Whether you participate in motocross or not, you probably spend your fair share of time out on the trails. And why not? Some of the greatest adventures come from riding out in the wilderness with a couple of buddies. But if you're going on crazy adventures, you'd better gear up, especially in the boot department!
The best dirt bike boots for trail riding include the following lineup:
- Alpinestars Tech 3 Enduro
- Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS
- Gaerne SG-12
- Fox Racing Instinct Off-Road
- Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro
- O'Neal Rider
- Forma Terrain TX Enduro
When looking for the best trail riding boots, you'll want to consider how much protection the boots provide, the level of support given, the quality of the boots' soles, and the overall durability of the boots.
Alpinestars, Sidi, and Gaerne offer awesome dirt bike boots, but we'll take a closer look at these and some other boots as well.
Alpinestars Tech 3 Enduro Boots
Alpinestars is a very popular and reliable brand that many dirt bikers admire and remain loyal customers to for years and years. And for good reason. The Alpinestars Tech 3 Enduro boot (found here on Amazon) is a worthy addition to this list of the best trail riding boots.
Protection is a big deal when dirt biking in general, but I'd say it's especially important when trail riding. The Alpinestars Tech 3 Enduro boots offer great protection against whatever exhilarating and surprising obstacles lay behind each bend.
These boots are absolutely surrounded by TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and even some TPR (thermoplastic rubbers) for optimum protection out on the trails. Including an injected TPU shin plate, the Tech 3 Enduro boots feature contoured TPU calf protector plates, a TPU higher medial protector, a TPU outer lateral ankle protector, and a TPU heel counter.
These protective features made of TPU aid in absorbing the impact energy during a crash or when a rogue root or boulder hits your legs; therefore, it helps to mitigate the damage that would otherwise be caused to your joints and bones.
The support that these boots offer is also a big part of why I would consider them great for trail riding.
The Tech 3 Enduro boots include an ankle brace system patented by Alpinestars that includes soft foam around your ankle and collar. This gives an overall feeling of comfort and support as the brace helps to keep your foot snug in place, and the foam aids in absorbing shock from impacts.
The bio-mechanical medial blade system gives you as the rider great frontal flex and helps support the ankle by preventing hyperextension while you're out riding in unexpected terrain.
The Tech 3 Enduro boots have an all-terrain sole design with a high grip rubber compound. I particularly like the design of the Tech 3 Enduro's soles because they are smoother for shifting on the pedals but offer more traction than regular motocross soles.
Another great feature about these soles, which feeds into the boots' durability, is that the soles are traditionally sewn-on; therefore, when your boots' soles are wearing down you can send these puppies back to Alpinestars to get the soles replaced.
Alpinestars Tech 3 Enduro boots have many features that have been specifically modified to increase the durability of the boots overall.
The upper construction of the boots is made of a flexible, yet abrasion-resistant microfiber material. While protecting the boots from wearing down quickly, Alpinestars has managed to keep the boots' features light but durable.
The toe box is also made of synthetic material for resistance to the high abrasion that can occur in this front-line part of the boots.
Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS Boots
Sidi is one of the top brands out there on the dirt bike boot market. The Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS boot is the top of the line for Sidi, and it lives up to the company's reputation for offering great quality, support, and durability above other dirt bike boots out there. You can find this boot here on Amazon at a cheaper price than mentioned in the review above.
Sidi has not scrimped even slightly on the Crossfire 2 SRS boots' protective features. The boots are fully surrounded by great TPU paneling that acts as a great guard against roots, boulders, tree branches, or whatever else comes along while you are out riding.
I was particularly impressed with the replaceable paneling on the inner side of the foot. This paneling is here to protect your foot (and boots) against damage that can occur if your foot slips off the pedals by blocking a major part of the inner foot's vulnerability.
The Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS also sports a dual-hinge system for ankle support and protection. This system allows you the flex you desire while your roller-coasting along the trails, but also protects your ankles from becoming overextended and tearing tendons.
The Sidi Crossfire boots don't have an inner bootie system like some other dirt bike boots do for support, but it doesn't have a devastating impact on the support these boots offer your legs and ankles.
In fact, the slimness that is thus provided because of the lack of a bootie hugs your ankles firm, keeping them in a natural position as well as increasing the feeling available to you while making many shifts and turns on the trails.
