Motocross boots aim to protect motocross riders where they need it most: the lower legs. On a motocross track, the lower legs are vulnerable to the terrain and obstacles, and without the right protection, injuries could occur. Ankle injuries are especially common for motocross riders, even if the ankle never makes contact with the ground, so a boot with advanced ankle support is a must.
What Size Boot To Buy and How Should It Fit?
Size and fit will vary from brand to brand, and some boots will have U.K. sizes, while others will have U.S. or EUR sizes. Start with your own shoe size, then refer to the brand’s sizing scale, which will convert your regular shoe size into its boot size. If you’re between sizes, go up one. You can also double-check that you’re ordering the right size by referring to the brand’s measurements.
Motocross boots should fit as tight as possible while still remaining comfortable. If you can’t tighten the buckles enough to keep your foot stable, then try another size or brand. On a properly fitting pair of boots, the buckles shouldn’t be super easy to close – they should require a bit of force to close them, and as you do, the boot should squeeze your ankle (but not to the point that it’s painful). As you break in your boots, they’ll expand width-wise, so the buckles need to be able to still properly tighten the boots even as they loosen up.
When trying on motocross boots, don’t be dissuaded if it’s hard to walk in them. They’re not meant for walking, and for first-time riders, motocross boots will feel restrictive – they’re supposed to. If the boots are easy to move around in, that means there’s too much flex in the ankle area, which can lead to injury when riding. However, in high-end boots, it’s possible that hinge systems will protect your ankle when riding while making it easier to move your ankle when walking, braking or shifting.
Features To Look For in a Motocross Boot
When shopping for motocross boots, there are a few features to pay close attention to:
Ankle Protection: The boot should support your ankle as well as possible. If you can easily bend the boot at the ankle, it’s not supportive enough.
Buckle System: The buckle system should have a snap lock, and the buckles should be able to work well even when they’re covered with mud. A memory setting is a useful feature, too. Alloy buckles are what you’ll find on most high-end motocross boots. If you’re interested in boots with plastic buckles, which are more common for beginner riders, just make sure the buckles are replaceable.
Protective Panels: Motocross boots should be reinforced at the high-impact areas, like the ankle, calf and shin.
Soles: There are two main types of soles – molded and stitched. Molded soles are the newer kind, and they’re designed to be lighter and easier to wear. Stitched soles tend to be more durable, but as more manufacturers are using molded soles, that’s more a matter of opinion than a hard-and-fast rule.
Toe Box: A slim-profile toe box makes it easier to use the brake and shifter.
Fox Instinct Boot
Coming in a black, white and orange color scheme, the Fox Instinct Boot has a notably slim profile. The Fox Duratac compound on the outsole and burn guard mean the ultimate in durability and grip, and the Hinge Lockout supports your ankle to avoid hypertension. You’ll also be able to smoothly shift and maintain great control of the rear brake, thanks to the low-ride chassis that keeps your foot low and close to the foot peg.
Gaerne SG12 Motocross Boots
With a green, white and navy color scheme, the Gaerne SG12 Motocross Boots have a number of performance-enhancing features. One prime example is the Dual Stage Pivot System. One pivot is attached to the Razorback, offering strong lateral support, and a glide-plate keeps the upper firm. The second pivot, which is on a sliding glide, gives the rider a natural feel when braking or shifting, and it will also absorb shock if there’s too much compression.
Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented Boots
The Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented Boots (in a black, white, gray and red colorway) have ventilation tech for the maximum amount of airflow, and cushioning effects improve comfort. The sole of these boots has a honeycomb design that allows for excellent grip and a good feel of the bike’s pegs, making them particularly useful in muddy or wet conditions. Plus, the microfiber gaiter keeps dirt and water out.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots
The Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots, here in a sleek white and black color theme, have top-notch ankle protection, and the ergonomic forefoot and lower toe box make it easier to shift and control the brake. The one-piece injected dual compound foot shell is especially resistant to abrasions and impacts, making these boots extra durable. The buckle system has memory settings and a self-aligning design for the perfect closure every time.
Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS Boots
Coming in a black and ash color scheme with red accents, the Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS Boots have several replaceable parts, including the sole, shin plate, buckle system, metatarsus inserts and boot leg. The calf area is fully adjustable so you can get the right fit, and it’s extra wide to start, accommodating riders of different sizes. The anatomically shaped heel cup is rigid and shock-resistant, and the nylon inner sole has an arch support pad.
Leatt GPX 5.5 Flexlock Motocross Boots
The Leatt GPX 5.5 Flexlock Motocross Boots in black have a plush interior, and the adjustable FlexLock reduces force to the ankle and knee, making you feel secure when riding. The SlideLock Velcro function allows for high-security boot fastening, and the fit of the boots will work even for wider feet. The breathable mesh inner liner has anti-slip reinforcement, which means no heel lift.
Next, you’ll want to check out our guide to the best motocross gloves.