A nice pair of leather motorcycle bootsLeather motorcycle boots, considering the amount of protection they give you, should be one of the first pieces of protective gear a rider should get. Unfortunately this is often not the case, in fact, I've even seen some motorcycle riders wear sneakers and even sandals! A good pair of leather motorcycle boots can protect you and they just look cool too. Here's what to look for when you're out to buy a new pair of leather motorcycle boots.

Decide on the type of leather motorcycle boots you want

There are three main types of leather motorcycle boot available. Standard, racing and short leather motorcycle boots.

  1. Standard leather motorcycle boots go over the ankle and are usually reinforced too, these offer the maximum abrasion protection and support for your ankle.
  2. Racing boots are made specifically for racing and are quite stiff, I wouldn't recommend these for regular street riding.
  3. Short leather motorcycle boots are just that, short. They provide less protection from exhaust but are often more comfortable in the summer months than standard leather  boots.

What protective features should I look for in a pair of leather motorcycle boots?

Whatever type of leather motorcycle boots you decide is best for you there are several factors you should consider when it comes to protection.

  • Make sure there is good ankle protection, preferably some reinforcement as well. A leather motorcycle boot will increase your confidence level and, if the bike starts to tip, can give you more strength.
  • Make sure the heal and sole are top quality and reinforced. A good sole will give you grip when you need it, a real consideration if you come to a stop over an oil patch or even in the rain.
  • Make sure the impact areas on the leather motorcycle boots are armored, they should, after all, protect you. A good quality leather motorcycle boot will have armor, even kevlar around the heal and ankle, on the calf too if it's a pair of standard leather motorcycle boots.

How should the closing mechanism work on a good pair of leather motorcycle boots?

There are many types of closing mechanisms available; velcro, zipper, straps or laces. It doesn't really matter. Just make sure that it is secure, and there is some sort of system to kepp the loose material away from moving, or hot, parts.  I stress this once again, make sure there is some closure system that keeps the stray laces or other material out of your way.  A stray lace can get caught on your shifting mechanism preventing you from shifting or even putting your foot down when stopping and cause an accident.  I'm not kidding here, it happened to me.

Anything else I should look for in a top quality pair of leather motorcycle boots?

Look at the following features too..

  • If you ride in the rain then get a pair of leather motorcycle boots that are water resistant. It's no fun to ride with wet feet.  Don't forget to treat them every year to maintain their protection from water.
  • Some motorcycle boots have a shifter pad. A nice feature to have to reduce foot pain, especially in traffic where you have lots of shifting.
  • If you'll use the leather motorcycle boots in the summer then choose a pair with some form of ventilation areas, you'll appreciate this on long rides.

There are many different types of motorcycle boots out there, but in the end they really need to protect you. Don't skimp on your protective equipment. I always say 'Dress for the crash, not the ride'

Here's an extensive article detailing other motorcycle tips you may find useful.

How much does a quality pair of leather motorcycle boots cost?

This will of course depend on the type, as well as the features, not to mention if they are on sale or not. I suggest reading motorcycle boot reviews over at ConsumerSearch or ConsumerReports. Motorcycle boot reviews on those sites are written by unbiased users just like yourself. You will also find many useful links on the page to help you find the best leather motorcycle boots too.