With summer right around the corner, many of you will face motorcycle rides in really hot temperatures, and while much attention gets put towards ventilated jackets (and rightly so), there’s another piece of gear that’s less talked about, but also important: boots. Hot, clammy feet are pretty gross, and wearing non-ventilated boots can make the situation even worse. Here, we’ve collected a small sample of riding boots that will not only protect your feet, but also flow some air. They probably won’t do much to prevent the stench, but at least they can make your feet a little more comfortable on a hot ride.
Alpinestars Sektor Vented Shoes – $140
While not a boot, many riders prefer wearing riding shoes, especially if footwear is important on and off the motorcycle. Alpinestars is known for its motorcycling footwear, and even has dedicated sport and touring boots with ventilation, but here we’re sampling the Sektor vented shoes – likely a lesser-known product in the A-Star line. It uses durable lightweight microfiber to protect against abrasion without adding extra weight, and the perforated microfiber panels flow air to keep your feet cool when the temperatures rise. Alpinestars’ speed lacing system and ankle straps make slipping into the Sektor boots quick and easy without undermining security. External TPR material at the toe helps to reinforce against abrasion.
Cortech Impulse Air RR Boots – $200
The Impulse Air by Cortech delivers some premium features for a price that won’t break the bank. You can see in the photo a triangulated carbon fiber bracing structure that covers both ankles. This helps keep the ankle from moving in an unwanted fashion, while a TPU injected heel guard is big and beefy to keep the Achilles safe. Inside, an integrated inner lacing system (not quite a separate internal boot) keeps the Impulse close to your feet. A low-profile toe box keeps your toes close to the levers, while an aluminum toe slider protects against the pavement (and it’s replaceable, too). You’d expect a boot with Air in its name will breathe well, and the Impulse Air incorporates vented Mycro Tech in the upper, as well as a breathable mesh inside to keep plenty of air moving.
Dainese Solarys Air Boots – $250
Long days and warm weather are the perfect ingredients for a sport-touring ride. Keep your feet both protected and ventilated with the Dainese Solarys Air Boots. Designed to be as lightweight and airy as possible while maintaining a CE certification for motorcycle protection. This is accomplished via ventilated, breathable fabric mated to durable microfiber and copious TPU and micro-injection reinforcements. Rigid inserts on both the shins and ankles provide protection from impact, while the perforated microfiber construction keeps air flowing through the boot nicely.
Firstgear Strato Air Boots – $160
Another solid entry in the ventilated sport-touring boot category is the Strato Air boot by Firstgear. The poly mesh and perforated cowhide leather upper provides the proper amount of ankle support with great ventilation while the padded shin and heel panels add impact-absorption and protection. The Strato Air Boots feature a closed cell foam insole for extra comfort and an oil- and petroleum-resistant outer sole for perfect peg traction.
Forma Swift Flow Shoes – $180
If your jump shot is as important as your Scrambler, wearing a pair of Forma Swift Flow riding shoes might be for you. The Forma Swift Flow take their cues from high-top b-ball shoes. Forma then throws in moto-specific protections and adds perforations to the leather so you stay cool in the heat. The upper is made from full-grain leather, while the laces use reinforced eyelets, so you can cinch down the Swift Flow Shoes for a personalized fit. The double-density rubber sole is similar to what you’d find in regular sneakers and provides enhanced cushioning when walking around. Speaking of comfort, there’s a padded tongue and collar, and as far as protection goes, reinforced toe and heel areas help those areas in a fall. TPU molded plastic in the ankle area adds another layer of protection as well.
Sidi Rex Air – $545
Sidi is one of the most established names in motorcycle footwear, and the Rex Air is the company’s latest racing boot offering. You can see the base material is heavily perforated for maximum airflow. The material itself is a synthetic microfiber material that’s lighter and stronger than natural leather while also having high abrasion resistance qualities. After opening the zips and placing your foot inside, you dial-in the fit using Sidi’s proprietary Tecno-3 system, wherein half of the circular buckle rotates 90-degrees, creating a handle. Turning the dial clockwise pulls steel cables, tightening the boot to your foot. You can also clearly see the ankle support bracing spanning the height of the boot. Further ventilation zones at the bottom of the brace and at the toe slider bring in lots of air.
Spidi X-Ultra Shoes – $170
Unlike the Forma shoe above, which is heavily influenced by basketball shoes, the X-Ultra by Spidi is more in line with traditional riding shoes. As far as ventilation goes, the image above clearly shows the perforations within the microfiber shell, while the tongue brings in lots of air through its ventilated mesh material. Polyurethane is used on the heel, shifter, and toe area for a little extra protection, while the rubber sole helps keep your feet planted. Traditional laces cinch the shoe tight and a velcro strap keeps the laces in place.
TCX Vibe Air Boots – $170
If you’re looking for one shoe to handle commuting with an occasional tour, the TCX Vibe Air Boots are a good option. Slightly taller than a normal riding shoe (TCX calls it “mid-height”), the Vibe Air were designed with a durable suede leather upper combined with Air Tech fabric lining to keep your feet comfortable on long rides. PVC micro-injected ankle guards on either side and bycast leather shift pad offer moto-centric amenity. Specially-designed high performance soles offer excellent grip on the pegs and the street. The speed lacing system makes it easy to cinch the shoes up fast, and the velcro strap keeps everything in place.
Tour Master Epic Air Boots – $200
Touring riders are probably familiar with the Epic Air boots from Tour Master, but for the rest of you, the Tour Master Epic Air Boots are the stuff of long-haul legend. Comfort is the name of the game here, and Tour Master designed these boots to keep your nice and cush until you decide to call it quits for the day. Convenient side entry zips, accordion flex panels, and anatomically correct, high-density insoles provide excellent vibration dampening as well as all-day riding and walking support. As for ventilation, you can see the perforated panels throughout, backed by an OutDry waterproof, breathable membrane to keep air flowing – and the elements out – even in bad weather.
Thermoplastic heel, toe and shin plates combine with compliant dual-compound ankle guards to create a CE-approved protective motorcycle boot that doesn’t sacrifice fit or comfort. The Epic Airs use breathable mesh fabric to promote moisture evaporation through the membrane, making them better suited to higher temperatures and riders prone to sweating than the standard Tour Master Epic Boots.
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