Motorcycle Boots vs. Shoes, Which Are Better?

Last Updated on May 7, 2020

There are some similarities and differences when you’re looking at comparing motorcycle boots vs riding shoes. Both work great for riding and both have their own unique style.

Riding shoes have become more favored over boots for a while now but that’s not to say that boots are no longer viable when it comes to general riding.

Whether you’re curious about the differences in regards to safety or if you’re wondering if there are any benefits to using boots over shoes… we have got you covered.

Let’s compare and contrast motorcycle boots vs shoes.


Motorcycle Boots vs Shoes


Motorcycle Boots vs. Shoes

Motorcycle boots have a more aggressive style and motorcycle shoes have the street shoe style. Both protect your feet very well, but what are the real differences?

Let’s go in-depth about both types of motorcycle footwear and hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of which type of footwear will better suit you while you’re out there riding.


Motorcycle Shoes

Most riders choose to go with motorcycle shoes because of the style that most shoes tend to have. It’s a style that looks great on and off the bike.

That’s the main reason why some will go for riding shoes. They are comfortable enough to be used to everyday wear while still providing the protection and usability while riding a motorcycle.

Riding shoes look as if they have the laces out but most shoes have a lacing system where all of the lacing is underneath the tongue of the shoe and for good reason, you’d never want shoe laces getting caught in the moving parts of your bike.

Motorcycle shoes look like regular shoes such as Chuck Taylors or a nice b-ball shoe but they offer a lot more protection compared to those types of regular shoes.


Street Motorcycle Shoes
Motorcycle shoes have the street shoe style while keeping riding protection in mind.


Key Features To Look For In Moto Shoes

Riding shoes have their uses in terms of riding and these are some of the key features to look out for when you’re looking for some good moto shoes.


Key Features:

  • Extra padding protection around the ankles, toes and heel
  • Extra comfort whether you’re on or off your motorcycle
  • Styling points – riding shoes look awesome


Extra padding for protecting your ankles, toes and heels is an obvious point to ensure with any riding shoe out there.

What would be the point in owning a shoe created specifically for riding compared to normal shoes without the extra protection?

That’s just it, there wouldn’t be any point. So make sure that your riding shoes have some tough padding going on to protect your feet in the event of a crash.

Comfort is the major selling point to owning a pair of riding shoes over boots – a good pair feel exactly like your normal street shoes.

You also get style points because most people probably aren’t going to be able to tell the difference. They won’t be able to point out that you’re wearing riding shoes because they look like a pair of stylish street shoes.


Which Shoes Should You Buy?

I can’t sit here and tell you exactly which shoes you should buy because it really comes down to your own personal taste.

However, I can absolutely recommend the Speed and Strength Black 9 moto shoes since I’ve personally been riding with them for a couple of years now.

They’re comfortable, look awesome and feel a lot more protective than if I were to ride around in my normal street shoes.

RevZilla is one of the best websites to find any gear online and I also recommend checking out RevZilla’s riding shoe selection if you’re interested in browsing around for different shoes out there.

You know what to look for at this point – find some that fit your style, have proper protection and have comfort in mind for when you’re not riding your bike.


Motorcycle Boots

Motorcycle boots are a popular choice for sport riders and for chopper riders.

This is both because of the general style that goes with sport riding or riding choppers and the extra protection that boots provide over riding shoes.

For sport riders, boots match well with the sport riding style. Especially with sport racing, you not only need the extra protection but the racing style is a must have.

For cruiser and chopper riders, you’d most likely want to go with a more classic, leather style boot. These not only maximize protection but they absolutely fit the part for those that want to cruise for the long haul.

Boots come in all shapes, sizes and styles. They differ from shoes in a few different ways and if you’re looking to buy some boots then you need to know what to focus on when browsing different boots on the market.


Leather Motorcycle Boot and Sport Motorcycle Boot
Cruiser boots and sport racing boots have completely different styles.


Key Features To Look For In Boots

Motorcycle boots are made to go the distance and manufacturers have tunnel vision when it comes to making sure that a boot provides both elevated levels of protection and great measures of comfort while riding.


Key Features:

  • Almost all boots have a tighter seal compared to riding shoes
  • Boots last a long period of time due to the materials they’re typically made out of
  • Extra safety properties are used with boots such as shin protection and toe sliders
  • Go well with sport race bikers and long distant cruiser riders


Having that tighter fit and seal creates the effect of having riding footwear that can be waterproof and feel like they’ll never slip off.

Good shoes will also feel like it’d take a lot to get the shoe off but boots are going to be a better choice when you’re thinking of wanting footwear that is waterproof.

This also provides more coverage in terms of how much of your leg is protected. Most shoes will go slightly above the ankle while some boots will also cover your shins.

Genuine leather is used with most boots all around the boot which is why they’ll last a long period of time. It’s not to say that riding shoes don’t have leather included, but boots will usually have more leather involved in comparison to shoes.

For the sport riders out there you’ve got highly protective boots that are flashy with sport riding brands such as Alpinestars and Dainese.

For the cruisers you’ve got tough looking boot brands out there such as Stylmartin and TCX.

If you’re going for the more aggressive boot style or if the best possible protection is what you’re mostly looking for then you’ll want to look into different motorcycle boots that suit you.


Which Boots Should You Buy?

Again, this post isn’t focused on the best of the best out there and even if it was – you should still go with the boots that match up to your style the most.

