Best Budget Motorcycle Boots – (2020) Ultimate Review

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You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great motorcycle boots. In fact, price doesn’t always match quality here, so cheaper shoes can be better.

Here are our top budget choices, plus some additional information for buying new shoes.

Our Top Picks for Best Budget Motorcycle Boots

  • Safe to use
  • Very comfortable
  • Great for cold seasons
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  • Durable, strong
  • Safe to use
  • Improved comfort
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  • Best for the Money
  • Easy to fit
  • Safe to use
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Comparison of the Best Budget Motorcycle Boots

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • A very durable rubber sole attached for safe footing
  • Flexible around the ankles for improved comfort
  • A faux fir lining included for better heat control
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  • Made from 100 percent leather for durability
  • Soles are made to be slip-resistant on oil
  • The cushion shock lining is full length of the boot
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  • Best for the Money
  • Uses the four buckle snap and lock closure system
  • Molded plastic plates included for impact protection
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  • Comes with waterproof Gore-Tex interior membrane
  • Strong toe box for improved safety option
  • Wide entry system with easy Velcro shin closure
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  • Insoles are replaceable and anti-bacterial
  • Mid-sole is reinforced with metal shank for better flexibility
  • Heel armor made from molded polymer injection
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Can You Really Find Quality Motorcycle Boots That Are Affordable? 

Yes. People often associate “cheap” products with lower quality, and while that’s true to an extent, it’s not as accurate for motorcycle boots as it seems at first. Even cheaper motorcycle boots tend to cost upwards of $100, which means companies can make some surprisingly high-quality products.

Shoes too far beyond that range tend to be more expensive either because they’re branded or because they have many additional features. However, while those features may be useful for some people, most people don’t need anything more than a tall, durable boot. In fact, it’s often better to avoid premium-priced boots and focus on practical options instead.

O'Neal Men's New Logo Rider Boot

Why Did These Budget Motorcycle Boots Make Our List? 

Here are the factors that we used to judge the boots for this list.

Price

This is a simple make-or-break quality. Any shoe that costs too much isn’t a budget shoe by definition, so we removed shoes for being too expensive regardless of their quality. This is also a fast and easy way to trim down the larger list we started with, which helped us determine which shoes to focus on.

Height

Motorcycle shoes need to cover the ankles at a minimum, but the best shoes protect the leg until just under the knee. We gave extra points to full height boots and subtracted points from any that are too short or too long.

Material

Genuine leather motorcycle boots are the best products, so we rank these higher than boots made of artificial materials like Lorica. However, we also gave extra points to shoes with artificial liners and support options since those tend to be even better than pure leather.

Closure

Closures are the way you open and close your boots. While laces are popular because they can give a precise fit, we don’t like the way they can come undone or get hooked into other things. (Features that prevent this, such as straps over laces, are something that can retain points.)

We gave extra points to more-secure closures, such as Velcro straps or buckles. These are fundamentally safer than laces, and we value that over almost any other criteria.

Stitching

Great motorcycle boots have double- or triple-stitching. This makes them far more durable in the event of a crash, where weaker stitching might come undone. Similarly, we prefer soles that are sewn into the bot instead of glued on. Glue is fundamentally inferior here, so we subtracted a lot of points for the shoes that didn’t bother with sewing the soles in.

Quick Take - Best Budget Motorcycle Boots

Hoping to cut to the chase? Below are the three best budget motorcycle boots:

  1. Bruno Marc Combat Oxford Boots
  2. Harley-Davidson  D91005
  3. O'Neal Men's New Logo Rider Boot

Review of the Best Budget Motorcycle Boots

Here are our top budget motorcycle boots, as well as why we like them compared to other options.

Bruno Marc Men's Engle-01 Black Motorcycle Combat Oxford Boots Size 6.5 M US

PROS

  • Uses a durable rubber sole
  • Available in many color options
  • Has a comfortable faux fur interior
  • Zips to close, so the laces are for style
  • Extremely affordable compared to other motorcycle boots

CONS

  • They’re not as tall as other options
  • Not as protective as true motorcycle boots

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers feel that these shoes are extremely comfortable for the price, which we always like hearing. They’re also very resistant to damage, though, like all boots, they require good long-term care. However, while they’re a great budget option, they don’t offer as much protection as taller boots do.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main thing that stands out to us is the blend of comfort and affordability. While these aren’t proper racing shoes, they’re great for casual motorcyclists and anyone who wants to enjoy a longer trip in different conditions.

Bottom Line

When price matters most, these are the shoes to look at. They’re not fancy, but they’re comfortable, and they get the job done, which is the minimum most people want from motorcycle shoes. Expect them to wear out sooner than more-expensive shoes, though.

