Hiking boots are pretty sturdy and long-lasting. They barely restrict movement and are also lightweight. But, can you wear hiking boots on a motorcycle? This is a common question that many motorcyclists ask. This guide provides pertinent answers to this question and more, so if you’d like to know more about wearing hiking boots for motorcycling, read on.
Hiking boots should not be used as motorcycle boots. This is because they do not possess the protective features that motorcycle boots do. For the safety of motorcyclists, it would be best if they used motorcycle boots when riding.
What Are The Differences Between Hiking Boots And Motorcycle Boots?
There are various critical differences between hiking boots and motorcycle boots.
Motorcycle boots are more flexible in comparison with hiking boots. Motorcycle boots allow motorcyclists to move their feet in both directions when switching the motorcycle’s gears. With this freedom in movement, motorcycle riders are allowed to move across roads without damaging the integrity of the boots’ leather.
Level of Protection:
Motorcycle boots offer more protection than hiking boots to their users. They are designed to protect the feet and ankles of their users from impact, unlike hiking boots. Also, the protective materials of hiking boots wear faster than that of motorcycle boots.
Areas of Protection:
Motorcycle boots provide thorough protection to their users’ feet, legs, ankles, heels, and shins. Most hiking boots do not appropriately protect these parts of the body.
Motorcycle boots are more waterproof when compared with hiking boots. They are built with ventilation systems that prevent their users’ feet from being damp and smelly. Although hiking boots are waterproof, they do not have intrinsic properties like ventilation systems. Suitable waterproof motorcycle boots reach halfway across the length between the knee and the foot.
Motorcycle boots are made out of weightier and denser materials (leather). The immense proportions of the leather present in them serve as shock absorbers to the heavy impacts or collisions their users’ feet may sustain. Hiking boots do not sustain such amounts of impact. The highest impact they may sustain might be from a kick to a rock.
Motorcycle boots have integrated gripping features. These boots have to come in contact frequently with petroleum products, e.g. oil, left on road surfaces. Therefore, they are built to prevent slippages under such circumstances.
Motorcycle boots are naturally more expensive than hiking boots. The protective properties integrated into them are much more complex than those present in hiking boots. Additionally, the leather used to make motorcycle boots increases their prices slightly.
Generally, motorcycle boots are rugged and built to be sturdy. They have increased strengths, stiffness, and durability. Also, they are built with systems that manage torsional forces that may arise from accidents. These systems ensure your ankles are fixed and secured, thus preventing them from damaging. Since hiking boots are not usually under the influence of such forces, they do not have systems that can efficiently manage them.
Can You Wear Hiking Boots on a Motorcycle?
Hiking boots can be worn on motorcycles as long as the motorcycle is not in motion and the person wearing them does not intend to ride the motorcycle. Otherwise, it is not appropriate to wear hiking boots on a motorcycle. They do not offer the required amounts of protection for motorcyclists.
The suitable boots for motorcycle riding are motorcycle boots. These boots can be as high as 38 inches, which completely covers the legs of most motorcycle riders. Although the boots restrict movement more than hiking boots, they are appropriate for motorcycle riding. Usually, they have a reinforced section for the toes, an extra layer of protection for the ankles, and tough heel counters.
Motorcycle riding boots are made out of incredibly hard materials that can withstand collisions, abrasions, and tears. Such materials include specially reinforced leather and plastics, metals, and boot paddings that can absorb shock and dissipate the energy absorbed.
There are three major types of motorcycle boots, according to their ability to restrict movement and the level of protection they offer to their users.
Firstly, we have MOTOCROSS BOOTS. This category of boots offers the highest amount of protection. This is the safest set of boots that provides thorough protection. However, they also offer the highest amount of movement restriction.
Next are TOURING BOOTS. These boots offer medium proportions of both protection and movement restriction. They are adequately comfortable as well.
Last on the list are RACING BOOTS. They supply enough protection and have the least amount of movement restriction. They are right for riders that need to move at very high speeds.
Are Hiking Shoes Safe for Motorcycle Riding?
No, hiking shoes are not safe for motorcycle riding. Hiking shoes do not provide the suitable protection required for your legs when riding a motorcycle. They are only made to cover the feet and ankles while walking on foot or trailing across paths by the countryside. Hiking shoes are not made to absorb shock from collision or to prevent slipping.
Motorcycle accidents can be quite fatal. In an event in which an accident has occurred, the ankles of the victim are under the influence of various twisting forces. These forces are the reasons why victims sustain significant injuries during such events.
In addition to this, hiking shoes are not designed to withstand a great amount of wear and tear. When they come in rapid contact with roads, hiking shoes will wear easily, which, consequentially, puts their users’ feet in danger. Their soles are relatively soft and do not offer adequate protection to their users’ heels.
Furthermore, hiking shoes are usually not tight enough to prevent sliding off the feet of motorcyclists in motion. These shoes also come with shoelaces that can be the sole reason for accidents or injuries. The laces can get caught up in the motorcycle’s chain, which is extremely dangerous.
Hiking shoes are simply not safe and are recommended for use by motorcyclists when riding.
Here are some recommended motorcycle boots:
- Milwaukee Leather Boots with Black Stripes and Tan Motorcycle Harness
- Alpinestars Nc’s Motorcycle Boots for men.
- Gaerne Gaerne Boot G-Ny Black Sz.
- Alpinestars Men’s SMX-1R Vented Street Motorcycle Boots
- O’Neal Men’s Rider Boots BLK
Are There Boots for Hiking and Motorcycling?
Hiking boots, presently, do not have the required protection characteristics for motorcycle riding. If someone is interested in purchasing boots for riding motorcycles, it is recommended they purchase motorcycle boots that are made specifically for that purpose.
In 2006, the US recorded a risk of a severe crash for motorcyclists 35 times that of cars. This estimate was made from 390 deaths of motorcyclists per billion miles driven by vehicles. In 2016, motorcycles in the US had an accident rate of 6.31 per million miles driven by vehicles, which was significantly greater than that of cars. The reason for this great difference was that cars offer more protection against crashes.
UK’s Department of Transport stated that motorcycles have 16 times the rate of fatalities, injuries or deaths, relative to automobiles.
As of May 2018, the European Union recorded 663 fatalities for mopeds and 3,644 fatalities for motorcycles.
From the information listed above, it can be concluded that hiking boots can not serve as perfect substitutes for motorcycle riding boots.