When you ride a dirt bike your feet are never safe. The threats are many and range from red hot exhaust pipes to troublesome tree roots to rocks and other debris kicked up by the rider in front of you. To protect your feet you need first class dirt bike riding boots and in this article we’ll provide information you can use to ensure you get the right pair.
The Top Brands
There are literally dozens of companies who make dirt bike boots. Here are 5 brands that we consider to represent the state of the art.
- Alpinestars – Alpinestars has been around more than 50 years. They began as a tiny operation in Asolo, Italy and have since grown into a major producer of motorcycle gear for every type of user. Products like their Tech 10 boot are leading the way in comfort and durability.
- Fox Racing – In addition to making first class helmets and other riding accessories the Fox Racing dirt bike boots are a cut above the competition. You’ll pay more for a product like the Fox Instinct but what you’ll get are some of the most comfortable dirt bike boots ever made.
- Sidi Sport – Sidi Sport was founded over half a century ago by renowned Italian sports footwear designer Dino Signori. Today Sidi is one of the most respected names in dirt bike boots with boots like their Crossfire 2 SR raising the bar for both functionality and durability.
- Acerbis – When it comes to dirt bike gear the Italians established themselves as major players when other companies were asking the question “Moto-what?” Acerbis is yet another Italian manufacturer of outstanding dirt bike footwear and boots like their X-Move 2.0 are (relatively) affordable examples of why the Italians dominate this market.
- Gaerne – Gaerne has been making motorcycle boots of all kinds for more than 50 years and today produce some of the best looking dirt bike boots around. Their G All Terrain Boots have a throwback accessibility that melds beautifully with contemporary touches like aluminum buckles and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Dirt Bike Riding Boots: Features
Dirt bike riding is harder on your feet than any other kind of motorcycle riding, bar none. As such it’s crucial that your dirt bike boots be up to the challenge. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the features that make a boot a great dirt bike boot.
- A buckling lock mechanism.
- Reinforced shin guards.
- Steel toes and steel heel guards.
- Shock absorbing inner lining.
- Flex zones in the heel.
- Heat resistant outer.
- Replaceable soles and buckles.
- Steel shank to neutralize flexing.
- Gaiters to keep water, mud and other debris out.
- Full grain leather.
Typically the more of these features a dirt bike riding boot incorporates the more expensive it’s going to be.
Finding the Right Boots
- Safety – The trick with finding the safest dirt bike boots is striking a balance between protection and mobility. Remember, you’re not safe if you can’t move.
- Materials – The protection we just mentioned doesn’t just happened. It requires the use of materials that aren’t going to back down from hazards. This should include steel in the toe and heel of the boot and things like a TPU shell that’s resistant to both impacts and abrasions.
- Water Resistance – Tearing through the slop can be great fun, while enduring wet feet all day is no fun at all. You’ll want your dirt bike boots to use water resistant materials and have other features like gaiters that help seal them against watery intrusions.
- Ankle Type – You need to make sure your boot has plenty of ankle protection. Some boots come with a fixed ankle that provides great protection but limits mobility. Others offer a hinged ankle that improves flexibility but costs more.
- Weight – For full grown adult males the weight of their boots won’t be as much of an issue as it is for youngsters. Typically when you sacrifice weight you’re also sacrificing extra safety so you need to find a balance.
- Closure Mechanism – Like ski boots before them dirt bike boots have embraced the adjustable snap-close buckle. This is often augmented by a Velcro strap at the top to ensure the boot stays in place even in the unlikely event the buckles come undone.
- Durability – How long your dirt bike boots last will depend in large part on things like whether the buckles are made from plastic or aluminum and whether there’s a steel toe. Also if the boot incorporates genuine leather in the upper it will have a longer life.
- Price – The better dirt bike boots out there are going to set you back some real money. Then again your ability to walk away from a collision with a tree branch or boulder should outweigh any short term financial pain. Scrimping on dirt bike footwear is usually a mistake you’ll regret.
Boot maintenance is necessary to protect the investment you’ve made in your dirt bike boots. You should clean your boots off after every outing especially if you have leather uppers. Use some warm soapy water followed by a leather conditioner to keep your boots looking and feeling great.
Dirt bike boot sizing will more or less follow sizing standards laid out by everyday shoes. That said there are some unique factors to keep in mind that may impact the size you purchase including any additional foot padding involved and whether you wear thin socks, heavy socks or no socks at all.
Measuring for Dirt Bike Boots
If you’re to get the best fitting pair of boots it’s really important to take precise measurements of your feet. In order to get those precise measurements you should wear whatever type of socks you intend to wear while riding when you measure your feet.
