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On June 11th this year I will set out from Dawson City, Yukon on a 1000 mile motorcycle adventure.
There is so much to look forward to seeing and experiencing on this trip. I’ve been meticulously planning it for months now and travelling in this part of the world at this particular time is going to be a unique experience.
The planned route will take me north across the Canadian tundra to a remote hamlet of 900 people living on the coast of the Arctic Ocean called Tuktoyaktuk.
Tuck – Tahhh… What Now?
It’s a mouthful to say correctly – “Tuhk – TOYuhk – Tuhk”. That’s the way it’s pronounced in the indigenous Inuvialuit people’s language who live in this wild and beautiful land. The truth is that most everyone shortens it to “Tuk” to save time. Correct Pronunciation of Tuktoyaktuk.
A Little History
Tuktoyaktuk translates roughly to “looks like a caribou” in English. The Tuktoyaktuk name is an Anglicized version of “Tuktuujaartuq” and took hold in 1950 owed to some rock formations in the area that resemble caribou.
Other significant historical points about Tuk;
Originally used as caribou and whale hunting grounds by Inuit people, Tuk was established as a port of choice for the Hudson’s Bay Company during the 1930s and from the late 1950s to present day as a base for oil and gas exploration.
Tuk incorporated as a Hamlet back in 1970 and is located on the Beaufort Sea coast.
Thanks to its very northern location it’s also a site used in the North Warning System (Distant Early Warning System) to guard against any hostile missiles potentially heading inland.
In September 1995, Metallica along with Hole, Moist and Veruca Salt visited Tuk and put on a promotional concert for Molson Ice beer at what was dubbed the Polar Ice beach party. YouTube video.
In the winter Tuk weather is just about what you would expect from a coastal, northern settlement.
It’s covered in ample snowfall and quite cold with temperatures pretty steadily around -25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit), but can drop to ridiculous levels below -40 F at times. People carve ice sculptures and still build igloos to celebrate their cultural heritage, but they don’t live in them much anymore.
Photo Kwong NWT Tourism
Dog sledding is a popular activity along with snowmobiling, winter festivals, and of course, watching the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). In winter months there is very little daylight and it’s normal only to have it last from noon to 5:00 pm.
Land of the Midnight Sun
Photo Chukita Gruben
In summer, or maybe more appropriately called “not quite winter” (June to September) the average temperature ranges from 5 to 10 Celsius (41 to 50 Fahrenheit).
Needless to say there aren’t too many bikinis to be seen on the shores of the Beaufort, which is a shame considering they call this the land of the midnight sun. From mid-May to the end of August there is effectively no night! The sky stays lit up and the sun never really drops much below the horizon. You really have no idea what time it is unless you look at your watch, and quality sleep can be elusive without covering your windows completely.
The seemingly barren, snow-covered wasteland that this area appears to be during winter gives way to a vibrant, lush, bright green landscape dotted with lakes and marshes as far as the eye can see.
Large dome-shaped land formations called Pingos are the big attractions at nearby Pingo National Park. These impressive mounds sometimes rise 230 feet high and can be over 2000 feet in diameter. Ironically, Pingo means “small hill” in Inuvialuktun.
Photo Chukita Gruben
Pingos are earth-covered mounds of ice found on the Arctic and sub-Arctic.
If you happen to visit in the last bit of August and September, you’ll witness the green grass of the tundra changing hues to a bright collection of orange, yellow, and red. This is a clear indicator of the impending deep freeze about to manifest itself.
Caribou and beluga are an important part of the indigenous peoples’ diet and culture. The meat from just one beluga will feed a family for a whole year. A visit with the Tuk Elders, coupled with asking nicely, could mean you’ll be treated to try some. From what I’ve heard, beluga is an acquired taste, but caribou is easy to like. I’ll definitely be looking to find out for myself.
The northern tundra leading up to Tuk is home to many must see wildlife including moose, dall sheep, mountain goats, black and grizzly bear, wolverine, fox, wolf and countless migratory bird species.
Hopefully there won’t be any really close encounters with any of them on my bike.
Why Ride To Tuk?
Photos Lawrence Neyando
The first and foremost reason to ride to Tuk? Real Adventure!
This isn’t like riding down the California Coastline or even touring through Mexico. This is a different brand where failure is possible and help hard to get. This ride will test your mettle.
Bragging rights are up for grabs this year because this is the first year the road to Tuk has been open outside of winter. I’m aiming to be one of the first to ride the newly built final leg of the Dempster that was just completed in November 2017.
Ideally, I plan on being the first one this year to roll into Tuk on two wheels. Hence, the early departure date of June 11th (in my attempt to beat the rush).
Leaving that early is risky because ice in the rivers is just starting to break up in early June, allowing the all important ferries to run across what are impassable obstacles otherwise. Add to that the threat of forest fires shutting down the roads and the level of adventure steadily increases.
Tuktoyaktuk and its distinct northern beauty, wildlife, interesting culture, history and confusing midnight sun is in itself a big attraction, but for me and any dual sport motorcycle enthusiast the real joy will come in the ride time up the newly completed Dempster Highway.
The Dempster: a Two Faced MonsterPhoto Colin Field/NWT Tourism
This “highway” is in reality a temperamental, gravel road that snakes its way north and east from just outside Dawson City. It runs along the Klondike River Valley, through the Ogilvie and MacKenzie Mountains, crosses the Arctic Circle and a few rivers (some by bridge others by ferry). It’s a vital supply link for several towns and settlements in the north including Eagle Plains, Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic, Aklavik and Inuvik, all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk… but it didn’t always.
Photo Town of Inuvik Tourism
Originally this route wasn’t much more than a trail used by northern aboriginals for hunting. In the 1800s when settlements like Dawson City grew bigger during the gold rush it was used by the Royal Northwest Mounted Police for patrols into the far north to Fort McPherson and beyond (but only in winter).
One particular police inspector at that time named William John Duncan Dempster was a well known and respected bushman, praised for his blazing speed travelling by dog sled.
He often mushed dog sled teams up the trail serving the communities better than anyone during his 37 year career that began in 1897. At this point, what was the Dempster highway wasn’t even considered a road and was only used by the police and most everyone in the winter when rivers and marshes were all frozen and passable.
I’ll try not to dwell on the eerie similarity Inspector Dempster had to Adolph Hitler in the photo above. Good thing history tells us without a doubt he was one of the good guys.
The Dempster went by many different names from the start of its construction in 1958 and didn’t receive the name it bears today until 1968 in honour of Inspector Dempster’s impressive career.
This is not a typical road even by gnarly gravel road standards. It had to be constructed 4 to 8 feet thick to create an insulating layer over the permafrost soil below it. The idea is to keep the frozen soil underneath the gravel from thawing and collapsing in the summer.
Undoubtedly this methodology was inspired by the Pingos.
Up until November 2017, unless the winter ice road was open, the Dempster ended in the town of Inuvik. Only in winter was it possible to continue on to Tuktoyaktuk.
Last year, after 59 years of delay – due to cost overruns, disagreements in government, and technical problems – the last leg of the highway to Tuk was finally completed and open for general public use. Having a year-round link to the southern supply chain is a huge boon for the residents of Tuktoyaktuk, and as a bonus now all of us can fill our thirst for adventure riding on it too.
The Road Surface
Photo Town of Inuvik Tourism
Having Lady Luck on your side is key in getting up the Dempster in one piece any time of year coupled with skill and preparation.
When it’s dry the road is a hard packed mixture of finely crushed soapstone mica and harder chunks of sharp, tire-shredding granite shards coated in corrosive calcium chloride (put down as dust suppressant). Anyone travelling this road needs to choose their tires carefully and be ready to deal with flats. Having said that, you can make good time on the dry Dempster travelling at 80 to 90 kph in sections.
Not all riders understand the value and importance of good motorcycle boots until it’s too late. Most people forget that there are 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments that make up the human foot and that the ankle is comprised of the lower ends of two of the longest bones in the body being the fibula and the tibia. And even though the feet and ankles support our entire body weight all day every day, this is a rather delicate and complex part of the human anatomy. And one that deserves some serious protection.
The most common thought is that foot and ankle injuries only occur in an accident but there are a lot of injuries that can occur in everyday riding. And sadly most could have been prevented or the severity greatly reduced if the rider was wearing a quality pair of boots. Even a solid short boot provides a great deal more protection than a standard shoe.
Simple ankle sprains, torn ligaments, and bone fractures can occur any time you are coming to a stop and lowering your foot to the ground. An unexpected movement or poor footing can result in a foot sliding, an ankle twisting and what could be a long-term injury. But a solid boot with ankle support and protection can help to avoid more serious injuries. Riders could end up with bruises or a sore ankle but most of the time serious injuries are avoided. And in the event of a serious accident, short boots will provide much more protection for your feet and ankles when sliding or tumbling.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of motorcycle boots and other great products for riders.
Riders need to consider more than just looks and comfort when selecting a short boot. Other factors such as how often they will be worn and how long they will be worn should have an impact on your selection. Riding style can also give riders some important clues as to which style of short boot will be most comfortable.
Do you sit in a very aggressive position or are you in a less crouched more casual position? Are you riding on city streets where you have more opportunities for movement or do you spend a large amount of your time on the highway and in a single position? Giving these questions some thought and then applying the information that we are giving you about your different short boot options will help you to make a good selection when you are buying your next short boots.
The Alpinestars SMX-1R provides a lot of protection and comfort in a short boot that can easily be worn in a casual setting when you are off of your bike.
Another great benefit to the SMX-1R is the number of options that it offers riders. These boots are available in both men’s and women’s sizes and can be purchased with solid upper construction or vented. They are constructed from a lightweight and abrasion resistant microfiber which is reinforced with TPU protectors.
The SMX-1R provides great safety but at the same time is comfortable enough to wear all day at work or when out for the evening. The shape of this boot has been ergonomically designed for comfort and to provide a smaller profile. This provides more comfort and flexibility in placing the boot on pegs.
The rear flex zone allows for complete range of motion and accommodates pretty much any foot position that a rider finds comfortable.
