Are boots really necessary?
The answer to this question is simple...
Do you need your feet & ankles?
Quality boots provide a good deal of protection for riding and the possibility of going down. Tennis shoes don't.
Here's a photo sent in by one of our members. Poor guy: He's going to have to buy some new shoelaces for his adidas, so they don't end up 20 feet from his body after his next crash.
Here are some quality motorcycle boots after three crashes, including a 30-40 mph run into a ditch and a broken-collarbone highside on the track.
Are Motorcycle-Specific Boots Necessary?
It really is to your advantage to buy boots that are designed specifically to protect you while riding your bike. Yeah, you can buy a pair of leather boots at Wal-Mart for 40 bucks, but they won't offer you the kind of protection in a crash that a good pair of moto boots will. They will keep your skin from abrading on the road, until they wear through, but they aren't designed with the torsional (twisting) kind of protection you will need should you have a wreck on your bike. A good pair of motorcycle boots will have impact protection that other kinds of boots don't have, either.
Now, when you look at the price of a pair of good boots, it may seem somewhat high at first. Let's put this in perspective. Carrie Bradshaw's $400 Manolo Blahniks will be out of style next Fall. A runner goes through a pair of $80-100 running shoes every 3-6 months. Your boots should last you several years.
Nike running shoes don't work so well if you're playing basketball. Same concept.
What are some boot models to consider?
Note: Most boot brands are available many places. Search.
While some of you may have walked many miles in them, they aren't recommended for biking: They have no ankle cups or armor of any sort. If you do decide to use Army boots make sure that you're using the all-leather boots, not the largely nylon "Nam boots". 'Nam boots were evolved for tropic heat, and provide very little protection except to the sole of the foot. You should tuck in or duct tape your laces to prevent tangles. Imagine pulling up to a stop sign, starting to lean to one side, and then discovering that your shoelace is tangled in the peg and you can't put your foot down to support the bike...
Get some real boots.
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