Dirt Bike Boots Guide

Dirt Bike Boots Guide

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Just like a trusty full-face helmet shields your precious noggin, a dirt bike boot acts as a protector of your feet, ready to fend off any unexpected twists or bone-crushing impacts. It’s a no-brainer, really – invest as much as you can to ensure maximum protection.

However, there is a catch here, and you really have to ask yourself a couple of questions before going ahead.

So, this post is all about the essential pointers you may need while shortlisting your first dirt bike boot. And even if you are not a beginner, say a seasoned veteran rekindling his passion for extreme sports, this guide has your back (or rather, your feet).

Let’s get started.

Why Only Dirt Bike Boots?

I am pretty sure you may have come across this thought at least once while browsing the internet or you may have received this advice from someone who really “knows everything”.

But let me tell you – no other boot can protect your feet when it comes to dirt bike riding.

The world of motocross is a wild, exhilarating playground where crashes are practically inevitable. So, the trick here to defy those injuries during sudden falls is to never skimp on motocross boots!

No matter how skilled you are, gravity will eventually have its way, hurling you from your bike. That’s when your investment in dirt boots will pay off big time. Imagine your shin crashing against the swing arm or frame, you will be thankful that you went all in on your boots post your crash.

And if you are wondering how much protection these motocross boots give you – Brands such as Alpinestars, Gaerne, Sidi, Leatt, and Fox have invested oodles of time, brainpower, and resources to develop boots that are safer than a fortress and comfier than a bean bag.

I may have exaggerated things a bit on the comfort part here but frankly these boots form a vital connection between you and your trusty machine and are more than just a fancy piece of footwear.

In fact, dirt bike boots offer several advantages over regular boots when it comes to off-road (trail) riding or participating in motocross activities. Here are some of the key advantages of dirt bike boots:

    1. Protection: Dirt bike boots are specifically designed to provide enhanced protection to the feet, ankles, and lower legs. They are constructed with reinforced materials safeguarding against impacts, abrasions, and potential injuries from debris, rocks, or branches.

    2. Support: Dirt boots feature a taller height compared to regular boots. This height provides additional ankle support, reducing the risk of sprains or injuries during aggressive maneuvers like jumps. Moreover, their rigid structure helps maintain stability and prevents excessive flexing of the foot while riding.

    3. Traction: Incorporating outsoles with aggressive patterns, dirt boots provide excellent grip and traction on various surfaces including mud, sand, and gravel.

    4. Durability: There is no other boot in the market that is as durable as a dirt bike boot. Owing to their construction, these boots are highly durable and can endure the demands of motocross or trail riding, thus ensuring long-lasting performance.

    5. Safety: Most importantly, dirt bike boots incorporate shin guards to safeguard your tibia bone from crushing impacts, adjustable buckles or straps for a secure fit, steel toe caps to protect against knocks, and flex panels or pivot points to prevent overextension. No other boot apart from a dedicated MX boot boasts such kinds of features.

But if you are still not convinced whether or not you should wear them, you better go through this article that explains the importance of dirt bike boots in detail.

Things To Look For While Buying Your First Dirt Bike Boots

Now that you know all about the importance of this essential piece of dirt bike gear, it’s time to be honest about your riding skills. This is because if you are an entry-level rider and you are not planning on participating in any championships, you can get away with spending a little bit less money on a pair of boots.

Take, for instance, the Thor Blitz XP. Priced around a hundred bucks, it strikes a balance between protection and comfort. I have been in your shoes as a noob rider, and I can vouch for the decent ankle support it provides. It’s a great option for those of you who are just starting to hit your stride (Click here to buy them from RevZilla).

Alternatively, you can consider buying the Tech 3 from Alpinestars (priced around $200) which is technically an entry-level boot but lies somewhere in between a beginner and an intermediate level (Click here to buy from RevZilla).

For more of my recommendations check out this article on dirt bike boots for beginner adults.