The medial zipper makes these boots easy and fast to put on or take off and the microfiber flap protects your bike from scratches.
A front Velcro strap at the instep allows riders to select a custom fit and provides added security that these boots will remain firmly in place.
The SMX-1R offers the exclusive Alpinestars rubber compound sole with a newly designed tread pattern for even more grip.
The TPU forefoot slider uses an easy screw attachment for fast and simple replacement.
The removable footbed is made of EVA foam and Lycra for added comfort, support, and durability.
The internal mesh lining increases comfort and promotes cooling by wicking moisture away from the feet.
This boot is CE certified to Cat 2 CE and 89/686/UCC EU directive.
For a short boot, the SMX-1R offers riders many features for both safety and comfort.
In addition, riders can choose a solid or perforated style to best meet the conditions for their riding. With a cost that is comparable to many popular athletic shoes, the SMX-1R offers protection, style, and comfort in a single boot and is our selection for Best Overall Short Boot.
The Joe Rocket Atomic boots are a good blend of race features and comfort features for the everyday rider.
The style and shape are much like a high top basketball sneaker but the protection goes far beyond what any athletic shoe could provide.
The uppers are 95% leather and 5% synthetic and the sole offers a slight heel to hang on a peg. The shifter area of the toe isreinforced and the entire toe box is low profile for ease of shifting and added comfort. These boots do not have a zipper but instead offer a ratcheting closure system and Velcro strap at the ankle to secure them. Two pull loops make it fast and easy to put these boots on.
The padded ankle cuff provides great support and comfort as well. The toe slider is replaceable and can be purchased separately to extend the life of these boots.
For just over $100, the Joe Rocket Atomic boots offer the look and comfort of an athletic shoe but with much greater protection for riders and that makes them our selection for Best Value Short Boot.
Dainese has applied it’s high safety standards from decades of racing boots construction to a short boot that offers riders the comfort of a casual sneaker.
This boot offers a slimmer profile and much less weight to accommodate more walking and wear time when not riding. Available in a very covert black and grey, the Dyno Pro D1 can be worn all day or for an evening out without the worry of sore feet or the feel of walking in concrete boots.
Comfort and control capabilities are increased by adding an integrated flex zone to the back side of the reinforced shift pad. In addition, a microfiber stretch panel has been added over the instep. A new type of foam padding has been used which is lighter weight and also provided greater impact protection.
Additional weight reduction was achieved by adding magnesium inserts and redesigned toe sliders.
The construction of these short boots is everything that riders would expect from the Dainese brand.
A microfiber upper with cowhide leather inserts provides both comfort and protection.
The speed lacing system makes it fast and easy to put these boots on or take them off but also assures that they are firmly secured when riding.
The TPU heel counter, reinforced nylon toe, nylon inner hull and shock absorption insert at the heel with a controlled deformation insert all add to the safety and sneaker-like comfort of these boots.
The rubber sole is the final piece of the puzzle to offering great grip and a comfortable surface for riding or walking.
When polled about comfort, product durability, features and style riders who purchased the Dainese Dyno Pro D1 could not say enough good things about these short boots. Positive comments about comfort and fit topped the list.
Durability was also praised as one rider even stated that he walked away from a wreck with no foot or ankle injuries when he was wearing his recently purchased Dyno Pro’s.
There was not a single comment about the price even though these boots are at the upper end of the price range, making the Dainese Dyno Pro D1 our selection for the Best Fully Loaded Short Boot.
The Firstgear Kili Lo provides a very casual look and sneaker like comfort while still meeting riders need for safety.
This short boot is constructed of waterproof, breathable full leather and offers a standard lace pattern for a complete custom fit across the top of the foot. Additional security is provided by the hook and loop strap which secures around the ankle. The Kili Lo provides hard shin, ankle and toe box protection as well as added padding on the outside of the ankle.
The heel is also reinforced with an extra layer of leather for added durability and protection. The rubber shift patch eliminates the worry of wearing through the top of the toe area.
The sole offers a tread pattern similar to a court tennis shoe to eliminate sliding and the slight heel makes these boots easy to position comfortably and consistently on a peg.
For just over $100, the Firstgear Kili Lo is a solid choice for a sneaker look but with great short boot safety features.
The Sidi Speedride is an adaptation of a race boot to offer commuters and recreational riders a race quality short boot with added comfort features.
The uppers are constructed of Technomicro which is a man-made material that is similar to leather but is stronger, softer and lighter. These boots have also eliminated the hassle and issues associated with laces. No more worries of a lace catching on a peg as you stop or launch. The Tecno-3 magnetic closure mechanism uses a steel wire and clip system to secure the boots.
Another very unique feature of these boots is the shock absorbing heel cup. This adds to rider comfort and can easily be replaced through a screw and interlocking system.
The nylon innersole offers a removable arch support which riders can choose to use or remove depending on their preference.
The dual compound outer sole provides a great combination of durability and grip.
The list of safety features for these boots is rather impressive and begins with the thermoplastic resin ankle protection. This is a great feature to have in the event of a slide but it also is helpful in avoiding a twisted or sprained ankle when you land on less than secure footing.
The TPU shift pad offers added grip and touch for shifting and extra durability on a constant contact surface.
The toe slider is made of nylon and is reinforced with fiberglass for extended wear.
This area also features an integrated air intake using an innovative alloy insert to channel air.
An added benefit is that all of the bolts on parts for this boot, the heel, the closures and the toe slider are very easy to replace and can be purchased separately.
There is no denying that these short boots look like motorcycle boots but the comfort is more like that of a sneaker than a boot. In addition, the safety features provided in the Sidi Speedride make it worth the lack of fashion statement.
For riders who are more concerned with safety and comfort than looks, the Speedride is a great selection.
The SP-1 is a somewhat fashionable boot while still offering a great deal of protection.
Riders who want to be able to wear a more casual looking boot with jeans or leather will appreciate the low profile look and comfort. These short boots are made of an advanced microfiber material and offer the Kevlar speed lace system.
Safety is provided by the track quality TPU and TPR protectors in the heel, ankle, and toe. Overall these boots meet the Cat 2 CE level of certification in accordance with the 89/686/ECC EU..
Boots are a critical piece of gear for any rider, but the type of riding that you do and the type of bike you are riding can have some impact on the type of boot that will best meet your needs. Sports bikes normally encourage a rider to sit in a more aggressive position, meaning that the rider is leaning forward and in a crouched position rather than the upright style of an adventure bike or cruiser.
The geometry of your body in this sports mode is now a driving factor in your boot selection. Picture the aggressive ride position and notice that the rider’s knee is in front of the ankle and not directly above it as in the upright seating position. This means that the ankle is flexed forward to create an angle of fewer than 90 degrees where the leg and foot meet. So a boot that is constructed at a 90-degree angle is not going to conform to the riders foot, ankle and leg. But a sports boot or a racing boot does offer that slightly forward slant and also integrates flexible panels at the ankle to allow riders to comfortably maintain that aggressive stance for long periods of time.
In addition to providing more comfort in a race type foot and ankle position, sports boots offer abrasion protection, ankle stability and a sole which easily anchors to a foot peg. All of these features allow a rider good range of motion, comfort and a heightened level of safety for the higher speeds achieved by sports bikes.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of motorcycle boots and other great products for riders.
Buying a sport boot is a lot like buying any boot or shoe in that each rider is going to have certain preferences and sizing concerns but there are other factors which should be given equal consideration. Riding position and the angle of the ankle will play an important role in the selection process. Overlooking this information can result in at best discomfort and at the worst fatigue and blisters on the ankles.
Riders should also evaluate how they like to position their foot on the pegs. If you are accustomed to hanging it by the heal with the top of the foot forward then be sure that the boot offers some type of heal. If you place your feet flatter on top of the pegs then a heel is not an issue. Length can also be a huge factor for some riders. Some like the boot over the pant leg while others want the boot to fit snugly under the pant leg.
Having answers to all of these questions will allow riders to address their personal preferences and apply our safety and durability information to make a great selection of new sport boots.
The Sidi Cobra is a great blend of safety features and sport style at a very reasonable price.
The Lorica outer construction with double stitching in the high-stress areas provides both abrasion and impact protection for the entire foot and ankle.
Thermoplastic resin provides additional ankle support and protection while the Vertebra System in the rear protects the riders Achilles tendon.
The large heel cup provides great protection and also includes a shock absorber which can be replaced.
The toe sliders are also easily replaceable.
The composite inner sole also comes with an additional arch support which can be removed if the rider prefers a flatter surface.
An elastic panel next to the zippers allows for easier zipping and also customizes the fit slightly more to the riders calf size and shape.
The perforated Teflon treated liner adds to the comfort and also promotes wicking to help keep feet dry.
A dual compound sole offers great durability while still providing the needed grip for stopping and launching.
The Sidi Cobra sport boot offers great protection from abrasion while also providing much-needed ankle support and impact protection. The smaller foot size makes these boots more comfortable when off the bike and can be purchased in a vented model or solid depending on the climate and riding conditions.
All of these features and options make the Sidi Cobra our selection for Best Sport Boot Overall.
The Cortech Impulse Air RR offers riders a solid selection for a warm weather sport boot at under $200.
The airflow and the protection provided by this boot are phenomenal considering most safety features tend to eliminate airflow.
The synthetic leather upper is laser perforated and the breathable mesh lining wicks moisture away from the feet for great comfort in hot riding conditions.
The Impulse uses an inner lacing system with a drawstring capability to allow riders to quickly establish a custom fit each time they put the boots on.
A hook and loop flap is then secured over the fastening system.
The carbon fiber ankle protectors are backed with shock absorbing foam for added comfort as is the vented TPU molded shin guard.
The TPU heel protector is also vented to promote complete circulation of air throughout the boot.
The low profile toe design is achieved by using a TecnoGI Thermoplastic toe cap. The toe cap is also topped with a TPU shift pad for greater grip.
The aluminum and plastic toe sliders are removable and replaceable depending on the riders preference.
Finally, the VR two color Cortech RR sole provides riders great stability and grip when stopping or launching the bike.
