Importance Of Dirt Bike Boots
Riding a dirt bike and seeing the trail up ahead gives an exhilarating feeling. But it’s important to remember that two-wheeled riding comes with inherent risks. Accidents can happen, and the rider’s gear is his sole protection. Investing in high-quality dirt bike boots can thus protect the ankle and foot from severe injuries caused due to sudden impacts or abrasions.
This article is all about the importance of this essential piece of dirt bike gear that often gets neglected.
How Important Are Dirt Bike Boots For Motocross And Off-Road Riding?
Back in the days when I was a novice myself, I used to ride in hiking boots. But that was many decades ago when there were limited options, I was in school with a limited budget, and the riding boots were way too expensive.
It was one sunny afternoon when I first crashed my bike and sprained my ankle that I realized the importance of dirt bike gear. And I was lucky enough to make it back to the track after a few weeks.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone to try out their luck as well. I mean, what if you are all out of luck one day? Wouldn’t it be wise to invest in protection before stepping foot on the trails?
Besides, things have changed a lot in the past few years.
You can even find dirt bike boots that are well under $100 for anyone low on budget.
Seriously, if you are still neglecting this important piece of gear, then perhaps you shouldn’t be indulging in this extreme sport altogether.
We recently completed a survey on our website on around 5000 dirt bike enthusiasts over a period of 6 months asking about their thoughts on dirt bike boots.
This was our question:
Q: What are your thoughts about wearing dirt bike boots / MX boots?
- Protection from injury (fear of breaking the leg)
- Better grip and control on the track
- Style and appearance (want to look cool)
- Do not prefer wearing them
And the results were appalling!
But before I take you through the survey results – ask yourself the same question.
These were the findings of our survey: Out of 5000, Just 47% of bikers opted for option A, i.e., Protection from injury as their primary reason for wearing dirt bike boots. 36% of bikers said they wear dirt bike boots as they offer better grip and control on the track.
Surprisingly, 14% focused on style and appearance rather than protection as their primary motive whereas 3% said they do not wear dedicated dirt bike boots at all while indulging in this extreme sport.
I am fine by the 3% of the clowns who prefer riding in anything apart from dirt boots. What concerned me more was that there are riders who focus on style rather than protection, compromising their ability to make informed purchasing decisions when it comes to selecting the right gear for their needs.
So, while 47% of the surveyed bikers recognized the importance of dirt bike boots for protection, the results indicate that there is still a need for education and awareness among the remaining bikers about the benefits and primary purpose of wearing them.
Let me reiterate this again – The primary reason for wearing dirt bike boots should always be protection. Everything else should come thereafter.
And while I second the fact that dirt bike boots may not be the most comfortable part of your gear, there is no denying that they are essential for keeping you safe on the rough and tumble terrain of off-road riding.
For someone new to motocross, putting on these boots can be a bit of a workout in itself. It is for this very reason that sometimes people avoid wearing them altogether.
But let’s not forget – the dangers associated with this sport.
To back me up, I have two research findings.
The first study was conducted on motocross injuries and trauma in riders over a period of 12 years. It examined 1,500 accidents resulting in 1,870 injuries out of a group of 15,870 participants in European off-road competitions between 1980 and 1991.
The study found that the overall incidence of injuries was 94.5 per thousand, with stadium cross competitions having a higher rate at 150 per thousand than outdoor motocross at 76 per thousand. Accident risk was calculated at 22.72 per thousand riding hours. Ligament injuries accounted for 344 cases, of which 206 (59.9%) occurred in the lower extremities.
The second study was conducted between 2007 and 2012, on over 229,362 extremity fractures with ATV and dirt bike riders accounting for a significant portion of these injuries. Shockingly, the incidence rates of extremity fractures for these vehicles were 3.87 and 6.85 per 1000 participant-years.
The study disclosed that a greater proportion of lower leg, foot, and ankle fractures were reported in three-wheeled ATVs and dirt bikes, highlighting the specific risks associated with these vehicles.
Given these findings, it becomes quite evident that any off-road rider must prioritize safety and wear specialized dirt bike boots to significantly reduce the risk of injuries to the lower extremities.
What Makes Dirt Bike Boot Ideal For Motocross And Off Road Riding?
Why dirt bike boots in particular? Why not any other boot that covers the entire ankle? If these are some of the queries that come to your mind, you are not the first one to question their credibility.
For starters, dirt bike boots are primarily designed to protect the feet and legs during accidents or falls. Every other feature apart from this primary attribute is an add-on.
And depending on the price, these add-ons will increase.
A standard dirt boot may not offer as many features as a premium one, but honestly, something is better than nothing.
Pick any popular pair, no matter how much they cost, you will find one thing in common – hard plastic construction. And owing to this safety feature, they can withstand impact, abrasion, or a head-on collision fearlessly.
