Are boots necessary?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Taelan28, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Hey. Quick intro. I've proudly passed 21,000km without any accidents. I know nothing about fixing a motorcycle and only know a little bit more about riding one.

    I remember talking to a man on the bus over a year ago, he was a harley rider and said riding boots or steel toed boots are absolutely necessary. Why is that? I've see a lot of sport bike riders riding around here (in korea) with fancy pants riding boots but I dont see how they are as necessary as somethign like a jacket, helmet or gloves. If you fall it would seem that a normal pair of shoes would protect you from road rash and since your feet are so close to the ground they wouldnt make as much impact as our upper body.

    So why the necessity of riding boots or steel toed boots?
    #1
  2. HelmetHead Cycle

    HelmetHead Cycle Been here awhile

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    Are you serious?
    #2
  3. rhlrdr

    rhlrdr Adventurer

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    Are good feet/ankles necessary??
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  4. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Yes I am serious. Can you explain this thoroughly too. It would appear to me that once you fall all the pressure, impact and skiddage would be on your but and upper body. I ask these questions so I have better understanding of things so I know if I need to buy new gear, or change the way I ride.

    When I got a motorcyle two years ago I thought a crash was inevitable, and I explained to the co-worker I was buying from my worries, after a while he had heard enough of it and said "why dont you go out and just get a $3,000 body suit?" Such a thing would have minimized physical injury to me but it would have looked awefully silly with a $3,000 full body safety suit for a person riding a 125cc Daelim.

    Look I would like to be safe riding my bike and minimize injury should something go wrong, but I would like to know why an experienced rider said protective boots were absolutely necessary with the implication that something like protective pants were not. Afterall, I do see guys riding around in protective boots and knee pads but have on regular jeans.
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  5. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    A motorcycle crash is a very violent event, there isn't any way to predict how you're going to come off the bike or how you're going to come to a stop on the road.
    Four years ago, I got rear-ended by a truck. I was stopped, waiting to make a left turn, the truck hit me at ~40mph. I saw him just in time to get moving again, but my GS and I were thrown some 60' down the road. Witnesses say I looked a lot like a ragdoll in the tumble. I know my feet hit the ground many times, they were pretty bruised when I got my boots off. Would I have been injured more if I was wearing sneakers? Can't say, and I'm not willing to try it again to find out.

    There are a couple advantages to wearing real MC boots:
    Ankle and lower leg protection from hot exhaust and engine components.
    No laces to hang up on the pegs.
    A stiff sole improves comfort on the pegs by spreading out the contact area.
    The soles are oil and gas resistant - if you step into a puddle of either, the sole won't start dissolving.
    Many are waterproof, riding with cold and wet feet sucks.
    #5
  6. Forde

    Forde Been here awhile

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    because your fucking foot could get ripped off easily in a crash

    and you are very likely to at least snap you ankle or something if you come off
    #6
  7. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    Come ride with me sometime. Seriously. You'll appreciate boots. I can actually go tomorrow (Sunday) if you are free.

    Wait, invitation redacted...with all due respect, you won't be able to keep a pace that is really interesting. If you were on a sport bike, DS or GS, I'd put the fear of a broken ankle in you.
    #7
  8. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Well that was the best inexact answer you could write: Violent crash, had one myself, feet hit the ground a couple times and still had bruises after I took off the boots.

    The "advantages" seem dont really appeal to me. Im more concerned about the crash protection. As petty as this sounds I also want convenience. I dont want to go on a motorcycle trip, spend a day in a city and have to lug around motorcycle boots, or even look stupid walking around in motorcycle boots. A motorcycle jacket provides warmth adn a much better protection pay off. If I had a fancy pants sport bike I would be more much more likely to get them as well as knee pads and proper riding jeans.

    Yes riding in the rain does suck. Ive done it PLENTY of times here in Korea where it rains almost all summer. I hate wet feet and a wet shirt but I hate a wet crotch even more.