The Sidi Crossfire's also offer removable arch support. I don't know about you, but I thought this was a super nice feature for switching out to different arch support (if any at all) so that riders are comfortable during their adventures rides and hikes.
The sole of these boots is rather unique compared to other dirt bike boots I've seen. The Soles Replacement System (SRS) includes soles are kept in place by several flat screws; This is done so for a convenient purpose that I find to be exceptional.
When you find that you need to change the already replaceable sole, you can buy the sole yourself and replace it on your own by releasing and refastening the screws.
These boots come with (and can be replaced with) either a motocross sole or enduro sole. Either of these soles is a great option with lots of traction. The Enduro sole, of course, is just going to have a little heavier traction for your trail riding.
I like that riders have the choice between the two different soles because it offers so much freedom depending on the rider's preference in riding style and needs.
The Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS boots have amazing durability. Almost every part of these boots, from the protective TPU paneling to the buckles to the sole, is easily replaceable.
This aspect is super impressive to me, because, honestly, these boots are a little more on the expensive side of dirt bike boot world. But considering the great features available on these boots, and how replaceable everything is, I consider these boots to be a worthy investment.
These boots should last through many hard rides for years.
Gaerne SG-12 Boots
Gaerne is an Italian brand with superior quality boots. I have specifically liked this company and been impressed with the boots that they offer. The Gaerne SG-12 boots are one of my favorites in particular.
The SG-12's are Gaerne's top-end boots, so they are a little more expensive, but they last a long time while maintaining their quality. If you want to check out these boots and what styles are available, you can see them on Gaerne's website here.
The Gaerne SG-12 boots are one of the most protective dirt bike boots on the market. They come highly rated by many riders who have said that these boots protected their legs in crashes that would have broken their legs if they were wearing any other boots.
Besides the hard plastic panels on the outside of these boots, some of the protective features for these boots include the Razorback strut and the dual-stage pivot system. We'll discuss the razorback strut when we talk about the boots' support.
The dual-stage pivot system is unique to Gaerne. The first pivot on these boots is all about providing rigid lateral support while a glide-plate keeps the upper part of the boot in a strong upright position. this is particularly helpful in ensuring that a snag on your boot doesn't snag your leg along with the boot.
The second pivot focuses more on the boots' flex. It is attached on a sliding glide to help you as the rider have a greater feel when shifting and braking.
But, the key safety feature here is that pivot actually has a limited flex when you need it. In the event of over jumping or some other kind of impact, the dual-pivot system will stop your ankles from going into hyperextension or hyperflexion.
The Gaerne SG-12s also offer great support for your feet and ankles along with their great protective features.
The Razorback strut on these boots is located along the back of each boot. It's the support beam of the dual-pivot system that keeps your ankles in place while still allowing excellent flexibility for various positions while you're riding through twisty-turning trails.
Another great support feature for the SG-12s is the memory foam inner lining. When you slip your feet into these boots, your ankle immediately settles into this soft lining that molds to the shape of your unique ankles. This provides great support by holding your ankles snuggly inside of the boots no matter how rough your ride.
The soles of these boots are traditionally for motocross, so if you like the smoother feel of motocross soles, accompanied by the massive protection that these boots provide, these are the boots for you.
The Gaerne SG-12 boots have a traditional sewn-on sole. This is definitely a nice feature that plays into the boots durability. If you ever need to have your boots resoled, you can send them back to Gaerne to have them professionally replaced.
Along with being extremely protective, Gaerne's boots have a reputation for lasting a long time. Some riders with Gaerne boots have said that these boots have last up to eight years before they had to replace them.
Some great durability features that I really like on the Gaerne SG-12s are the buckles. The SG-12s feature light-weight, yet very strong, alloy buckles.
Gaerne supplies replacement parts for the high-wear areas of the boots, but a lot of riders with these boots have expressed how impressed they are with the durability of the buckles on the SG-12s. The build of these buckles also makes them really smooth to operate even when your boots are caked in mud.
Another great feature that shows these boots are awesome for any situation is the adjustable shin plate. By moving the shin-plate screws to different, designated spots, riders can adjust the shin-plate opening size to accommodate various calf sizes or knee braces. No need to get completely different boots due to injuries or other occurrences.
