Motorcross boots are an important piece of equipment that provides security, comfort (to some extent), and safety against accidents. If your foot or ankle contact the ground, they are meant to protect them.
Their firm grip might seem like a nuisance, but it is really important because your feet are the only thing that is holding up the motorcycle once it stoops. They should be comfortable and firm, especially if you are among those people who love to ride around.
But, how long do they last?
Motorcross boots last until they start to feel loose around the toe area, soles, grip, or sturdy foot placement. It is time to get new ones. Even the slightest feeling of something being loose in your boot can be a major warning that safety can be compromised.
Table of Contents
Signs You Need New Motocross Boots
It can sometimes be tricky to see or understand that the time has come to trade-in motorcycle boots for a new pair. The comfortable, worn-out, smelly ones that you already own are just right for walking around in them. They probably became a part of a sentiment, and it might be difficult to part with. Keep in mind that there are no emotions in this world that can save your foot on the road as a good, sturdy, and solid boot.
There are a few things that people should pay attention to when it comes to motocross boots. The key areas of the boot – the toe area used for shifting, soles, and grip for sturdy foot placement and protection around the ankles – need to be functional at all times. Their grip is what keeps your safety, balance, and health intact.
Like with motorcycle tires, over time they will wear down (and not necessarily evenly). If you have a spare tire, you might be able to change one at a time, but wearing different boots is really not recommended!
Excessive Wear on the Shoes
It is a great idea to check on the soles of your boots and how they are worn. Smooth treads, or the ones that are close to that condition, are an alarm that it is time to either get a re-sole or new boots. They might also de-laminate and start peeling away from other layers.
This can easily be prevented if you simply look at them from time to time. Depending on the history of the boot and how much it has really been through, if you know-how, you might be able to fix minor de-lamination on your own. But taking it to a professional is the safest option to repair them, or consider getting a new and better pair.
Worn Ankle Cuff
Worn-inside ankle padding may feel more comfortable on your feet, but it implies that reinforcement of the area is compromised, like your safety. Not to mention that the boots have loosened, and with affected sturdiness riders lose the much-needed support for their feet.
Extra pairs of socks can tighten the fit. Only use this as first aid to drive yourself to the nearest motorcycle equipment shop and get yourself some new boots.
Riding around with weakened boots could be seen as if you decided to ride around without your helmet, which is supposed to save your life if you were to get in a crash accident. An extra sock might feel like a good solution, but additional movement means that your foot or feet are more exposed. Be extra careful until you resolve this.
The Boot Doesn’t Fit
This does not mean that you rode in a size too small. Boots that used to fit like a glove tear over time. The upper part of the boot that was tight is now loose, and it won’t remain fastened.
Since we already covered the importance of safety in the previous segment, we can only state further that any boots that are becoming baggy shapeless are losing their structural elements. It’s time to get new ones.
Soaked feet and socks are uncomfortable, and the feeling can be distracting for you on the road. Now, there is one occasion where it is advisable to ride with wet boots if you are trying to break into them (it is discussed later on). However, water or any type of moisture, penetrating the inside of the boot means that there are cracks and punctures somewhere along the seams, or the soles.
A short-term fix can be a waterproofing treatment. It can help and should be done by a professional. However, if your footwear is made from rubber or PVC materials, it is time to replace them, because when separation in these plastic starts, no treatment can set back the material to the quality it had when it came out of the factory.
Out With the Old in With the New
It can be rather challenging to break into new motocross boots. Don’t even consider ‘walking around in them to break them, as your feet will cry and contemplate your murder in silence.
As someone creatively put it, it is a good thing that our feet and legs are not able to express or experience claustrophobia. The Motorcross boot is just like a tomb or a horror movie python, wrapping around. However, it is supposed to be tight to provide maximum safety.
A riding boot will primarily protect your feet and calves up to the knee from minor, moderate, and severe injuries. They act as a shield, and of course, are not easy to walk in. For all people who value safety, they are a necessity, but not a very comfortable one. The only thing you can do is to try and make it ‘bearable.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying New Motocross Boots
- Shoe size is a good place to start. Always get one size larger than your regular shoe.
When trying them out remember to put on riding socks before sizing your foot.
- Slip in the boot (if you can’t you’ve got the wrong size). Try wiggling your feet around. The most important thing here is that you can: move your fingers inside, slip in them while wearing your riding boots, and buckle them down.
- There are different brands and shapes of boots, some are wider and some are more narrow. If you are a newbie, it might take time for you to try out several models before you get your pick. Take your time and patience, even if you are not a shopping fan. This is about safety, not really the looks.
Once you are confident that you found the best choice, they might feel a bit constrained or just simply uncomfortable. Some manufacturers, though, claim they produce a ‘no break-in’ shoe. This might be true for some riders, but all of our feet are shaped differently. One leg cannot act like the other, and some may need to break into a bot, while some may not.
The increase in technology and manufacturing allows people to be able to choose from really wearable riding gear. Most of the users claim that the design is meant to be used only for riding. Naturally, the only way to break into a motocross boot is to use it for what it was meant to do- go riding. Spend a day with them and simply deal with the initial discomfort.
On the flip side, if you are too picky and really want to have a more comfortable feel to it, there are alternative ways (some acquired but claim to work) that you can break in your boots.
Using a Hairdryer to Break in New Boots
Yes, this actually works! Most Motorcross boots are made out of plastic, which is why they are very stiff and rigid. It takes quite some time for you to break them effectively.
Using heat will help you ‘sculpt’ the boot to your foot. For this to work, you will need to wear the boot. Take the hairdryer or heat gun and blow it onto the plastic. It will conform to your foot shape, size and movement.
You only need to be careful about the amount of heat, and the reactiveness of the material. If they get overheated, the material can melt and comprise integrity, void any warranty, and will not be able to use the seller’s return policy (after you realize you need the bigger size.
Walk a Mile in Those Shoes
You won’t be running a marathon and it can be super uncomfortable, but if you are determined to break the shoes now rather than later, this is the way to go. It acts similar to breaking any new pair of shoes. Walking around in your new motocross boots will probably cause blisters. The shoe night is quite stiff enough to even break into them.
On the bright side, if you do walk around indoors with them and realize that it is not a good match, you can return them. They were practically not used and were worn indoors, so there will be no wear marks on them. Change them for a new pair and try to pick a good fit.
Put Your Boots in Water
One of the more extreme suggestions is to completely submerge the boots in water. This won’t have as much effect if you have plastic boots, but if you are a fan of the old-school leather vibe, give it a shot.
Leaving the boots for an hour underwater, some people leave them to soak overnight. Another alternative people do is to fill the boot with water. After some time you should hop in the wet boots and wear them on your ride.
During the drying process, the leather shoes will shrink and adjust properly to your shape and size. Keep in mind that it cannot be done as fast, so you should find something to keep you occupied during this process.
Dry boots also tend to crack so it is advisable to coat them with oil or shoe polish. Keep in mind that if you do this to your boots, you will most probably not be able to return them, so double check on the size and feeling before personalizing them completely.
So, how long do motocross boots last?
Many things impact the durability of any footwear. Manufacturing, quality, and pricing are common for all. It is important not to equate price with quality. You might buy super expensive, fancy boots to complete your outfit, and if you are into racing, they may last that one race!
Amateur and passionate riders might need leather shoes that will last longer if they are not used as frequently. A great option is to have a few different pairs and change them up, so by that, you will surely expand their durability. You will be able to compare which type of boot fits you best.
There is no defined expiration date for motocross boots or any other gear equipment. How much you use them, and how you maintain them, determines how long they will last.