    Twilight Error Im happy to have you still here responding to this.
    #8
  9. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    sure 010 2268 8270. I've never really ridden with anyone before. I've gone nearly all my miles solo.
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  10. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    What motorcycle boots are you looking at that are so massively bulky and heavy that you don't want to wear them? Racing boots are massively protective, but also massive and expensive. My ex wears BMW All-Around boots - mid high cut, fits under jeans, waterproof and reasonably protective. Comfortable walking, too.
    #10
  11. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    Sorry bud, you're welcome to come along sometime but probably not just you and I...the 125 just won't keep up. :)

    FWIW, I kinda agree with you in YOUR circumstance. I've ridden scooters in many places with nothing more than tennies and felt fine with it. If you can get up to 50kph I'd be surprised.

    Case study on boots, personal example: In Cambodia, riding some very wet (partially underwater) offroad tracks at a respectable pace (when out of water maybe 30-50kph)...there were some things on the side of the trail. 90 percent of the time it was just a bush. The trail would get really narrow and we'd push through the busy some. Sometimes the "bush" was really a damned concrete pole. I whacked one at what must have been 40kph...twice. I hit one so hard that it lifted my foot and leg all the way up level with the seat and back behind me. NO INJURY at all and I just kept riding. Thank you Sidi Crossfires and Asterisk knee braces! That would have broken a leg with no armor.

    On the street, in a crash you have no way of really knowing where your feet will be in relation to static objects. Boots kinda keep your feet on the bottom of your legs...and can help prevent breaks and strains. Also, boots like my race/street boots (Sidi Vertigo) have nice little pads on the outside, which acts as a nice feeler for lean angle.

    Oh, and it is fairly common for me and my friends to go to lunch in a random town wearing our MX boots. Take 'em off at the door just like any other shoe.
    #11
  12. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    $250 is not chump change. However I will concede that the medical bills and and pins in my feet will pale in comparison to a boot purchase.

    I travel with a small back pack. I wear shoes and stuff slide sandals in my bag as well as my camera, sun block, swimsuit and an extra pair of clothes, and I hate carrying THAT around when Im at my destination. Another pair of regular shoes would only be slightly less bulky and annoying to me. When I pack for long weekend trips I fill my bigger Oakley backpack with camera, clothes, lifejacket (I waterski), shoes, sun screen, phone charger and room for other stuff.

    All motocycle boots lack style to me. Yes they look nice and cool and are well designed motorcyle boots but walking into a restaurant with them or meeting a very pretty korean lady with motorcycle boots is just tacky. So ultimately I have petty conflict of interest, be protected or be lean, convenient and socially adjusted.
    #12
  13. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    My Daystar goes 120, and I could go 110-115 pretty consistenly. Bigger bikes blast me by me pretty easily especially on accelleration, but anyone going 140+ is riding on the dangerous side. Further I've gone the same direction as biking groups and in medium level traffic and a small amount of stop lights I keep up, until we hit an open stretch of road and they pull away at 130. Id like to join if you wouldnt mind going a little slower.
    #13
  14. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    I can't speak to healthcare in S. Korea, but this:
    [​IMG]
    Cost my employer's insurance company $60k, by the time rehab and lost work was figured in, the bill was into 6 digits.

    Granted, this was the result of a logging accident, but similar outcomes are not impossible in a bad crash.

    You've got to balance your own risk/reward equation. I balanced mine on the side of protection.
    #14
  15. manic mechanic

    manic mechanic Been here awhile

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    If you are looking at boots from strictly a fashion viewpoint, you need to reconsider. I ride on city streets, country roads, interstate highways, wherever the front wheel takes me. There have been many times where a road hazard presents itself and it does impact somewhere below the knee. I've had dogs run out and pace me. I know that when meeting somebody, the first thing I don't look at is their shoes.
    #15
  16. Taelan28

    Taelan28 Thunder

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    Thats exactly it. I know how I view it but I came here looking for answers in an attempt to change my views to being more safer based on a consitent answer feet will be injured. Ultimately what i thought before hand hasnt changed: Yes a crash can break my foot and pins are a worst cast scenario, but injury is cirumstantial upon the crash.

    As twighlight pointed out I balance my need for boots on risk reward and admittedly on visual appeal. I also look around and see people riding similar bikes and they have similar gear or just a helmet. People with boots have ride much more powerful bikes, not 125cc cruisers, yet a 120kph crash on my cruiser is equally painful as a crash on a fancy bike going the same speed.