Record the measurements in both inches and centimeters since US companies use inches and European companies use centimeters. Once you have your measurements use the dirt bike boots size chart below to find your size.
|Foot Length (in/cm)||Mens Size (US)||Womens Size (US)||Euro Sizes|
|9 1/2 / 24.1||5 1/2||7||37 1/2|
|9 5/8 / 24.4||6||7 1/2||38|
|9 3/4 / 24.7||6 1/2||8||38 1/2|
|9 7/8 / 25||7||8 1/2||39|
|10 / 25.4||7 1/2||9||40|
|10 1/8 / 25.7||8||9 1/2||41|
|10 1/4 / 26||8 1/2||10||42|
|10 1/2 / 26.6||9||10 1/2||43|
|10 3/4 / 27.3||9 ½||11||44|
|11 / 27.9||10||11 1/2||45|
|Youth Motocross Boots Size Chart|
|Foot Length (in/cm)||US sizes||Euro Sizes|
|7 3/4 / 19.7||1||32|
|8 1/8 / 20.6||2||33.5|
|8 1/2″ 21.6||3||35|
|8 3/4 / 22.2||4||36|
|9 1/8 / 23.2||5||37.5|
|9 1/2 / 24.1||6||39|
|9 3/4 / 24.8||7||40|
|9 15/16 / 25.2||8||41|
Sizing is important so don’t waste time guessing or just going by the last pair of shoes you bought either for yourself or your youngster. Measure carefully wearing any socks you intend to wear and make sure your new boots are snug but not constricting.
If you plan to buy your dirt bike boots online but still have sizing concerns visit a store that sells dirt bike gear and custom dirt bike graphics and try on a few pairs to confirm your measurements. But don’t just use the brick and mortar shop as a testing ground for ideas, buy something while you’re in there. That way they’ll be there next time you need to try something on before buying it online.
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The Great Second-Hand Debate
For some the prospect of dropping $500 or more on a pair of dirt bike boots makes them want to gag. But so does the idea of buying cheap dirt bike riding boots that won’t provide proper protection. Thankfully there’s an answer for those parsimonious types that doesn’t include taking their life in their hands by buying sub-par equipment. It’s called “used motocross boots”.
Some people are totally convinced that buying new dirt bike gear is a waste of money. They purchase all of their gear second hand. Sure, they’re saving big but they’re also taking a risk because there could be hidden defects in the used motocross boots that are hard to spot.
So What Can You Do?
As with any used item it’s up to the buyer to make sure they’re not getting ripped off. If you’re looking for someone who has a second hand motocross helmet, protective pads or in this case dirt bike boots for sale you really only have a couple of options.
- You can find a seller near you and test out all the equipment in person before buying or
- You can buy only from online retailers you are reasonably certain are trustworthy.
Buying From Your Neighbors
If the guy next door is selling his mens dirt bike boots then you’re in luck. You can see them, hold them, try them on and put them through the paces (within reason of course) to make sure there are no problems with the boots before you buy them. The odds of this happening however are slim.
Your other option of course is to buy online but that comes with its own set of potential problems, not least of which is that you can’t touch before you buy. And with second hand anything it’s better to be able to make physical contact before spending your money.
So What Do You Do?
You’ll be hard pressed to find any boot manufacturers that sell used versions of their products. Which means you’re left to rely on the honesty and forthrightness of total strangers when buying used womens dirt bike boots (or any other type) from an online trader. Gulp!
Fear not though because honest resellers are out there and many of them go to great lengths to ensure the used motocross boots they’re selling are up to snuff. They put the equipment through a rigorous series of tests designed to detect excessive wear, trauma or outright damage.
Won’t I Just Get Ripped Off?
Of course it’s always possible but there are some things you can do to ensure the person you’re buying from online is reliable.
- Check the Feedback – If they’re selling through a major retail portal like eBay or amazon there’s likely to be substantial feedback from people who have dealt with a particular seller. If the feedback is mostly negative take a pass.
- Look Closely at Any Images – If there are images attached to the item take a good close look at them. Are they images of the actual item or simply stock images the seller downloaded from the Internet? If they’re unwilling to share actual photos you should probably take a pass.
- What are Their Testing Methods? – If someone is selling used safety equipment they need to be open regarding their testing methods. People’s health and well-being is on the line after all. If they just say “I checked it out and it’s good to go” give them a pass.
- Look at the Price – As the old saying goes “If it seems too good to be true it probably is”. If someone is selling a 1 year old pair of $600 riding boots for $50 it should raise a red flag.
Dirt bike riding boots have evolved over the years from crude, workboot-like constructions into today’s high tech marvels. Many of the dirt bike boots for sale today look as though they could be worn on the International Space Station; and with a few modifications they probably could. Just remember when you’re buying riding boots to put safety considerations first and you’re bound to wind up with boots that will serve you well for years to come.