If you are riding motorcycles as your daily driver, then dedicated motorcycle shoes are super important. You probably hear this a lot too – from your friends, forums or any experienced riders. But why exactly? Are regular shoes that bad for riding motorcycles?
The answer is yes. You should not wear regular shoes while riding a motorcycle (especially if you are riding regularly).
Regular shoes are dangerous for riding motorcycles – laces could get tangled, there’s no ankle protection in case you fall and they are too soft to provide any protection against rough road surfaces.
And those are just quick reasons from the top of my head. Throughout this article I will talk about the importance of motorcycle shoes and which types should fit you best – especially for students or office workers.
But before that, let’s talk more about why regular shoes are a bad idea for riding motorcycles.
7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wear Regular Shoes On A Motorcycle
I get it, regular shoes are more convenient, more stylish and more comfortable than motorcycle shoes. However, they provide zero protection. Once you get into a severe accident, your ankles, feet and legs are likely goners.
Here’s a full list of reasons why regular shoes are a bad idea for riding motorcycles.
- Lace on regular shoes easily tangle on motorcycle parts. Best case scenario you fall down and embarrass yourself. Worst case scenario? The bike falls on you. I leave that to your imagination.
- Regular shoes have no ankle protection. Human ankles are extremely fragile. Without a rigid ankle protection from motorcycle shoes, you risk fracturing your ankles in accidents.
- Regular shoes are too soft. In horrible accidents where your feet are crushed (think some car bumper, trees or your own bike), regular shoes are too soft to protect you. Motorcycle shoes are usually hard enough to handle these scenarios.
- Regular shoes don’t have a good grip for riding. Unlike regular shoes, motorcycle shoes are designed and shaped specifically for riding. They have more grip and better ergonomics for riding. Especially grip on the motorcycle pegs.
- Regular shoes tend to fly off on accidents. In the majority of severe accidents, riders’ shoes tend to fly off in the opposite direction. Imagine getting your feet crushed without any shoes on. Motorcycle shoes are designed to stay on your feet on accidents.
- Regular shoes are not waterproof. We have all been there – riding home on a suddenly rainy day. I personally hate the feelings of wet and soaked feet. Especially when you are riding at speed.
- No heat protection. Imagine getting your delicate feet on a piping hot exhaust? The exhaust will burn through your regular shoes and feet. Now imagine that… Not so good is it?
Is It Illegal To Ride Motorcycle Without Motorcycle Shoes?
Generally, only motorcycle helmets are required by law. Riding without dedicated motorcycle shoes is not illegal but there’s no preventing a traffic police from stopping you if he feels you are not riding safely.
Though, these laws differ from countries and states. I suggest you check this with your local authorities about it.
If you want to be make sure that you are never stopped by traffic police, here’s a list of legal motorcycle gears that you should wear any time you are out riding:
- Protective motorcycle shoes
- Riding gloves
- Sturdy trousers like leather or heavy denim
- Sturdy jackets like leather or heavy denim
- Reflective clothing or strips (when riding at night)
What Kind Of Motorcycle Shoes Are Fit For You? (Different Types)
Motorcycle shoes exist in different types and styles – each built differently for their purpose. Depending on what you do or what you want, you need to get the right shoes.
Here is a list of motorcycle shoes for each type of occasion.
1. Commuter Boots For Office Workers Or Students
The motorcycle commuter boots are best for office workers or students that want to use the same shoes both for riding and work. They are comfortable and versatile enough to be used for riding and regular walking.
Commuter boots look very similar to any regular shoes – there’s no armor platings or specially designed soles. Though, they provide ankle protection and are sturdy enough to protect your feet in case of accidents.
With commuter boots, you don’t have to carry any additional shoes and switch around every time you are riding or not riding. They look just as stylish as any other regular shoes.
I recommend you go for commuter boots if you are riding a motorcycle regularly and you are not riding your motorcycles for racing, tracking or dirt biking. Again, perfect for office workers or students.
2. Touring Boots For Cruisers
Motorcycle touring boots are suitable for cruisers who go long distances on their naturally-stanced motorcycles – think Harley Davidsons where you are sitting up straight and relaxed while riding.
Touring boots go a step further than commuter boots. They provide more protection and are made of more sturdy materials that are usually waterproof – important when you are riding long distance in bad weather.
Touring boots go higher than your ankle – good for protection but they become less comfortable than commuter boots. Not many people wear touring boots to the office or classes – which means, you likely need another pair of shoes to switch.
I recommend you go for touring boots if you enjoy cruising on your classic air-cooled engines on the weekend. Touring boots are designed ergonomically for naturally stanced saddles – it will be comfortable when you ride.
3. Motocross Boots For Off Road Riders
Motocross boots are meant for off roading or dirt biking. They are super protective – equipped with multiple armor platings and extremely sturdy soles.
While dirt biking, you will likely go through challenging terrain where you have to constantly put your feet down for balance. Motocross boats make sure the soles are sturdy for this scenario – allowing your ankles to stay protected.
Motocross boots go the entire length – from the ankles to knee. You will likely never wear this outside of your riding session. Aside from looking extremely weird, it’s not comfortable for walking.
Make sure you have an additional pair of shoes to switch to once you finish your dirt biking session. Unless… that’s your thing… I won’t judge.
4. Sport Boots For Track Riders
Sport motorcycle boots are meant for tracking days – they are designed with safety and performance in mind. Sport boots are lightweight and they offer flexibility to the riders.
When wearing sport boots, riders should still be able to feel touches on their feet – this ensures their feet controls are not hindered.
Sport motorcycle boots are also equipped with armor platings at the right sports. Especially important because during tracking, riders tend to go very low when cornering.
Motorcycle Shoes: My Take
It’s extremely important that you wear motorcycle shoes while riding. Regular shoes just don’t cut it – they offer zero protection and could cost your entire feet.
Whether you are regular commuters or hardcore riders, there’s always a suitable motorcycle shoe for your – so it’s no longer an excuse!
I hope this article has been useful. Have fun riding!