Just around the $200 price point, the Impulse Air RR offers riders a great selection for a warm weather sport boot with great safety features at an affordable price making this our selection for Best Value in the Sport Boot category.
For riders who want the best, that is to say, the boots that are being worn by the stars of the MotoGP world, the Dainese Axial Pro In Boot is the only choice. These boots are designed to interface with Dainese race suits to create a seamless transition from boot to suit but street riders are finding that the Axial Pro works very well as a standalone sport boot.
However, riders are going to need to be prepared to pay top dollar for these boots as they are over the $500 mark. As a reward though, riders will quickly discover that $500 buys a lot of features and safety in a sport boot.
These boots are constructed of Lorica, D-Stone fabric, and leather for durability, range of motion, and comfort.
The D-Axial jointed anti-ankle twist system is made of Carbon and Kevlar to provide maximum protection in the event of an impact.
The heel also contains a steel insert and shock absorbing system to minimize damage.
Stainless steel sliders, a nylon toe, and outsole offer additional foot protection.
An internal adjustment strap is a final detail which allows the rider to custom fit the boot for maximum protection from all of these features.
Other amazing features of the Axial include elasticated bellows, a closing zipper at the back of the boot, double jersey airgap liner, a padded insert for the gear shift guard and a non-slip differentiated design sole.
For the rider looking to wear what the pros wear, the Dainese Axial Pro is the boot to buy and is our selection for the Best Fully Loaded Sport Boot.
Joe Rocket has achieved the perfect blend of armor, comfort, and mobility in the Speedmaster 3.0 sport boot.
The perforated split grain leather upper offers great breathability while still providing durability and superb abrasion protection. A reinforced ankle provides great stability and ankle support as well as impact protection. Injection molded shin, heel and ankle armor take that protection one step further, and the reinforced titanium ankle plate take protection to the next level.
Even with all of this amazing armor, the mobility of the ankle is still unobstructed thanks to the innovative articulated design.
The boot also offers closed cell foam cushioning throughout for added comfort and protection.
Steel shank in the midsole provides improved weight distribution for a better balance between stiffness and flexibility.
A Velcro closure covers the zipper and is reinforced with a ratcheting strap for an added feeling of security.
The strap is topped off with replaceable magnesium sliders which match the sliders on the heel.
For the price, the Joe Rocket Speedmaster 3.0 offers riders a great deal of safety in a sport boot that also looks and feels great. This boot is a good selection for a rider looking to experience more than an entry level boot without spending $500.
The Alpinestars SMX 6v2 is the latest generation of a very versatile sport boot.
Ergonomic alterations allow this boot to better conform to a rider’s foot and also to provide a better range of motion. And the SMX 6 v2 is available in a vented model or solid to meet the needs of almost any riding conditions and rider comfort demand.
The upper is constructed of microfiber for durability and abrasion protection. It has less weight than a leather upper. The innovative TPU lateral ankle brace provides a biomechanical support between the calf and the ankle. This feature allows for greater stability and a better distribution of weight.
TPU injected shin guard, calf protector, heel counter, shaft pad and toe slider all help to reduce the shock of impact and protect against abrasion. The instep and Achilles accordion flex zone provides the needed support but also allow for a full range of motion.
An internal insole is reinforced with a shank to better support the arch and reduce impact force.
EVA and lycra provide added support and comfort to the removable footbed liner.
In addition, the breathable textile liner features anti-sliding suede reinforcements on the heel area to keep the foot in a secure position when riding.
The medial side entry zipper is elastically mounted to close easily and increase the secure fit of the boot.
These CE certified boots offer the Alpinestars exclusive compound rubber sole for great grip, water dispersion, and extended durability.
Riders who are looking for a durable, high-quality hot weather sport boot should definitely consider the Alpinestar SMX 6 v2.
Dirt boots, offroad boots or motocross boots, three different names but really all the same boot. And the reason that these are all pretty much the same is that these are the boots that are going to take the most abuse, be pushed to the greatest extremes and still be expected to provide complete protection for a rider’s feet, ankles, and legs.
Other types of motorcycle boots are expected to provide support and protection from road debris or inclement weather on a regular basis. And in that rare case of an accident, riders want the security of knowing that their boots will provide impact and abrasion protection to get them through the incident. But for most boots, that accident is an end of life event. The rider acknowledges that the boots did their job, hopefully, and then buys a new pair.
Simply put, boot failure or destruction is not an issue as long as the rider’s feet and ankles remained unharmed. But a dirt boot is held to a much higher standard. What would be a catastrophic event and result in total destruction of many boots needs to be a business as a usual occurrence for a dirt boot? Continuous impact, abrasion, and abuse are what these specific boots are designed to endure.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of motorcycle boots and other great products for riders.
The number one priority for any dirt boot is the absolute protection of the feet, ankles, and legs. That is just a feature riders should never be willing to compromise. But fit and comfort are also important to how well a dirt boot meets a riders needs. Understanding that a certain height, sole or adjustment feature could be critical to how well a boot performs and meets a specific riders needs is an important concept to keep in mind when evaluating dirt boots. Applying those personal fit and taste preferences to the boots that we are recommending as safe and of a high quality will help riders to be successful when selecting a new pair of dirt boots.
The Sidi X3 is a professional quality boot without the high price tag to make it too expensive for recreational riders.
Now riders who want to invest a fair amount to get superior protection, features and comfort in a dirt boot have a true option that doesn’t require compromise. This boot is a great example of the benefit spending just a little bit more to get a great deal more quality. Many of the features, including the sole of this boot, can be replaced to provide riders with an even greater return on their investment.
The base material for the Sidi X3 is Technomicro, a man-made material which offers many of the same benefits as natural leather. But Technomicro is actually stronger, softer and lighter weight than leather.
In addition, this material is very abrasion resistant. The sole of the X3 is made from anti-skid rubber.
Sidi sells replacement soles separately which can be installed by a cobbler to prolong the use of this boot.
The insole on the X3 is made of nylon and doesn’t pose the potential injuries like a steel shank does.
There is also a removable arch support included in the boots and an inner heat shield for added rider comfort.
The many small bones of the foot are protected by the malleolus plastic guard with ergonomic closed cell foam padding.
The boot heel is formed by a rigid, shock resistant anatomically shaped protector while there is also a protective plastic shield over the toes.
Hinged ankle support provides protection against crushing, hyperextension and twisting while the Single Flex System provides comfort and protection for the upper area.
Four replaceable micro adjustable cam lock buckles provide a super secure fit and allow riders to adjust the various parts of the boot to fit their exact foot, ankle and leg size.
The cambrelle lining and the slim non-bootie design add to the comfort that riders can expect from the X3.
At under $300, the Sidi X3 dirt boot offers riders professional quality at an amazingly affordable price. Durability, replaceable parts, and impeccable safety features make the Sidi X3 our selection for Best Overall Dirt Boot.
The O’Neal Rider is a great choice for an entry level dirt boot that offers solid protection. Many times, the less expensive boots tend to offer little protection or are not very durable. But O’Neal has found a way to offer an affordable dirt boot without compromising the quality or the design or the protection.
The protection begins with injection molded plastic plates to absorb impact and provide additional abrasion protection.
Metal Shank reinforces the shape of the boot and also adds to the support.
The durable Goodyear welt sole is well balanced to eliminate rocking and also has a metal toe guard to protect against delaminating.
A synthetic leather heat shield increases rider comfort but also protects against damage to the boots from exhaust or engine heat.
The four buckle closure system features Snap-Lock adjustablebuckles for a secure fit and comfort. Riders can adjust each buckle to create a custom fit for their foot, ankle and leg size.
The mesh interior adds to the comfort and aids in wicking moisture away from the skin.
Extra heel support of the insole provides a comfortable and secure fit even for long rides.
At around $100, the O’Neal Rider offers a great choice for a dirt boot at a reasonable price. Riders will also appreciate that replacement parts are sold separately to extend the life of this boot. This makes the O’Neal Rider our selection for Best Value Dirt Boot.
The Sidi Crossfire 3 offers riders an amazing amount of functionality and safety in a very customizable dirt boot.
All of thearmor plates use hardwarefor attachmentmaking each piecereplaceable for years of service from a single pair of boots. Granted, these boots do have a premium price tag but the safety of your feet and ankles is not really something that you can put a price on. Knowing that you have the best protection and that you will most likely walk away from any wreck is priceless.
The Dual Flex System is a feature that protects riders from lateral hyperflexion but it also offers a hard stop to eliminate the potential for a hyperextension of the ankle joint. Both of these injuries can have long-term to permanent impact.
Four floating independent straps allow each rider to custom fit the system regardless of their body size or shape.
The custom fit of the calf is also possible thanks to the double adjustable calf plate system which is exclusive to the Sidi line of boots.
And not only is this system adjustable but it is also made of two materials, one is rigid for protection and supports the other is designed as a heat shield to protect the rider’s leg from the exhaust and engine heat.
On the inside of this boot, riders will be amazed at the added comfort of the more pronounced cup and thickness of the insole, the removable arch support, the new rigid and anatomically shaped heel and the combo Cambrelle and Teflon mesh liner.
Both of these materials provide comfort to the touch but also aid in wicking moisture away from the skin to promote natural cooling.
The Crossfire 3 is secured using a series of 4 buckles which are all attached to a single point of connection.
This allows the rider to create a custom fit at each buckle point.
The buckles remain in that fixed setting and eliminate the need for tweaks and adjustments before each ride.
Each buckle can also be adjusted slightly to allow the rider to conform the boot shape to their riding style and body position.
One look at the Crossfire 3 and riders will understand the higher price tag. Outside the world of professional racing, very few pieces of gear offer as many options for customization as these boots do. The safety, the versatility and the ability to replace parts as needed makes the Sidi Crossfire 3 our selection for best Fully Loaded Dirt Boot.+6
The Alpinestars Tech 5 boots are constructed of lightweight microfiber material with action leather on top of the toe box. The recent redesign has offered riders improvements in the fit and function to make these a great option for a middle of the road priced dirt boot. And with over half a dozen color schemes, there is something for everyone’s taste in the Tech 5 line.
