Motocross Boots vs Motorcycle Boots For Street Riding

Motocross Boots vs Motorcycle Boots For Street Riding

Have you ever tried to wear your trusty motocross boots on a motorcycle or a motorcycle boot on a dirt track? Let’s just say it’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You might get it in there eventually, but it’s not going to be pretty.

Frankly, it’s a bit weird thing to do – if you often wear MX boots on the street or street boots on an MX track. And you can’t even give the excuse that they both look alike because honestly, you can spot one from the other from a distance.

So, this blog is for someone who would like to explore the differences between these two types of boots and for those who think that it’s a good idea to mix the two sports together.

Are Dirt Bike Boots (MX Boots) Same As Motorcycle Boots?

The straight answer is no. I mean, they couldn’t be more different in terms of their construction, purpose, and intended use.

Unlike Enduro and MX boots, motorcycle and dirt boots don’t even look alike. And you can distinguish one from the other in no time – it’s so obvious. But yes, for a noob, who is new to motorcycling or trail riding – it can be confusing.

So here we go – Dirt bike boots, also known as motocross boots, are specifically designed for off-road riding. They offer a high level of protection against impacts, abrasion, and overextension. The construction of these boots tends to be stiff, which is why they are quite uncomfortable during the first few rides (before their break-in period).

On the other hand, motorcycle boots are designed for urban commuting, long-distance riding, or track racing. And while motocross boots are meant only for dirt or enduro bikes, there are many types of motorcycle boots available depending on the type of motorcycle you ride.

These motorcycle boots offer protection against the vagaries of the weather, long abrasive slides, and other hazards that are commonly encountered while riding a motorcycle. Moreover, they are really comfortable and often integrate inner padding that helps riders to wear them all through the day.

Here is a quick rundown that differentiates the two boots apart:

Difference between Motorcycle boots and Motocross boots
Motorcycle Boots vs. Motocross Boots: Key Differences

Why I Do Not Recommend Dirt Bike Boots For Motorcycle Riders?

As an experienced tour organizer who has ridden extensively in the Himalayas on enduro and adventure bikes, I know the importance of having the right gear for the job. When it comes to riding boots, it’s essential to prioritize safety over style.

Ankle and tibial injuries are the most common in off-road riding, so I always recommend boots with hinged ankles and shanked soles as a minimum requirement. For even higher protection, motocross boots are a great option.

However, if you’re a street rider and would only ride on paved roads, motocross boots will present their own set of disadvantages:

Their hard, low-traction soles can lead to slips and fall, and their stiff construction can make shifting and braking more difficult. This can be particularly challenging when riding on busy highways, where quick reactions are essential (sudden lane change, vehicle overtaking, instant braking, etc.).

They are also clunky and don’t provide good ergonomics or foot feel, they are not waterproof, and they are uncomfortable if you have to walk around a bit, which is quite common while urban commuting, they can feel quite cumbersome.

Moreover, motocross boots are not designed for extended wear on a motorcycle – they are really rigid and there is literally zero peg feel in most of them. Plus, their hard plastic construction can rub against your motorcycle and damage its paint.

So, if you are looking for a more realistic option that still provides excellent protection, consider touring boots. And while these adventure boots will not offer the same level of protection as motocross boots, they strike a balance between safety and comfort. Many of the decent models feature a hard shell for protection and a reinforced toe box for impact protection.

Advantages Of Wearing Motorcycle Boots On A Street Bike

Wearing dedicated motorcycle boots while riding a street bike is important for several reasons. Apart from the safety features, which can vary from brand to brand – these boots are specifically designed to provide grip and control while riding (unlike MX boots).

This is especially important in wet or slippery conditions, as the specialized sole can help prevent slips and provide better control of the bike.

Motocross boots, on the other hand, are designed for off-road riding and offer maximum protection against impacts. They are usually taller than motorcycle boots, covering the calf and sometimes even the knee. They also feature a steel-toe cap and a reinforced shank to protect against impact.

Motorcycle boots are designed for street riding and provide a balance between protection and comfort. They may not be as heavy-duty as motocross boots, but they offer practical features that come in quite handy while urban commuting.

Take a look at some generic features that I compiled just to give you an idea of how practical these motorcycle boots are compared to motocross boots for street riding.

FeaturesMotorcycle BootsMotocross Boots
Leather constructionYesNo
Padded rear areaYesNo
Waterproof liningYesNo
Comfortable to walkYesNo
Toe and heel counterYesYes
Malleolus insertsYesYes
Leather shift padYesNo
Lateral zipperYesNo
Adjustable bucklesYesYes
Grippy soleYesNo
CE certifiedYesYes

Bottom Line

Dirt biking and motorcycling are two very different sports. And since you cannot interchange the machines used to conduct each sport, why would you do that with their gear?

But if you would really like to indulge in both off-roading as well as street riding with the same piece of footwear, you can consider adventure touring boots that provide a good compromise between the two. These boots offer a mix of protection and comfort, suitable for both off-road & street riding, making them a popular choice for many urban commuters.

However, do note, that for MX riding you need MX boots, nothing else.

I sincerely hope I was able to distinguish and highlight the differences between motorcycle and motocross boots and why mixing the two can be a recipe for disaster. This is Mohit signing off. Good bye and ride safe!