Proper riding boots are an essential part of any dirt bike rider’s kit, protecting feet and lower legs from impacts, heat and dirt. A good pair of dirt bike boots will help keep feet properly aligned and prevent ankles from getting hyper-extended. They also have to be comfortable and help ensure a good connection to the brake and shifter pedals.
As with most things, you generally get what you pay for with boots. More expensive boots offer added features and better protection with more premium materials, but there a lot of good quality boots across a variety of price points. Here are some of the best dirt bikes available now.
Pro-level Boots: $400+
The top-of-the-line dirt bike boots are for the serious riders out there who want toe wear what the professional racers wear. They offer the latest in protective technology without compromising comfort.
The latest generation of Sidi’s Crossfire boot, the Crossfire 3 SRS has a completely redesigned hinge system to keep your ankle from hyperextending without restricting your motion. The inner gaiter is also a larger circumference than the Crossfire 2’s to suit a wider range of calf sizes or knee braces. The SRS Dovetail anti-skid rubber sole has also been upgraded to be easier to replace, with just four screws holding it in place instead of the 17 on the Crossfire 2 boots.
The top-level boot from Fox Racing, the Instinct uses a proprietary rubber compound on the outsole and burn guard called Duratec for better grip and improved durability. The hinge provides good lateral support while preventing the ankle from extending past its limits.
The Gaerne SG-12 uses a patented dual-stage pivot system. The first pivot attaches to the “razorback” and helps provide lateral support while the second pivot is on a sliding glide to allow for a more natural feel. The thermoplastic shin plate is adjustable to accommodate larger legs or knee braces.
The Tech 10 boots from Alpinestars uses an inner ankle brace system with medial and lateral torsion bars for added support. A TPU blade system offers protection to the shins and calves. The uppers are constructed of full-grain leather, microfiber and an impact and abrasion-resistant TPU shell.
Premium Boots: $300 – $400
Slightly less expensive than the pro-level boots, this tier still offers a number of innovative safety technologies and high-quality materials for avid riders.
The Tech 7 boot uses a one-piece injected dual compound foot shell with a hard toe-protector and integrated steel shank for good durability. The four-buckle enclosure system are quick to lock or release and self-aligning for easy and precise fit. A TPU ankle protection system incorporates a biomechanical link between the middle and bottom portions for improved support.
The G-React boots from Gaerne use a sliding pivot hinge for a balance of support and flexibility.A highly durable TPU material protects the toe, heel, ankle and shin. A slim fit, microfiber interior and ergonomic liner help produce a comfortable fit.
Fly Racing’s Sector boots use a torsion control system with to allow up and down flexing for shifting and braking while preventing hyper- and hypo-extension. The Sector uses a slip-on inner bootie made from a breathable material with gel inserts to protect the ankle bones. Positive latch aluminum buckles lock solidly while remaining easy to open, while adjustable straps make the Sector easy to fit different leg sizes.
Intermediate Boots: $150 – $300
The intermediate tier offers a balance between quality and value. We also see more variety at this level in women’s and youth versions.
The Alpinestars Tech 3 boots are made from a light microfiber material with TPU shin plate, calf protector plate, higher medial protector, outer lateral ankle brotector and heel counter. The Tech 3 uses a plastic three-buckle system with quick-release and self-aligning design. Alpinestars also offers a women’s version under its Stella brand.
New for the 2019 season is the Comp, Fox’s new entry-level boot. The Comp takes elements from the higher-end Instinct boot, but distilled into a more affordable package. TPU plating covers the shin, claf, heel cap and toe box. The Comp uses two silicone straps with an Instinct-style lower buckle. Fox also added an internal speed lacing system for a precise fit around the heel area.
Entry-level Boots: below $150
Whether you’re just starting out or have a tight budget, entry-level boots offer good protection at an inexpensive price point.
The AXO Drone is made from a durable synthetic leather material. A mesh lining offers a non-slip interior while a tapered vinyl and foam gaiter keeps the dirt out. Four replaceable molded buckles float on their bases for easier alignment.
The O’Neal Rider boot is made from a synthetic leather material with injection molded plastic plates to guard against impacts. A metal shank insert provides support while helping reinforce the boot shape. The four buckles are adjustable and easy to operate.
This post was originally published Oct. 5, 2018
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