Dirt bikes are used in a range of different disciplines and there are different boot designs to suit.
Motocross Boots – The term ‘motocross’ gets thrown around a lot but we are referring to the ‘sport’ of motocross which involves racing around a marked track, usually with jumps. As ankle injuries are very common in motocross you won’t see many racers hitting the track in a low-end boot. Look for something with extra ankle support. Your foot needn’t even touch the ground to endure an ankle fracture. Often times over-jumping or falling-short on a jump is all it takes to fracture one or both ankles.
Trail/Enduro Boots – Look for something with a little more toe protection. As trail riders have more natural obstacles to manoeuvre, crushing injuries seem quite common. Steel capped boots aren’t enough. Some boots sport extra toe protection with re-enforcements around the toe area; usually the more expensive ones. As a trail rider you’ll also want extra waterproofing for those creek crossings. Unfortunately, the cheapies just aren’t very waterproof either so you might have to up the budget a little. ***TIP - Keep your boots waterproof by not blasting the waterproofing out with a pressure washer. Don’t let the leather dry out and treat it regularly with a waterproofing leather treatment. Available at most supermarkets or shoe stores.***
Moto Trials Boots – Look for something with a moulded sole that’s both light and flexible. You’ll be spending a fair bit of time walking the sections so make sure they are comfortable.
Mini-Bike/Thumpster Boots - Smaller boots for a smaller bike? Well… yes and no. There are short-cut boots on the market which are essentially a twin buckled, smaller brother of the full-sized items we are used too. But, we always recommend a full-length boot if you can manage it. The longer upper will keep your shins better protected and keep your skin away from that burning exhaust pipe. Some bikes are simply too small to accommodate a full-length boot in which case a ‘short boot’ is still a ginormous upgrade from a pair of shoes. If you aren’t sure, bring your bike in with you. Try them on and find what works best for you. Remember you have to be comfortable when wearing them. An uncomfortable pair of boots is a huge distraction and a distracted rider is a dangerous rider.
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