The innovation of motorcycle-approved protective gear has always been an important part of the industry. And thanks to manufacturers who were willing to bridge the gap between style and function, we were gifted with a variety of fashionable choices to represent our own individual tastes. Obviously, the capability of our protective gear comes first and foremost, especially when it comes to footwear; but, like anything, a bit of creativity and self-expression can make a world of difference.
When it comes to contemporary motorcycle attire, a handful of companies have found a way to strike the perfect balance between fashion and function, promoting the notion that boots, jackets, and pants don’t have to be confined to one segment of wear. In practice, this has made the transition from our on-bike antics to the workplace, public space, or occasional meetup all-the-more simple, giving us the ability to dress for the occasion. Until recently, one of the more unappealing peripherals in the motorcycling world was the reinforced boot — a large, bulky piece of gear that made commuting more of a pain than it should be. But now, manufacturers have started to produce protective sneakers — bringing creativity and personal choice back into the spotlight. Below, we’ll outline a few of our favorites, and give you a look into what makes them so special.
Speed and Strength Black 9 Moto
Speed and Strength’s Black 9 moto boot is an exercise in purposeful, protective style — offering riders a high-top sneaker that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. Each example features a durable anti-slip rubber outsole, a reinforced leather upper, and a non-shank sole that keeps your foot and ankle comfortable, adaptable, and open for free range of movement. To keep things concealed, and away from your bike’s chain and sprocket, the Black 9 also features an Under Cover lacing system, molded toe, and additional reinforcements in key areas, like the heel and ankle.
Icon 1000 Truant 2
Icon has been an avid proponent of the industry’s most advanced protective equipment for some time, and one look at the company’s innovative catalog should leave you with a similar impression. To keep its expansive selection as well-rounded as possible, Icon introduced the 1000 Truant 2, a capable, high-top sneaker that sets the standard for fashionable moto peripherals. On the exterior, you’ll find a full-grain leather upper and grippy outsole, serving to compliment the shoe’s unique hidden ghillie lacing system. Additional D30 reinforcements in the Truant 2’s ankle work alongside its specially-engineered lasting board, providing riders with a seamless expression of safety and style.
TCX Street Ace WP
TCX’s Street Ace WP sneaker is a stylish peripheral that blends classic, high-top style with the best protective traits that the industry has to offer. On the shoe’s exterior, you’ll find an attractive full-grain leather upper, complete with a waterproof liner to keep you dry in inclement weather. Unlike other moto-oriented sneakers, you won’t find a fully enclosed lacing system to keep things clear of your sprocket, chain, and footpegs. But, for what the Street Ace lacks in protective all-encompassing enclosures, it more than makes up for in other areas. The inclusion of protective medial and lateral malleolus ankle inserts, a unique Comfort Fit System, and an anatomic, replaceable insole are sure to sway any safety-minded rider.
Alpinestars Jam Drystar
Alpinestars has certainly made a name for itself in the moto world, especially when it comes to full-fledged racing boots. But that doesn’t mean that the company can’t make a pair of great-looking sneakers. The Jam Drystars are the perfect pair of protective peripherals for any high-top connoisseur, offering riders a breathable, waterproof silhouette that isn’t short on style. Each example is made with a leather/suede mixture, providing the perfect balance between fashion and function. An enhanced leather tongue, eyelets, and traditional lace closure system keep things inherently simple, while a specialized lace pocket helps to keep things safe and secure during your daily commute.
Merlin’s Pioneer sneaker is one of the most simplistic styles on our list, but that doesn’t make it any less potent. This protective peripheral is an urban take on the classic moto boot, offering Hipora waterproofing, which keeps your feet dry and comfortable while still promoting enhanced breathability, and additional reinforcement throughout the shoe to keep vital areas safe from harm. Each example is dressed in premium cowhide leather, and features a reinforced ankle, heel, and toe for exceptional comfort, complementing the shoe’s unique lace fastener, ZigZag vamp liner, and reflective piping to keep you visible during those less-than-exemplary rides.
Roland Sands Fresno
Roland Sands’ Fresno sneaker could be mistaken for a typical, everyday shoe, and if you’re looking for something a bit more low-profile than the other offerings on our list, this could be the perfect variant for you. It boasts a great-looking Top Grain cowhide upper, a reflective lighting bolt to keep you visible in inclement weather, and waxed laces to promote an aura of heritage class that might be difficult to find elsewhere. But the Fresno isn’t all aesthetic. It also features a reinforced heel cup, ankle, and toe box, alongside an upgraded shank and abrasion-resistant shift pads to keep you protected at all times. Better yet, they’re outfitted with a dependable Hipora waterproof membrane, ensuring dry performance throughout your ride.
Dainese Street Rocker D-WP
Dainese is a leader in high-end protective equipment, and with the Street Rocker D-WP, they’ve decided to channel an urban persona that’s somewhat rare withing their expansive catalog. Aside from looking the part, these rough-looking rockers are outfitted with a breathable, waterproof D-WP lining, and come complete with a pre-worn full-grain cowhide leather upper, rigid inserts at the ankles, and a nylon midsole to keep them operating at optimum efficiency over the course of their life. A grippy rubber sole and CE-approved safety rating have been included to give each and every rider peace-of-mind when it comes to their adept protective capabilities, providing the perfect unison of weather-ready textiles, bespoke reinforcements, and stylish design.
Rokker’s City sneaker rounds out our list as one of the most minimalistic examples around, but thanks to the company’s commitment to protective outerwear, they’re also one of the most capable. These casual variants are outfitted with a high-quality, greased vintage cowhide leather upper, lending them a classic look that’s inherently iconic. But, it’s the proprietary shock-absorption insole, robust ankle, heel, and toe protection, and Portuguese craftsmanship that steal the show here. Whether you’re looking for an everyday shoe that’s been tailored to outperform its competitors when it comes to motorcycle riding, or a capable moto sneaker that just so happens to look great on, and off the bike, the City shoe provides a perfect example of strategic style.
The Best Motorcycle Rain Gear You Can Buy
Every rider needs a well-rounded clothing arsenal to ensure their commute is as streamlined as possible. If you’re yearning to pick up the perfect garment to complete your weather-ready collection, head over to our guide on the best motorcycle rain gear you can buy for some inspiration.