How to pick new boots

Ok, following the popular helmet topic (thanks for all the replies), let’s talk boots :slight_smile:
I’m aware that this might be even more subjective than helmets, I just want to hear your tips and experiences.
Basically I’m looking for touring shoes so anywhere between a couple of miles and a roadtrip around Europe. Do I need to look specifically for touring shoes? What are the advantages and disadvantages of various types? How much do I want/need to compromise between the protection of sports boots and the comfort of touring boots? Is GoreTex essential? What are the most important safety features I should keep in mind?

Currently I’ve been looking at shoes between £120 and £320 so I’m curious what do I get with more money. I’m thinking it should have good heel protection but that’s all I can assume with no previous experience. What about toe sliders, do you think they’re useful?
Thanks all :slight_smile:


Step 1. Google shop name (example: shop motorcycle boots London)
Step 2. Drive/ride or use public transport to get to the shop
Step 3. Enter to the shop
Step 4. (this one is confusing) Navigate and find shelf with boots
Step 5. Pickup boots (knowledge of feet size required), goto step 6
Step 5a. Pickup different boots (size or design)
Step 6. If fits go to Step 7 if does not go to step 5a
Step 7. Go to cashier to pay and get nice plastic bag (highly recommended to pay as criminal charges looks bad on CV)
Step 8. Leave the shop
Step 9. Travel back home
Step 10. Enjoy new boots

If I will have some time I will post video how-to.

And to be more serious, I guess it is more like personal preference to get correct shoes/boots, what I would look at is to be GoreTex instead of something else -Tex. And with size remember that sometimes you will have warm socks (leg warmers, stockings you name it) so half size bigger didn’t hurt anyone.

Winter choice of mine: Alpinestars Web GoreTex
Summer choice of mine: Dainese ST TRQ-Tour GTX


I’m a big advocate of GTX but didn’t opt fot GTX boots. I think it was because of the price increase and because I thought simple WP boots would be fine. So far, they have been. The only problem with my last pair was that they scuffed in bits and got so bad that holes on soles etc were created. So even if they had been GTX, they would have leaked.

As to the type, make sure you try the boot on with the bike. A hardcore adventure boot might be uncomfortable if you ride a sportsbike where your leg is bent a lot more…

I don’t think that you would lose any protection with a decent touring boot - from what I’ve seen they’re built like tanks sometimes :slight_smile:

Toe-sliders… I found them useful because I used to have my feet on the pegs too far forward… That meant everytime I leaned and wasn’t in ‘race position’ my slider scraped rather than the leather.

I think the upper end of your budget is very very decent and you could probably buy pretty much any boot out there… The more you spend you get ‘better’ brand, more protection, more comfort, more quality materials. That’s the theory/ marketing anyway. Personally I found my TCX semi-race boots the most comfortable. I didn’t like the fit of their more racy style. Mine still had all the trimmings but missed the hard plastic ankle protector.

Sometimes I do wonder if all the protection on top end race boots is OTT for the average rider… then again I’ve never been highsided at high speeds…

TCX S-Race. You can pick up last years top of the line range for about £120-150. They stopped me from breaking my foot in an off in 2011 and I’d not wear another boot now. Allegedly, they make all the plastics for Sidi and produce the BMW branded range.

Dont worry about GTX too much, just pick up some GTX Sealskinz socks and wear them

Serrisan: Thanks :wink:
Evilblade: Thanks :doze:

Seriously, even though I am quite young (ok not so much) I still remember how to shop without internet so this was really more about personal experience and tips you don’t get looking at boots in-store.
Interesting about the toesliders, I think it might be an useful feature as well. I’m not sure how much will I be bent on my bike as Hornet is quite upright which is fine but I’m picking up Sprinty this weekend which might be a bit more sporty. So I’m writing down ‘assume riding position when trying on boots’. Should look interesting :slight_smile:

Toe-sliders aren’t really essential as you should be on the balls of your feet on the pegs. They are, however, essential at Snetterton on Montreal if you mong that advice and crank it way over going the long way round passing someone :-\

Road riding… With the amount of offs I’m taking part in, I dont think they’ve made any difference

Wear your bike trousers when you shop, as you might not find the shoes fit over/underneath the ends. Also wear the type of socks you’d wear on a cold day, eg thick walking socks.

It is not only about bending, I don’t have them and find out that many times I hit curve or something (cars/dogs/pedestrian) and have mark on my boots, not nice. (Serrisan very good point)


ps. Teeth marks are the worst

Personally, I always look for a mix of protection and style, protection coming first and always go for goretex as that way I won’t get caught out…with the price of seal skinz after buying a few pairs you may well have just spent the extra on goretex (my opinion). Seal skinz are great though…

I always go for a boot with decent ankle protection and with the extra plastic hinges (for want of a better word) to stop the ankle twisting the wrong way or over extending in the event of an accident.

Plus one for TCX, my last pair lasted 5 years of wearing pretty much everyday and still didn’t leak and were comfy all day. Make sure you find them comfy to walk in too as you don’t want to get off the bike and be uncomfortable when you reach your destination. This time I went for Sidi’s and they are also great, a bit more expensive, but, nice that you can replace a lot of parts on them.

Also, when you’re thinking about your budget try to bear in mind the amount of use these boots are going to have and how long you’re likely to be wearing them. Opting for a better pair and paying a bit more really makes sense when you think about the time you’ll wear them and the fact they could last you quite a number of years :slight_smile:

Probably not my call but after some sort of summary that would be a nice thread in Q&A for future.

@george.b - I’m fully aware that you know how to use shop floor, I just want to make you and maybe someone else smile :wink: in this thread one learns a loot as well.

I have Sidi Black rain boots about £140…reason I got them becasue thats what I had before. Used them when I was a courier riding 50 hours a week …never leaked…work in summer and winter and protected me in several crashes.

Cannot fault them at all

SIDI Rains for me as well plenty off Euro trips in the rain dry feet a plus for SIDI is they do 1/2 sizes as well also they have large calf area so your leathers fit inside boots

also use SIDI Corsa for our alleged summer comfy for all day riding

as said before go to a shop with lots of different brands as you might be one size in say TCX and another in SIDI etc

vote number 3 for Sidi black rain. lasted me 3 years and 60,000ish miles

Wow three votes for Black Rain, sounds good. Now the same question as in previous topic - where is a good place to buy boots? It seems like there’s a lot of small shops rather than one big place to go when shopping, I noticed Helmet City does boots as well, do they have a lot of them in store or do I need to go somewhere else? I’ve been to a couple of HG and Infinity shops but it seems like they have only a couple to choose from every time

Try Infinity at Holborn as I have seen not bad selection there.


I’ve only ever heard good things about Black Rain boots

Bikestop in Stevenage have a decent range
P&H in Crawley have a few
Try Get Geared in Leatherhead…

HG shops I’ve never found have a huge range of brands - mainly A* and HG

I also found J&S to have a very extensive range of boot, albeit not all the brands

OH why oh why oh why…

I’m sorry dude are you lost?

Yeah Im trying to make the conection between going to a shop and buying boots… or going on a forum then going to a shop and buying boots…

Deffo Get Geard in Leatherhead - well worth the trip.