    Thanks for your response guys. I appreciate the input.
    #16
  17. Mr.Dabalina

    Mr.Dabalina Been here awhile

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    Boots are less likely to fly off if you rag doll down the road. They are also less likely to fly off if you go sliding for 60'. Just like a car and a seatbelt, there is the occasion when not wearing your seatbelt would have been better. But the odds are that it benefits you more times than not. There could be the random time it would benefit you to have your shoe fly off, but more times than not you want to keep them on. Now on the sad side. My brother, who is a cop, reported to a fatal 60mph motorcycle and SUV head on collision. The SUV didnt see the guy and just turned into him. He said the guys boots literally blew out. Seems and laces just busted out.
    #17
  18. devo2002

    devo2002 -Devo

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    Motorcycling is an expensive hobby, you need to either be protected or be prepared to pay the price. The price isn't just money... Buy some straps and put your backpack on the bike, do you really want your camera breaking your back in a fall?? Yes....breaking...your...back, as in may never walk again.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around your thickheadedness. You ask why, you are concisely told why and even chastised by members for asking such a silly question, and then you complain that $250 is to much? Are you one of those it will never happen to me type of guys? Have you not heard the expression that are two types of riders? Ones who have crashed and ones that will. The odds of not crashing in your lifetime are pretty stacked against you. Face it, YOU WILL CRASH AND IT WILL HURT! The question is, do you want to be protected or not?

    I've been laid up for two weeks and will be on crutches and a cast for 4 more as I write this. I fractured my leg in two spots on a 5mph spill. Yes, 5MPH!
    I was wearing big MX boots so I consider myself lucky that the bike didn't crush my ankle and I have my boots to thank. Forget the recovery time, if you break your ankle or knee you are looking at serious arthritis when you get old, it will never be the same.

    [​IMG]

    Bottom line, this forum will give you more good information than you know what to do with, either listen to the advice of people who combined have billions of miles more experience than you and use it, or kindly go away. You won't be told what you want to hear, you will be told the truth.
    #18
  19. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    I like Twilight Error's response. There is some statisical data collected for M/C foot injury but it is not very convincing. One rider's risk analysis/experience demands a purpose built bike boot. Another rider's analysis/experience might find something other than that acceptable. It is my habit during the street commute to wear whatever shoes I need for the day including mesh sneaks and any low cut shoe. Many moons ago I crashed on the street at about 30mph and purposely left my leg and foot under the bike to protect a fresh custom paint job while wearing sneaks. Header pipe burned my ankle pretty good. Paint survived intact. If I am on a bike trip, I will wear a high-top leather boot for the support and weather protection (Wolverines at the moment). Any typical construction/hunting boot works for me. Because I have injured my toes in non-biking ways, I like steel toes in a riding boot. Long ago, I kicked a stump at speed while wearing a purpose built M/C off road, competition boot while riding off road. I was amazed at the lack of toe protection and wondered that I didn't break all 5 toes? Buying a purpose built bike boot and having it work in ways that the buyer expects in all crash scenarios is still chancy.
    Long ago, I broke three of those little bones in the ankle at about 3mph in a non-MC event. 3 months in a cast with a year on crutches before I could ride again. Foot gear is not always an issue. Recently, some world class sprinter broke a foot bone just running his race. If a rider is going to wear gear, might as well get the best that can be had in the rider's price range. Figuring out which gear is the best for the money spent is often problematic. There is no good reason to suppose that a $150 rainsuit works better than a $40 rainsuit based on cost. It is well known that a $200 helmet protects about as well as a $600 helmet. Nobody has collected the data showing that $400 boots are significantly better than $40 boots? Sanctioned road racing boots look a lot different from racing off road boots. How is a street rider going to make a judgement for which boot is going to do the job in his environment? ATGATT is a good idea. Drawing the lines where it is necessary and sufficient is difficlut.
    #19
  20. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Riding a motorcycle of any size is a dangerous activity. Ignorance of that danger is very poor armor.
    #20