With that said, I’ll recommend RevZilla once again for boots as well since they have a large selection of different styles of boots where it’s almost impossible not to find the right boot for you.

For some awesome sport racing boots you should check out their track and race boot selections – they’ve got all sorts of bold sport brands to pick from.

If you ride a cruiser then you have to take a look at their Harley and cruiser boots section because they have almost every kind of leather boot that’s available.

It’s hard not to find the right boots for you over on RevZilla. You know what to focus on when it comes to boots and I’m sure that you’re bound to find the perfect ones for you.


Concluding Motorcycle Boots vs. Shoes

When it comes to motorcycle boots vs. riding shoes – the main differences come down to overall protection and the style of the footwear that you’d prefer.

Both motorcycle boots and shoes have adequate protection when it comes to riding and they both have a focus on how comfortable they feel while you’re on the bike.

As for when you are off the bike, riding shoes are the obvious choice since they’re just as comfortable as most normal street shoes. Although, maybe you prefer the comfort of leather boots over shoes for everyday use.

When the highest possible level of protection is what you’re after then you should definitely go for some boots over shoes. They simply have more foot and leg coverage and usually have extra safety features included.

Have you found some boots or shoes that you think you’d want to get?

What are some other differences or similarities you can think of for motorcycle boots vs. shoes?

Let us know in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “Motorcycle Boots vs. Shoes, Which Are Better?”

  1. Hello there, love your article on “motorcycle boot vs shoes, which are better?” 

    Your article is detailed, self explanatory and easy to understand.

    In my opinions, they are both good and serves almost same purpose! It boils down to each individual on which they prefer. For me, boots does it because I like it rough and rugged! Thanks.

    • Right on, Lizzy. Boots are definitely better to have for overall hog riding and for the more rugged and rough personality. It truly does boil down to personal preference since either choice is going to provide good protections, albeit with boots having a bit more protection in terms of some of the high quality leather materials that some may use.

  2. Hello there! This is an awesome overview you’ve got here. I’ve actually learnt a lot on the differences of these shoes, for me, I’ll prefer the motorcycle shoes because it can be used also as casual wears unlike the boots which will be easily noticeable.

    Thanks for sharing this with me.

    • Same here, it fits my riding style and I appreciate the overall look when I’m off of the bike. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! 👍

  3. Hey Colton – Great post on sharing about motorcycle boots and motorcycle shoes.  I actually like both.  I’d prefer the boots in the cooler weather but the shoes (with adequate protection of course) for the other climates.  It would also depend on my destination.  I like the footwear you posted and I will be checking out RevZilla.  Thanks!

    • Boots are definitely better for wind protection and being more waterproof in comparison to shoes whereas shoes can do the opposite – better breathing for hotter days and more comfortable in most cases.

      RevZilla is awesome!! Have nothing to complain about with them, phenomenal support.

  4. I own a dirt bike and although I know it’s different from a motorcycle, I still face the dilemma of which footwear to put on when riding a bike. I’ve settled with wearing boots. The post has been an eye opener though as it’s helped shed much needed light on this particular topic. After weighing the pros and cons of both options, I’ll still prefer to stick with wearing boots. 

    • Two wheels is two wheels, but yeah absolutely you should stick to the traditional dirt bike boots. They’re much better for those rides and made for the dirt impact 👍

  5. I never knew that riding shoes had good protective qualities to them. I always thought you wore boots or you were risking your safety. Some of those shoes look pretty slick though, and I have always preferred raised “hiking/trail” style shoes over regular street shoes.

    I might have to check these out, some of my full boots are extremely uncomfortable for me.

    • Absolutely! I’m with you there man, I dig the style(s) of some of the different moto shoes on the market and prefer them over most of the boots out there. They are also more comfortable from my experience.

      What boots have you been using? If you don’t mind, would like to get some feedback on some other different boots because I know there are some comfortable ones out there but also looking forward to writing about what to avoid when it comes to riding footwear.

      Thanks for reaching out! ✌

  6. Hey Thanks for putting up such a concise article together, it’s really nice. Be it motorcycle boots or shoes, they both have their uniqueness in one or the other. In the issue of selecting a pair to wear boils down to individual choices. For me when driving motorcycles I always prefer the boots. It gives me more grip to my leg and even more comfort. Thanks for sharing 

    • I agree, most boots will have the advantage of being higher up and providing a bit of extra grip which is obviously nice to have. I’m happy to hear that you liked the post!!

  7. It comes to matters of choice and what we want as individuals but personaly, i prefer the boots because of the better protections they offer. Though shoes too are cool but who wants fancy in a situation of an accident. Thanks so much for the details shared out here. Awesome post

    • Hey Phillip, yes that is true but there are also plenty of shoe designs that offer similar in terms of riding protection. But for the most part, boots are going to have more protective features so it makes sense to me that most will go with some boots more so than riding shoes.

  8. Well! Everything has been said and done but I must reiterate that I personally prefer boots to shoes. Boots have overall better protections and in this sport, the only thing that is sure is the uncertainty towards accidents and because of that, there is a need to be very ahead of any situations by putting things right in order. Thank you for sharing

    • You are absolutely right. I prefer shoes mainly for the styling – as long as they are still protective – because I find myself sometimes wearing them even casually. Glad that you liked the post and thanks for reaching out!!


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