Dirt bike riding is a thrilling sport. Dirt bikes are perfect machines for cruising muddy trails, pebbled pathways, dusty tracks, or even the white sands on the beach. But you need to stay safe, leading many riders wondering if they need to wear dirt bike boots.
You do need to wear dirt bike boots, as they are not only an essential part of your safety gear, but they also make it far easier to ride your dirt bike. Dirt bike boots play an important role in protecting your ankles from fracturing or causing muscle tears your ankles or feet.
Dirt bike boots have been incorporated into normal riding gear for dirt bike riders all over the world because of their tried and tested necessity in improving rider safety and maximizing performance. There is a lot more to these boots than meets the eye, and we discuss them in detail below.
What Are Dirt Bike Boots?
Dirt bike boots are boots specifically designed to protect a dirt bike rider from any injury that might be incurred while they ride their bike. These injuries might result from mechanical trauma caused by falling off a dirt bike, or thermal, resulting from burns from the exhaust pipe.
The functions of dirt bike boots go beyond protection, as they also just make your dirt bike more comfortable to ride, and can have an effect on your performance too.
Why You Need Dirt Bike Boots
Dirt bike boots offer protection to the rider by providing a cushion from mechanical and thermal damage by the external environment. When you’re riding a dirt bike, your foot might be snagged between the pedal and the ground. This can lead to a hyperextension of the foot which can result in tearing of the muscles. Dirt bike boots stiffen the foot and prevent this hyperextension.
Dirt bikes are perfect for ascending and descending hilly terrain, but the bumpy nature of these trails can cause a lot of strain on the rider, which falls on major stress points including the waist and the feet. Wearing dirt bike boots makes your ride more comfortable as your feet are not exposed to the pedals.
The extension of the boots over your shins provides added comfort to the shin, which is made possible by the soft padding on the inner surface of the dirt bike boot. This can also keep your feet and shins free from being hit by rocks and debris when riding, which is great from a safety standpoint and a comfort one too.
What To Look For When Buying Dirt Bike Boots
Like any other safety equipment associated with dirt bikes, dirt bike boots are not always cheap. Having to buy many pairs is therefore not what you want. Durable dirt bike boots will save you the cost of having to go back to the local store or online to buy a new pair of boots every season – buy cheap, buy twice!
Molded vs Stitched Soles
Stitched soles, like the name suggests, employ traditional stitching to hold the boot together. Molded boot soles are molded onto the dirt bike boot and therefore do away with the necessity of seams. They are more comfortable and tend to take to the rider’s foot better.
Molded soles might seem like the better option, but in the long run, they are often less durable than stitched soles. Despite the advantage in durability, stitched soles are quickly being replaced in the manufacturing line by the easy-to-make and more comfortable molded sole. Molded soles are also cheaper and therefore attract a larger market.
Dirt bike boots help prevent the dreaded grass burns, bone fractures, and muscle-tendon tears around the foot region. In addition to mechanical damage, a rider may easily be exposed to the scalding hot temperature of the exhaust pipe or the engine, thereby getting second to third-degree burns.
The tough leather and plastic padding on the dirt bike boot prevents direct contact between the rider’s skin and these hot metal surfaces, minimizing any form of burns experienced by the rider. This will be more important for some bike models than others, depending on the location of the hot metal components.
It is human nature to avoid what we do not like. Dirt bike boots become part of your riding routine and thus comfort cannot be sacrificed, or it will quickly impact your riding experience. When you buy boots that weigh you down instead of improving your riding experience, you either need to put up with the pain or buy new boots.
When purchasing dirt bike boots, you should ensure the boot is not tight-fitting and is also not too big for your feet. Tight-fitting boots have the tendency to irritate your joints which might cause bleeding or other injuries over time. Oversized boots on the other hand are difficult to maneuver as the rider cannot fully control the direction of motion of the boot.
Also, since dirt bike socks are made from thick material, you should always size your boot with your socks on. Similar to buying a brand-new leather shoe, dirt bike boots require time to fit to your feet. Unless they are custom made, it is nearly impossible to get store-bought boots that fit perfectly at first.
A simple remedy for this is walking around in your boots to break them in. In general, just as your new sneakers will eventually fit to your feet, the material in dirt bike boots requires some time to stretch and adjust before it will properly fit your feet. This may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s better to feel uncomfortable walking around with them on instead of riding!
Are Dirt Bike Boots Good For Street Riding?
Dirt bike boots are generally not good for street riding. Dirt bike boots are very stiff, and they’re designed to protect your feet in the harsh terrain on which you ride your dirt bike. This can make them very uncomfortable and impractical for street riding.
You do need to wear proper dirt bike boots, for both comfort and safety reasons. Dirt bike boots protect your feet, ankles and legs from the harsh terrain and debris you’re likely to kick up as you ride, and they also protect you if you crash. They also make riding your dirt bike more comfortable.