Best Adventure Motorcycle Boots 2019 – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

So you are shopping around for the best adventure motorcycle boots on the market are but just can't decide? Don't worry we have you covered. We have put together the most in-depth review of the top brands, best boot for all budgets and detailed all the features and user feedback so you can get the best boot for your next adventure. We have narrowed down the best selling dual sport adventure boots. Let's get into it.

For the people that want to skip the in-depth details, above is our summary of the best adventure motorcycle boots and dual sports boots that you can order today.

Best Adventure boot

Adventure motorcycle boots – Product reviews

Photo of motorcycle boots called Alpinestars Corozal Advenure Drystar Boots
On a technical level, the Alpinestars Corozal Drystar Adventure Boots are some of the most advanced boots for adventure riders in this price range. With Alpinestars firm history of making high-quality boots and extensive experience in the offroad boot making market, they have taken this knowledge and packed it into these Corozal boots for under the 300$ mark.

The Alpinestars team have positioned this boot as the little brother of the higher priced Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex Boots which is priced around the $500 mark.

What is also interesting with these boots is they use a mixture of full grain leather and synthetic material in strategic positions across the boot. A molded sole connects to the TPU protections around the heel and buckle system giving it great stiffness and subsequently giving great protection to your feet.

The buckle system is one of the best systems on the market, again, leveraging on their experience in off-road riding boot manufacture and integrating it into adventure motorcycle boots. It’s a needle and thread system making it easy to use with gloves and designed to remove dirt to keep the boot closed and functioning properly.

The sole is quite stiff, this is perfect for all day riding on the pegs and will definitely make a big difference reducing fatigue. The sole could be mistaken for a hiking boot with aggressive tread and using a variety of thickness to create a super comfortable but tactile.

Alpinestars just upped the game with this boot and it’s eating away at market share historically dominated by some of the other ADV boot makers, with good reason.

The use of TPU armor is strategically positions and combined perfectly with bellows and contact points in the event of a slide, a sold high gator and a great amount of inner padding makes this boot something you would wear all day and not notice you’re wearing boots that are designed for the Dakar Rally.

What I liked

  • Price tag
  • Integrated sole
  • Waterproof PU coated
  • Solid all-around protection
  • Very comfortable
  • Multi-seasonal use

What I didn't like

  • None that I can pick right now. I have ordered a pair for myself to test over an extended period.

Safest adventure motorcycle boots

Sidi Adventure 2 Gore-Tex Boots Summary

 If you want adventure motorcycle boots that entails the best qualities needed for adventure riding and touring, this is a great option. Great protection. They squeak when you walk. Personally tested over 62500 miles or 100’000km and would buy another pair.

Sidi Adventure dual-sport motorcycle boots have been setting standards over the past half decade. McGregor and Boorman used a pair for Long Way Down and Long Way Round.

I personally have the Sidi Adventure boots and even though they are on their last legs… No pun intended… due circumnavigating Africa for 16 months, they are still going strong. Actually, they are completely destroyed and re-sewn several times and the sole has worn out. But I can’t believe they have made it this far, from Congolese and Angolan jungle to the scorching heat of the Sahara and Sudan, they are a fantastic boot. I have 100’000km on them.

They have one problem, they are loud when you walk, and they didn’t address this problem in the current update. If you buy these boots, check out this thread to get rid of the squeak. But in my experience, it is only really annoying inside confined places, then it seems they are attached to a megaphone.

One thing I love is the waterproof gaiter. It goes right up to the top of the boot and about 7cm higher than the last model, this makes it one of the highest boot gaiters in this lineup and foot savor in a river crossing.

The Sidi team has put flex zones and ballows (Areas that expand and contract) into strategic locations making it responsive and tactile than the previous models when riding.

The sole is flexible with a semi-aggressive profile, you can wear this boot all day and will be comfortable. They are the go-to boot for multi-seasonal use, and keep your feet warm in 27℉ or -3deg and over 120 ℉ (48deg celsius) both personally tested.