Safety is the most important feature for any dirt boot and the Tech 5 starts with a one-piece TPU injected foot shell then adds metal shank and a co-injected toe for even more protection.
The biomechanical pivot provides protection and support for the ankle and a TPU heel patch is connected to the shell for even more protection and durability.
Inside the boot, riders enjoy the comfort of a replaceable anatomic EVA footbed with a textile lining to match the complete textile liner in the boot.
Soft poly-foam surrounds the ankle for added comfort and support as well as the top collar of the boot. And the PU synthetic gaiter helps to keep water and dirt out of the boot.
The closure system for the Tech 5 is a series of 4 polymer buckles.
Each buckle has a ratchet with a memory and quick release/lock system.
The buckles are also self-aligning for a precise closure and great secure fit every time.
The sole of this boot is a high grip rubber compound and can be replaced as it begins to wear to extend the life of the boots.
For a name brand boot with a middle of the pack price point, the Alpinestars Tech 5 is a solid selection for a dirt boot that provides safety, comfort, and durability.
The Gaerne SG-12 takes dirt boots to the next level for riders who are willing to make the investment. Innovation in the design and materials used to make this boot offer riders a distinct advantage over older methods and materials. When you are considering the value of your feet and ankles, consider how much more protection you get when you spend a few hundred dollars more.
The Dual Stage Pivot System has got to be the biggest upgrade that these boots offer. The “Razorback” provides a rigid component for strong lateral support while the glide plate keeps upper firm and in the correct position. This system offers superior protection from twisting and torque related injuries without restricting the range of motion.
The toe cap was designed to provide more durability and protection as was the heel cup.
The new toe box design offers a slimmer shape for an improved sense of touch on the shift lever.
The thermoplastic shin plate is curved for a better fit as it spans the lower leg and attaches to the closure system.
Four alloy buckles and adjustable straps offer independent adjustment to provide a custom fit from the instep to the collar of the SG-12.
Comfort is also a major feature in the SG-12. The gaiter is made of ACRONOS which is a Swiss fabric known to be extremely stretchy and breathable. This fabric works very well to maintain a close fit to keep sand and debris out while still allowing for air-flow.
The grip guard on the inner side of each boot also offers riders the ability to have more grip and control of the bike.
Finally, riders like the ability to adjust the size of the opening on this boot. A simple three screw adjustment allows for more space for easy access or to accommodate a larger calf or a knee brace.
The price of the Gaerne SG-12 is on the high end of the spectrum but the safety and comfort features of this boot more than justify the cost. Riders who are looking for superior foot and ankle protection will appreciate what the SG-12 has to offer.
Touring and adventure riding creates a unique and rather comprehensive set of parameters for riding boot requirements. The touring aspect implies, rightfully so, that the rides will likely be long so there is a definite need for comfort and mobility. A tight-fitting sport boot is great for a day at the track or shorter rides as it provides a sense of security and protection.
But after hours on a long ride, that snug fit becomes more of an annoyance than a reassurance. A more casual fit with a little bit of room to flex an ankle or wiggle toes is a welcome feature for touring boots.
But then you bring the adventure aspect into the mix and riders reaffirm their desire for great protection. Adventure rides can include some precarious terrain, obstacles such as tree branches or scrub growth or even loose material flying up at your feet and legs. All of these are a part of adventure riding and are not a big deal as long as you have the proper gear.
Solid touring and adventure boots are the first piece of gear that is likely to be between your body and all of these obstacles and projectiles that could cause you pain.
A reliable, name brand pair of touring and adventure boots is going to set you back a few hundred dollars or more but the benefits are priceless. And though your other options might at first appear to be more affordable, that can all change is a millisecond. The cost of a trip to the ER, crutches, loss of mobility and maybe even loss of your income as you recover and recuperate is going to be exponentially more than even the Fully Loaded options that we offer you for touring and adventure boots. Make the investment in your feet and ankles, it’s a very reasonable insurance plan to avoid crutches.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of motorcycle boots and other great products for riders.
Selecting a boot that meets your needs for comfort and riding style is critical to your satisfaction and your safety. If your adventure rides never take you beyond fairly well-maintained roads then you will not need to worry about brushes or tree branches cracking your shins. But if your idea of adventure doesn’t begin until the pavement ends then you need to seek out a more durable boot that provides more ankle and leg protection.
Be honest with yourself and find the boot that will meet your needs. Sure the super off-road adventure boots look cool but they might be less comfortable than you really want if you are cruising on the highway for 5 to 6 hours at a time. In the end, our information about features and comfort levels will serve as a great guide for you when you are selecting your next pair of touring and adventure boots.
The Alpinestars Belize Drystar is a rare combination of a touring and adventure riding boot and a hiking boot.
Alpinestars took a step back and applied some logic to understand that a tour and adventure ride could end at a place that is really cool. They then went a step further to think that riders might want to explore the site on foot. So a boot that is safe and sturdy enough for a motorcycle ride was only meeting half of the adventurous heart of some riders.
So the Belize Drystar was born.
The upper of the boot is constructed of full grain leather and suede with imprinted texture to improve grip.
Front and rear bellows are made from a lightweight microfiber for added flexibility and comfort.
The shift pad offers additional grip and also is backed with foam for more comfort.
This mid-calf boot offers protection via ergonomic TPU plates and the biomechanical flex-bladeankle hinge system.
Soft poly-foam surrounds the ankle and the collar to increase comfort and absorb the shock of any possible impact.
The internal toe box and heel counterreinforcements are layered under the upper for added durability and protection while the drystar layer and lining provide protection from the elements when riding in bad weather.
The sole of the Belize Drystar is made of the exclusive Alpinestars vulcanized rubber plus an injected PU midsole for added comfort and grip.
The wide opening makes this boot very easy to put on and take off.
The lateral ankle closure system consists of 2 polymer buckles. One is located at the shin plate and the other is located on the instep.
Each closure buckle includes a ratchet with a memory and a quick release lock/release system.
The buckles are also self-aligning for easy and precise closing.
Because of the innovations and attention to detail of these boots as well as the functionality, the Alpinestars Belize Drystar is our selection for the Best Overall Touring and Adventure Boot.
The Firstgear Kili Hi touring and adventure boot is a good choice for an economical boot that still provides the ankle and shin protection that riders need.
Riders also have the option to purchase the waterproof version or the mesh version depending on their riding conditions and preference. The mesh version is about $10 less and offers all of the same features as the waterproof model except for the waterproof liner.
The upper of the Kili Hi is constructed completely of leather.
The full liner is waterproof.
These boots offer a large opening making them easy to put on and take off.
The Kili Hi is secured by a large hook and loop closure at the top of the cuff which hits most riders about mid-calf.
Additional impact protection and abrasion protection is provided via the hard ankle protector and the foam padding at the shin.
For a very affordable touring and adventure boot, the Kili Hi offers riders good ankle support and foot protection for most riding on paved surfaces and even some light duty off-road.
The function, choices and reasonable cost make the Firstgear Kili Hi our selection for Best Value Touring and Adventure Boot.
For riders who want the ultimate foot, ankle and lower leg protection regardless of the cost then the Sidi Crossfire 3 TA is the only touring and adventure boot to consider.
The white version of these boots could easily pass for a stage prop used by a stormtrooper. The entire boot leg is assembled with screws, is stitch free and is entirely replaceable. And at first thought, all of this armor might sound uncomfortable and feel confining but Sid has created a customization process that allows riders to tweak this exoskeleton to a perfect fit.
The calf plate system features an inner double adjustment that expands to fit even the largest calf or calf and a knee brace.
The ankle pivot system allows riders to set a hard limit for foot/ankle hypertension to eliminate potential injuries.
Laminated Technomicro is used as the base material throughout the boot so there are no booties involved. This decreases the heat and potential for slippage.
The inner boot gaiter is larger than in previous models to allow for a tight seal around the rider’s leg even if a brace is worn.
In addition, the upper inside of the gaiter features heat resistant suede for added protection and grip.
The foot portion offers a removable arch support,protective plastic over the toe area, rigid, shock resistant heel which holds the riders foot in place to resist twisting injuries and a buckle system with memory retention nylon straps.
All buckles move independently and have just one fixed point for each closure. This also allows the rider to pivot the buckles to adapt the shape to their riding position.
The upgrade for the TA model of the Crossfire is the fact that the soles are hand sewn. This feature is a great benefit for riders who walk more in their boots.
The sole is made of anti-skid rubber and can also be replaced by a cobbler.
The look, the features and the level of protection offered by the Crossfire 3 TA are simply over the top. Riders who want the best and want it customized to their size, shape, and preferences will choose this boot. For all of these many features, the Sidi Crossfire 3 TA is our selection for the Best Fully Loaded Touring and Adventure Boot.
The Gaerne Balance Oiled Boot embodies the classic look of a full grain oiled leather boot.
The gum rubber sole completes this classic look and all of the comfort that comes with it. The oiled leather and gum sole might make many riders think that these are not serious touring and adventure boots but the full list of features will eliminate that misconception.
The gum sole on the Balance has a lug type tread pattern but the sole itself is flat, meaning that there is no heel. Some riders like that fact as it allows a variation on foot location on the pegs, while other riders dislike it because it eliminates the ability to “hang” a foot off of the peg using the heel.
But regardless of the heel, the gum sole offers a good touch and grip. In addition, it is a more flexible sole if you will be doing any walking. Many riders also like this boot because when worn under a pant leg the toe of the boot looks very simple and more stylish than many tour/adventure boots.
The closure system for the Gaerne Balance is a series of 3 alloy buckles. This allows for fast locking and releasing. One buckle is over the instep, one is just above the ankle and the other is mid-calf to provide a secure fit of the entire boot.
Added impact protection is provided for the foot and shin from the thick flap that attaches to the buckles. The Gaerne Drytech membrane liner provides the waterproof feature and additional warmth.
Riders who are looking for a quality full leather boot with safety features but a low key look will be more than satisfied with the Gaerne Balance Oiled Boot.
