Are boots necessary?

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

  1. TimothyCaseTimothy

    TimothyCaseTimothy Been here awhile

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    As someone who goes to work and responds to boot-less (and helmet-less) motorcycle wrecks, let me suggest to you that you search "de-gloved" foot, arm, hand, etc. or "compound or open ankle fracture." I upgraded my boots to the adventure style which combines street and mx into a useable format. Looks fine off the bike, protects the heck out of you on the bike.
    #41
  2. GI_JO_NATHAN

    GI_JO_NATHAN Long timer

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    Good job!
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  3. bikefree

    bikefree misadventurer

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    I realize that boots are necessary, but are boots with armor necessary on the tarmac? We have 2 images of riders who had armored boots that still had serious injuries. Both claim that they would have been worse off without the boots they had. Are we so sure that Combat Lites, leather work boots, combat boots or any heavy leather boots would have been any different. I have been down in a high speed fall on the highway wearing work boots and didn't have even the slightest injury to my feet.

    I am looking at upgrading boots, do most of my riding on road, and think there is merit to the argument.
    #43
  4. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Totally depends on the crash.

    I try to make mine the gentle kind I can walk away from, but that rarely works.
    #44
  5. Reino

    Reino Been here awhile

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    As far as i know raod boots are designed for two main injury types, sliding and unwanted "bending" that tears ligaments.

    My dad has a k1200rt and he bought himself a pair of comfy steel toe boots, you should also consider the bike. On my dad's rt your feet are inside deep "pockets" and are protected by the engine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    but on something like an yamaha R1 or an xt600 you legs are not as well protected from sliding and forceful "bending".

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the image sizes.
    #45
  6. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Good point. The jugs on a BMW or Moto Guzzi make really good ankle protection, they touch down long before your legs will in a lowside.
    #46
  7. Reino

    Reino Been here awhile

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    Thanks, the way i see it the closer your bike is to a racing bike the more you should dress like a racer.
    #47
  8. GI_JO_NATHAN

    GI_JO_NATHAN Long timer

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    Right. Because your feet always stay on the peg during a crash..:huh
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  9. Reino

    Reino Been here awhile

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    No they don't, but on something like my dads rt there is space for free movement of your feet (the bike's weight is not resting on your leg). That is why you should at least wear a long jean and boots of some kind so that you don't misplace your skin in a slide.
    #49
  10. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Anybody having as much trouble as me understanding bigalsmith101's post? (Good pic, by the way.)
    While wearing a purpose built bike boot, the bike takes the initial impact which has the bike falling on the boot and breaking the leg in a place that is covered by the boot. I would surmise that the purpose built bike boot didn't protect like one would be lead to believe by all the pro-bike-boot posts in this thread. One could surmise how nice it was to have the protection as it was and how it limited the damage to that level. One could also argue that in that instance the boot failed to provide the desired level of protection that one believed that it should have prior to the event. Thus some sort of boot might be necessary but this boot was insufficient to the event. And knowing all this, the budd goes and buys purpose built bike boots that obviously may/may not protect.

    The take-away here is that ATGATT is merely a good idea. Learning to ride well might significantly help the ATGATT do a better job at those times where ATGATT is all the protection one has left. It is a mutual support scenario. And predicting the results of any given ride are still a crap shoot to a measurable degree.

    Anecdote moment: As a Greco-Roman wrestler, I managed to break my kneecap somehow. X-rays showed the cracked patella. The environment and the activity were as safe as it was possible to make it (who knew?). I am the only person to sustain such an injury in the activity. This is a pretty good example of: "Shit happens. Or it doesn't." Riding may be the least hazardous thing that I do because I have no idea how close to the edge I am while doing other stuff. Gear up as you have it and ride the best you can. I notice that Wilber and Orville were not wearing much protective gear and BD of Doonesbury fame finally took his helmet off as did Darth. Anybody planning to be buried ATGATT? I wouldn't mind being buried in my stich if I had not already made other arrangements.
    #50
  11. Reino

    Reino Been here awhile

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    Jip what he said^^. All the boot is meant to do is absorb a lot of energy and spread the force of impact over a larger area reducing the pressure. And having enough material as to not scrape through to your skin.

    You might still break a leg with those boots on, but without them you may actually shatter your bones.

    But as said it all depends on the specific situation.