Fox Racing Instinct Off-Road Boots
Fox Racing has a fantastic reputation for top of the line dirt bike boots, and they have it for good reason. The Fox Racing Instinct Off-Road boots are one of my personal favorites from this company.
I'd say you're definitely not going to be disappointed with these boots for the overall quality, protection, and comfort that they offer. You can take a closer look at these boots on Fox Racing's website or find them on Amazon here.
Let's start this one with a bang. The Fox Racing Instinct Off-Road boots have a fantastic protective feature that I haven't seen at quite this level on any other dirt bike boots.
On the back of the Instinct Off-Road boots, there is a hinge-lockout system. Why is this such an awesome feature? Fox Racing has designed this hinge lockout system to prevent you as the rider from overextending your ankles (which is an extremely common injury among dirt bikers) on jumps out on the trails.
The idea is that when you lift off, the boots will offer you the flex that you want but the hinge-lockout system will stop the available movement when it stretches too far, preventing hyperextension in your ankles.
One more great protective feature worth mentioning is the full-coverage toe box. Now, this isn't quite like an insurance for your feet, but it definitely offers your feet protection against the snaggly roots and rough rocks of the trails you ride.
Fox Racing boots are famous for their immediate comfort and little to no break-in time. So, if you're looking for boots that are comfortable while being protective, the Fox Racing Instinct Off-Road boots are a good match for you.
The outsoles of the Instinct Off-Road boots is unique to Fox Racing, and they are sure to impress. The large, open lug pattern on the soles is specifically designed to offer great traction on the pedals and while you're off the bike, hiking around or lifting your bike.
If you're not a fan of the chunky sole, however, you can always try out the regular Fox Racing Instinct boots that have the same quality but a smoother sole. If you're interested in looking into them, you can find them here on Fox Racing's website.
The Fox Racing Instinct Off-Road boots have amazing durability features. In particular, the Fox Duratec rubber compound that composes the sole and the burn guard is specially designed to be long-lasting. The Duratec material offers amazing grip and protects your legs against the bike's steaming exhaust.
Fox Racing has also taken precautions to protect the more vulnerable parts of the boots, such as the buckles. For example, near the bottom buckle is a raised piece of TPU that acts as a shield during falling or impact; thus the raised TPU gets the brunt of the fall instead of your buckle.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Boots
Here is another fantastic pair of Alpinestars dirt bike boots, but the Tech 7 Enduro boots come with a punch of their own that definitely makes them worth mentioning in this lineup of the best dirt bike boots for trail riding.
Now, the Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro boots have some outstanding upgrades that closely match them up with the quality of its big brother, the Tech 10.
Along with great TPU panels throughout the boots, the Tech 7 Enduro boots have other features that are built-in for your optimum protection. The boots include a contoured protective calf plate that's injected with high modulus polymer for maximum protection.
The boots also feature Alpinestars exclusive developed blade flex system that allows for awesome flexibility while you're riding but helps prevent hyperextension or hyperflexion.
Some great support features on these Alpinestars boots cannot be overlooked. The Tech 7 Enduro boots sport a steel shank in the boot to offer rigidity and lateral support while you're riding.
The boots also feature a dual compound bonded sole that provides excellent comfort and support to your feet while you're out on a long ride. Nothing like riding in comfort vs. pain.
The soles of these boots are what, in my opinion, based on other dirt bike boots I've seen, make these boots especially adapt for trail riding.
The Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro boots feature a fantastic Enduro pattern with big lugs for traction on the bike and off. What I really like about these soles is that the lugs are on the slimmer side than other dirt bike boot soles that I've seen. But they still offer great traction for whatever hiking you intend to do off the bike.
The footpeg inserts are also a great aspect of the soles. They are designed to offer great traction on the footpegs. Coupled with the slimness of the toebox, this traction aids to the awesome and control while riding your dirt bike.
Keeping the ball rolling with the fantastic soles on these boots, the entire sole is replaceable when need be. But another unique feature to these soles is that the footpeg inserts are also replaceable.
I find the replaceable footpeg inserts to be a great asset to the purchase of the Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro boots because the footpeg insert is where a lot of wear occurs on the boots. I want comfortable traction for my feet on the pegs. I'm sure you do, too.
O'Neal Rider Boots
O'Neal is a dirt bike boot company that's had a passion for quality dirt bike boots for decades. They know what they're doing when it comes to dirt bike boots, and the O'Neal Rider boots go to show for it.
