Boots

So Excited! Women's Motorcycle Boots with Real Ankle Protection

dainese_torque_d1_womens_boots reddainese_torque_d1_womens_boots_black  

As soon as the temperatures come back up and it's time to go riding again, I'll be upgrading my everyday riding boots to these beauties, the Dainese Women's Torque D1 Boots. With my tiny Size Euro 36 / US 6.5 feet, it's incredibly difficult to find motorcycle boots that offer real ankle protection. What this means is full lateral support, and that these boots will make it nearly impossible for your leg to bend sideways at the ankle. Hopefully it should minimize the injury to a sprain or fracture vs. the need for major surgery.

Although you can't 100% prevent every injury, you can drop it down to the best possible outcome. When I crashed last June, I got lucky when I lowsided because although my foot was pinned underneath the bike for a bit, I only walked away with a fat bruise. Every accident is different, and you have no idea what can happen to you in each circumstance. Some people wear absolutely nothing and get up without a scratch, who knows how? But then there are many riders who can't get up at all. I don't want to be one of them, and rather than gamble with the ability to walk comfortably without pain, I'd rather wear a better boot.

Sidi Vertigo Lei lowside accident swollenfoot_after_motorcyclecrash_nobrokenbones_sidi

I do *adore* my Sidis, but I have to give in to the extra protection that these offer. They're too good to pass up.

dainese_torque_d1_womens_boots_pink

 

I just hope they fit me as good as my Sidis do. I only got to try the 36 (barely, since my feet couldn't get into the opening!) and not the 37. I put on a 38 and definitely had enough room to add my amazing insoles.

riding motorcycles with lifted insoles

So FYI, these do run narrow especially at the instep. The opening is rather narrow.  So I recommend ordering a size up unless you have narrow feet.

Smaller Motorcycle Boots for Men?

alpinestars_mono_fuse_gtx_motorcycle_boots_smallfeet Reader Jason needs help finding a pair of boots! :-) 

Hello there, I have just recently started riding and had a question about boots. I have very small feet for a guy and would need to look at women's boots and was wondering what I could get away with without them being too girly looking. I wear size 7.5 in women's.

-Jason

Dear Jason,

This is no problem! TCX is one of my favorite brands, as they offer many boots in Euro 38 which I think is the size you're looking for. The TCX Infinity Evo GTX dual sports above are a prime example, if you're looking for a Gore-Tex adventure style boots:

tcx_infinityevo_dualsport_boots

 

They also have a couple of good city sneakers like the X-Street WP (available in waterproof, non waterproof and air versions) and S-Sporttour EVO if you need a good sport touring boot. But take a look through all the TCX boots, because many are offered in Euro 38.

tcx_s-sporttour_evo

 

Alpinestars is another company that offers many boots in Euro 38 as well! If you need a sporty boot, many of their race and sport boots are offered in 38 including the SMX-6's below (which I wear).

alpinestars_stella_smx6_womens

On the touring side of things, in addition to the Monofuse boots I linked above, they offer the Web GTX boots in 38:

alpinestars_web_gtx

 

And of course if you're looking for city sneakers, they have quite a few in 38 too. I think you'll find plenty of options in both these brands in your size in various styles!

 

Technical Riding Sneakers for Women

Another video from yours truly! Check out my recommendation for women's riding sneakers in another Geek Speak from Revzilla.com.  Keep in mind that riding sneakers are meant for low speed, city riding conditions (~15-35mph). I wouldn't recommend these for any type of backroad or highway / freeway riding or commuting.

Alpinestars SMX-6 Womens Motorcycle Boots

alpinestars_stella_womens_smx6_motorcycle_boots (1)  

As much as I adore my Sidis, I had to change my boots recently due to a change in the size of my tiny feet. 

When your feet are size US 6.5 / Euro 36 (Euro 37 for really narrow shoes), there aren't many options for truly protective motorcycle boots. When I say truly protective, I mean boots that have full ankle protection to keep your ankle from twisting like these from Dainese. For me, these are the best compromise to achieve a better fit and still have a higher level of protection.

