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Thread: Bike/hike/office/highway boots? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-11-2014 07:13 PM
clogan FWIW, I was wearing "motorcycle specific" boots when I high sided on the interstate at 75 mph. Broke all five metatarsals in my left foot. But my ankle was OK. And in only 4 short months, I could walk again. And ride again. I now wear Sidi boots, for the extra padding, support, and protection they offer. Protection of the lower leg and foot are paramount. Obviously, sneakers are better than flip flops, boots better than sneakers, and stiff, armored motorcycle boots are better than regular boots. And top quality motorcycle boots are better than run of the mill, "motorcycle" boots.

I recommend the best Sidi (or equivalent) boots you can buy. You really cannot afford to do less if you crash. Of course, if you don't ever crash, it really doesn't matter. But Who takes that bet????
04-01-2013 08:11 PM
beejjorgensen
Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
Any thoughts on an inexpensive first boot?
Other suggestions?
A couple more things on the price.

There was a guy who attempted Everest multiple times, and he was on a budget. He skimped on gloves on one of the early attempts, and ended up losing a finger. I remember him kicking himself to the effect of, "Why didn't I spend $100 more on gloves? It seems like such a small amount compared to a finger."

Now, of course it's wise to consider, like you are doing, that just because a boot costs $250 doesn't mean it's worth $250. What if a $100 standard boot offers superior protection? Believe me, I perform this calculus with practically everything in my life. "Do I need a $180 tire, or will a k761 do it for me?" "Do I need the $30 wind guards for my barkbusters, or can I make better ones with a $3 plastic trash can and some zip ties?" It's totally valid. But given that motorcycle boots are special-purpose designed and built for a motorcycle crash, it's unlikely that a non-moto boot will outperform it in a motorcycle crash. But it might... Will the $100 boot be good enough? Well, that all depends on how you plan to crash it.

And I at least know if I end up in the hospital with a crushed ankle, I did all I could to protect it, and I won't be out of commission wishing I'd spent $100 more on boots.

Before I got my bike, I told myself this: "You are required to spend $1200 on safety gear. So hurry up and spend it." And I did (I might have spent a little less, but it was about a grand—boots were $250). Lots of places give you a discount if you just passed the MSF course, so use that. Some will let you apply it retroactively to a point.

The deductible on my health insurance is $4000, so I prefer to stay out of the emergency room if at all possible, because it's going to cost me $4000 the minute I get there—more if it's out of network. With that in mind, the gear could easily pay for itself in a single crash. Your insurance situation might be different.

For the course, I wore my hiking boots. It's what I had, and they said it was OK, so there we are. And it was fine for the class. Heck, $20 work boots from Target are probably fine for the class, and any other time you're riding less than 20 MPH on an asphalt closed course with a lightweight 250 CC bike.
04-01-2013 07:22 PM
beejjorgensen
Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
Not taking any advice???
Easy, there. In the guys' defense, you did sound a bit like you weren't interested in many of the opinions here.

At the very least, the takeaway should be there's something to considering a moto-specific boot over a non-moto boot, given the popularity of that viewpoint.

Besides, we can't start off on the wrong foot on a thread about boots. It has to at least be about motor oil.
04-01-2013 07:20 PM
Cabrito Geo,
I totally understand your frustration with all the great advice ;-) you are getting.

My opinion is that any shoe or boot that is unlikely to come off if you crash might be good enough. Shoot – I crashed at 75mph on the freeway and slid for probably 25 or 30 yards minimum and was wearing my Hi-top Airwalk Skateboarding shoes, and guess what? My feet were fine! No issues there whatsoever. I did however have major road rash on my left butt cheek and thigh. It took hours for my girlfriend to pick rocks out of my bleeding flesh. I was wearing jeans. I also had a minor shoulder separation and trashed my leather MC jacket and helmet. I will add that I was extremely lucky that night, and from that point on I started to think more about the gear I wear at least while riding on the freeway.

The way I see it is if you are on a budget and can’t spend a lot of dough you can get by with any type of boot that works for you. Just get something that offers some protection, and won't come off while sliding..