Now, if you are itching to level up from the beginner level, consider strapping on a pair of Tech 7. These boots are built for riders who crave a little more speed or fancy catching some air. When it comes to such adrenaline-pumping maneuvers, the Tech 7 truly shines.

They boast an innovative microfiber upper construction that offers flexibility, lightweight performance, and abrasion resistance. And their TPU blade system ensures your ankles won’t bear the brunt of overextension.

Of course, these superior safety features come at a slightly higher price point (around $350 – $410), but you will enjoy enhanced construction and safety standards compared to entry-level options (Check these boots on RevZilla by clicking here).

And while I wouldn’t recommend a beginner to straight out opt for a premium model (as you work your way up to the more premium options, the boots start to get a little bit stiffer), you have got something like the SG-12 from Gaerne or the Tech 10 from Alpinestars. These two boots are renowned for their exceptional durability and bulletproof construction.

I have personally ridden countless miles in both of them and let me tell you, they are incredible at their job. But yes, if you are not at a level that requires a premium boot, you don’t necessarily have to spend this much money.

To make things clearer – take a look at some of the features of an entry-level, mid-level, and professional (premium) motocross boot from Alpinestars.

FeaturesAlpinestars Tech 3 Boots (Entry-level)Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots (Mid-level)Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented Boots (Pro-level)
Ideal ForBeginnersIntermediatesProfessionals
Upper MaterialFlexible, abrasion-resistant microfiberLight, innovative microfiberLightweight microfiber with impact and abrasion-resistant TPU shell
Closure System3 replaceable polymer buckles with ratchet and quick release/locking systemAluminum buckles with self-aligning, quick release closuresBuckle closure system with nylon and fiberglass compound
Replaceable PartsBuckle straps and soleBuckle straps, sole, and footpeg insertsSoles and buckle straps
Protection FeaturesContoured TPU calf protector plate, ankle protection, shin plateTPU ankle protection, TPU blade system, reinforced lower shellPerformance double pivot motion control system, DHCP, TPU and rubber compound panels, ankle brace system
Comfort FeaturesFlexible areas, soft foam ankle and collar, textile lining, replaceable footbedAccordion flex zones, breathable mesh 3D liner, soft poly-foam ankle and collar, removable footbedLightweight, flexible forefoot area, soft microfiber gaiter, poly fabric lining
CE certifiedYesYesYes

Moving on, let’s get down to the primary things you should look for while buying a dirt bike boot:

Things to look for in a dirt bike boot
Features to look for in your first dirt bike boot (Image: Alpinestars)

Safety Features

A good pair of dirt boots, even if it is the most basic one, will have lots of cool safety features to protect you from crashes. They provide extra support to your ankles as well as your toes from sudden hits, twists, and sprains.

So, while you are shortlisting one, make sure the one you pick has a sturdy sole that offers excellent grip and prevents you from slipping.

Also, look for boots with a solid buckle system to keep them firmly in place during tight maneuvers. They should have TPU (or equivalent material) all around to shield your feet from impacts and scrapes, and a shin guard to keep your tibia bone safe even if you somehow manage to get stuck between the wheels!

Most importantly, they should be CE certified.


And while having safety features is crucial, they won’t be effective if your boots don’t fit properly. It’s essential to find a snug fit that feels just right. A dirt bike boot should be like a glove, neither too tight nor too loose.

Luckily, boots come in various sizes to accommodate different foot shapes and calf sizes. So, don’t settle for anything less than a perfect fit that keeps you comfortable while riding your bike (For more on this: How should a dirt bike boot fit).

Furthermore, the size of dirt bike boots may vary depending on the brand you choose. Say you typically wear a size 9 in your regular running shoes, it’s not necessary that you will or will not find the same comfort level in a size 9 dirt bike boot. Referring to the manufacturer’s size chart is crucial here to ensure a proper fit.