The Sidi All Road Gore Tex is a case of truth in advertising at its best.
This touring/adventure boot was created to handle anything that any road could dish out. This durable boot is made of Technomicro and Cordura and lined with highly breathable and waterproof Gore Tex.
The inner comfort liner is made of Cambrelle and aids in wicking moisture away from the skin.
The closure is a Velcro system starting at the instep and extending to the top of the cuff.
The upper of this boot is very simple and low profile with a reinforced toe for added durability and abrasion protection.
Internal protection includes coverage at the heel, ankle, and toe.
The shin plate is also lightly padded for comfort and protection without limiting the range of motion.
A nylon inner sole has a removable arch support.
A bonded non-slip sole offers a lug style tread pattern making this a boot that can handle bad weather equally as well as perfect weather.
For a somewhat covert touring and adventure boot, the All Road is a solid choice. Riders like the more casual appearance of the boot as well as the peace of mind of knowing that it offers good protection and support for the foot and ankle area.
Cruiser boots are expected to provide the same level of protection for the feet, ankles and lower legs as all other styles of motorcycle boot but with a more casual or even covert look. Cruising is about a relaxed ride on a comfortable bike and in comfortable gear. The riding position allows the rider to sit with the spine straight or even slightly canted back and the feet are normally in a forward position rather than directly below the knees. This comfort ride has been popular in the United States since the 1930’s when Harley Davidson and Indian dominated the market.
The unique posture of the cruiser is great for long rides and enjoyment but can leave the feet and ankles less protected and more prone to injury in the event of an accident. Durable abrasion protection, excellent ankle support, and a stable, non-slip sole are all critical features to look for in a quality cruiser boot. Personal taste and comfort will dictate the height of the boot, the upper material and maybe even the style of the sole but safety and protection should be the first considerations when selecting any riding boot.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of motorcycle boots and other great products for riders.
Selecting a boot that meets your needs for comfort and riding style is critical to your satisfaction and your safety. If you are a die-hard rider who doesn’t let a little rain keep you off your bike, then you need to focus your research on cruiser boots which are waterproof. If you live in a warmer climate, take that into consideration and look at boots which offer good airflow from manmade materials instead of full leather.
Also, consider your ride position to be sure that the boots you select will allow you to comfortably relax and that the boot leg is not too tall or short for a comfortable leg and ankle position. Your personal taste and needs along with our information about features and comfort levels will serve as a great guide for you when you are selecting your next pair of cruiser boots.
The Sidi Fast Rain is a mid-height cruiser boot that offers riders great versatility in a casual and comfortable cruiser boot. Function and safety are covertly concealed in this boot that could be worn to work, out to dinner with jeans or on a cross-country ride and function equally well under all of these conditions.
The upper is constructed of Technomicro and Cordura and double stitched in high-stress areas to provide maximum durability.
The waterproof membrane keeps feet dry but is also breathable and promotes wicking.
The Cambrelle lining is the final layer which is designed to provide the rider with the comfort needed for long rides.
A Sidi exclusive High Security Velcro brand closure system makes this boot both easy and fast to put on or take off. In addition, it eliminates the danger associated with loose shoe strings which can dangle and get caught on a bike.
Tucked inside this boot is internal heel, ankle and toe protection as well as a nylon inner sole with a removable arch support pad.
Riders also like the full-length inner gaiter.
An additional Technomicro layer is added to toe shift-brake area for added durability and grip.
Finally all of these feature rest on a bonded non-slip lug sole for stability, security and great durability.
The Sidi Fast Rain cruiser boot offers riders comfort, function and versatility all at a very reasonable price. This makes the Fast Rain our selection for Best Overall Cruiser Boot.
The Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 is a shorter boot with the cuff hitting just above the ankle. Designed to provide comfort when riding or walking, this boot has the protection needed when riding but the style and comfort demanded all day everyday wear. Available in black or grey, riders are certain to like the casual style and great protection offered by the Big Bang.
The Big Bang upper is constructed of 2mm full grain, matte finished leather and is triple stitched in high-stress areas for added durability.
The shifter zone is also reinforced to handle the added abrasion in that area without causing a failure.
A polymeric ratchet adjustment strap with an aluminum quick lock buckle mechanism provides a fast and secure closure system for the boot and eliminate the potential for hanging laces.
The Big Bang provides molded polymeric ankle protection as well as extra padding at the ankle cuff.
The sole is a typical lug design as found in many work/hiking boots.
The sole is solid and rather rigid as are most hiking type boots so a break in period is to be expected.
This boot is shorter than some other options but is a great entry level boot. At less than $100, the Joe Rocket Big Bang 2.0 is our selection for Best Value Cruiser Boot.
The Alpinestars Oscar Monty is the perfect cruiser boot for any rider who wants the classic look and comfort of a moccasin but with all of the protection needed for a safe ride. This is the perfect every day or every night boot that can be worn with any casual attire and blend in without attracting a second look. But this fashion masterfully conceals a lot of protection for feet and ankles as it conforms to Cat 2 CE 89/686/eec EU directive for safety.
You really can’t go wrong when you start with a hand-finished leather upper.
The rear leather accordion collar adds to the comfort and range of motion. A gusseted tongue keeps wind, water, and dirt out of the front of the boot.
The microfiber insole includes anatomically shaped arch and heel contours and is covers with additional lycra for comfort.
The 3D mesh liner is highly breathable and promotes wicking of moisture away from the foot.
The low profile leather rear bootstrap makes it easy to put these boot on but does not catch on pant legs when walking.
So far this sounds like any high-end leather moccasin but the safety features make this anything but a common boot.
The toe box and heel counter are internally reinforced to provide structural support and integrity as well as impact protection.
The toe also has added padding at the shift point for comfort and added durability.
The oil-resistant rubber compound sole provides great grip and stability when launching or stopping and a subtle touch when riding.
The price on the Oscar Monty boots is a bit higher than some short cruising boots but for the stylish rider who wants one boot to wear to casual events, to work or when riding the Alpinestars Oscar Monty is the Best Fully Loaded choice.
The Tour Master Vintage 2.0 is a great blend of vintage style, modern day safety and comfort features.
Riders who want the classic pull-on leather boot with a little chrome hardware will get the look that they want and so much more from the Vintage 2.0. The 2.0 model has improved durability from past versions but riders are reporting that they run a bit small so keep that in mind when selecting your size and consider a half size larger than normal.
The Vintage 2.0 upper is constructed of 1.8 to 2 mm water-resistant leather.
The HiPora layer provides a completely waterproof environment but it still breathable to promote wicking and natural body cooling.
The oil-resistant lug style sole provides good grip and stability when stopping or launching and the removable foot-beds make this boot comfortable when off the bike as well.
High tensile strength thread is used throughout the 2.0 to increase the durability of the boot.
Another update is the lowered and reinforced toe box. This slightly smaller toe box is a feature designed to improve the comfort and ability to easily shift.
The rear pull strap is large enough to provide good leverage when sliding the boot on but also high enough on the cuff so as not to catch on the bottom of pant legs when walking or riding.
Finally, the adjustable satin chrome buckles allow for a customized fit and add to the classic look of the Vintage 2.0.
At a little over $100, the Tour Master Vintage 2.0 is a redesign of a classic cruiser boot with some great modern updated for added safety, comfort and function.
The Speed and Strength Cruise Missile is a shorter style cruiser boot which has been designed to meet the needs of riders who have a wider foot. The size overall does not run large but the width is on the wide side. Side zipper entry also makes this a great boot for a wider foot as this makes it much easier to put on and take off.
The premium leather upper on the Cruise Missile makes them comfortable from the first day but also durable.
The anti-slip rubber sole has a textured finish for grip and a slight heel for added comfort positioning the foot for long rides.
The molded internal toe and ankle reinforcements add to the impact protection and abrasion protection of the ankle in the event of a slide.
The reinforced toe shift pad adds to the durability and comfort when shifting.
Many riders are finding that this is the perfect boot to wear when commuting as the comfort and protection are both provided. The style of the boot also makes it a good selection to wear all day in a casual environment such as work or a social gathering.
The reasonable price makes the Cruise Missile a boot that allows all riders to enjoy their cruiser in a safe manner with adequate foot and ankle protection.
Speed and Strength struck a chord with dedicated riders who want a cruiser boot that offers safety and function. The Bikes Are In My Blood boots offer a simple, classic look and many great safety features hidden under this inconspicuous exterior.
The premium leather upper on the Bikes Are In My Blood boots make them very comfortable from day one but also provide great support and abrasion protection.
The Under Cover lacing system adds to the clean look while also avoiding the dangling and trailing laces which can get snagged or caught on a bike.
But the most unusual feature has to be the dual zipper entry. Reminiscent of jump boots, the purpose is the same, fast entry and exit can be important.
The dual zippers also make this slightly wider than most boot a great solution for riders with an ample foot. A custom fit can be achieved with the laces and always feel the same when the boots are secured with the zippers. Just grab the rear leather boot strap and slide your foot in.
A molded internal toe and ankle reinforcements add to the impact protection offered by these boots.
The outside of the toe is also reinforced with an additional layer of leather to avoid early wear from the shifter.
A textured anti-slip rubber sole provides grip and stability when stopping or launching and can transition to a more casual environment more seamlessly than a large lug sole.
For about $150, those riders whose bike is a daily part of life will appreciate the ability to wear the Bikes Are In My Blood boots anywhere and remain comfortable and stylish yet still protected when it’s time to ride.
Selecting the best motorcycle race glove can be challenging as it needs to be a delicate balance between safety and comfort. Protecting your hands is always a concern when racing, but it is equally important to be sure that you have a good ability to grip and a good sense of touch.
Dexterity of your wrists, hands and fingers sometimes can be the difference between a near miss and a race ending accident which leaves you sliding across the asphalt and putting gear durability to the ultimate test.
Most racers prefer the gauntlet-style race glove which provides a longer extension to cover the wrist and lower arm for added protection. The added material and thickness at the wrist might feel like overkill until the first time you are sliding and realise that your elbow pads are skipping along the ground and causing your jacket cuffs to slide up your arms. Gauntlet style gloves are designed to protect against this issue and eliminate road rash on your wrists and arms.