What I liked

  • High gaiter
  • Waterproof
  • Solid all-around protection
  • Thick plastic armor
  • Very comfortable
  • Good grip off the bike
  • Multi-seasonal use

What I didn't like

  • Has a squeak while walking
  • A little on the heavy side.
  • Not as responsive and tactile as other boots but high protection

Best valued adventure motorcycle boots

Forma Adventure Boots Summary

Protection is good. The boot has strong thick leather, but it would be good to see some reinforcing on the front of the boot.  Durability is great, many riders we talk to about this boot are long-term travelers and boost they take a lot of abuse. 

Forma Adventure boots are gaining a lot of traction in the adventure riding community over the last few years. A good looking rugged boot that the manufacturer’s claim to be “A perfect combination of adventure touring and street”

Forma adventure motorcycle boots use Drytex linings to keep your feet dry, a product that is not as well known as Gore-Tex but is on par.

A lot of ideas have been designed into the sole. Forma where targeting the adventure boot market when they developed this boot and aimed to develop a sole that was flexible enough for walking but has controlled flexing. This boot is rated CE level 2 protection. From feedback from riders, they nailed this aspect of the boot and is one of the top sole design and construction for adventure riders and comfortable for all-day use. One thing to add is the manufacturer recommends for more aggressive foot pegs or excessive off-road riding, are the Forma Terra.

The Forma adventure boots have a two buckle “Unbreakable GH®” system, TPU heal armor and multiple injection molded armor plating. The outer material is full-grain oiled leather. It also boasts a rather top large opening, something of a bonus for people with larger calves.

These boots also come in a shorter model called Forma Adventure Low Boots. Extremely popular boot on the market second only to the full height variant

What I liked

  • Lightweight construction
  • Full-grain oiled leather
  • DRYTEX® waterproof
  • Adventure anti-slip sole
  • GH® buckles
  • TPU reinforced ankle area
  • Extra soft polymer padding

What I didn't like

  • Could be better protection in the front foot area.
  • Plastic protection could be thicker.

Gaerne Balance Oiled Boots Summary

Most comfortable adventure motorcycle boots and very waterproof bosting a Drytech membrane liner. Good control and bike feedback 

Next up in our best adventure motorbike boot review is the Gaerne Balance Oiled boots.

This boot is full grain oiled leather giving it the reputation as one of the most comfortable rider boots available. The boot has a long history starting out as trail boots. They still are but over time it is found a large fanbase in the adventure and dual-sports market.

The rider boot has plastic armor in the shin area but not around the heel and outer impact prone areas like most of the other adventure boots in this class. The full-grain leather is robust enough for a slide and uses a Drytech membrane liner keeping mother nature out.

One of the best features of this boot is the sole is made from gum rubber. This type of sole excels in giving the rider bike feedback and the boot is very responsive and tactile while riding. This is important to really get the most out of the bike and your ride. This gum rubber compound also reduces vibrations reducing fatigue and numbness.

What I liked

  • Gum rubber sole for great comfort
  • Good control and bike feedback
  • Replaceable buckles
  • Full grain oiled leather
  • Waterproof
  • TPU reinforced ankle area
  • Drytech membrane liner

What I didn't like

  • Less armor than other ADV boots

 TCX Drifter WP Boots Summary

Great durability a resole possibility, solid grain leather and aluminum buckle closures 

Another Italian stallion, there is a good reason why the Italians are famous for making the best footwear in the world. Another hot seller, the TCX Drifter WP Boots are another great boot to consider for your next adventure ride. The stressed leather vintage design fits well with the “ ADV look”.

The construction of the sole has been designed and manufactured in a way where the sole can be replaced time and time again. The boot construction is sewn to a flat piece of leather sole, then the rubber sole is glued to the boot making it hassle-free to re-sole. Perfect, if you are like me and likes to buy quality products and use them as long as possible.

Looking into the construction of the TCX Drifter WP Boots, the toe box is reinforced and full grain leather shift panels. The heal is also reinforced and with flexible membrane making is tough yet still flexible. Malleolus inserts have been added for comfort and protection for the shin will reduce impacts on sensitive protruding bone areas.

A great boot at a with a good price point, they have taken the vintage look but made it more off-road oriented and cleaned up in regards to design, comfort, and protection in this vintage style category.