Not to forget – the break-in period of a new motocross boot. During this period your feet adjusts to the new boot and the boot itself stretches out a bit. This may take days or even weeks before you get the utmost comfort out your boot.


To be honest, dirt bike boots are not meant to be comfortable. But with recent advancements, manufacturers have managed to strike a balance between comfort and protection. You can now keep your feet comfortable as well as get maximum protection.

For instance, you can get moisture-wicking or antimicrobial fabric construction as well as air mesh interior to keep your feet dry and bacteria-free. Or a gaiter that prevents dirt and water ingress. Or stretch panels to aid in ankle flexion. So, depending on the brand of your dirt boots you can get some of these comfort features to make your ride super comfy.


Durability and safety features go hand in hand. When choosing dirt boots, it’s essential to consider if they meet approved safety standards such as CE or DOT, as this indicates their durability as well. However, there’s another crucial aspect to keep in mind: the replaceability of parts.

Imagine if you accidentally break one of the closure systems—will the manufacturer offer a replacement or will the whole boot become useless?

Some brands go the extra mile by providing replaceable soles since these areas tend to experience the most wear and tear over time. This thoughtful feature allows you to extend the life of your boots by simply replacing the soles, rather than having to invest in an entirely new pair.

I personally like Gaerne & Alpinestars when it comes to the replaceability of parts. These two brands not only offer replacement soles, but also straps, buckles, and toe caps.

Aluminum vs. Plastic buckles – Which Is Better?

There are primarily two different types of buckles you will find on dirt bike boots: aluminum and plastic.

Boots priced around 100 -200 bucks usually come with a plastic buckle, while higher-end options may or may not have an aluminum buckle, depending on the brand.

Now, you might think that aluminum is automatically better, but that’s not necessarily true.

Just because a dirt bike boot has a plastic buckle doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Agreed, plastic is not as strong or durable as aluminum but brand reputation plays a big role here. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone complain that plastic buckles are cheap or low-quality (among branded boots).

So, don’t dismiss a boot just because it has a plastic buckle. Sometimes, these boots surprise you with their durability and reliability.

So, which type of buckle is right for you? It depends on your budget and your personal preferences. If you are looking for the best possible performance, then aluminum buckles are the way to go. However, if you are on a tight budget, then plastic buckles are still a good option.

Are Dirt Bike Boots Gender Specific?

Dirt bike boots can vary between men and women in terms of design, fit, and sizing (not in terms of construction or materials used). While most boots are unisex, you may come across a few models that specifically cater to the different anatomical needs and preferences of women riders (you can say it’s a marketing gimmick).

Some brands may prioritize aesthetics and design elements that appeal to female riders, considering factors such as color choices, patterns, and overall styling.

But yes, if you are a women rider, these specific models have a few advantages as well.

Men and women typically have different foot shapes and proportions. A boot designed for women is meant to accommodate the narrower heel and higher arch for a snug fit. Plus, these women’s boots come in smaller sizes (starting from size 5 or 6) to address specific foot dimensions.

Apart from men and women, there are dedicated dirt bike boots for kids as well. And as the name suggests, these are designed for kids (and youth) to accommodate their teeny tiny toes.

Which Brand Should I Go With?

For entry-level riders venturing into the thrilling world of dirt biking, picking a boot that strikes a balance between affordability and functionality would be the wisest thing to do.

Brands like Alpinestars and Fox Racing offer excellent choices for beginners that are on a budget, thus providing reliable protection and durability without breaking the bank. In fact, these brands have gained a lot of popularity among newbies as their entry-level options are designed to cater to their specific needs.

Entry Level Dirt Bike Boot Features
Entry Level Dirt Bike Boot Features (Img: Alpinestars Tech 3)

Thor and O’Neal are also worth considering for entry-level riders. These two brands offer a range of boots that deliver solid performance and decent protection at affordable price points. But like I said earlier, these entry-level models do not have all the advanced features equipped on higher-end boots. Nevertheless, they provide adequate support and durability for riders starting out in the dirt biking world.

