A good pair of motorcycle boots are definitely an essential gear that offers comfort and great protection against mishap (when your feet contact the ground). I have just got another pair of motorcycle boots months ago, have been using it daily and am now wondering how long it will last.
In my previous article, I discussed the difference between motorcycle boots and regular boots, and I received some questions from the readers regarding the normal lifespan of the riding boots. It usually lasts about ten years, or when you see plastics starting to disintegrate, and leather starting to flakes.
How much should a good riding boots cost?
Given the high speeds you ride your bike in, getting yourself better quality riding boots does offer greater protection and lasts longer. As quality will also be indicated in the price, the cost of motorcycle boots can widely vary depending on what you plan to do with your boots and your style preferences.
A good pair of motorcycle boots normally costs around $200 all the way up to a few thousands dollars, I wouldn’t get it if it cost more than $250. If you’re on a budget, you can still get a decent one around $100. I have tried cheaper ones, it didn’t end well and ended up in the trash.
Is it a good idea of getting second-hand riding boots?
It is definitely a wise idea to invest in used good quality boots instead of buying low-end new boots that won’t offer good protection. As long as they fit and are comfortable, you should go ahead and get it. Used boots are better than no boots. (Right?)
Note: I would strongly advise against buying a used helmet. Helmet is more than looks, it may look perfect on the outside, you can’t tell the structural integrity inside.
RELATED ARTICLE: Does Dropping a Helmet Ruins It?
How to make boots last longer?
Show some affections to your riding boots to achieve greater miles with it! My first pair of riding boots started to crapped out quite badly in around 10 months. The sole started to separate, and the top left boot was cracking up really badly, and for some odd reason, the boots seemed to be stretched out (bigger in size).
A great lesson learned, for a newbie rider. You’ll need to maintain your boots regularly to make it last longer, as it protects you from harm, you need to protect it as well.
Rain, snow, dirt protection
I’m pretty sure you can find it in almost any shoe shop that sells protective spray. I know some riding boots are ‘waterproof’. It really won’t cost much to invest an extra layer of protection against any unexpected weather or spills. It eases a little for cleaning your boots too! I would recommend spraying a layer of coating to your boots once a week or every two weeks.
In the winter countries, things get messier… They call it the “winter-mix-mess”, salt, dirt, and snow stains. All these “ingredients” will ruin your boots’ quality pretty quickly. Make sure to clean it right away. If stains won’t get off, try salt stain remover. I always wipe and clean my boots and at the end of every use to remove accumulated dust or dirt.
If you have damaged heels, I would recommend fixing them as soon as possible before it becomes dangerously slippery. Nothing is worse than slippery boots in the winter or rainy season. Ouch!
Treat it almost like it is your skin, apply moisturizer to your leather boots regularly to make it stay shiny! Discoloration is very common if you wear it daily. Get a leather cream closest color to your boots, and brush it evenly.
For more extreme wear, look for a professional! You can also visit your local cobbler to do it for you. I believe they have almost every tool to fix your pair of boots.
When it is best to replace your riding boots?
You’ll realise noticeable places starting to wear off, such as the toe area for shifting, soles, and ankles protection parts. Though you can send a cobbler to fix your boots, you should replace it immediately when your local cobbler tells you that he can’t fix it.
Monitor your boots regularly to extend its life. Check out these followings to determine if it should be replaced:-
Excessive Wear – Slippery Soles
I’ll be honest with you, the last I turned my boots over to check the soles was at the store when I just got it. Remind yourself to check them more often to check the treads to see if it’s smoothed out. You can either choose to get new boots or resole. Sometimes the soles are not glued as strong and start peeling away. You might fix minor de-lamination yourself, but I would recommend to leave it for the experts, or get new boots instead for a fix.
There are tons of padding over the boots to provide comfort while wearing the boots. Worn padding is a sign the safety reinforcing areas are compromised. You might feel the boots getting loose at this point, giving less support for your foot. Wearing thick socks might fix the comfort temporarily, but when it is the event of an accident, it will not give you protection. Definitely not a good solution IMHO. Replace it as soon as possible!
Every so often, you’ll be riding in unforecasted weather. When you experience soaked feet in those situations, it’s a sign that the boots are not sealed, or punctured. Although it’s fixable, handing it to the professional for waterproofing treatment, the problem still persists, you know what to do now… Soaked socks are very uncomfortable and distracting, plus it’s very awkward walking with a squeaky pair of riding boots. (I’ve experienced this)
When it comes to buying your own riding gear, there’s really no fixed cost. You can choose to go for the lower end gear for your budget reasons, or spend more on quality gear that offer greater protection and lifespan. I would highly recommend you against sacrificing quality for money. Do not risk your life for cheap gears! If you don’t think you can afford a brand new quality motorcycle gear, you can look for buying a used gear in good condition.