For years, motorcycle boots have been made for men. Manufacturers assumed this was their primary customer group, and the sizing, styles, and fit of motorcycle boots have been geared toward a male audience. But times have changed, riders have changed, and thankfully so have the boots. Now, the best women’s motorcycle boots come in a wide variety of options.
Women are riding motorcycles in greater numbers than ever before. Whereas female riders made up only around 10% of the motorcycle population at the start of this century, two decades later, they are up to around 20% of the motorcycle riding population. With these numbers expected to stay on an upward trend, a new accessory market is growing with more motorcycle gear designed especially for women.
If you are shopping for the best women’s motorcycle boots for the first time, you will be pleased to discover a wide variety of choices. However, that variety can leave some consumers feeling overwhelmed. We will guide you through everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the perfect motorcycle boots for your needs.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in Women’s Motorcycle Boots
There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to choosing a pair of motorcycle boots
- The type of motorcycle you own and the way you ride
- Your normal shoe size
- The type of material
- Your budget
We will take a closer look at each of these categories, so you have a better understanding of how to assess different styles and brands of motorcycle boots.
What (and How) Do You Ride?
Motorcycle boots are made in styles appropriate for the type of riding you do, whether it’s a short daily commute to the office or frequent competition in motorcycle racing. These riders require different types of boots, so consider your specific needs and the type of motorcycle you own before deciding on boots. Shorter boots are often favored by those who need a shoe that goes straight from the bike into the office; a taller boot is often chosen for longer rides or cold and wet weather.
Try More Than One Size
Start with your regular shoe size, but be sure you try a half-size up or down when needed as boots all run differently. If you are ordering online, check consumer reviews to see if the boots are consistently noted as running large or small, then plan accordingly.
An ill-fitting women’s boot can be miserable, causing everything from a blister to an uncomfortable and long ride. Getting the fit right is important, and this could also mean ruling out certain brands or styles that just aren’t a comfortable fit on your foot, even when properly sized. The safety features in certain boots (such as toe reinforcement) can take some getting used to, so you should also bear in mind that no pair of motorcycle boots are going to feel as comfortable as your fluffy bedroom slippers.
Look for Durable Materials
Motorcycle boots are typically built for wear and tear as they can take a beating from the elements and the bike. You want a women’s motorcycle boot that is well constructed and made from the most durable materials available, which will typically include some or all of the following:
- The material most often associated with all things motorcycle gear, leather provides outstanding protection while riding. In addition to its ability to keep your feet shielded, warm, and dry, leather is often the favorite choice when it comes to style.
- Gore-Tex. Most people think of camping equipment and rain gear when it comes to Gore-Tex, which means it is also a fantastic material for motorcycle boots. A Gore-Tex membrane can add a waterproof layer to boots, which can be a lifesaver in cold and wet conditions. No one wants to get stuck on a long ride with soggy feet.
- When it comes to racing boots, Kevlar is unbeatable for crash protection. These biker boots are not for everyday wear, and the price tag would send a casual rider into sticker shock. But this material provides the best possible impact and abrasion protection for those who ride in extreme conditions and race motorcycles.
- Thermal Plastic Polyurethane. The primary draw for this material is the fact that it is both protective and lightweight. Boots manufactured with thermal plastic polyurethane offer an alternative for warmer temperatures when riders want to swap out their leather boot for something cooler.
Some boot materials are already waterproof, whereas others would require a waterproofing spray. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine if you need to take extra steps to keep your feet warm and dry.
Setting a Budget
While some motorcycle boots may be priced outside your comfort zone, consider the fact that these are not just an average pair of everyday shoes. Motorcycle boots are protective gear: they serve an incredibly important purpose, and you may need to get used to the idea of “splurging” when it comes to these boots.
The last thing you want in the unfortunate event of a crash is to be wearing a cheap pair of boots or riding shoes that do not adequately protect your feet from injury and abrasion. The right women’s motorcycle gear is essential.
The Best Womens Motorcycle Boots: Our Top Six Picks
1. Alpinestars Stella SMX
Did we mention sticker shock? Because these Alpinestars boots are going to set you back several hundred dollars. But if you are a serious competitive rider, they are more than worth it.
Every detail on these riding boots—down to the tiniest ones—was designed to ensure maximum protection along with durability and comfort. The boots are designed specifically for a female fit, and a rugged polymer protector over the microfiber upper means they are more than ready to stand up to wear and tear.
Ankles are given extra protection with a multi-link control system. The front and rear accordion zones mean these boots provide the flexibility needed to stay comfortable out on the road.
The durable rubber sole gives riders a consistent and reliable grip. An anatomical footbed provides much-needed arch support, and the lacing closure and lateral zipper keep the boots securely in place. Alpinestars makes serious motorcycle boots for serious riders.
