What Shoes To Wear While Riding A Motorcycle

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Although you might think jumping on a motorcycle in your comfiest trainers would be the best way to ride, they aren’t enough to keep you safe and supported as you ride. 

Your feet and ankles aren’t just exposed to the road and outdoor elements, but to the heat of your motorcycle exhaust pipes and fumes. They also help you control your bike and support you as you’re stopping, setting off or parking up, so having the right motorcycle shoes is key to keeping your feet and ankles protected. This article will explain how to find the best pair for you. 

Why is the right footwear important on a motorcycle? 

To stay balanced, maneuver accurately and keep control over your motorcycle, you need to be able to move your feet and feel the footpeg or floorboard beneath you. This means the footwear you choose needs to be comfortable, not restrict any movement and give you a sense of the pressure you’re putting on your bike’s controls. 

Bikes can also be heavy and hot, with the risk of injury if you fall off or have an accident. So any footwear you ride in should keep your feet and ankles protected from harsh elements, heat and any impact you experience on the road. To do this, they need materials that are durable, weatherproof and reinforced to protect the areas of the foot most vulnerable to damage. 

Can you wear trainers on a motorcycle? 

With thinner soles than boots, a comfortable fit and a stylish look, you might think trainers are the perfect option to pull on before you hop on your motorcycle. However, there are a few reasons why trainers aren’t the most suitable riding shoes. Firstly, the materials they’re made from aren’t usually very durable or waterproof, meaning they can soon become uncomfortable and won’t protect you from the weather or road, particularly if you have an accident. 

They also don’t have any reinforcement, meaning your foot won’t be protected from impacts or abrasions. Although you might think that hi-tops or standard boots will support your ankle from fatigue or injury, this isn’t the case. Laces aren’t covered either, meaning there’s a risk they’ll get trapped in the bike, road or track. Plus, the soles are too thin to protect and support the bottom of your feet, with any reinforcement making it difficult to feel and control the bike accurately. So, rather than using everyday shoes or boots, having specifically-designed motorcycle shoes is recommended to keep you fully protected and at ease. 

What are motorcycle shoes? 

Motorcycle shoes are footwear that is specifically designed to support and protect a rider’s feet and ankles as they travel and in the case of an accident. Made from durable, weatherproof materials, they help to keep a motorcyclist’s feet and ankles comfortable, dry and relatively cool, even on long rides. Plus, certain areas of motorcycle shoes, such as their toes, heels and ankles are usually reinforced for protection from impact and abrasions. 

To help riders keep control over their bike, the soles of motorcycle shoes are responsive and have different levels of grip depending on whether someone will be riding on or off-road to give them extra support. Motorcycle boots and shoes also come in a range of styles, such as sneakers, boots or racing shoes, meaning riders don’t have to compromise on looks, protection or comfort. 

How can you find the best motorcycle shoes? 

There are many types of motorcycle shoes out there, so to find the best option for you, the first step should be to consider the type of riding they’ll be used for. For example, if you mostly ride off-road, then motorcycle sneakers won’t be the most appropriate. Once you’ve narrowed down the category of shoes you need, it’s key that you look for features such as:

  • Quality certification: CE/UKCA marks signify that the shoes you’re buying meet the relevant standards, meaning they can be trusted to keep you protected in an accident. Check they’re certified to EN13634, the specific standard for protective footwear for motorcycle riders.
  • Durable materials: as well as resisting impacts and abrasions, motorcycle shoes should be made from waterproof and breathable materials to keep riders’ feet safe from the elements, and heatproof to protect them from exhaust fumes or pipes. 
  • Level of support: reinforcement and support on the ankle and foot will help riders stay comfortable on long rides and in the case of an accident. D3O’s high-performance padding is usually placed in the ankle area to protect this vulnerable area and, in some designs, can be found in the sole to offer extra support and comfort. 
  • Secure fit: all motorcycle shoes should have a close but not restrictive fit. This will allow you to stay comfortable without hampering your movement. Plus, certain types of shoes have vents or moisture-wicking materials to keep riders’ feet comfortable in hot weather. 

By thinking carefully about the types of shoes you need and looking around for the above features, and in particular premium D3O® protection, you can make sure your feet and ankles stay protected and comfortable as you ride.