Some racers are just not comfortable or confident in the gauntlet style race glove and opt for the short style. These gloves still provide all of the major protection for the hands and fingers, but do not provide that added coverage for the wrist.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of Motorcycle Racing Gloves and other great products for riders.
Buying the correct motorcycle racing glove is a critical step to making the sport as safe as it can be while also increasing your ability to be successful. Unlike street riding, motorcycle racing is about learning the track, learning the line and then pushing both yourself and your equipment to achieve peak performance. And on some occasions, you will determine that perfect line by crossing it, which will result in dumping the bike, a nasty slide on the track or a near miss and an aborted lap.
The important part is that your gear protects you so that you are able to get back up and try it again. Having the best motorcycle racing gloves is a way to insure that you are ready to get back out there and take that next lap.
The Dainese Full Metal 6 is the gold standard for motorcycle racing gloves. This newest model offers improved comfort while still offering the penultimate protection for your hands and wrists.
Carbon fiber inserts protect the finger joints and the head of the ulna bond. This is the area which contains the muscle connections to allow for motion of the wrist, hand and arm. The back of the hand is protected by carbon fiber and titanium inserts held in place by aramid panels. Additional protection is provided for the little finger with a DCP system and a resin insert on the side of the finger. A single layer of leather wraps the side of the hand to provide maximum protection in a slide.
The palm is constructed of reinforced leather and also includes a polyurethane insert for extra protection. The pre-curved cuff is reinforced to provide added protection and comfort.
These gloves are safety rated to CE- Cat.II- PrEN 13594 Standard level 1.
In addition to all of these protective features, Dainese also paid special attention to the comfort features of the Full Metal 6 glove.
The glove is constructed of goat skin for added flexibility and softness, then is reinforced with aramid jersey fiber to increase the durability.
This interior lining is elasticated for addition comfort and security in addition to the adjustable wrist strap.
The pre-curved fingers and wrist make this glove comfortable from the moment you put it on to eliminate added stress and discomfort due to fatigue during a race.
Even with a price tag of over $400, the Full Metal 6 is a superior glove for the cost. There are some pieces of equipment which should always be top quality and these gloves fit that requirement. At $419.95, that is a small price to pay to have your hands this well protected and comfortable.
The combination of quality, protection and comfort offered by these gloves make them our best overall choice when looking at motorcycle racing gloves.
The Knox Handroid glove is a unique combination of comfort and protection at a relatively affordable price. At first glance, the glove looks like some space age adaptation of an artificial limb with its exoskeleton. But the fact is that this is a creative solution to providing great safety and a high level of comfort.
There is a gel-lined layer on the back of the hand which is then attached to the Scaphoid Protection System (SPS).
The hard exoskeleton is designed to provide a very durable surface to absorb the impact of a crash and also work as a slider when necessary. This protective system covers the back of the hand as well as the fingers.
This glove is constructed of leather for complete protection and the palm is made of Kangaroo to provide a more soft and pliable surface for improved grip. Box finger construction and flexible concertina joints in the fingers provide instant comfort and help to reduce hand fatigue during a race.
As a gauntlet style glove, the Handroid provides the extended cuff, or gauntlet, to protect the wrist and lower arm.
What is really unique about this particular gauntlet style is the Knox BOA lacing system, which provides precision adjustment around the entire wrist.
The dial on the top of the wrist is turned to tighten the lacing system evenly around the wrist.
To release the system, simply pull the dial.
This great system makes it very easy to adjust and remove the gloves as needed without trying to grasp thin straps which can be challenging when wearing gloves.
For a motorcycle race glove that is priced in the middle of the pack, the Knox Handroid offers many features that are lacking in other gloves in this price range. Riders can feel protected and comfortable during a race and easily be able to adjust the these gloves for a custom fit every time.
Not everyone is a fan of the gauntlet style glove even when it comes to racing. With that fact in mind, Scorpion offers the popular SGS model in a short version. The SGS offers the same great protection and comfort as the gauntlet style but with a smaller cuff that will fit inside most jacket cuffs.
The short SGS is still constructed of goat skin for maximum protection and comfort. It offers the same carbon reinforced knuckle protection, SPS palm sliders and TPU finger protectors as the gauntlet style glove. The Velcro wrist strap closure keep this glove secure while the perforated leather across the back of the hand allows for great air circulation.
The pre-curved palm and fingers helps to reduce hand and finger fatigue during a race or just when you are turning laps. And a surprising but useful feature is the touch screen compatible index finger, great for checking messages or your latest performance app.
Safety is not lacking in this race glove in spite of all of the amazing comfort of the short cuff. Care was taken to provide all of the same hand and finger protection offered by the longer gauntlet style SGM by simply removing the longer cuff. And the final benefit to these gloves for many racers is the very reasonable price.
At less than $100, there is no reason that any racer can’t afford to have great hand protection and comfort when out on the track.
The Cortech Adrenaline II is a quality gauntly style race glove that provides great protection at a very reasonable price.
The glove is constructed of cowhide and kangaroo to provide the most durable surface in all of the right places and a softer, more flexible surface to protect the palm of the hand. The inside of the glove is lined with DuPont Kevlar for added protection. There is also Superfabric in the fingers and thumb for added protection without sacrificing flexibility.
The palms of the Adrenaline II have SPS protectors to insure that they slide easily and do not grip pavement to avoid causing additional trauma to hands, wrists and fingers. The pre-curved palms and fingers help to reduce hand and finger fatigue as does the elastic stitching in the pinky and ring fingers.
Molded TPU knuckle protectors, dual molded TPU wrist protectors, soft padding on the outside of the glove and two layers of leather provide maximum protection for hands and fingers without including a crushing price tag.
If you like the idea of a gauntlet style race glove to provide added protection over your wrist and cuff area but don’t want to spend $300 or more on a set of gloves, then this is your solution. The Cortech Adrenaline II is a great blend of safety, comfort and affordability.
Not every racer is looking for a way to wrap their hands in full leather when racing. Some racers prefer a smaller glove and a lighter weight material to provide more airflow and a lighter touch.
The Fox Racing Bomber is is the minimalist solution for a racing glove that still offers some protection when you need it the most.
The Bomber offers polycarbonate molded full knuckle protection, a Clarino double layer palm and Clarino reinforced thumb for solid protection all around your hand. The Pittards Perforated leather provides greater durability and flexibility without sacrificing safety.
The new style finger gussets allow for more airflow and greater comfort during a hot race. Comfort will never be an issue as the entire body of these gloves is pre-curved to reduce fatigue and keep you as comfortable as possible.
If you are looking for a glove to provide protection and comfort in a minimalistic way then the Fox Racing Bomber will meet your needs. The cost is very reasonable and the light fabric and vented leather will keep you comfortable on even the hottest race day.
The Klaw II is the answer for every racer who is looking for a summer weight short glove that provides great protection. The body is constructed of goatskin leather for both protection and flexibility. An added neoprene panel at the wrist ensures that you will always have a great custom fit from the hook and loop wrist closure strap.
The molded TPU knuckle protection is both safe and comfortable thanks to the rib-stretch expansion panels inserted across the knuckle area. TPR molded protectors also cover the fingers for added safety. Fatigue is reduced by the pre-curved palm and fingers which also provide an enhanced grip.
For lightweight summer protection when racing, the Scorpion Klaw II is a good choice. The full goatskin leather construction is a good balance of comfort and protection for less than $50.
Good off road/dirt bike gloves are pretty unique in that they need to tolerate an environment which is much different than anything that you will encounter on the street. When riding off road and on natural dirt trails, it is very common to repeatedly “brush” against or get smacked by tree branches and other foliage. These obstacles are protruding into the fringe of the riding line and continually making contact with your gloves. Even with handguards, off road gloves are going to take a lot of abuse. So durability and protection over your knuckles is critical.
The other time when you really test the benefits of an off road/dirt bike glove is when you are breaking your fall during a wreck. You might think that the natural terrain would be more forgiving than an asphalt track but that is not always the case.
Dirt might provide a slightly softer landing for your body as a whole but there will likely be other objects which can cause you a great deal of harm and pain. Rocks, debris, thorns and tree roots are all going to test the durability and puncture resistance of any off road glove.
Picking the best off road/dirt bike glove is a critical component for your safety gear.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of Off Road/Dirt Bike Gloves and other great products for riders.
There are several factors to consider when selecting an off road or dirt bike glove. Durability, safety and comfort needs should all be evaluated to be certain that you are selecting a glove to meet your riding environment and riding style.
The Klim Mojave Pro is a hybrid glove which provides maximum protection as well as comfort.
The Pittards Microvent leather palm provides uncompromising protection for the hand while still offering superb grip, great dexterity and a resistance to perspiration. Poron XRD impact protection panels cover the knuckles and fingers while still offering flexibility and a full range of motion unlike many of the solid molded knuckle protection systems of other gloves.
Another unique feature for the Mojave is the mid length cuff which is a bit longer than most conventional off road gloves. Extended leather panels provide additional protection for the side of the wrist while abrasion resistantmesh covers the back of the hand.
Even with all of the protective features, this glove still offers riders great comfort and air flow.
The mesh panels on the back of the hand as well as the perforated palm allow air to circulate around your entire hand.
The breathable inner fourchette material also allows for maximum airflow and rider comfort.
The TPU and Velcro wrist closure on the Mojave Pro mean that you will never need to worry about the glove slipping or being torn from your hand.
Every aspect of a gloves durability and protection can be tested on a single ride or lap of a dirt track. And even the slightest failure can result in blisters or a hand injury that can stop you from enjoying your bike. But with a good glove selection you will never need to worry about that.
The combination of quality, cost and comfort offered by the Mojave Pro gloves make them our best overall choice when looking at Off Road/Dirt Bike Gloves.
The Alpinestars Megawatt glove offers superb protection for any off road rider who is interested in wearing a short cuff style glove.