While the name may sound a little lame, dirt bike boots are packed with features that not only keep you safe but also ensure maximum comfort and support during those adrenaline-pumping rides.
To explain this further, let us look at the Tech 7 from Alpinestars – the most common boot you can find once you step into a dirt park. And frankly, a prime example of the kind of quality and features you should look for when selecting a pair.
From the innovative, lightweight microfiber upper to the adjustable Velcro® brand closures, these boots are designed with the rider in mind.
One of the standout features for me is the TPU blade system in the shin area, which not only helps prevent injury but also provides greater flex control. I’ve been in situations where I needed to make a quick maneuver, and these boots gave me the confidence to do so without worrying about hurting myself.
These boots also have a one-piece TPU panel with honeycomb sculpturing on the medial-facing area for improved grip contact with the bike.
And the ergonomic aluminum buckle system offers a personalized and secure closure, whereas the TPU lateral ankle protection provides a biomechanical link between the middle lateral and bottom lateral of the boot.
Of course, durability is also a major factor when it comes to MX boots. So here, the Tech-7 Boots feature a metal shank and reinforced toe for added impact and abrasion resistance. And with the extended microfiber gaiter, I never had the need to look for a waterproof dirt bike boot.
But yes, not all dirt bike boots are made equal. And while I personally love Alpinestars, there is no harm in choosing a pair from any other popular dirt bike boot brands.
All you have to do is keep a few things in mind while shortlisting a dirt bike boot:
Protection should be your top priority when selecting dirt bike boots. Shortlist a boot that incorporates reinforced soles and ankles, is equipped with integrated shin plates, offers lateral and torsional protection, and includes calf plates for overall impact protection.
You should also consider the material of the boot. Most dirt bike boots are made from hard plastic or abrasion-resistant materials and some models offer the added protection of suede on the heels to help keep the foot in position. So, make sure the boots you choose provide adequate protection depending on your riding style.
Fitment is the second most critical factor when it comes to dirt bike boots. This is because an incorrect size is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous as it compromises the protective abilities of a boot. Your dirt bike boot should fit snugly without being too tight. You should be able to easily wear and remove them, yet they should not slide against your feet when the buckles are closed.
So here take into consideration features like adjustable buckle closures and Velcro® openings for a customized fit.
Comfort is another essential factor to consider when shortlisting dirt bike boots. A good pair of dirt bike boots allows for movement and flexibility, but not at the expense of protection. Choose a pair that offers ankle support, cushioning, and ventilation to ensure that your feet remain comfortable during prolonged riding hours.
Do note that riding in a brand-new pair of MX boots can be a challenge. Their stiff construction can make the first few rides uncomfortable. But once you break in your dirt bike boots, they will be comfortable to wear.
Dirt bike boots are an investment, so you need to make sure they last. Always opt for a branded boot (not the Chinese replicas), made from high-quality materials and incorporates features like replaceable buckles and soles. So, even if they wear down from these high-stress areas, you can replace these specific parts by contacting the manufacturer.
So, these were the four main criteria to keep in mind while shortlisting a motocross boot. But what about style, why was it not mentioned? Let’s just say it comes under vanity metrics!
Do Kids Need Motocross Boots?
People often wonder if their kids need motocross boots or if any regular tough shoe can protect them since they won’t be riding like us.
Agreed, kids do not ride aggressively, and most probably they would be riding a 50cc dirt bike. But are you willing to take such kind of risk?
Besides, kids’ motocross boots are not that expensive. Even the most protective ones will cost less than $150 a pair! Not much if you ask me, given the amount of protection and safety it provides.
To highlight how important a youth dirt bike boot is, I have another study to back me up. This study retrospectively examined the injuries sustained by competitive pediatric motocross athletes at a level-I trauma center between 2004 and 2014.
The results showed that despite the use of protective safety equipment, participants still suffered serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. The most commonly fractured bones were found to be the femoral shaft, fibula, and clavicle. And, lower extremity fractures were twice as common as upper extremity fractures.
So, the important thing to note here is that despite wearing protective gear, these young ones suffered serious injuries. Imagine what would have happened had they been riding on the track without any gear on.
As a takeaway, I would say that it is important to consider the risks associated with this extreme sport and the need to prepare for the worst.
Dirt bike boots are an essential piece of gear for anyone engaging in off-road riding. The risks associated with dirt biking, as highlighted by research studies, make it evident that every rider must prioritize safety and wear specialized motocross boots to significantly reduce the impact of injuries to the lower extremities.
And while these boots may not be the most comfortable part of your gear, they are essential for keeping you safe on the rough terrains.
Recommended Reading: Elevate your off-road experience with confidence by finding the perfect dirt bike boots. Our comprehensive guide to purchasing MX boots is designed to provide you with expert recommendations, essential tips, and valuable insights. Don’t miss out on this must-read resource!