The most common injuries in a motorcycle crash according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are to the feet and ankle. Apart from a helmet, wearing proper riding boots are non-negotiable.
For new riders, it is tempting to ride with hiking boots, but the don’t offer any protection to your ankles and shins. I start off on my dad’s old army boots which are also not robust enough to save you from a broken shin bone.
Boots can be expensive and I got lucky at a BMW dealership that had a pile of Adventure boots on a 50% sale. I’ve been riding with them ever since. Would I recommend it? Well, maybe.
It was double the price my wife paid for her Alpinestars and I had to fix the soles that came loose twice in the first few months. Not what you expect from BMW (the label said they are made in Romania). Since they were fixed, however, I’ve been very happy with them and I would probably by it again if it was on a 50% off special.
Dual sport or adventure bike recommendation
My wife is 5 foot 2 and have fallen off her BMW 650 Funduro so many times when she started out and her Alpinestars always protected her leg. On our 3-month African bike adventure, she wore them everyday and never complain about any discomfort.
If I had to replace my BMW boots today, I’d go for the Alpinestars Corozal adventure boots available on Amazon. They are excellent value for money and offer good protection. If you are on a budget, I’ve heard good things from the cheaper Alpinestars Tech 3‘s.
Street bike recommendation
For street riders, I’d recommend the Aplinestars SMX-S purely because I know of many riders that are happy with the brand (including my wife). This particular model is a bit taller, offering better shin protection than some shorter boots. It also has ankle vents and a flexible section at the front of the ankle to make it more comfortable. Unfortunately, it does not have a gaiter inside so it is not waterproof.
Full disclosure: I’ve never worn the Alpinestarts SMX-S street boots, but from what I’ve read online and heard in Youtube reviews it seems like a very good entry-level street boot. The BMW GS boots and the Alpinestars adventure boots I’ve used and so have many of my riding buddies and my wife.