My Sidis (size 37) offer lots of impact protection. And in fact, I can attest to this by the accident I had 2 weeks ago where I lowsided due to hydraulic fuel in the entire right lane of a right hand curve. I only had bruising on my right foot. No broken bones or fractures. And that definitely saved my foot. I absolutely would buy another pair if my feet were just a half size larger!

gear damage 2 (2)

 

Somewhere in the last few years my feet have changed sizes slightly. I wear 2 different insoles in my Sidis because my ankles and heels are skinny. Without them my ankles and heels are swimming, and then my toes smush into the toebox and then I'm in pain. I also added a couple of foam pads to the inside of the boot above my ankle to further stabilize that area. I also have shorter slightly wider toes so the Alpinestars also give me a better fit in the toebox.

The SMX-6's  in a 36 fit much better, slightly shorter and more fitted and secure in the ankles/heels. It's a slight compromise since I lose some impact protection but gain a piece of ankle support on the outside of each boot (the long plastic looking piece running vertically along side the outside of my ankle).

I think these are going to work better for me, given how much better they fit my tiny feet. And for me, a really good fit has a slightly higher priority. If you're looking for a great summer boot, these are also available in a vented version!

I can't wait to test ride them this Sunday and on a nice long, weekend getaway. Stay tuned for a review.

QnA: Finding a Motorcycle to Lower?

2006 Triumph Speed Triple Reader Susan asks me what kind of sportbike should she get in order to lower and learn to ride. 

I am trying to find a bike that is safe to lower... I have a 27 inch inseam... all of the sport bikes are too tall and I dont want a cruiser or rebel.... wanted a ducati 696 but thats too tall and too much power... any suggestions ? - Susan ( love your page too )

Dear Susan,

First, thank you for reading GearChic.com!

A Ducati Monster 696 can be a terrific bike to start on. But it's not for everyone. And it certainly wouldn't have been for me. If you've read about me, then you know I started on a lightweight scooter. No, you don't have to start on a scooter. However, it's MUCH easier to start on something LIGHTER AND TALLER than heavier and taller. My scooter weighed ~250lbs but had a 30" seat height! But it didn't matter since the weight was really low (below my butt) and I could easily pick it up when I dropped it. :D

If the Ducati Monster 696 is the sportbike if your dreams, then I really recommend starting with something smaller and spend the time you need to learn how to ride! Just because you start on something like a Ninja 250 doesn't mean you are going to be married to that bike forever. We can't grow taller, so what can we do? We can hone our riding techniques and skills so balancing a bike with 4-5" of extra seat height doesn't matter!

suzuki drz 400 sm

By the time I started riding a Ninja, it was an easy transition. I was already used to using my left foot first and keeping my right foot on the brakes to keep the bike from falling over. I was already used to something almost 300lbs, so jumping up to ~350lbs was easy.

The other thing to know is that with a 27" inseam, you will probably never flat foot anything if your dream is to ride a taller bike like a Ducati. Also keep in mind that lowering sportbikes means losing ground clearance, meaning when you lean you will be limited to how much you will be able to! Something that you don't understand know, but trust me you will learn to love especially when you ride a sportbike.

A Ninja 250/300 might have a 30" seat height but that doesn't mean you can't ride them. Keep in mind that when you buy a proper pair of motorcycle boots like these you will automatically be 1.5-2" off the ground from the heel to the arches of your feet. You're now close to 29". And when you take your motorcycle safety class, you will learn the proper techniques to brake and use your controls so you don't drop you bike.

2003 Kawasaki Ninja 250

The key to all of this is being willing to learn, grow and make mistakes. It's not easy, it's not quick and it's going to take time. But trust me, when you put the time into a smaller, lightweight bike the payoff is amazing!

But that's what worked for me, and I feel I'm a MUCH better rider because of it. There's absolutely NO WAY I'd be able to ride bikes like these without having invested the time and making mistakes.

Whatever you decide, just know that motorcycling is something you work at, constantly. Even after 12 years, I still struggle every time I ride to do it better and safer each time.

 

QnA: How Do You Handle the Weight of Your Bike?

A woman rider asked me recently about how do handle the weight of her bike as a new rider.  Initially, she had questions about the Daytona Lady Stars, and whether they would help her get both feet down comfortably on a Ninja 250. When I do wear my Daytonas (but not all the time), they only allow me to have both balls of my feet on the ground. So most of the time I use one flat left.

2012_triumph_street_tripleR

"So with the boots, I'm able to put a foot down. How do you handle the weight of the bike? I meant like when you're parking or in situation where you need both feet to roll the bike?" - Mango 

I'm assuming that you can get almost one flat left or a full flat left down. If this is the case, then you will always, always keep your right on the rear brake for stability, no matter what. As long as your right foot is on the brake, your bike won't go anywhere.