The glove is constructed of perforated leather and a stretch polyamide material for added comfort, durability and breathability. Synthetic suede protects the palm of the hand with additional foam padding to reduce potential injuries on impact. The thumb and palm are also reinforced with a super grip material and silicon printing to provide a more secure grip on the bar.
The safety features are rounded out with Alpinestars trademark polymer molded knuckle protectors.
During a long ride, comfort can be almost as important as protection. Finger and hand fatigue can be a huge contributing factor in many avoidable incidents. The pre-curved finger construction of the Megawatt helps to greatly reduce finger fatigue and eliminate that unnecessary increase in risk.
The Megawatt will always remain secure during a ride because of the Velcro cuff closure. This is an important factor with traditional short cuff gloves for both comfort and safety.
For a short cuff off road/ dirt bike glove with a reasonable price, the Megawatt offers many great features.
The EVS Wrister glove is somewhat original in that the cuff is much longer than most other off road or dirt bike gloves. Unlike the gauntlet style glove which is designed to cover the sleeve of a jacket, the Wrister cuff is designed to fit closely to the riders wrist and offer additional support and protection.
The airprene cuff along with the integrated injection molded shock absorption system reduce potential hyperextension and compression related injuries to the wrist and hand. Solid TPR impact guards on the knuckles and fingers provide protection from tree branches and other obstacles which might impact the hand.
Additional protection is provided for the fingers by the silicone infused fingers and palm of the the glove. Grip print on the fingers and a reinforced single layer palm provide great grip and comfort.
The air mesh and perforated leather provide ample air flow on even a long ride.
If you are spending a lot of time off road or on a dirt bike, then the Wrister is a great glove option to reduce stress and potential injuries to your wrists and hands. The longer cuff style is relatively rare in an off road/dirt bike glove but it is proven to have its advantages.
When you are looking for a true off road/dirt bike glove, the O’Neal Butch Carbon will meet all of your needs for safety features and durability. This glove provides state of the art polycarbonate ballistic protection for each knuckle. Additional TPR and direct injection patches are provided on the top of the fingers and on the wrist.
The double layer Clarino palm padding not only helps to reduce blisters and fatigue but it also prevents stiffening of the glove as it is drying. And the seamless silicone rollover fingertips are designed to provide better lever control. The hook and loop wrist closure provides a fully adjustable fit for comfort and security while the pre-curved construction helps to reduce hand fatigue and arm stress.
The O’Neal Butch Carbon provides durability and comfort from a name you know you can trust for quality off road/dirt bike equipment at a reasonable price.
When you are looking for an off road/dirt bike glove with great protection but a minimalist feel, then look no further than the GPX 5.5 Windblock. Comfort is a major design feature in these gloves.
The solid piece of single layer nano grip palm material allows a rider to feel every nuance of the ride. This material offers a tremendous grip in both wet and dry conditions and is always form fitting due to the flexibility and stretchy nature of the fabric.
Riders also appreciate the ability to operate touch screens with the integrated touch screen function on the index finger. Finally, the pre-curved and seamless palm greatly aids in reducing hand and finger fatigue as well as the potential for blisters.
Safety was not overlooked when designing this glove.
It offers an anatomic 3D molded self-locating Armourgel impact protection system on the hand and fingers.
The palm is also Aramid reinforced for for added protection.
The GPX 5.5 Windblock is CE Certified to prEN 13594:2014.
If you are looking for a thinner glove that packs a lot of protection in a comfortable format then the Leatt GPX 5.5 Windblock is your solution.
If you are looking for an off road/dirt bike glove for muddy conditions then the MSR Impact Mud Pro is your glove. This glove offers TPR mounds throughout the palm and fingers to help increase your grip when you are out in the mud. This innovation works much like studded tires do on ice and it lets you get a secure grip on the throttle and levers.
The back of the hand is constructed of neoprene for added warmth and flexibility. Added protection is provided for the knuckles by the D30 molded armor. Soft rubber knobs are molded directly to the synthetic leather palms of the gloves to improve your control even on mud covered grips. A mesh panel in the palm allows excess water to drain away from your hands.
The worst off road conditions require a glove that is tailor made for the mudand the MSR Impact Mud Pro will not disappoint.
In some areas of the country, riders are fortunate enough to never be facing temperatures in excess of 100 degrees when riding. But for the most part, those riders are also putting their bikes in storage for three or more months out of the year. So the trade-off still seems to favor those who are riding in the heat for a few months each year.
It is important for riders in a super hot climate to be well prepared for the heat and the unique issues that it can cause for riders. One critical piece of gear in hot environments is a good, durable pair of mesh pants.
When the weather is over 100 degrees, it can be very easy to convince yourself that you really don’t need riding pants. But the exact opposite is true. This is the time that you need to be ultra careful and protected. Extreme heat is tough on all vehicles and in 100 plus temps you are likely to come across rubber and steel belt debris from blown car tires and oil or other fluids on the road as a result of vehicle mechanical failures. Both of these issues can cause a rider to go down on asphalt that is not only abrasive but also extremely hot.
On a 100-degree day, asphalt can easily reach 138 degrees. To put this into perspective, first degree burns occur at 118 and second-degree burns begin at 131 degrees. Mesh riding pants are not only going to protect you from abrasions and injury due to impact, but they will also provide you with good protection from burns from hot asphalt.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of mesh pants and other great products for riders.
The secret to satisfaction with mesh riding pants is finding a good combination of protection and comfort. And just being hot is not the issue we are addressing. In this case, we are interested in providing airflow for evaporation and natural body cooling when temperatures are high enough to cause illness, physical or cognitive impairment or even worse.
Riders who face these brutal conditions need to be prepared with high-quality mesh riding pants that meet ventilation needs and provide the protection features that are always critical to rider safety. Our evaluations provide riders with the information that they need to determine which mesh pants will best suit their needs for comfort, protection, and air flow.
Durability and superb ventilation are the two key features of the Klim Mojave.
Heavy duty 840 Cordura material is used for durability and protection in the knee, seat and lower leg panels of the Mojave. Mesh panels covering the thighs and hips offer great airflow and help to promote wicking and natural cooling through evaporation. There are also melt-resistant leather panels on the legs to protect from the engine and exhaust heat.
Stretch material is inset at the knees, groin, upper hip, and seat for added flexibility and comfort. The waist adjustment uses Velcro to allow for a custom fit as do the cuffs. Two thigh pockets with zipper closures provide storage and have glove-friendly zipper pulls for easy access. The articulated legs add to the comfort of the fit and also help to reduce fatigue in the hotter conditions.
The higher back yoke is designed to provide maximum protection of the hips and lower back area. Knee and hip pad pockets are in place and allow riders to select the pads and armor that best suits their needs and desired level of protection.
These pants also offer a full liner to promote wicking and add to the level of rider comfort.
At less than $200, the Klim Mojave provides riders with a great option to provide safety features and much-needed ventilation when riding in hot climates, which makes this our choice for Best Overall Mesh Pants.
The Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion is a masterful blend of safety features as well as mesh for comfort while still being a very affordable pair of riding pants.
The FreeAir mesh shell promotes great airflow on both the front and back of the legs as well as at the hips. The largest solid panels on the Ion’s are on the seat and sides of the legs for maximum slide protection.
The safety features in these pants are actually much more impressive than those of some much more expensive pants.
The knee and hip protectors are both CE rated.
The knee protection is height adjustable to ensure a comfortable and safe fit.
The hip protectors are removable.
As an added protection from heat issues, there is a melt-resistant material added to the lower leg area to protect from the extreme engine and exhaust heat.
Comfort features above the mesh ventilation include inseam leg zippers for easy access, FullFlex expansion and articulation panels on the hips, knees and tailbone and an 8-inch zipper for attachment to a Joe Rocket jacket.
Two external zipper pockets also provide plenty of secure storage which is easily accessible using the glove-friendly zipper pulls.
At under $150, the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion provides a lot of comfort in hot conditions. In addition, the pants include CE rated protection and impressive durability and abrasion protection. All of these features and a great price make the Phoenix Ion mesh pants our selection for Best Value.
At first glance, the Dainese MIG might not appear to be a great choice for a summer riding pant, but looks can be deceiving. Dainese has created the perfect combination of safety features and mesh to provide riders with extreme comfort and protection.
Panels of washable cowhide leather cover the sides of the legs, hips and knee area for maximum protection from slide abrasion, but the huge mesh panels on the thighs, front of the calves and behind the knee provide plenty of surface area for airflow.
The MIG’s also provide composite knee protectors which are certified to 1621.1 standard and aluminum inserts for additional impact and abrasion protection.
The liner for these pants is breathable, sanitized and promotes wicking to allow for better natural body cooling.
Microelacticated inserts, complete waist adjustment, and calf zippers all add to the comfort of these pants and the ease of putting them on and taking them off in hot conditions.
The MIG pants also have the Dainese jacket-trouser fastening system so riders can combine these pants with a Dainese jacket to create a full riding suit for maximum comfort and safety.
All of these features do come at a cost of nearly $350, but for that price, riders are getting maximum comfort and protection in our selection for Best Fully Loaded Mesh Pants.
The Scorpion Trey poly mesh vented riding pants offer solid impact protection and abrasion protection while still being comfortable in warmer weather.
Constructed from ballistic nylon, these pants are both durable and breathable. And an added bonus with the Trey is a removable full length linger which is waterproof. This gives riders even more versatility in a single pair of mesh riding pants and also helps to justify the slightly high price of the Scorpion Trey.
Sas Tec CE Level 2 approved SC-01/02 removable armor provides great knee impact protection while SC-1/07 CE Level 1 armor protects the hip area.
840 denier ballistic nylon panels also reinforce the knees for extra abrasion protection.
NightViz piping increases rider safety by increasing visibility at night.
Accordion expansion panels at the knees increase comfort and aid in reducing fatigue in warmer weather.
Dual waist adjustment belts and hem-able cuffs allow riders to fine tune the fit of these pants for maximum comfort.
4 zipper pockets provide riders with plenty of space to secure personal items.