What I liked

  • Great looking boot
  • C.F.S comfort fit system
  • Waterproof lining
  • Suede heat guard
  • Waterproof
  • Superior grip on all terrain

What I didn't like

  • Not much armor, but great protection for this price point.

How to choose the right pair of adventure riding boots

First off, there is a lot to consider when buying the correct adventure riding boots that suits you and your riding style.

A few things to keep in mind are:

  • How much protection does the boot give you
  • How they perform when you are off the bike
  • What environments you ride in
  • What kind of riding you are doing
  • Materials
  • Armor and protection
  • Sole design

Protection may seem obvious to point out, but there are boots that provide different levels of protection to different areas of the lower leg, shins, ankle, and foot. Furthermore, adventure motorcycle boots also made for activities off the bike which require flexibility and lessen the protection from different types of injuries, like impact, ligament damage and twisting.

The vast majority of foot motorcycle injuries are metatarsal fractures (49.1%) talar fractures (26.4%) and os calcis fractures (13.2%)

What are metatarsal fractures? Metatarsal bones are the long bones in your foot that connect your ankle to your toes. When deciding on a boot, there is a compromise between protection of the metatarsal bones and the flexibility in the boot making it easier and more comfortable to ride long distances and to walk when not riding. The question here is do you want the best protection, or better comfort when walking?

Riding environment

As adventure motorcycle riders we are open to the elements and some of us live in areas where the weather is an important decision factor when buying a new adventure motorcycle boots. When adventure riding or touring, adventure riders tend to go for an all round boot that can take on any weather condition that comes their way. Poor protection against the environment can hinder a riders capabilities to operate the controls sufficiently. There is also nothing worse than having wet and cold feet, so all boots in this review have a waterproof membrane to keep water out but still remain breathable, also the boots have been reviewed on gaiter height and rated on keeping water out when crossing rivers. Gore-Tex is the main player in this field but like all boots, they need to be looked after, washed and impregnated to keep the boot waterproof. More on boot material later.

If you ride in an area where rain is common, a waterproof boot maybe your best bet, if you ride in hot conditions, boots with good ventilation and airflow like the BMW Airflow Motorcycle Boots will be the best option. Although not a true adventure riding boot. 

Grip

Second to protection, an adventure motorcycle boots grip is the second most important safety feature to consider.

We are riding at high speeds, sometimes standing up on the pegs riding over rough terrain, the connected surface between boot and footpegs is less than a credit card. Footpeg designs play a large part having a secure footing, but so does the profile, rigidness, and design of the sole.

Also, the grip is an important factor when you stop to get a solid footing at traffic lights and when off-road riding. Having a boot clogged full of mud makes it even more difficult to pick up a fully loaded adventure bike after a spill.

If you have worn out the sole, consider taking the boots to a shoemaker, they still exist but many may have to pre-order a sole that is rigid enough with an adequate sole profile for riding. Ask for “trekking sole”  type replacements.

Grip Summary

Aggressive profiles provide better stability. Resoling is a good way to breathe new life into old motorcycle boots

Sole Materials

The sole material is important depending on what type of riding you are doing. Soft soles will give you more grip but tend to wear out faster, especially on spiked pegs that tend to eat away at soft soles.

Harder type soles provide better durability and resistance to wearing out but provide less grip. When buying a boot, especially adventure motorcycle boots, for the best results we recommend a harder sole compound with an aggressive profile. This combination will give you the durability you need, and a high level of grip.

Choose a motorcycle boot that is oil resistant. This is especially important for road riders where oil buildup at traffic lights and gas stations will make footing slippery and you drop the bike.

Stiffer soles are generally better for offroad use.

Sole Summary

Get boots that have a harder sole compound with an aggressive profile and is oil resistant. 

Closures

There are three main types of closures that motorbike boot manufacturers use. Zips, Velcro®, and quick release buckles. Often boots use a combination of these to achieve a snug fit and easy fitting and removal.

It is best to stay away from Zip closures, especially in off-road or dusty environments. Zips in these environments need regular maintenance (Candle wax works great to lubricate the zip) and often once a zip is broken, the whole boot needs to be replaced.