Continue to practice braking as perfectly Smooth as you can. Pretend you're entering a contest for the best braking technique and the grand prize is going to be a million dollars. The only way you're going to balance the motorcycle without dropping it is really finessing and perfecting your braking so you don't stop and release too soon or grab all at once.

As far as parking, get off the bike. There's nothing wrong with having to park the bike while walking next to it. In fact, if I never did this I wouldn't be riding my motorcycle today because I can't park unless the pavement is completely flat. If there's even a slight slope I always get off and park. Most of the time I find it faster and a lot easier to manage. When you do park, lean the tank on your hip and walk the bike backwards. I have a blog post here that shows what I mean with a few pictures.

Keep practicing, and try not to think about what others will think or say or do. It's all about You riding your motorcycle, not them.

 

 

Reader Question: Are My Motorcycle Boots Too Big?

Hi There,

I'm in the market for my first pair of official motorcycle boots. I commute 60 miles a day on my 07 BMW F800ST which has very cramped footpegs. I have narrow feet with med/big arches. My budget is around $200-240 max.

It was suggested to me by several people to get the Sidi Fusion boots as they tend to run narrow unlike some other sidi boots. I couldn't find them anywhere locally, and I had a $140 store credit for cycle gear so i ordered them from the cyclegear website. I went ahead and ordered a size 45. The fit: The boot feels a tad bit loose, and it feels like my feet slide forward in them which cramps my toes. I slapped my FAVORITE insoles in (Sofsol Airr) and it tightened the boot up nicely, but then my toes were so cramped they now get tingly. Should I trade them in for a 46? Do i need to go to a different boot? Help! Love your podcast and always love to hear your feedback.

-Kyle

sidi_fusion_lei_womens_motorcycle_boots

Hi Kyle,

I would definitely recommend a completely different brand for you. Sidis can run narrow in the toe box, but not everywhere else as your experience is showing you (heels, ankles). The reason your toes are smashing into the toe box is probably because the heel and ankle area isn't pulling your foot back enough to keep them out of the toe box. I have the same issue with my Sidis as well. Unfortunately my feet are so small that they don't make a size small enough!

My recommendation would have been anything from Dainese. Unfortunately you will have to spend just a little more to find something that fits in your budget. Dainese is the only brand that has this type of narrow overall fit everywhere:

  • Dainese Giro-ST Boots: $259.95 These are identical to the protection you have on the Sidi Fusion boots, the fit is completely different.

For the price I think these would work really well for what you are trying to accomplish. Although they're a slightly larger investment I think you'll be *very* happy with the result. I would recommend a size 45.

Update 11/23/2014

Kyle wrote me back with an update!

So I went into cycle gear to order your suggested boots and they said they would give me the TR-Course Out for $5 less than the others. Got them for $250! Holy moley they feel great!!! Way overkill for my commute but I'm not complaining!

Dainese TR-Course Out Boots narrow feet

A really cool pair of Motorcycle Boots in my size!

It's been awhile since I've seen a pair of motorcycle boots that I might actually want to buy. Having really small hands and feet narrows my options to women's specific gear only. And really, there aren't that many awesome options to my liking. But seeing these, I'm intrigued and excited to see them in person!

alpinestars_mono_fuse_gtx_motorcycle_boots_smallfeet

 

The Alpinestars Mono Fuse boots are a touring boot with a Gore-Tex membrane and a nifty buckle. And it's going to be available in a Euro 37! They appear to be a mid-height (almost over the calves) boot with a buckle for adjustability. Of course, I do have my fancy Daytonas for the winter that I'm up against but I'm always window shopping, what can I say?

On the other side, these also go up to a Euro 48 (~US 13.5-14). Holy crap. Alpinestars is pretty good about providing options in really small and large sizes in many of their boots including the New Land and the SMX Plus Vented (which are the smallest race boots that I've found so far).

Petite Feet, check it out!

Breaking in new Motorcycle Boots

TCX_XStreet_Waterproof_Ladies_Motorcycle_Shoes_Anthracite  

I recently acquired these cute TCX X-Street Waterproof Motorcycle Shoes so I could have something stylish in this horrible snowy, cold winter we've been having.

I don't plan to ride in them, they're definitely a casual shoe for me. But, I wanted to share my experience breaking these in! It wasn't easy and definitely a little painful along the way. I tried them on and they felt pretty good. A little pressure across the toebox (width wise) but not too bad. I only wore them in the store for a few minutes. But as soon as I put them on the next day to wear to work, I completely forgot about this whole break in thing. (It's been a couple years since I've had to go through this).