Harley-Davidson Men's Badlands Boot,Black,7 M

PROS

  • 100% leather outside of the leather sole
  • Taller than many other ankle-range boots
  • From one of the most well-known motorcycle brands
  • Imported shoes, which mean they’re often made to higher standards
  • Uses a Goodyear welt for the sole, which improves durability and longevity

CONS

  • A little smaller than most shoes of comparable sizes
  • The leather isn’t particularly durable without extra care

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers say that these boots have a nice design, and they’re comfortable to wear, but also that they tend to run small. Consider ordering them a half-size larger than you usually do and exchanging them for a smaller size only if that doesn’t fit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We mainly like branding here. Harley-Davidson is a well-known brand, and this particular shoe resists oil, slipping, and abrasion. It’s also a little higher than many other ankle-length shoes, which makes a real difference if you take a slide.

Bottom Line

This isn’t our favorite shoe on the market, but it’s still a solid choice towards the top of what we consider the budget range. The Goodyear welt is particularly nice to see here, while the full-length cushioned lining provides added comfort. However, they do run small, so you may need to exchange them for a different size.

O'Neal 0325-111 Men's New Logo Rider Boot (Black, Size 11)

PROS

  • Reasonably tall
  • Uses metal shank inserts to reinforce the shape
  • Has a four-buckle closure system for easy adjustments
  • Injection-molded plastic helps protect against impacts
  • An air mesh interior provides excellent cooling and heel support

CONS

  • Only available in full sizes
  • A little too stiff for easy shifting while riding

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers agree that these boots are extremely durable in general, and not just for the price range. However, this is a point of contention. They’re so tough and stiff that they can make certain activities (like shifting) noticeably harder than other shoes do.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These shoes stand out to us for their durability. Even people who don’t like these shoes agree that they’re abnormally tough, which makes them a great value for the price. That said, it takes a little practice to master riding with these shoes, so don’t expect to put them on and ride the same as before.

Bottom Line

These boots aren’t for everyone because their stiffness is a make-or-break quality. However, if you don’t mind adjusting the way you ride, these boots offer excellent durability at a competitive price point. They’re also taller than our top two choices, which is a valuable trait in its own right.

PROS

  • Ideal for long-distance rides
  • Includes a Velcro shin closure
  • Uses a Gore-Tex liner for weatherproofing
  • The reinforced shift pad protects the upper foot
  • Simple, stylish design that goes well above the ankles

CONS

  • More expensive than other budget boots
  • It should have a little more Velcro for proper security

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers agree that these are comfortable shoes straight out of the box, which is great if you’re on a time limit and don’t want to spend time breaking them in. However, some feel that the Velcro attachments are a little too small and don’t tighten quite enough, which is why these shoes aren’t one of our top choices.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like the comfort level of these boots. They’re surprisingly complex, too. While they look relatively normal from the outside, the insides have several linings in strategic areas to make them more durable.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, these shoes are a little too expensive to be true budget boots, but they’re an outstanding choice all the same. Between out-of-the-box comfort and extra reinforcements under the surface, they’re worth serious consideration by all buyers.

Joe Rocket Super Street RX14 Men's Leather Motorcycle Riding Boots (Black, Size 7)

PROS

  • Fastens with a simple buckle at the top
  • Surprisingly flexible for the way it looks
  • Uses replaceable magnesium toe sliders
  • Has an added Velcro/Zipper enclosure for a secure fit
  • Split-grain leather construction reduces points of entry for water

CONS

  • Uses glue on the sole
  • Not as durable as many other shoes

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers agree that these are comfortable shoes, and they’re a reasonably good deal for the price. However, the insole is thin, and these shoes aren’t quite as durable as other shoes in this price range (like the O’Neal above), which makes it harder to recommend these.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like the generally solid design of these boots. Between the zipper, velcro, and buckle up top, they have several adjustment points without being overly complicated to use.

Bottom Line

These are nice-looking shoes, but they’re a little fragile compared to most motorcycle boots. With the right adjustments, they can become better, but ultimately we think these are a backup option because there are better boots in the same price range.

What Are Motorcycle Boots Made Of? 

Motorcycle boots can be made out of different materials. Here are the most common options.

Leather

Easily the most popular option, leather motorcycle boots are made of thicker material than regular shoes. This gives them better abrasion resistance, though it also increases their weight and stiffness while you’re out on the road. Treated leather is significantly better than untreated leather, which tends to absorb water instead of repelling it.

Lorica

Lorica is a branded textile from an Italian manufacturer that serves as an imitation letter. It’s not quite as good for motorcycle boots as genuine leather, but it is lighter and more flexible. Lorica is also non-allergenic and non-irritating, which is good for particularly sensitive users.

Some people may refer to other artificial leather types as Lorica, although this is not, strictly speaking, accurate.

Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex isn’t so much a material as a membrane, so people usually put it in as a liner instead of a primary material. The main advantage of this material is that it doesn’t let rain in, but it does let sweat out, so the interior is functionally waterproof as long as you can cover the top.

Keep in mind that Gore-Tex does not protect the leather itself, so you still need a water-repelling coating to protect your boots long-term.

When Should I Replace My Motorcycle Boots?

There are several signs you can use to tell when it’s time to replace your motorcycle boots. Always try to replace them before they get too worn down; if you don’t, they might not work when you need them.

The most obvious sign is the wear on the soles. If the treads are smooth (or close to smooth), it’s time to change boots. If the rest of your shoe is good, however, a professional might be able to replace the treads and leave the rest alone.

You should also replace your motorcycle boots if you see that the ankle cuff is worn down, the boots no longer fit well, or they’re starting to leak. Like worn treads, professionals might be able to salvage leaky shoes, so you’re not out of luck if you love the shoe itself.

How to Waterproof Leather Motorcycle Boots

Waterproofing leather motorcycle boots is a multi-step process. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Clean your boots with a toothbrush or a similar stiff-bristled cleaning brush. Get as much mud, grime, and other debris off of the leather as possible.

  2. Apply a leather cleaner (for true leather, not imitations) and follow its instructions exactly. Cover every bit of your boots’ surface to get them as clean as possible.

  3. Let the boots dry overnight after cleaning. Do not heat them at this time because that can damage the leather.

  4. After the boots are dry, apply boot oil (or mink oil, a more animal-based equivalent). This helps ensure the leather won’t dry out and gives a nice, waterproof layer to your boots. You can use either your hands or a cloth to apply it. Make sure you get into every seam of your boots.

  5. Let the boots dry overnight again. In the morning, after they’re totally dry, they should be ready to wear.

  6. If you want extra protection, add your choice of a waterproofing material after you let them dry again. As with the cleaner, follow the instructions on the container exactly. Any deviations could stop it from working as intended. A leather protectant is a good choice at this stage.

  7. You’re done!

Conclusion

Safety is always the most important thing when you’re buying motorcycle shoes. If they can’t get the job done, there’s no point in buying them. However, as you can see, there are plenty of great options for budget-conscious buyers. When you know how to look for quality, you can find great motorcycle shoes without breaking the bank to get them.

People Also Ask

Here are some of the most common questions that people have about buying motorcycle boots.

Are Motorcycle Boots Worth it?

Yes. As a motorcycle rider, you’re more exposed to certain threats than drivers in cars or other vehicles. Threats include proximity to a hot engine and a real possibility of skidding across the ground. Motorcycle boots help minimize your risks and protect your feet better if you end up crashing.

How to Stretch Motorcycle Boots

First, note that you can only stretch leather boots well. If you’re wearing other types of motorcycle boots, get a bigger size instead. Artificial leather (such as Lorica) is not stretchable, either.

The easiest way to stretch motorcycle boots is wearing thick socks and walking around in the boots for a while. This forces them to stretch naturally.

Alternatively, you can make a 1:2 mix of rubbing alcohol and water, spraying the inside of the boot and walking around in it for 20 minutes, repeating as needed.

For the best (but slowest) results, take your shoes to a cobbler. They can do things professionally, which is generally better than doing it yourself.

Joe Rocket Super Street RX14

How Do You Style Motorcycle Boots?

Technically, you do not style motorcycle boots. The manufacturer does. However, when choosing styles, focus on practicality first and extras second. Leather linings are important because they help your feet breathe, while the boots should go past your ankles but not high enough to interfere with bending your knee. From there, it’s mainly personal taste.

However, you can style your clothes around your motorcycle boots. Popular combinations include skinny jeans and a blazer, with midi or maxi length dresses, and with leggings, both leather and non-leather. Have fun and make the style fit your unique personality and the personality of your motorcycle boots. 

Do You Really Need Motorcycle Boots?

Strictly speaking, you can operate a motorcycle without wearing motorcycle boots, but you shouldn’t. You may need to handle various threats while riding a motorcycle, including dealing with a bike that wants to tip over or slide onto your foot, and motorcycle boots are the most effective way of protecting yourself.

How to Clean Motorcycle Boots Inside

First, only use cleaners that are rated for your boots’ materials. Anything else is likely to cause damage over time.

Assuming you’re cleaning leather boots, which are what most people buy, use a specialty leather cleaning product and rub both the inside and outside of the boots. This will remove contaminants and help the leather last longer. Use a leather conditioner 24 hours after cleaning them (and don’t use them in the meantime).

If you live in a wetter area, consider applying a water-repelling spray or rub-on treatment after cleaning and conditioning them. This will further protect them from potential damage.