Quick release closures are the best system to provide a perfect fit, they can force larger amounts of pressure across stiff adventure motorcycle boots making the fit snugger and the construction of the boot more rigid offering better protection. They can also be replaced in most cases but more about that a bit later.

Keep in mind your sanity, self-locating closures are super handy. The best closures we found for adventure motorcycle boots are taken directly over from their motocross counterparts. These are hard wearing, self-locating and easy to use, they are also designed to work when the boot is heavily soiled and covered in mud.

Closures Summary

Avoid zips and use quick release closures that are designed for motocross boots. 



Armor and Protection

Armor plating used in the right locations could mean months on crutches or walk away (literally) without serious injury.

Looking back at the most common foot injuries in motorcycling, placement of protection should be located in high impact and outer areas. We recommend armor (Normally molded TPU plastic/Kevlar) in the upper shin area to stop wayward branches/stumps breaking Tibia and Fibula bones (bones that connect your knee and ankle)

The next critical location for motorcycle boot armor is around the heel area, the best boots integrate this armor into a rigid sole providing lateral rigidness throughout the boot and stop hyperextension and twisting.

Armor and Protection Summary

The more armor the better and armor that is integrated into a rigid sole provides the best protection.


Pricing of adventure motorcycle boots

Price is an important factor in the purchase decision. Motorcycle boots start from as little as $50 all the way up to $600 plus for specialized boots. In short, you get what you pay for… Researching this guild, we found the average price for a great pair of boots is around $260-380.

Considering hospital bills in the USA, this is is an exceptional deal for something that could save you a lifetime on crutches or worse. When deciding what pair of boots suit you best, leave the price point decision to the very last, life and limb should not have a price tag.

According to NTDB “NTDB-NSP showed that lower-extremity injuries were the most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists”

If you are can’t purchase mid to high range motorcycle boots, the lower priced motorcycle boots are always going to be better than common everyday shoes.

As the old saying goes: “Don’t dress for the ride; dress for the slide.”

Motorcycle Boot Pricing Summary

In short, you get what you pay for but any motorcycle-centric boot is better than everyday shoes. Lower-extremity injuries were the most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists


Leather VS synthetic for adventure motorcycle boots

Most boots are traditionally made from thick leather, more and more motorcycle boot manufacturers are investing into material research and providing synthetic materials that have a higher abrasion resistance, better waterproofing qualities, and better breathability.

Synthetic materials (AKA Full grain microfiber) are generally lighter than leather and cost less. Synthetic motorcycle boots are on par with leather regarding abrasion resistance, the material is less bulky and can be washed and waterproofed repeatedly.

Both provide sufficient protection and functionality, one difference is leather is viewed to be aesthetically more attractive and has a better style. But with the advancement of material design, synthetic materials are catching up rapidly.

Leather VS Synthetic boots summary

Don’t be put off by the new style of synthetic boots, they come with many advantages, leather boots are tried and tested. 


Removable and Replaceable Parts

Having replaceable parts on a motorcycle boot is great when a part is damaged due to overuse or broken because of an accident. Many motorcycle boots come with a small set of spare parts for this very reason, keep in mind for the common parts that get damaged throughout the lifespan, replacement parts can be ordered directly from the manufacturer to extend the boots lifecycle. So before you throw the riding boots away, contact the manufacturer to see if they offer replacement parts. The most common parts that need replacing are the quick release buckles and hardware that hold the hinge system in place.

Some boots have removable liners and inner soles that make it incredibly easy to wash dirty inner padding. Regular washing will extend the boots lifespan as mud and dust get embedded in the fabric and with motion, it can destroy the boot from inside out. 

Removable and replaceable parts summary

Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts before discarding your motorcycle boots. Wash inner liners regularly to avoid foreign particles destroying the boot from the inside out. 


Construction

When deciding on what motorcycle boots are best for you, take note of the following construction points, these will not only show the quality of the motorcycle boot but dictate protection levels and durability.