For more insights on the manufacturers of dirt boots, you can check out this article on top dirt bike boot brands.

Are $100 Dirt Bike Boots Worth It?

As I mentioned before, there are plenty of decent options available within this $100 budget range that can meet the needs of a beginner rider.

While it’s true that these boots won’t have all the premium safety features you would find in more advanced MX boots, such as a flexion control system, ankle control system, or a pivot system to prevent hyper-extension, they still offer more protection than regular hiking boots or standard shoes.

And here’s the thing—when it comes down to it, the most important factor is your budget. If you are a weekend rider who just wants to have some fun on his bike, you don’t necessarily need to invest in top-tier boots.

In other words, if you are a beginner with a tight budget and you plan to hit the trails occasionally, a budget dirt bike boot would be a worthwhile consideration provided it comes equipped with basic protective features such as steel toe cap, shin guard, and hard TPU construction.

Where Can You Buy Quality Dirt Bike Boots?

I would only advise buying from a retailer/distributor with a solid reputation or from online marketplaces such as RevZilla, Rocky Mountain ATV & MC, FortNine, Cycle Gear, or directly from the manufacturers if they are selling it through their website.

Be cautious and stay away from shady websites you have never heard of before. While you may come across tempting discounts on these websites, it’s best not to be swayed by their seemingly attractive prices.

Stick to authorized dealers and recognized platforms to ensure you are getting genuine products that meet quality standards and provide the necessary protection.

If you are looking for budget-friendly options, keep an eye out for closeout deals on Rocky Mountain or RevZilla. Closeout deals offer stock clearance sales at reduced prices, allowing you to score great discounts on high-quality gear.

Additionally, consider timing your purchase around festive seasons like Christmas or during Black Friday sales. These major shopping periods in the USA often bring substantial discounts and savings.

How Long Do Dirt Bike Boots Last?

The lifespan of dirt bike boots primarily depends on the abuse they endure. Typically, they last anywhere between 3 to 4 years, depending on usage, maintenance, and quality.

However, riders who engage in regular, intense riding sessions or participate in competitive motocross events may experience faster wear and tear compared to occasional weekend riders. This is because the more frequently boots are exposed to harsh conditions such as straight impacts, the quicker they may show signs of deterioration.

Proper maintenance also plays a significant role here. Regular cleaning after rides, particularly in wet conditions helps prevent build-up and potential damage.

Why You Should Avoid Buying Used Dirt Bike Boots?

While it is possible to buy a secondhand dirt bike boot, it is generally not recommended due to several potential drawbacks.

First, when buying a secondhand boot, there is a risk that the seller may make false claims about the boot’s condition, usage history, or level of protection. It can be challenging to verify these claims, and you may only realize the inaccuracies after the purchase.

Second, a used boot may have hidden wear and tear that is not immediately apparent. Even when inspecting the boot in person, you might miss certain details or fail to notice any compromised areas.

Third, secondhand boots may have accumulated sweat, odor, or bacteria from the previous owner. So, even if the boot appears clean on the surface, it may carry bacteria that can get transferred to your skin.

And most importantly, each rider’s foot shape and size are unique, and a used boot may not provide the proper fit and comfort for your specific needs. Boots that have already molded to someone else’s foot shape may not offer the same level of support leading to discomfort.

Regardless, there can be exceptions to these drawbacks, such as purchasing from a friend or someone you know personally.

Bottom line

From safeguarding against potential hazards to amplifying your riding prowess, dirt bike boots are an essential companion for every dirt bike enthusiast. But before you make up your mind on a specific pair remember to take a close look at the safety features, fit, comfort, and durability.

Trusted brands like Alpinestars, Fox Racing, Thor, and O’Neal will be your steadfast allies, ensuring top-notch quality without breaking the bank.

Good luck & ride safe!