Are you wearing a ratty old pair of shoes on your bike? Looking for boots that'll actually last? We've heard from both riders and experts like Bill Bryant from Biltwell that Thorogoods make good boots for riding a motorcycle. Investing in quality footwear that will keep you safe and stand the test of time is worth it – especially since most bike-related injuries affect the lower body, according to a motorcycle safety study conducted by the NHTSA.
Read on to learn why your favorite work boots may also be some of the best motorcycle boots you can find.
What kind of boots are best for riding a motorcycle?
While many companies design footwear specifically for motorcycle riding, you can find the key features you need outside of the gear shop. The best motorcycle boots and shoes keep feet and ankles safe and comfortable, are built with quality materials and construction, and allow for mobility.
Here's what you should look for when you're shopping for your next pair of motorcycle riding boots:
- Abrasion resistance to prevent road rash in an accident or if you need to put your bike down
- Supportive insoles and footbed since you support the weight of your bike when stopped
- Ankle support and coverage – don't just stop at protecting your feet!
- Rugged materials that will protect both your body (and your wallet)
- Comfort, especially for long rides and road trips
Heels & Outsoles
Choosing your heel style may come down to personal preference. 90 ° heels rest easily on the foot peg, but they may be more difficult to maneuver when shifting gears. Wedge heels slide a bit more easily and are considered to be more comfortable, especially for those with flat feet, since they evenly distribute weight. Keep in mind that some wedge soles made from Polyurethane may wear down more quickly than rubber tread if you drag your feet on concrete often.
The outsoles of your motorcycle boots should have a decent tread pattern to give you traction on the asphalt while idled, and oil-resistance is a smart idea since roads and driveways can often be slick.
Whether or not you need waterproofing depends on the conditions you'll be riding in. If you're planning a rugged trip or expecting rain or snow, waterproof boots can keep you much more comfortable in the elements. But for everyday biking, waterproof coatings can compromise ventilation – and with your foot so close to a hot muffler, this may leave you with swampy feet.
Are work boots good for motorcycle riding?
Work boots have more in common with motorcycle boots than you may realize. They're built tough to protect feet and ankles on the jobsite, designed to last through years of wear and tear, and have the key features we mentioned above already built in. We're making the case that workwear like Thorogoods make good boots for riding a motorcycle, and here's why:
- Full-grain leather is amazingly durable and abrasion-resistant, which is why it's often chosen as the upper on higher-quality work boots and why leather motorcycle boots are so popular.
- They're designed for people who work on their feet all day, so they include supportive footbeds and insoles made from materials like shock absorbing Poron or cork, which conforms to the shape of the foot.
- Most are at least 6" in height, providing good ankle support and coverage while maintaining mobility, since jobs like construction work require you to get up and down frequently.
- We source high-quality, rugged materials and prioritize tough construction so our boots keep working as long as you do.
- Built-in safety toes can also add an extra line of defense for your feet, if you need it.
Work Boots are a Solid Investment
A pair of tough leather boots can do so much more than work. They can take you from the jobsite to the great outdoors to the back of a bike, and everywhere in between. When you invest in a good pair of boots that has all the features you need, you avoid having to spend more on specialized footwear for every activity. Many work boots can be resoled or restored when they wear down, which can also save you money in the long run. So go on, throw on your Thorogoods as a pair of urban motorcycle boots and enjoy the ride.
The Proof is in the People
Still not sold on wearing Thorogoods as motorcycle boots? Here are some real bikers who have shared their stories of how our boots protect them during accidents and mishaps.
“2 years ago, I was in a motorcycle accident on my brand new Harley. Hit and run caused me to T-bone a car at the intersection. Broke 5 ribs, pulverized my left collar bone, and crushed part of my T9 vertebrate. Luckily I wasn’t paralyzed and with intense physical therapy, I was back at work in 6 months doing fire sprinklers again. They cut all my clothes off of me, but they didn’t cut off my boots. Still have them and wear them to work every day! The engine guard on the bike folded over on my boot from the accident. Most likely the steel toe or the sturdy sole of the boot kept it from crushing my foot.”
- Steve Stach
“When you race like I do. It’s not IF you’re going to crash, but WHEN you’re going to crash.
Weather it be ice, prairie desert, Northwoods mud, or hammerin' around on the flat track, I always choose Thorogood. The quailty leather and durable construction have outlasted the spills and thrills. And continue to provide the safety and support for the dumb s*** I do!"
"Many thanks to everyone at Thorogood. Keep Crankn’ quality”
We hope you'll never need it, but we're proud that our product has protected real people. Keep doing what you love and do it safely!
Our Favorite Thorogoods for Motorcycle Riding
Our Midnight Series is widely popular among bikers for both function and looks. But almost all our work boots have the features you need to stay safe and comfortable while you ride. Check out these models that our customers love:
What not to wear when riding a motorcycle
When it comes to safety, people spend lots of money on a helmet, but often skimp out on their footwear. We can't emphasize enough that protective shoes or boots should be worn every time you ride. So ditch your flip-flops, skateboarding shoes, and cheap combat boots and invest in a quality pair of boots for your safety. If you already have a pair of work boots in the closet, they'd make for great-looking casual motorcycle boots that will keep you better protected.