by KCW; 03-25-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:17 AM
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My first set of boots, when I was riding sport bikes, were some Harley boots which I ended up wearing the most even after picking up some Sidi B2's 2 years later. The harley boots were just so darn comfy and were better for walking around at my destination that the racing boots. The racing boots kept my feet dryer and had much more protection.

With the vstar, I was planning on getting a new pair of harley boots but when I went into the local dealer, I couldn't find any that I liked and that fit well. They were either too wide or to narrow.

I ended up getting a pair of these TCX Street Ace Waterproof Shoes. Again..they might prove to hot in the really warm weather due to being water proof. Funny thin about that, when it started raining during a ride, because of legs being out front, the water just ran up the boots onto my shins, and then when stopped would run down my leg and right into the boot. So the boot was waterproof, but got wet anyhow. :/
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2005 Yamaha YZF-R6T
1990 Kawasaki EX-500

Last edited by CanadianMohawk; 03-25-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 10:13 PM
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Best boots I’ve ever owned are the Timberland White Ledge boots. Lightweight, waterproof, can walk all day in them broken in. Haven’t found better. Seem to be largely impervious to normal motorcycle wear to date. Bugs still splatter on ‘em, though. ;-)
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Last edited by Cliffieg; 03-26-2019 at 10:24 PM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 07:44 AM
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here is a link to one of the studies on motorcycle rider foot and leg injuries:

The latest studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that in 2014 there were over 92,000 motorcycle injuries nationwide due to accidents. According to Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney William Brim, 30% of these injuries happen to your legs or feet. “In serious motorcycle accidents, we see a significantly higher rate of injury to the lower extremities when riders are not wearing boots specifically designed to protect motorcycle riders.

During the 3 day MSF beginners course an instructors did a 1 on 1 with each rider, going over the gear they were using during the course.

My instructor liked my new full face modular HJC helmet.

He told me in a slide on the pavement my mall bought Wilson Leather jacket would come apart like wet newspaper, and my Sears winter leather "driving gloves" would either fall apart, of slide off my hands because they did not fasten around the wrist (no gauntlets).

He went over the injuries that would be sustained to my ankles and feet if I did not upgrade to MC specific riding boots.

While heavy blue jeans are somewhat protective, he recommended for highway speeds I get a pair of MC riding pants, to match the jacket that I was planning to get.

They let us get away with riding with non-MC-specific jackets and gloves and boots in the beginners course, because some people take the course and then decide that motorcycle riding is not for them. Also you never get over 25mph during the riding practice, so 'street clothes' jackets, gloves and boots are ok in their big parking lot.

Last edited by KCW; 03-27-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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