    Here is another example of how you legs are exposed on something based on a racing bike.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. txwanderer

    txwanderer Been here awhile

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    A good boot will disperse energy to a larger area while providing padding and actual armor to other parts. Karate chop a board, then hit the same with a flat band. It will be easy to see which has more dispersed energy. Nothing is perfect protection from all injuries.
    You are right ATGATT is a VERY good idea, however it is a last line of defense and has a lot of optimistic folks thinking it can do more than it is capable of. Learning to ride well and defensively, along with practicing what you learned is priceless, although not 100% a practical line of thought.
    If I knew I was going to crash, twist something, have a misshap of any sort, I'd stay home or take the cage. I think we all would. A crash is just that, and we have no control about the situation, or we wouldn't do it in the first place.
    Just the observation of a long time MC rider and Trauma Junkie. On a side note, I never have and do not personally know anyone, who has loaded an ATGATT rider into an ambulance. Is it because of the gear? Riders usually have more experience? Riders seem to be better trained, either formally or just good habits? Who knows and no science behind the observation. I know it can happen. I know it WILL happen, just hasn't yet.

    Cheers
    #52
  13. dirtrulz

    dirtrulz Been here awhile

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    Broken heels are something you need to worry about too. Watch some of the road course crashes, it is very hard to control your legs while you are flailing and your feet can whip into the ground with great force breaking toes, heels, and ankles easily. That is why if you look at road race boots they have extra padding and shock absorbers on the heel.

    If you are sliding down the road your reaction will likely be to put out your feet and hands onto the road to stop yourself. If the tenny shoes you were wearing came off you will be ground down to the bone it a matter of a second or two, same with your hands.

    Nothing says you have to have full on race boots, but at least wear something decent.
    #53
  14. ty.zardoz

    ty.zardoz Adventurer

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    Glad to hear you are re-thinking the boot issue! I hope it's a decision you regret for a long long time :wink: That is to say... I hope you enjoy many many years of NO CRASHES and come to think, as you lay dying of OLD AGE... dam I wasted money on boots for all those years and never crashed.. so never really needed them at all :1drink

    Personally I can't afford armored boots right now, but I'm saving my bucks and will buy some for next season. As I said I bought some cheap Korean made boots used from a local internet find. On my way home from picking up my last bike I was struck from behind by an itinerant cage driver. She sent me and my bike sliding for about 15 feet... the bike laying on my right foot/ankle as we slid. Both my bike and I came through pretty much unscathed. I got a couple of bumps and bruises and my bike had the front brake lever bent and my exhaust got a repairable crack. What REALLY PISSED ME OFF was all the damage she did to my pristine vintage leather jacket... I've owned that jacket since I was a kid for shit sakes and it hardly ever got a scratch in all those long years and now it's not really even wearable! Likewise my brand new armored Triumph jeans got a bit of a rashing (that really pissed me off.. but they did their job :clap ) but they are still quite serviceable at least. My boot got a bit scuffed up here and there but it protected my foot just great and a quick coat of polish has them looking just fine.

    Here is the boots I picked up. They look like "Super Hero" boots :pynd but my jeans cover most of the hideous red and white leather at least :D:D

    [​IMG]

    These things are Korean manufacture so something similar should be cheap where you live. They have already saved me some ankle skin.

    tyz
    #54
  15. ty.zardoz

    ty.zardoz Adventurer

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    Of course you could ride like this



    [​IMG]


    But I wouldn't recommend it! :eek1

    Did ya happen to notice the poor little baby literally "sandwiched" between these too stupid assholes? At least they are wearing full face helmets tho eh? Personally I think they wear full face so they won't be recognized and HUNTED for endangering the child!

    tyz

    Anybody know what bike this is?
    #55
  16. ty.zardoz

    ty.zardoz Adventurer

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    Quoted from a post by a member here "Mugwest" http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195953&page=3 POST 33 Actually you should read the whole thread... it's a good read.
    "Mugwest
    Friend.

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    what's constantly overlooked in this old chestnut of a debate is precisely the thing Mythbusters omitted in their tests. In any vertical crush situation (industrial, warehouses, loading etc) where weight dropped on the foot is a danger, steel toes are a no-brainer-- you want them. Mythbusters proved this pretty convincingly, to the dramatic point that they showed that the amount of weight required to collapse the toe cap would result in horrible foot damage regardless.

