Adv boots – holy shit, where do we begin?
Well, you have options out there. Lots of options. And while I can’t say I have worn every pair of boots on the market (I mean seriously who has?), I do have a general idea of what are some of the best boots out there for adventure motorcycle riding, as well as the boots I swear by and will probably wear until I’m six feet under.
When I started adv riding, I did NOT have the right boots. Granted, I had four season boots that were mildly armored, but my ankles and shins were insanely vulnerable. Thankfully I was educated about the best kind of protection, and that the Icon Motorsports boots I had which are currently no longer in production, were not going to do shit if I ever got into a gnarly wreck. This then followed by sweep guiding a tour in Baja where I watched a customer break an ankle, and decided immediately that if I was going to keep adv riding, I had to do a better job protecting my feet, ankles, and shins.
No one wants a foot peg through the calf.
So, let’s talk adv motorcycle boots – and which I personally like best.
(GIANT ASKERISK: THESE ARE MY OPINIONS AND YOU CAN BUY WHATEVER BOOTS YOU WANT!)
Third place, and lookin’ sexy as hell, are the Forma Adventure HDry Boots. These boots are SO comfortable, they feel like a pair of my old, broken in Doc Martens, yet they provide enough protection for what I would call lighter levels of adv riding. And did I mention they are waterproof? Because they are. Equipped with a vintage leather finish, you might as well be Furiosa or Mad Max on the Fury Road, and the double density sole offers an incredible amount of grip both on and off the bike. There are TPU inserts, alloy buckles, and sturdy reinforcement for protection in case of impact to prevent injury.
The only downside? It is a relatively ‘soft’ boot. If you are craving a little bit more intense of a ride, then this is not the boot I would recommend to remain as protected as possible. Still, for some lighter days on gravel, or maybe a mild forest road, absolutely.
Runner up? KLIM! The Klim Adventure GTX Boots, and damn are these things awesome. Klim specially engineered these boots with a balance of rider protection, weather protection (though I have a few friends who would argue not fully waterproof), and again, comfortability while riding as well as off the bike. What I like most about these boots is the sole – it grips to anything, and was originally inspired my winter tire compounds. There are reinforced shin and shifter plates, combined with reinforced segments of the outsole where footpeg contact is made, because we all know the pegs can cause wear…fast.
Overall, the Klim Adventure GTX Boots are a step up from the Forma Adventure HDry Boots when it comes to protection and being a better fit for adv riding in general. Klim’s price point increases by a little over one hundred US dollars from the Forma, but you are paying for what I would consider a little extra protection, and a touch more durability.
Our winner is my favorite boot on the face of this planet, the Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar Enduro boots. Full disclosure – when I first got these boots, I had to make myself wear them, because after years of soft boots, they were a tough boot for me to break in. Why? Well, probably because this boot has TPU lateral ankle protection, which provides a bio-mechanical pivot between the middle lateral and bottom lateral of the boot, not to mention the TPU shin plate construction and a sole that goes beyond being grippy and feels more like glue. This is a CE certified boot, meant to protect, meant to be stable, and meant to make riding easy. Once you have worn them on a few rides, they mold to your foot and almost feel like second (and very thick) skin.
The game changer? Oh hey, Drystar membrane – this inner liner can combat any weather conditions or trail obstacles. They are WATERPROOF. I have personally ridden through deep puddles, creeks, and monsoons in these bad boys, and not once did any water sneak through, which is ideal considering there is nothing worse than riding all day with wet boots.
Yes, the break in process does take a few rides, but this is due to the Tech 7 being built for durability and grip, not to mention a high level of structural rigidity so you are PROTECTED. As far as fit is concerned, you have a wide entry aperture for convenience with a hook and loop upper closure flap for any kind of calf fit adjustment you might need. You are also equipped with an ergonomic buckle system for personalized sizing and secure closure.
In the end, these are three boot options you can’t go wrong with; however, if you want to be as protected as possible and as dry as possible while you are out on your adv motorcycle, then the clear choice for me would be the Aplinestar’s Tech 7 Drystar Enduro boots. Whenever I am out riding, the last thing I want to be worrying about is my gear, and whether or not I feel safe doing a ride should not depend on my boots, but rather, how much coffee I’ve had and what playlist is cranking on my Sena.
Life is too short for broken ankles, y’all, so prevent as best you can.
In the meantime, gear up and go burn some rubber.
Live wild. Ride free.