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Motorcycle Boots for the Naked Newbie

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Classic Motorcycle Boots

IS ANY “ONE” PIECE OF GEAR MORE IMPORTANT?

Stated differently, if you were going to ride a motorcycle naked, except for one selection of motorcycle protective gear, which would it be?

Well, if we presume it’s warm and dry enough to ride a motorcycle naked in the first place, we really can isolate which is the most vital piece of gear:

Motorcycle Boots. Surprised?

ALTHOUGH “ALL” PROTECTIVE GEAR IS IMPORTANT…

Certainly motorcycle jackets offer the broadest area of protection.  Helmets are broadly known for their ability to save lives, as well as the controversy about whether one should be forced to wear one or not.  Good biker gloves are immensely practical in their immediate connection to controlling the motorbike.  Adequate leg protection, in the form of motorcycle pants and/or chaps, are certainly on this short list of most-needed items for biker protection.  And for many motorcyclists, who are more adventurous than the “Sunny Weekend Rider,” good rain gear is almost as important as one’s motorcycle choice.

All the aforementioned selections of riders’ protective gear have an important role in keeping us safer and enjoying the unique and incomparable experience that motorcycle riding has to offer (on and off the road) for years to come.

THE “ONE” ITEM THAT WOULD HELP YOU THE MOST IF YOU WERE A NAKED RIDER

But when you isolate just ONE piece of gear, particularly if you were riding with nothing else, good boots are the most elemental.  Presuming you didn’t crash while reflecting the pleasant day ambiance against all your natural and personal glory while riding sans any apparel, you will need to put at least one foot down whenever you stop, particularly if you get pulled over by a peace officer who may question your choice of protective gear.

In other words, hypothetically, you could get on a bike, go for a ride, and without any untoward mishaps, have no contact with anything potentially discomforting – other than the ground.  Although this naked riding example is a bit extreme, consider that your feet and ankles are the most exposed parts of your body when it comes to routine and potential risks, such as rocks, branches, curbs that are too close, or even the necessity to re-assert your footing very quickly when you are stopped and inadvertently slip on some loose sand or road oil.  And if you are an aggressive rider you may occasionally experience your boots brushing the pavement in a high-lean-angle turn.  (That would be unfriendly with a naked foot).

SHOES ARE “NOT” BOOTS

And speaking of ankles, it’s worth emphasizing that good shoes are NOT a substitute for good motorcycle boots.  If your ankles are not protected, those critical little junctures of your body are liable to getting twisted, mangled or otherwise broken, even in a minor motorcycle mishap, where you might have otherwise only suffered very minor or no injuries, had you been wearing boots.  (NOTE: “minor” or “no” injuries would be an unlikely end result of a naked-riding motorcycle mishap).

GOOD MOTORCYCLE BOOTS ARE A VITAL PART OF MOTORBIKE SAFETY

There’s certainly more to know about good riding boots, but the point of this naked riding analogy is to highlight the importance that good motorcycle boots provide as part of your safe riding experience.  (By the way, riding a motorcycle naked, even with good boots, is probably not the most sensible thing you could be accused of doing as a biker).

Safe riding!

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One Comment »

  • Jack Cheasty said:

    Boots are not an option if you want to survive a M/C crash w/o a broken ankle or a foot abraided down to the bone. I very recently lost a 2010 ElectraGlide limited Edition to a deer collision at 830 in the evening. Doe, estimated by the police to be around 150 lbs jumped over the embankment into my lane with zero room. She was perhaps 2-4 feet in front of my headlight and impact was instantaneous. I was doing the speed limit, 50 mph. I went down fast and hard. The forks were bent, the triple tree bent, the batwing faring and windshield cracked and the R side light torn off. The entire L side of the bike was trashed. 18K plus worth of damage and the bike was totalled by the insurance company. I was not wearing a jacket due to the heat. I had a long sleeve henley shirt. It was almost 90 deg. Mistake. I am now still nursing a world class road rash on my L arm, shoulder and hip, six weeks after the event. A leather jacked would have helped significantly. I was wearing army issue combat boots, laced up. Feet unscathed. I don’t like boots that don’t lace up around your ankles. Better support than the M/C boots sold in most bike shops. I jumped out of planes in the army for over 16 years and never broke an ankle. Lace up boots work well. I lay under the bike after the crash. Legs okay. Blue jeans did the trick. Engine guard protected my legs from a crush injury as I went over the embankment and into a ditch along the side of the road. My 98 dollar half-helmet from the local Harley dealership hit the deck and slid. Held up. No facial or skull injury. My glasses were still on my face with cable temples. That was the most surprising outcome. My army issue gloves slid along the pavement at high speed for a bit and were trashed. My hands were unscathed. My left clavicle was fractured in 4 places and required surgery. I am now the owner of a titanium plate and six screws. My anatomy looks normal. I am in some discomfort, but expect to be back riding in a couple of months. The bike was replaced 5 days after the accident and the new one sits in my garage awaiting my recovery to be complete. The deer did not survive.

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