Let's talk the big stuff. The O'Neal Rider boots are on the more economical side of the O'Neal lineup, but that's no reason to overlook the awesome protection that these boots offer on the trails.
The O'Neal Rider boots sport injected plastic plates across the boot to offer protection against impacts while out riding. The toe box, heel, and pivot are well lined with TPU for optimum protection for some of these more vulnerable parts of the leg that are subjected to different obstacles along the trails.
These boots offer great support for the rider while out trail riding. The boots themselves are supported and maintained by a metal shank insert. This helps keep the shape of the boots, and, therefore, offers support to your movements by keeping your legs in control of the boots' movement and not the other way around.
The O'Neal Rider boots also feature a plush insole for added comfort and support along with plentiful heel support. I really like how these boots offer support for the feet, especially the heels, because the heels often get the brunt of the impact.
The added support aids in absorbing much of this impact so the powerful energy doesn't wreck your heels.
The soles of these boots are made of a strong Goodyear welt sole. I really like the design of this sole. It offers great traction through the whole sole on and off the bike.
While offering great traction, the soles are also not too bulky, which is an awesome aspect that many riders might appreciate depending on their riding style.
For example, if you skid your feet along the ground as you turn, you don't want a sole that has big lugs that will catch on this and that as you ride. But the O'Neal Rider boots offer the best of both worlds in traction and an even sole.
Beyond the durable Goodyear sole, the O'Neal Rider boots have several great features that contribute to the durability fo these boots.
One great feature that I always appreciate to see on dirt bike boots is the raised guard next to the lowest buckle. This guard serves to take the brunt of the force when you fall or experience some other impact.
The result is added protection to the buckle's life and less money coming out of your pocket to replace it.
Another great durability feature is the synthetic leather heat shield on the medial side of the boots. This not only offers great hold on the bike, but the synthetic material's heat resistance ensures that the shield will hold up strong during various hot rides.
Forma Terrain TX Enduro Boots
Forma is a relatively new dirt bike boot company, but they're coming up with new, aggressive responses to riders' needs when it comes to durable and practical dirt bike boots. The Forma Terrain TX Enduro boot is a great example of this principle as it's an upgrade from some of Forma's pre-existing boots.
Now, if you're interested in finding out more information about these boots, you can find them on the Forma Boots USA website here.
The Forma Terrain TX Enduro boots are well suited for the rougher riding that trails can bring; thus there is a lot fo great protective features on these boots that are worth consideration.
The Terrain TX Enduro boots sports injection-molded plastic protections and polyurethane nylon reinforcements; therefore, the outside is plentifully covered. The inside of the boots is where things get a little more interesting.
These Forma boots have a padded polymer inner lining that aids in absorbing the energy from impacts and altogether aids in protecting your lower legs, ankles, and feet from injuries.
The support that these boots offer is immense and somewhat hidden. A steel shank lines the boots' soles midway to offer strength to the boots structure.
The boots also feature an FCS pivot articulating system that altogether aids in supporting your ankles as you move this way and that way while riding. Pivots are a crucial part of the support system of any dirt bike boot, and Forma hasn't shirked this essential element here.
A unique feature that I haven't seen quite like this is the option that riders have to purchase inner booties along with the boots. Most boots have a "one way or the other" approach to this form of support, but if you're wanting that extra support on your ankles this is a great option that's available to you.
My advice, if you're going to purchase the booties along with the boots, is to make sure you have the right boot size for that extra support system.
These boots from Forma have an Enduro anti-slip rubber sole. This not only comes in handy while you're on the bike shifting and braking, but it also helps when you're off the bike trekking through uneven terrain or even mud.
With the hardy lugs placed on the soles of these boots, you're sure to have the traction that you need wherever you go.
Trail riding can be rough, but exhilarating, business, but the Forma Terrain TX Enduro boots can handle it.
For one, the alloy buckles on these boots are designed to be unbreakable when faced with high-impact. This is a great feature that impresses me because the most common mishap with dirt bike boots is that the buckles come undone or come off altogether during a ride and need to be replaced. This is no longer a big worry with these Enduro boots' buckles from Forma.
The suede PU heat protector is also an awesome feature on these boots as your bike it protects you from the intense heat exhaust from and also aids in less wear over time.