Double or triple stitching – This will dictate how the boot holds together in the event of an accident, often the boot is trapped between the motorcycle and tarmac and immense force is applied to the seams of the boot. To prevent the boot tearing apart, double or triple sticking is a must.

Connection to the boot – The upper or outer parts should be integrated into the sole of the motorcycle boot. This will make the boot extremely rigid in the event of an accident and keep your feet safe. Some uppers are “over-molded” a process where the upper boot is fused with the sole by injection molding. This is a great construction method, be aware some manufacturers make it look like the sole and upper are sewn together but in fact, this is simply a dummy sewing line for aesthetic reasons.

Construction summary

Get double or triple stitched motorcycle boots only. Overmolded upper to sole construction provides the best boot stability.


Fitting and Sizing

Getting the correct fit is essential for comfort. As brands have slight differences in sizes and widths, buying a new brand of adventure motorcycle boots online can be daunting. Make sure you see the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines and keep in mind that one foot could be a half size bigger than your other foot. This is completely normal and common.  

If you are unsure on sizing, most shops offer returns with no restocking fee and often free return on shipping. Order a few sizes and return the products that don’t fit if it’s accepted. Just make sure you take care of the motorcycle boots you return and avoid cuffing and marking them or making them dirty, they must be returned new so the retailer can sell them.

If you ride in colder conditions and regularly where thick isolation socks keep this in mind when choosing the correct size. All manufacturers have detailed sizing charts.

Measuring adventure motorcycle boots

Most of you know your boot size, but here is a guild to finding the correct motorbike boot size if you are unsure. Make sure you measure your foot accurately as possible, down to an eighth of an inch (3mm) since will affects the fit. Again, remember to measure with your socks.

To make it easier, trace your foot onto a piece of paper and measure the length.

Foot Length (in)

Foot Length (cm)

U.S. Men Size

U.S. Women Size

Euro Size

9 1/2 24.1 5 1/2 7 37 1/2
9 5/8 24.5 6 7 1/2 38
9 3/4 248 6 1/2 8 38 1/2
9 7/8 25.1 7 8 1/2 39
10 25.4 7 1/2 9 40
10 1/8 25.7 8 9 1/2 41
10 1/4 26 8 1/2 10 42
10 1/2 26.7 9 10 1/2 43
10 3/4 27.3 9 ½ 11 44
11 27.9 10 11 1/2 45

Woman’s adventure motorcycle boots

Women get the short straw generally in the adventure riding gear market. Even though the motorbike manufacturers have upped the game and supplied a variety of ADV bikes, most adventure motorcycle boots are designed for men. This is simply the case that the market has more men riders and manufactures concentrate R&D and manufacturing resources on this.

Women’s moto boots simply come in smaller sizes and are in fact unisex. To the best of my knowledge and research, I can’t find a true adventure motorcycle boots specifically targeted at woman. Even womensadvriders.com recommend the boots in this article. Better yet, take the review from Kinga onherbike.com, she is a long-term overland traveler with extensive experiences with the Forma Adventure Boots.

Woman’s adventure motorcycle boots Summary

 The boots in this article come in smaller sizes for women riders. Many of my female adventure rider friends use: Forma Adventure Off-Road Motorcycle Boots


Conclusion

All of the adventure motorcycle boots in this review are top of the range and you won’t go wrong with any of them. The boots I have listed are used by long-term adventure riders and the gear is put to its absolute limits. We have also ordered and tested all these boots too. Nothing better than hands-on experience.

What’s important for you when buying a pair of adventure boots is comfort and the adequate protection you need for your riding style, if its predominate off road-riding then you need a stiffer sole and more armor, if it’s more touring on tarmac, then comfort and flexibility is important. 

Once you have decided on one of the boots, check the manufacture sizing charts, they know the American and European market and make boots to fit specifically for these riders.  

Let me know in the comments below if you think a boot should be added to this list or your experiences with these boots, at ROGUE we want to keep info up to date and relevant to help find people the gear they need.

Now you know all about the best ADV boots, read up on my quietest motorcycle helmet review.

Rubber side up!

Motorcycle boots are protective, but they cannot protect you from every type of injury. Please ride safely!




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