We’ve created a buying guide showcasing the best adventure motorcycle boots available to buy in 2020. Let us help you find the best boots today.
You simply can’t get away with an ordinary set of work boots if you’re serious about adventure motorcycling and touring around. Spending up for a decent set of boots is the best way to go.
They need to be rock-solid as your feet as the part of your body that’s the closest to the ground. When you crash (and you will inherently crash), what you choose to wear on your feet needs to live up to your expectations.
As a brand, our expectations are high. So we’re going to share with you what we believe are the best adventure motorbike boots available in 2020. 🕵️♀️
Adventure Motorcycling Boots Buying Guide
Let’s start with some front-end research. That is – seeing what’s in the market and trying it on. For any pair of adventure motorcycle boots, it’s always the best idea to head into a dealership and try a few different models on.
The right fitment and feel is literally everything and you generally don’t find many dual sport riders choosing to buy their boots online for this reason.
In our experience, you won’t actually feel comfortable in the boots initially. It’s an odd feeling and you’ll feel a bit constrained as you walk around. This is normal! Boots always take a few hours to ‘break in’ but some boots stay uncomfortable for a long time, especially the cheap ones.
You should always stick with the mainstream brands. Avoid anything that looks too cheap online. Always go into a dealership and avoid buying boots online.
Unfortunately, Chinese sellers have realized the potential of selling really cheap ADV boots online that appear fantastic, but unfortunately don’t live up to expectations in the real world. Many of those sellers have never gone adventure motorcycling either which is unfortunate and their brands won’t last more than 6 months in the marketplace.
Brands that we can recommend are Alpinestars, Sidi, Fox, TCX, Forma, Rev’It, O’neal. Even Harley-Davidson would be a great brand to trust.
Our advice is simple – Pay up for quality. You certainly don’t want to buy the cheapest adventure motorcycle boots in the market. These will fall apart after just 3 months. If you’re struggling with your budget, then you can often find a great used pair on Craigslist, eBay or Gumtree.
Often for new boots, you can expect to pay from $300 to $500 for a great set. You can expect these to last for at least 7 years if you do several trips per year. For the global tourer, you’ll get around 2 years out of a set of boots.
There isn’t really such a thing as waterproof adventure motorcycling boots. Even the best claims in marketing fall short here. Once the water is in from the top during a river crossing, the water will be stuck inside.
Therefore, what you’ll want to look for is splash resistance. Observe the materials at the front of the boots and if they actively deflect the water. Also, the seem where the fasters connect should be sealed properly.
Naturally, this is the most important part. You’ll want to be protected from injuries, both big and small. Protection comes in various forms:
- Great ankle support for days in the saddle
- Super strong ‘toe box’ that can be ridden over
- Very tough shin protection but with some flexibility
Looking online at photos makes it hard to evaluate how popular boots differ, so again, it’s best to head into dealerships.
If there is one thing that is going to break…it’s going to be the boot buckles.
And if they don’t break, then you will have them loosen at least once.
Well, at least with the cheap models. The more expensive buckles tend to go the distance.
When you compare boots in the dealership, pay close attention to the buckles. The designs are different and some spread the load differently across the boot.
Lastly, you can choose 2 or 3 buckles with adventure motorcycling boots.
With 2 buckles, the load isn’t so spread and so you have slightly more flexibility.
With 3 buckles, you’ll lose rigidity but will feel as though the boots are truly protecting you.
In the past, boots were mainly 3-buckle designs until the 2-buckle design was made stronger with the advancement of materials available.
For most adventure motorcycle boots, the size is very important. You’re going to own these for a long time, so you’ll want to pick a reasonable size.
Manufacturers don’t often make these in half sizes. Always go for a size higher if you’re concerned and you can use an insert to make up for the slight movement on the inside.
Again – head into a dealership to try on some boots first.
Best Adventure Motorcycle Boots
Let’s look at these awesome boots worthy of your consideration right now:
These might have a strange name but that’s their only downside! The Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex is a softer and lighter MX boot which we believe are perfect for adventures. After all, you don’t want to be wearing 20lbs of boots all day long.
While these only come in black, you’ll be able to use these boots on both dual-sport and adventure motorcycles, or even just your dirt bike on weekends. They have GoreTex as a breathable liner which offers very good splash resistance and some protection during mild water crossings.
The buckles on these boots are from the famous Alpinestars Tech series, so you’ll have the same sort of reliability and sturdiness.
With this being the best boot in the market, it’s also expensive too at $500 USD per pair.
This is another best-in-class boot. Sidi used to be the #1 adventure motorbike boot in the world until recently with the Adventure 2 model.
Unlike MX boots, these are much stronger. You’ll find that it takes a while to actually ‘bed in’ to your feet shape.
- Goretex lined which reduces the likelihood of water entering
- Two-buckle design but with wide spreads to reduce digging in
- Available in both black and brown. Personally, we love the brown.
The Sidi Adventure has a cult-like following. Often riders will replace these with another pair because they live up to expectations as we can see from online reviews.