And my feet were SCREAMING at me the whole time. 'WHY DID YOU BUY THESE? YOU'RE KILLING US?!' I was worried, a little worried. Okay, *really* worried. But, I knew I had to stick it out. The pressure wasn't so bad that I got bunions or anything, but they were just uncomfortable after 2-3 hours of wearing them. I just assumed that I wouldn't be able to wear them all day and would have to use them as cute, going out shoes. A dinner... a movie.. maybe some shopping.

But after a few weeks (not wearing them every day to work, but at least every couple), they fully broke in and I realized one day that my feet weren't killing me like they used to. These particular shoes were also very very wide in the heel and ran a full size large. I'm normally a Euro 37, US 6.5 but I had to go down to a Euro 36. With such a loose ankle, I realized that I needed to lace them very snug around the ankles. Otherwise my feet would slide forward and smush my foot into the toe box.

As soon as I laced them up nice and tight, it made a Huge difference because my ankles were sitting right where they should be so my feet weren't moving back and forth inside the boots. Remember, you don't want any forward and backward movement of your foot when it's inside the boot. And it's totally normal for your toe to be close to the edge of the toebox as long as it's not pushing forward into the very end as you walk.

I know breaking in gear is a b*tch, but it's SO worth it in the end. Try not to size yourself in the store (when it comes to leather), but size yourself the way you want it to fit a month from now.

Taller Motorcycle Boots for Women

daytona_ladystar_gtx, prev version  

If you're looking for boots that offer a little extra height (and traction) to give you more leverage and confidence while riding, as well as protection, here are some ideas.

Options 1-3 are fully lined with Gore-Tex, considered to be the most breathable, waterproof membrane you will find in footwear.

1/ Daytona Ladystar GTX

$449. My favorite recommendation (and most expensive, unfortunately) are the Daytona Ladystar GTX's above. Yep, you get *that* much extra vertical height. Definitely the tallest women's motorcycle boots on the market that I've seen so far that also provide plenty of protection for street riding. You can read my review here. Two places to buy these online; Helimot or Revzilla. Pick your poison! Daytona also makes the same boot for those of you over a size 40, called the MStar (typically marketed towards men, even though its the same exact boot).

2/ Dainese Siren WP

$249. Although the Siren doesn't feature Gore-Tex, it's waterproof and breathable per Dainese. Also, the Siren has a very generous calf space, so this is a great boot if you need a little more room. Remember that Dainese's fit profile is a little narrower everywhere (except the calf).  I've included a photo showing where your foot will be once inside the boot (0" mark). So that's almost 2.5" of extra height. You will get the same height on the Svelta (#2) and Luma (#3) as well.

dainese_siren

Dainese Siren GTX 

 

2/ Dainese Luma GTX

dainese_luma_gtx

$249. The Luma isn't a full height boot, but falls just below your calves. The height on these and the Siren will be the same.

3/ Dainese Svelta GTX

dainese_svelta_gtx

$269. I love the Svelta because it actually doesn't have a large calf space since it zips all the way to the top. I don't need extra room there, so for me, it's the perfect boot. If you have a slender leg then you'll like the streamline fit on the Svelta. Another fabulous Gore-Tex lined boot!

4/ Alpinestars Stella Gran Torino GTX

Alpinestars Stella Gran Torino GTX

 

alpinestars_gran_torino_gtx_ladies

$299. The Alpinestars should have a slightly wider footbed and slightly larger ankle space. A good amount of calf space is provided as well.

5/ Sidi Livia Rain

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sidi_livia_rain

$230. Sidis have a more generous fit all around than options #1-4, especially the ankles / heels and arches (better for high arches). They're incredibly comfortable as well, and also have a very generous calf space. As generous as the Sirens (#2), maybe even a tad more.

For those of you that can't afford a new pair of boots, here are two ideas:

  1. Try new insoles to add height and / or comfort. Dr Scholls, Superfeet, etc. I also wear Sidi Vertigo Leis but they took away from my vertical height so I couldn't get my heel down at all. So I added another insole, and a heel cup to give me an extra inch. It also made working all day in them far more comfortable.
  2. Try checking eBay. I found a barely used pair of Daytonas on eBay for less than $100 because I set up an alert to let me know if someone posted a pair in my size. It took a year, but a year later I found them!