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Why do we wear boots when riding a motorcycle?

How about looks?

Do we want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator, or maybe Nancy Sinatra? (If you understand those two references you just showed your age.) If you look at the reason given in the Basic Riding Course Workbook given by MSF it states: “Sturdy, over-the-ankle boots help protect you from many riding hazards, such as stones and hot engine parts. Rubber-soled boots with low heels provide a good grip on the pavement and help keep your feet on the footrests. In a fall, boots help provide protection against foot and ankle injuries.”

I would like to expound on the reasons stated by MSF. Sturdy high lace-up boots can also give your ankles added support. The older you get the less strong your ankle mussels are and the more brittle your ankle bones are. Added support from your boots can be helpful with simple functions such as putting your foot down to support your motorcycle when you stop. Over-the-ankle boots can help ensure your footwear stays on your feet in the event of a crash. We all have built-in involuntary reflexes. One of those involuntary reflexes is, that if we fall, such as being ejected from our motorcycle in a crash, we tend to want to upright ourselves quickly. Where we should have allowed ourselves to tumble for a while, we instead try to plant our feet and stand up. If your footwear does not extend over your ankle bones securely, it can easily be pulled right off your feet and your final resting place will be shoeless, having caused more foot injury along the way.

Many riders wear footwear they consider comfortable for when they reach their destination and they will be walking around. This usually means the footwear in inadequate for the protection needed as stated for motorcycle riding. Might I suggest that you wear appropriate motorcycle footwear when you are riding and bring a second set of comfortable shoes you can change into when you arrive at your destination.

Keep the rubber side down on your tires and your boots.

Ride safe, Dominick

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