If you want full grain leather boots for your adventure motorcycle, then you’ve found them! While not as popular, the Tech-T boots are definitely more of a motocross boot but with a 3-buckle design.
They have made the font and rear accordion stretch zones which lead to more flexibility while providing solid support. Essentially, it’s more ergonomic for the rider for hours in the saddle.
The rubber grips are thicker than most other boots in the market meaning these will last for years before running thin. Also, the extra-wide toe protectors make gear shifting a breeze.
Aimed at adventure riders, the TCX Drifter has solid reviews and certainly goes away from the MX-style that Alpinestars brings to the market.
We love the old-style design paired with the padding. For those who want more of a traditional approach, especially if you’re moving between a range of motorbikes.
This is another 3-buckle design with solid adjustments. And in fact, the entire boot is more solid than more other boots but with that, comes with it a lack of flexibility. This will take some time to wear in but when you do, the protection.
Yes, another Alpinestars! This time we’re back to the motocross aisle.
Because motocross boots have a lot of flexibility so you can breathe. There is no reason that you can’t use a motocross boot for adventure riding, expect for their lack of big protection.
Now of all the boots in the ‘Tech’ series, Alpinestars have done very well.
As this boot was designed for racing and enduros, it’s less of an MX boot and definitely suited towards weekend adventures and short trips.
The TCX Men’s Baja is certainly a decent boot for the tourer and is a shorter boot than usual. Some riders prefer the smaller profile, especially if they are spending the majority of their trip on the highways.
Because the boots are inherently smaller, the cost of production is a lot less. Therefore the TCX Men’s boots are quite affordable for adventure riding.
Surpringsly, the weight of these boots is a bit on the high side at 4.5 pounds. Some full-size MX boots can be found under 4lbs so it’s quite interesting.
Now TCX markets this as a street boot, especially suggesting that this is for bitumen use. However, we know several people using these comfortably on gravel tracks. The biggest challenge is the lack of grip.
If you want a pair of boots which are both well suited to riding to and from work, but also will provide you with confidence on a multi-day adventure, then this is a solid choice.
This boot is seriously tough-looking and popular among global travellers on two-wheels. This boot is oiled leather meaning it’s going to last multiple years, paired with the microfiber and suede chassis.
- TPU shin and calf plates providing excellent resistance
- Soft foam around the ankles and collar for long riding days
- Layered toe box and heel counter. Not just a single layer.
- Very lightweight design for a leather boot.
This is a good quality boot that’s perfect for water crossings and rainy adventure days.
This is certainly a popular boot for the adventure and touring enthusiast. You’ll get solid protection, especially in the shin area while having over-sized buckles.
The reviews on these boots are very positive. Where these ‘shine’ are the price, because these are very affordable. You’ll be getting a few extra tanks of gas in with the money you save on these.
These are leaning on the heavy side but if it’s sheer protection that you’re chasing, then these are one of the best in this class.
We promise this is the last Alpinestars boot on this list! In fact, it’s hard to put this one in the same category as it’s a shorter boot for those that don’t want the bulky design which is typical of dirt bike boots.
These are PU coated leather with a 2-buckle design. You’ll notice that these buckles are more spread out than typically full-sized boots.
For those that don’t like the ‘trapped’ feeling of big boots, then the Belize boots from Alpinestars make a solid choice as the many positive reviews describe.
Most people praise these boots and have them higher on the list. And now, these are a great boot but we’ve had to rank them a little lower. They are quite heavy and rigid with more of a street-oriented look. For dual-sport riders, the Forma Adventure boots are a solid choice.
They certainly look more vintage and the buckles themselves remind us of the boots of the 90’s. There is less support in the ankle region and fewer ergonomics, but that’s made up for with the full-grain oil leather design to keep water away from your socks.
What really sets these boots apart is the price. Very affordable for a full-size adventure boot and available in both black and brown, with most riders choosing brown. Current ratings on Amazon are 4.6 stars and 200+ customer testimonials. More info here (non-affiliate link)
One of the most popular dirt bike boots in the market is the O’Neal Logo Rider with hundreds (if not thousands) of positive reviews online. These lend themselves well to both trail riding and enduro riding.
Now, some adventure and dual-sport riders have realized the potential of these boots. In fact, some say these are the best dual-sport motorcycle boots in the market because the price is affordable while the boots offer solid ergonomics and protection.
Unlike other boots on this list, there are 4-buckles with these boots. This means the load is more spread across the boot as opposed to having 2 focus points.
What makes these boots stand out is the MX-inspired front toe cap and the air mesh interior. These boots aren’t waterproof but for riding in hot weather, adventure riders have enjoyed these boots for years.
You can even buy used versions of the O’Neal Men’s Logo Rider boot on Amazon, however the new price represents great value for money.
These adventure boots have a true Yellowstone vibe. If you’re riding a quad bike, then these are a good motorcycle boot for hunting.
Now, these boots aren’t that popular actually and Forma hasn’t released that many to the market. But we love these for their ergonomic looks and hipster feel.
If you want to head into the mountains and actually do some walking around too without feeling like a storm-trooper, then these are a rock-solid choice (pun intended).