Even though it might seem like folks are being harsh it’s because they care, and want you get good boots to protect yourself.
04-01-2013 06:54 PM
geolemon
Quote:
Originally Posted by willys View Post
Ditto....I feel you are not interested in taking any advise from experienced riders who have had the worst happen to them. They are only trying to suggest what they feel the best for you.

I'm not trying to be a dick here but, you have excellent advice and many many suggestions on what to possibly purchase to protect you from harm and why.

So, good luck to you.....ride safe....but please let us know if and when you do have an ankle or leg injury that possibly could have been prevented by purchasing the correct equipment.

This is motorcycling...not skate boarding.......there happens to be many more options for permanent damages here.


Sorry to sound blunt, but......it seems there is no satisfying your needs.

I'm out too....
Not taking any advice???
I've been BEGGING for advice of substance.
There's been nothing other than "Don't learn, just buy this $900 boot - trust me! [says the random internet guy]"
You've got delusions of grandeur if you expect someone to trust in your decision when you can't even explain it yourself.
Crazy.

My "needs" for this thread are to understand what features are available in boots. Tangible stuff, not "trust me, I know".
Again - if there was only one direction for "good", no other products would exist. Boots would all look the same, because anything that didn't conform to that would be "worse". Clearly that's not the case.
...and my attempts to steer this thread towards becoming something informative are met with responses like yours -
Guess what? You ARE being a dick if that's your response. Take your football and go home then.

I've been trying to steer the conversation repeatedly AWAY from blind "trust me" recommendations back to trying to gain an UNDERSTANDING of what actually matters in a boot, and why.
Repeatedly.
Your "good advice" examples are the outcome of your personal decision without explanation more specific than "more protection".
I suppose I should go out and buy a Kenworth for my next car too, because "more protection" must be all that matters, right?

I'm not interested in being the guy who buys what YOU are buying.
I'm interested in understanding how things work, and getting something that fits my needs. I'm sure I"m not alone - hence, a thread - on a forum!
Novel.

I'm a little surprised to see some pretty cranky responses from people that from the evidence on this thread aren't capable of describing the differences, trade-offs, desirables and undesirables in different boots when used for different applications. That certainly doesn't lend any credibility or confidence on my part that you even reached the RIGHT decision, in that one expensive decision that you're saying is "the best".


By contrast, thank you beejjorgensen! Here's a post with some INFORMATION - that allows someone to make an informed, educated decision:

Quote:
Originally Posted by beejjorgensen View Post
Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_boot

In particular, note the CE Certification section of the article. These are some things worth considering for a good motorcycle boot.
HERE is some information that can be used to MAKE a decision -
Rather than having someone belittle you for not making the same decision they made.
04-01-2013 05:43 PM
willys
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Look you have experienced riders advising you (complete with graphic pictures and descriptions of injuries) to buy motorcycle specific boots, high top stiff and protective. Motorcycles are not bicycles. You'll learn how to shift and brake by moving you feet.

You can ride in flip flops a speedo and a beenie helmet your choice. Done with this thread.
Ditto....I feel you are not interested in taking any advise from experienced riders who have had the worst happen to them. They are only trying to suggest what they feel the best for you.

I'm not trying to be a dick here but, you have excellent advice and many many suggestions on what to possibly purchase to protect you from harm and why.

So, good luck to you.....ride safe....but please let us know if and when you do have an ankle or leg injury that possibly could have been prevented by purchasing the correct equipment.

This is motorcycling...not skate boarding.......there happens to be many more options for permanent damages here.


Sorry to sound blunt, but......it seems there is no satisfying your needs.

I'm out too....
04-01-2013 01:59 PM
beejjorgensen
Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
I'm not sure where "ankle protection" factors in, I'm curious how people are perceiving "ankle protection", meaning - what risk scenarios are you picturing protecting from?
To be clear, this "ankle protection" is a deliberate physical attribute of the boot, not just that it's taller and covers your ankle. It's stiff leather, or it has reinforcing shims inside it, or somesuch; it's stuff that has no place in a hiking boot.

Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_boot

In particular, note the CE Certification section of the article. These are some things worth considering for a good motorcycle boot. Are the seams facing the correct direction in the other boots you listed? Who among us would have even considered that when shopping around?

(Until I looked at WP just now, I didn't even know there was a CE certification for motorcycle boots. Happily, my Scouts are CE certified! )
04-01-2013 01:43 PM
beejjorgensen
Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
One way you might address this - and with reasonable results - would be to buy a $600 pair of MX boots with buckles and no laces that came up to the knee.
  • Road rash - lower leg only.
  • Bike landing on leg - better than nothing.
It's a little unfair here because you give the MX boots "lower leg only" protection, while combining subsequent boots with a suit for "full body protection". Personally, I compliment my boots with a suit.

And they're not only better than nothing for the bike landing on the leg. They're better than boots that aren't as tall. There are a lot of bolts, pegs, exhaust pipes, etc., that are going to want to get through your pants, not to mention the stones, sticks, nails, and rocks on the other side.

Quote:
Another way you might address this - and I suspect with more versatility and more protection - would be possibly a shorter, more versatile (on and off road) boot, combined with a set of -over pants having CE armor.
I'm with you except for "more protection", since I augmented your above estimate with a riding suit.

Quote:
Note that no broken/twisted ankles were experienced, and quite possibly if there were some sort of restrictive tall skateboarding boot, it could actually lead to an error like this.
Could happen. But for my riding type, skill, and style, there's no way it's more likely that a shorter boot is going to better protect my ankle.

Quote:
Accordingly, it makes me nervous when I read reviews and people say they have difficulty shifting/braking in tall boots - I don't want to trade off control for some aspect of primarily off-road safety that may not even be encountered by me in 2013.
I can't speak for everyone, but I've never even thought about having a problem braking with big boots on the KLR. It literally never crossed my mind until you mentioned it. Shifting up with new stiff boots is a learning experience, but not hard. Shifting down is never a problem.

So, presuming my experience is typical (you'll need to poll), the only hard thing about big boots is shifting up when they're new. Now, when I consider the safety implications of a failed upshift, I think it's pretty minor.

Note that I'm talking about the KLR, here. On a different bike with different foot positioning, the bigger boot could present different difficulties.
04-01-2013 01:39 PM
planalp
Quote:
Originally Posted by geolemon View Post
Accordingly, it makes me nervous when I read reviews and people say they have difficulty shifting/braking in tall boots - I don't want to trade off control for some aspect of primarily off-road safety that may not even be encountered by me in 2013. (I'm not saying it won't - I'm trying to separate the requirements logically).
I wouldn't worry about it. After all, where do you do more shifting and braking and need more control than in the sport of motocross? Those guys seem to do just fine wearing dedicated MX boots. Your brake pedal is pretty big. The shifter really isn't important in an emergency situation.

The people who wrote these reviews are most assuredly first-time wearers, otherwise they wouldn't describe the difficulty in shifting and braking. They feel huge and clunky at first, but once you get used to them, it's no problem.

Now, try walking a couple of miles in them and that's another story.



04-01-2013 12:53 PM
geolemon
Quote:
Originally Posted by 650Stew View Post
I can't think of any sports injury that can come close to lowsiding a 450 pound motorcycle on the pavement at 50 mph with your leg and foot underneath it. Not only that, but the bike has protrusions that can catch your foot when you fall, pegs, shifter, brake pedal. Heck, even external sources like rocks or curbs.

Like Spec was saying, you asked for advice, and you have had numerous experienced riders give you their honest opinions. Now, if you want to ride in work boots, hiking boots, motorcycle boots, or flip flops, it's up to you. You don't need us to "justify" motorcycle specific boots to you. Lol, it's a free world!
I think you are missing the point.
I think the point is much more clearly made in my post above, but the tl;dr read version on my hesitation to blindly follow advice that doesn't explain itself is this:
It's not just about padding up and launching yourself into the world - that's actually not a recipe for safety. I'd rather understand and address the needs logically and appropriately.
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