2. Joe Rocket Heartbreaker Women’s Boots
The good news first: the price of these women’s motorcycle boots will not break your heart. For a more reasonable price point on a reliable boot for normal, everyday riding, this Joe Rocket model is one of our favorites.
These are comfortable boots with a perforated leather chassis and heavy-duty calf expansion panels. This kind of expansion is incredibly helpful when it comes to fit, as one of the most frustrating issues for those with wider calves is finding boots to fit.
One important thing to note about these leather motorcycle boots is they come with a hidden wedge (2.5 inches) that will give you a boost in height. For riders who like a wedge shoe, this may not be an issue, but it can feel a bit awkward at first for some. Most purchasers are pleased with the fact that the Joe Rocket boots are designed to work well with riding apparel and are as stylish as they are functional.
3. Harley Davidson Women’s Amherst Motorcycle Boot
Harley Davidson gear and accessories are some of the most popular choices on the market, and the Amherst boot is what many would consider a classic and quintessential motorcycle boot. While this lower profile is not designed for competitive racing, it is a beloved boot for many everyday riders. The subtle and understated style can blend seamlessly into the office for those who need a boot that can do both.
A full-grain leather upper keeps feet warm, dry, and protected, and the dual locking inside and outside zippers keep these boots securely in place to prevent injuries. Another reason female riders love these boots? This motorcycle riding boot comes in both black and brown. Because they are reasonably priced for the quality of workmanship, you might decide to get one of each!
4. TCX Women’s Lady Blend Boots
Like Harley Davidson, TCX also offers a woman’s boot in a classic motorcycle style, one that can easily transition from the bike to the workplace if needed.
A rubber sole and durable leather construction make this a great shoe for the everyday rider, and it offers enough protection to keep toes and ankles safe while also keeping the elements out. This is another style that also comes in a choice of brown or black leather, making TCX a favorite brand on our list.
5. Fox Racing 2020 Women’s Comp Boots
With an internal lace system that helps riders create a custom fit around the ankle and a TPU shin plate, toe cap, and calf guard, the Fox Racing boot provides the armor you need to race at top speeds….all in a pink package, to boot! This is a boot for serious racers who also want a splash of personality and color on a motorcycle, and it offers the ultimate in protection and comfort.
The floating cuff system offers important lateral support, and the boot’s closure system means the shin can flex with the boot. This boot has an excellent grip as well, thanks to the rubber medial and burn guard.
6. Harley Davidson Women’s Bateman Metal Motorcycle Boot
If a high-tech, high-profile racing boot is way more boot than you need, the Harley Davidson Bateman model is a great all-around boot with a subtle and stylish profile for everyday wear. The quality and craftsmanship people have come to expect from Harley Davidson products is evident in the Bateman, with its full-grain leather upper and distressed rubber outsole.
The reflective laces of this motorcycle footwear are a great added safety feature, and this model is praised for offering “the freedom of a sneaker, with the function of a boot.” Mesh lining makes these breathable and comfortable during a long ride, and the ankle protection shield is designed to prevent injury from debris on the road. Best of all, shoppers can choose between the traditional black or an equally stylish grey version.
Can I Just Order Men’s Motorcycle Boots?
Yes, of course. Women can opt for smaller sizes in men’s boots if they wish, but you are not always guaranteed the best fit, like what you will find with these boots specifically tailored to women’s foot size and shape. An ill-fitting boot can make for a miserable day, so it is a good idea to try boots made specifically for women whenever possible.
I Already Own Work Boots: Can I Wear Those?
While it is true that some “work boots” share many of the same features as motorcycle boots, there are a few key differences. Work boots can effectively protect your feet from the elements and also offer things like reinforced toes, but a true motorcycle boot will generally have features like molded ankle protection and oil-resistant soles.
How Do I Know if the Boots are Waterproof?
Be sure you read the manufacturer’s information carefully regarding the weather-resistant features of any motorcycle boots you purchase. In some cases, you may need to apply a weatherproofing spray to keep your feet warm and dry while riding in the boots.
What Type of Socks Work Best with Motorcycle Boots?
Generally, you will want to wear a thicker sock with your motorcycle boots, but this will depend on the boot style and the thickness of any lining that is already attached to the boot. Take at least one pair of thick and durable socks with you if you plan to try the boots on while shopping in person, and also wear them around the house with a thick pair before deciding whether or not to keep any motorcycle boots you have ordered online.
Obviously, you may need a tall sock with more of the racing boots and a lower profile sock for the streetwear boots. Resist the urge to skimp on quality socks because they also provide an important layer of comfort and protection!