Motorcycle boots: let's see what makes them different
Some motorcycle boots, like the Alpinestars Tech 10 boots or the Sidi ST motorcycle boots, are usually used on tracks during off-road races. But sometimes these type of boots are not easily recognisable and they are often mistaken with work boots. Motorcycle boots have been designed taking into account the specific characteristics of every rider. It’s not possible to see many features, such as ankle protection, the increased torsional stiffness to avoid bending and resistance to friction and oil. Other features that you may not be able to see are the integrated shifter inserts, buckles and double or triple stitching. One of the things that most affects the purchase of motorcycle boots is certainly the price, indeed this type of boots are often quite expensive. So, in a sense, you get what you pay for. Like a pair of high-quality work boots, good motorcycle boots must be durable, comfortable and protective; but unlike work boots, they need to withstand any impact with tarmac at high speeds, in order to protect the skin. The materials used to create this kind of boots are expensive; but they are cheaper than surgery, skin grafts and sick leaves from work. And as the old saying goes, don't dress for the race; dress for the fall. If you're on a tight budget, even the cheapest motorcycle boots are better than everyday shoes. If you make an accident with a pair of €100 boots, you will have for sure scratches, but you will avoid a lot of damage that you would have if you were wearing normal shoes. So it's always important when riding a motorcycle to wear a pair of suitable boots.
Racing boots generally have a height between 20 and 30 centimeters and they are made of a combination of leather, metal, plastic and man-made composite materials. The armored protection in racing boots is greater than the protection that you will found in a touring boot. But if you are looking for more protection for your foot or ankle and you ride only on the road and not on the track, getting yourself a running boot might be the best option for you. Another feature of racing boots can be a thermoplastic polyurethane in any class of polyurethane plastic, which has many useful properties, including elasticity, transparency and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion. The gear shift panel is located on top of the foot and allows easy movements while driving. A gearbox protects the tip of your foot from fatigue and damage due to gear shifting. This area of the boot will be used a lot, so these pads help reduce the deterioration of the shoe over time. Cross boots, on the other hand, are designed slightly differently. They are made specifically for off-road or motocross riding. To better help the rider's feet and legs, cross boots are much more rigid than normal motorcycle or racing shoes. The modern motocross boots are almost knee-high,they measure around 40 centimeters in height and they are made of a combination of composite materials like leather, metal, plastic and artificial materials. Usually there are 4 or 5 adjustable straps along the longitudinal opening to allow the cyclist to tighten the boot as much as he wants. A curved plate of plastic or composite material covers the boot shank protecting the cyclist from debris that could be thrown from the motorcycle's front wheel.