The Scorpion Trey mesh riding pants offer several features which are not common in most mesh pants. In addition, the high-quality impact protection exceeds the level of protection offered by many of the competitors. Even with a slightly higher price, the Trey is a great choice for a solid pair of mesh riding pants.
The Cortech Apex Air provides high air flow panels in both the front and back of the leg for increased circulation. The addition of the full-length waterproof liner is also a nice added feature that provides riders with added versatility. It makes the Apex Air pants suitable for a cool morning or evening as well as the heat of the day when most pants begin to feel hot and uncomfortable.
Removable CE knee armor is included and fits into the 3 position armor pockets. This feature allows riders to customize the fit according to their leg length. Removable soft hip armor is also included. Added abrasion protection is provided by the 1680D denier panel in the seat of the pants which also minimizes slipping when riding.
Hook and loop waist belts provide a great level of comfort as riders can completely customize the waist size of these pants.
In addition an accordion stretch panel at the back of the waist increases the range of motion and a comfortable fit.
Stretch fabric panels are also inserted at the crotch, outside of the leg and the upper knee for a better fit and greater comfort.
Extra long side entry lower leg zippers also make it very easy to put these pants on and take them off even in hot conditions.
At less than $200, the Cortech Apex Air offers riders a great deal of versatility in a pair of mesh pants that are ride ready. Complete with armor, mesh venting, and a full liner, the Apex Air is ready to face any summer ride and provide comfort and protection.
Klim is now offering riders a great option for both protection and comfort even in the hottest and humid conditions.
The blend of tear resistant mil-spec Karbonite nylon mesh and Cordura allow the Voyage Air to provide maximum airflow and comfort for riders.
Leather panels on the inside of the lower leg provide additional protection from engine and exhaust heat while leather on the knees provides added abrasion protection.
The Voyage Air comes complete with D30 EVO hip pads and knee pads.
The knee pads also offer custom adjustments for the location via a hook and loop system.
This allows riders yet another means of customizing the fit of these pants for maximum comfort.
Additional comfort features include extra ventilated mesh at the back of the knees to reduce heat and moisture build-up, a breathable and moisture wicking mesh comfort liner and low profile waistband adjustment.
The Voyage Air also offers the standard Klim Zipper system to attach the pants to any Klim jacket for the added comfort and safety of a full riding suit.
Great features and great versatility are why the Klim Voyage Air is one of our recommendations as a great option for mesh riding pants for a hot climate.
For decades, the strongest and most durable material available to make safety gear was leather. But technology has made some huge strides in the textile products which are now available. One of the most well known of these products is Kevlar. The product’s claim to fame is predominantly from its application in body armor, but the body armor used to stop projectiles. However, it also has a great application in protective gear for riders as well.
The reason that Kevlar is favored for protection is its structure. When it is spun the resulting fiber has a tensile strength of 3,602 MPa and a relative density of 1.44. In plain English what this means is that Kevlar has an amazingly high tensile strength to weight ratio and is 5 times stronger than steel. The result is a textile material that is both lightweight and strong/durable making it a perfect material for riding gear.
In addition to Kevlar other similar materials have been created which offer many of the same properties such as extreme durability, flexibility, and breathability. Products such as Cordura, which is a brand of ballistic nylon, and Lycra offer several benefits which were simply not available when leather was the only available material.
Today’s technology has made it possible for these materials to be combined to offer comparable protection to full leather but without the weight or density which many riders dislike. Many riders also find that the textile fabric offers greater comfort, flexibility and range of motion than leather.
Be sure to check back regularly with us here at wBW to read about our latest hands-on reviews of textile pants and other great products for riders.
Selecting a cut and style of pants is a very personal choice. Fortunately, gear manufacturers understand that fact and offer textile riding pants in a huge variety of cuts and styles. For these reviews, our goal is to inform riders of the quality of the products, their durability and the protective features that they offer. Riders can use our information along with their personal choice of style and comfort to select the best textile riding pants for their taste and needs.
The Dainese Drake Super Air Tex pants are the perfect combination of protection and ventilation that riders want and need in hot climates.
These durable pants have large mesh panels on the thighs, shins, and calves to promote great air-flow and comfort. The combination of the Quickdry fabric and Boomerang net fabric eliminate moisture build up on your lower body and promote your body’s natural cooling ability. The composite CE certified knee armor provides great impact protection while still being lightweight and comfortable.
Even with the armor in place, these pants run very true to size and this entire pair of pants and armor weighs just 3 pounds 1 ounce, which is a full 25% less than a similar leather pair of pants.
Added rider comfort comes from the fully adjustable waist and the zippers running the entire length of the back of the calf.
The sanitized lining also helps to wick moisture away from the rider’s skin.
These pants can be paired with any of the Dainese mesh hot weather jackets via the full waist zipper trouser to jacket fastening system for complete protection and comfort. For less than $250, the Drake Super Air Tex pants from Dainese offer riders great comfort and protection without a huge price tag. And that makes them our choice for Best Overall Textile Pants.
The Cortech Sequoia XC Air pants are primarily constructed from a combination of Armor-Link 3 mesh, abrasion resistant 600D ripstop Carbolex, and 1680D ballistic poly.
Inserts of 500D breathable stretch material are placed in the lower back, at the inseam, and behind the knees for added airflow, mobility and comfort. If the weather changes quickly, riders can slip into the waterproof Rainguard liner to stay dry for the remainder of the ride. These pants include removable CE approved knee armor which can be inserted in three different positions for a customized fit.
In addition, there are foam hip pads included which riders can upgrade if they so desire. These pants are a slightly more relaxed cut and offer generous space in the legs to accommodate additional personal armor as well as the included CE armor.
The waist is adjustable using the TPR pulls and the cuffs can be adjusted using the hook and loop closure system.
The 8” zipper allows attachment to a jacket to create a full riding suit.
Riders also appreciate the heat-resistant material placed on the inner legs.
Priced at less than $150, the Sequoia XC Air offers riders a lot of comfort and safety features for their money. Many pants costing twice as much do not provide this level of ventilation or include any impact protection. All of these features and the very reasonable price make the CortechSequoia our selection for the Best Value Textile Pants.
The Scorpion Yukon textile pants are for any rider who is in search of all weather, do anything, go anywhere textile pants. These are an adventure/touring cut and style so the fit is very relaxed and can accommodate a lot or a little clothing underneath and still remain comfortable.
These pants are made of 100% Polyamide woven fabric of roughly 500 deniers. The abrasion areas of the knees and seat are reinforced with 1680D. There are also large leather reinforcements on the inside of each leg from the knee to the ankle to aid in gripping the fuel tank, to protect against sharp parts of the pegs and to add protection from a hot exhaust.
These pants offer 2 front pockets, 2 large cargo pockets and 1 hidden money pocket in the waistband.
All pockets offer zipper closures for security.
The waistband has 2 Velcro closures and elastic in the back of the waistband for a custom waist fit.
Stretch accordion gussets at the waistband and knees provide added comfort and mobility.
Finally, the pants are lined with polyester mesh and taffeta for comfort and to aid in wicking moisture away from the skin.
Above and beyond the abrasion protection offered by the fabric, the Yukon provides Sas-Tec CE armor in both the knees and the hips.
The knee armor pockets offer several different adjustments to customize the location and fit for a more comfortable ride and added safety.
The breathable and waterproof fabric used to make these pants allows riders good ventilation, plenty of comfort and superior safety features in a single pair of pants that can be worn year round.
Even with the somewhat higher price point, the Scorpion Yukon is our selection for the Best Fully Loaded Textile Pants.
The Joe Rocket Atomic pants are constructed of heavy-duty 500D Hitena Nylon for durability and abrasion protection but also offer great ventilation via the FreshAir mesh panels at the thighs.
Additional safety features include the height adjustable CE rated knee protection, removable high-density hip padding, and the removable tail padding.
The Atomic textile pants provide a Sure Fit adjustable waistband and leg adjustments. These are very helpful in customizing the fit to whatever style of pants you are wearing under the Atomics. As an “overpant” style, these pants are cut large enough to cover a dress pant or tighter jeans style pants.
For the very reasonable cost, the Joe Rocket Atomic is a good selection for cost-effective abrasion and impact protection which also offers great ventilation for a warmer climate.
The Alpinestars Ramjet textile pants are designed with a combination of protection and comfort in mind.
Constructed of 450/600 denier panels and integrated abrasion resistant Air Flow mesh, these pants offer the best of both worlds for riders in warm climates. Additional impact protection is provided by the removable CE knee pads, shin pads, and the hip foam protectors.
Comfort is also an important focus in the design of these textile pants.
Accordion textile stretch inserts located at the pre-curved knees and back allow for more flexibility and range of motion.
Zippered and Velcro fasteners are provided on the lower hem to allow riders to create a custom fit and complete comfort.
D-ring adjustable waist straps also provide flexibility in adjustment for a more secure fit and comfort.
And the full 3D mesh lining ensures breathability for rider comfort.
Riders also like the external zipper pockets on the thighs for storage and accessibility.
Finally, these pants are designed to attach easily to most Alpinestars leather or textile jackets to provide even more comfort and safety for riders.
The Ramjet Air from Alpinestars is a great choice for riders who are looking for solid abrasion and impact protection while still having the option for good ventilation during hot rides.
For riders looking to invest in a single pair of textile pants which will meet all of their needs for year-round riding, the Ridder D1 Gore Tex is a perfect choice.
The price tag is the only discomfort that riders will ever associate with these pants. And that will disappear quickly after riders experience the comfort and versatility of the pants. A single pair of the Ridder D1’s can easily replace 2 or 3 other types of pants.
The shell is made of Gore Tex which provides great breathability but is also waterproof. In addition, there are cowhide leather inserts and D-Stone fabric inserts for added protection. Composite and Pro-Shape armor at the knees and hips offer superior impact protection which is certified to EN 1621.1 standards.
Comfort features in the Ridder D1 include a removable thermal liner which makes these a great textile choice for cold weather rides, elasticated inserts at the knees for reduced fatigue, easy waist adjustment and zippers at the calves.
These pants are also compatible..
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