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking “But these are a road bike boot! Why did you include this on your list” And that’s true, they are indeed a road boot.
Now for the dual-sport rider who wants something that looks nice in the city since they rarely reach the gravel tracks, then these are a solid choice.
Indeed a touring boot, the Sidi Aria Gore-Tex Motorcycle Boots are quite popular with highway-dwellers. For those who want an adventure boot without buckles, these make a great pair. It’s perfect for the daily commute and the occasional adventure into the mountains.
These are both vented and waterproof at the same time with velcro and a zipper system instead of buckles. There is enough grip that you could use these on a dual-sport bike such as a BMW, but we’d be hesitant to use these on a dirt-inspired adventure motorcycle.
We’re still standing by our belief that some motocross boots make very good adventure boots. Gaerne has figured this out with the Balance series.
There aren’t that many companies that do the transition from MX to dual-sport or adventure riding properly. With these boots, they certainly have.
The full-grain oiled leather means they’ll last several years paired with shin guards and a 3-piece alloy buckle system. You can also buy replacement buckles if you need.
What’s great about these boots are the soles. Just thick enough to give you some solid grip while being flat enough to provide confidence while standing on the pegs.
Now these aren’t cheap at all. It also takes a while to wear in the leather, but once you do, you’ll have a pair that could take you around the state, around the country or even around the world.
The BMW enthusiasts would slaughter us if we didn’t include one of their boots. The team at Motorad have created the Venture Grip line which we’re impressed with. They are also one of the few companies that make their own motorcycle boot covers.
We love modern style and rich-look of these boots which is synonymous with the European BMW brand. However, among adventure riding communities, these aren’t that popular and you generally won’t buy these online. Dealerships around the country and indeed around the world stock these.
If you’re looking for a dealership near you, then check out the BMW Motorad website.
Kore is a new company offering adventure motorcycle boots at a cheap price. In our experience, anything this cheap often doesn’t last years as the reviews highlight.
You won’t find these boots in dealerships, only online at this stage. The design is basic and lacks the research and development aspects of the bigger brands.
Usually we wouldn’t show an upcoming brand among the big players but this is a good example which highlights why cheap adventure motorcycle boots will cost you more in the long run.
However, if you’re only riding trails occasionally then these can be a good choice. For hammering your way through the mountains, spend that little bit extra on a quality brand.
For the lowest profile adventure motorcycle boots in the world, it’s hard to go past the O’Neal Short boots. These are closer to a shoe or road boot than a trail-oriented boot, but there is no reason why you couldn’t bring these on to the tracks.
What we love is that, despite the low price and simple design, they really have tought of everything. The buckles are very sturdy, the padding is strong and there is an MX-inspired toe cap. Both enduro and adventure riders will like these boots because they are light while giving you some reasonable protection.
For trips to and from the office, you’ll also find these easy to put on. Then when it comes time for a weekend ride off the beaten track, the grip and aesthetics will leave a lasting impression, as will the price.
Yes, we did it. Another enduro/MX boot made this list. We believe this is a mighty-fine boot that provides very good protection right up to the knees. If you’re tied of tree branches scraping your shins then pick up one of these tall boots.
Being Fox, they derive their inspiration from motocross but with an adventure feel. If you’re the weekend warrior who just does day trips, then you’ll love these. The protection they give is very strong and probably the toughest adventure boots in the market today.
What you won’t get is the typical characteristics found in dual-sport boots. These are lighter and have a lightweight plastic feel. When a 500-pound fully loaded adventure bike falls on your ankle, you’re bound to feel it.
If you’re riding small adventure bikes, then this is certainly a great choice.
Some of our readers prefer to stick to the highways and bitumen. With the Sidi Armada, the Gore-Tex touring boots provide ample protection on the road paired with a modern look.
Yes, you can take these off road and on to gravel tracks. However, they aren’t generally geared for this and isn’t one of the top choices on the market at all. For most owners, these boots won’t see the dirt at all.
Those who ride dual-sport bikes like BMW’s and Triumph’s will like this bike as it matches the general look and feel of their motorcycles. And they typically ride the highways and backroads. That’s still an adventure, right?
We’re finishing this list off with a decent wet of low adventure boots. Because we’ve seen others who progressively go from best to worst. Instead, we’ve left easily one of the best adventure motorcycling boots until the very end.
The price on these are in the range of a full-size adventure motorcycling boot, but Forma has made up for this with the features. THere is some serious value for money here.
It has ‘unbreakable’ GH plastic buckles paired with a nice vintage finish. The grip is more dual-sport inspired as opposed to a true adventure or MX boot. It pairs ergonomics with a simple design while being comfortable enough to go for a quick hike. These can be a little too rigid initially.
Still, Forma has done very well with these. The Adventure Low boots have many praises from customers who have left high reviews online. A waterproof boot for under $200 USD is hard to come by.
So that’s the 20 best boots for adventure motorcyclists in the market today. There are certainly cheaper options out there but buying a great quality boot will last several years.
Have you got a good or bad experience with any of the boots above? Then we’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.