    But what they (understandably) omitted is that Bikes and the dynamics of a get-off are a different animal completely. Vertical crush is not at all the concern, it's the severe flex of the sole to the extent that the rear edge of the steel toe cup becomes a blade, and can and has snipped off digits clean as a whistle. To visualize, plant your right foot and take a big step out with your left; flex your planted right sole (the ball of the sole/foot) as far forward as you possibly can, bending your toes to max, and then imagine that degree of sole flex even more radical with the huge impact-moment of tumbling down the road, the foot hitting the pavement perhaps repeatedly as you go. It's happened. Every day? Of course not. Enough to never wear steel-toes on a bike? Of course not. But let's get our comparisons straight and dispense with this vertical crush business, which is not our concern as riders/future crashers.

    When this was hashed out here on ADV some time ago there were links (search for those old threads or hit Google) to this very instance occurring on the road. Seem to recall a report from Australia of this digit-snipping


    For a guy who works in an industrial shop and then rides home, steel toes for the job site and then the ride home seems fine, but there's always that freak incident waiting for you when you're headed home feeling good.

    And there's also a reason (a few reasons) that no serious bike boot (or MX boot, especially) has internal steel toe caps."

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195953&page=3 POST 33

    tyz
    #56
  17. seniorasi

    seniorasi Banned

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    It seems you are looking for someone to tell you it's OK to ride without the proper safety gear recommended for two wheel travel. 10 horsepower scooter or full on road racer: My recommendation is ATGTT. Here in the states we are required to wear a seatbelt in our cages. Useless unless involved in an accident, priceless if you are. HTH,YMMV.
    #57
  18. Sport

    Sport Been here awhile

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    In just about every single crash video I've seen where the rider wasn't wearing boots, his shoes were ripped off his feet allowing his feet to become much more severely injured. Check out YouTube and you'll see for yourself. And there are several motorcycle boots available that are wear and walk around all day comfortable. I've gone down wearing appropriate boots and never had a foot or ankle injury.
    #58
  19. keiji

    keiji Long timer

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    Go look up the Hurt report, MAIDS study as well as a somewhat more recent study done in Australia
    http://www.georgeinstitute.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/Gear Study 1_George Instit_2011.pdf
    The key takeaway is to wear boots. Better if they have some protective features, but I understand you concern about comfort as I wear touring boots for the road as opposed to motocross boots like some of these guys. I have actually stopped wearing regular footwear altogether and wear either BMW Allround boots or Sidi Laguna boots everywhere. I've gotten through a year and a half at work without people knowing I ride; people should be looking at your face, not your feet.
    #59
  20. DeeG

    DeeG Huh?

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    And hobbling around with crutches or having a permanent limp like my big brother is sooo much more sexy.

    My brother used to wear soft suede shoes called Wallabys. Rode for thousands of miles wearing shoes like that. Until one day, in a 25 mph residential area, a guy ran a stop sign and 'didn't see' my brother and broadsided him. His ankle cushioned the blow that busted that nice thick metal plate with "HONDA" stamped on it. His ankle was shattered. Along with a tib/fib and femur break, several busted ribs and a nice concussion and knot on the head, because way back when, you didn't have to wear a helmet in California.

    His ribs, tib/fib and thick skull healed fairly quickly, the femur took a little longer. But his ankle. He was in traction for 4 months. Several surgeries to repair the damage, along with multiple screw, pins to hold the foot to his leg. 39 years later, he still walks with a limp. According to the Dr, had he been wearing some of kind of thick leather boot, he would not have suffered the damage that he did.

    When he gets on his Harley now, you can be sure he's wearing some pretty heavy duty boots. I honestly don't think his wife (or anyone else) thinks he looks in the least bit 'tacky'.

    And when I walk into a restaurant with my bright yellow Aerostich Roadcrafter and my Combat Lite boots, i couldn't give a rats ass what ANYONE thinks. Besides, maybe that very pretty Korean lady thinks motorcycle boots are kinda sexy. :wink:

    And me? I fell over while on my F650GS a couple years ago. Stupid thing, really. I tried to take the bike through a 20' long 5" deep stretch of slushy ice/snow. About 16' in, the back tire slid out and I fell down. Bike fell on top of me, pinning my left foot under it. Hurt like a SOB. Burned a bit of a hole in the leg of the overpant I was wearing, and probably would have burned a hole in my leg, had I not had leather boots covering that part of it.
    #60