It’s a common scenario for riders. You have a quick errand to run and are in a rush. While you might throw on your leather jacket and your vintage helmet (emphasis on might) you’re not going to swap out your sneakers for the boots you should be wearing. That choice could easily cost you dearly should you have to go into a slide or some sloppy motorist doesn’t see you. See, while you may be the hottest thing on two wheels – but probably aren’t – the rest of the world is busy texting their lives away behind the wheel, which puts you and your feet at great risk. The solution is simple: Get a pair of motorcycle shoes.
Motorcycle shoes are meant to bridge the gap between clunky boots and your favorite Chuck Taylors, giving you additional protection while still being comfortable enough to wear around. Motorcycle shoes are reinforced to protect your feet both from the bike’s heat and any potential road rash you might acquire during your commute. There’s a lot of imposters out there, so if you want to look good, be able to wear them anywhere, and be completely covered, one of the 8 best motorcycle shoes should be on your shopping list.
Speed and Strength Black 9 Moto Shoes
Walk the Walk: Most of the motorcycle shoes we found ran up the price tag in favor of packing on the features, adding comfort, control, and coverage wherever possible. They’re great for what they are, but casual riders who aren’t going to be taking a turn on the motocross circuit or even getting into a serious quarter mile heat need decent shoes for just living in the world. With a distinctive skate shoe look that never says uncle and works with any jeans / t-shirt combo or your bar hopping getup, the Black 9’s are inexpensive, with just enough padding and packaging in the ankle, toe, and heel to be fine for regular riding or simple trips to the liquor store.
Gaerne Voyager Aquatech
Daily Driver: Combining style and safety, the Black-whites are geared toward the commute rider who won’t be doing any marathon tours across the country, but does need a stylish way to get to and from the office on their bike. Suede with a breathable membrane on the interior, they’re as sharp as they are functional. Additional props around the shifting region create comfort for stop-and-go driving, and the locking system with its union of zipper and laces won’t come loose even when slapped onto your feet in a quick blitz out the door. CE certified, the only problem is finding a domestic distributor that won’t overcharge you.
Alpinestars Joey WP Shoes
Street Legal: Get them in the standard black or accent them with some fluorescent laces for better night visibility and to honor the memory of L.A. Gear’s light up sneakers from the 80’s. The body of the Joey is canvas with a wax treatment that keeps water out without adding a bunch of bulk or economically destructive plastics to the exterior. If freshness is your concern, the footbed can easily be swapped out for whatever you desire. Both the collar and the tongue liner are breathable mesh that circulates air around your foot to prevent overheating, sweat, and the dreaded foot funk from extended riding. Thanks to a reinforced heel and toe box, there’s added protection and reinforcement at impact-prone locations so hits don’t hurt (as much).
Icon 1000 Truant CE Boots
Ride or Die: Get them in black or get them in brown and be damn grateful for the opportunity. Leveraging the support of a midfoot retaining strap, the Truant CE Boots not only guard your feet but promote good riding posture from the ground up. An axialmetric steel shank combines with a reinforced toe box mix seamlessly with the slip-proof rubber sole for a more pampered ride that locks your foot in the right pose for both walking and riding, providing multiple points of support to cradle you, both moving and stationary. Completing the package is laces that are only partially exposed for the right balance of access and snag protection.
TCX X-Rap Gore-Tex Shoes
Control Tops: Donning the shoes, you’ll first notice that there’s a seemingly superfluous elastic strap on the side. This is for tucking the laces away during riding so there’s no chance of them coming undone. For such a simple feature, the reduction on the worry of a loose lace that could easily get snagged and cause problems is immeasurable. Using a vintage body with a throwback appeal, these won’t work with a suit and tie, but for ordinary wear they have a cavalier look which belies their serious Gore-Tex construction. Made to insulate your feet against heat and cold, most riders can get away with these year round, should they decide to take their life in their hands with an icy winter trip.
REV’IT Turini Riding Shoes
Easy Rider: So casual you can’t even imagine running while wearing these, the extra reinforcement around the ankle, the toe, and the heel belie their laid back look by cranking up the internal protection without cutting out the classic hi-top lines. Though they may look unassuming, the frame is waxed suede that is born to handle wetness without looking like battered canvas fishing waders. Perforations dot the tongue and the sidewalls for increased ventilation, turning these into thin, breathable footgear for summer riding that’s a little too minimalistic to handle much in the way of cold weather.
Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Riding Shoe
Riding High: Italian craftsmanship is pumped into these CE certified riding shoes. The soles are made of an oil-resistant rubber that enhances traction walking the streets or when wrenching on your bike. Simple, timeless full grain leather is used in the body, and is plenty attractive for a night out on the town or for putting a little flair into your casual friday outfit. Anatomical padding is added throughout for plush comfort on the inside where your foot will meet the shifter and pegs. Integrated shank reinforcement adds arch support for a stride that is better on your back than walking flat-footed, and an expandable gusseted tongue holds dirt, grime, and debris at bay.
REV’IT Fairfax Leather Motorcycle Shoes
Tail Gunner: If you were to make your own shoes, these are the materials you would pick. The outer shell is fully made of 600 Denier polyester that can drag along asphalt with a chuckle while the waxed suede shrugs off weather and dazzles onlookers in unpretentious fashion. Able to feel as good as they look with a thermoformed heel cup and a footbed that is made with ergonomics in mind, these can actually enhance blood flow to your extremities for less fatigue and soreness after a lengthy tour. A strap on the collar works in conjunction with its high reach to prevent any errant rocks from ruining your ride.