Dual Sport Motorcycle Boots You Can Hike In

Dual Sport BootsDual sport motorcycle boots suitable for hiking are tough to find.

Most boots made for riding dual sport adventure motorcycles can be the pits for walking any distance. And hiking in dual sport boots? Forget about it. They are uncomfortable and downright unsafe for hiking.

If the only walking you’ll do though is across the parking lot to the coffee shop, a good quality motorcycle boot, specific for your riding, will be perfect. But…

If you are like me, you ride a dual sport motorcycle because the aromas of conifer forests and alpine meadows, turn you on more than miles per day, GPS positions, or the technique of sliding through dirt corners.

You will eventually want to get off your bike and plant your feet on the ground. You will want to explore, do some photography, and take time just to be there. Maybe you’ll want to scramble up that rocky slope to get the view that only graces the persistent few.

Shouldn’t your riding boots be dual-sport in this expanded sense? Shouldn’t they protect and serve you equally well while riding AND hiking?

I understand the safety concerns in choosing the right boots for riding a dual sport bike, but let’s put it into perspective:

While riding, you have several connection points between, you, your bike, and the ground. It’s not just your tires connecting you to the road, or your boots on the pegs protecting you from mishap. Your hands are on the handlebars, your legs and knees caress the bike and finesse its attitude, and even your butt shifting on the seat stabilizes you, if only just to “get your butt out of the way.”

But when you dismount and begin hiking, your boots are the only thing between you and gravity. Hiking in areas where a dual sport bike can take you is serious business. Your boots must keep you firmly planted. Slipping on a trail can lead to injury or death, in a heartbeat.

Best Dual Sport Boot for Riding and Hiking

5.11 tactical boot soleI chose the Taclite 8″ Side Zip boot from 5.11 Tactical, because it met all my requirements for riding and hiking.

The boot is substantial yet flexible. It hugs every inch of your ankle like a jealous lover. It offers far better support in a mishap, or a misstep, than a more rigid boot with a looser grip on your ankle. The boot shown in the above link is not waterproof. It is moisture wicking, which allows it to dry out quickly and breathe beautifully. A fully waterproof version is available.

This is all just my personal opinion of course. Your mileage may vary, but here are some features that I especially like about this boot:

  • Super comfortable right from the get-go. You do not need to break these boots in.
  • Lightweight for fatigue-free hiking.
  • Breathable and cool in hot weather hiking, while still warm enough for riding in temperatures near freezing.
  • Rigid mid-sole for standing on pegs, and hiking on rough and rocky terrain.
  • Cutouts and zonal lacing allow for a customized fit for each foot.
  • Oil and slip resistant sole to facilitate safe stops on greasy intersections.
  • Deep enough tread for hiking safety, yet shallow enough to facilitate easy movement on serrated pegs.
  • Antibacterial and moisture wicking lining.
  • Hidden side pocket for extra key.
  • Durable YKK side zipper. Lace your boots once, then use the zipper to remove your boots and put them on again. No need to tie laces ever again. The sausage laces stay tied just the way you first tied them.

Motorcycle boot key pocketI am completely happy with my 5.11 Tactical Taclite boots. They are designed for law enforcement, Special Ops, and S.W.A.T. team personnel, but they also suit my riding/hiking requirements perfectly.

I am very particular in my choice of footwear, and so far, I appreciate these boots every time I ride — especially when I stop to do some hiking.

What about you? Do you get off your bike to do any serious hiking? Have you found a boot that suits your needs?

Over to you now…

7 thoughts on “Dual Sport Motorcycle Boots You Can Hike In

  1. PadrePoint

    So far, I’m using my hiking boots to ride my new CRF 250L. They cover my ankles, work well so far for riding, and are very comfortable for walking.
    I dug out my old college Frey Boots (a blast from the past) to give them a try. I think that my hiking boots are a better choice.

    1. J. R. Post author

      Hi PadrePoint,

      As long as your boots are functional for the task, they are the right choice. My hiking boots are not high enough for riding and the tread lugs are too deep and aggressive for the pegs; too much chance of being caught up. I don’t know if you do any serious trail riding. I don’t. I like forest roads and jeep routes, so wearing a boot that protects well enough while riding, that also offers excellent hiking ability, plus superb comfort, makes perfect sense. I’m guessing that’s how you feel about your high-top hiking boots.

      Thanks for your take on it.

      Cheers

  2. PadrePoint

    I liked your thinking about riding/hiking boots… and needed to replace some knock-around black shoes… and I don’t like constant tying of laces. I liked your thoughts and decided to order a pair. My hiking boots are ok, but they do feel a bit clunky for riding.
    (I’m at about 1,300 miles on my CRF250l and have done some trail riding. One ATV trail I tried was mostly deep sand… a half mile only and a return to the road (works fine for ATV’s… not so easy for skinny tires… and it prompts me to learn about some off-road riding techniques.)
    Spurred by my ATV trail experience, I found a fascinating training video and learned a lot from viewing it… particularly the five major mistakes (all of which I do… did):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re2A9UJzSBw
    You never know what kind of impact you make with your blog in other’s lives. Thanks.
    Ted

    1. J. R. Post author

      Hi Ted,

      Everyone has different footwear preferences, but to me the 5.11 Taclite are just the ticket. At first it may be a bit difficult to put them on with the laces tied, but after a few times wearing them, they become more accommodating and you get the knack of it. I never retie them now, except if I wear a slightly thinner sock. I usually wear merino wool socks. They are the thickness of a good hiking sock, but being wool they wick perspiration away, so your feet always feel fresh, even in 30° C. temps.

      I can relate to your ATV trail tale. I am trying to build my dirt riding skills as well. I had a great ride the other week on an extremely rough route that no one uses anymore. Deep ruts crisscrossing, foot high vertical rock ledges across the track, boulders everywhere, and all on a steep incline. I learned a lot about handling the bike. I also learned that the CRF250L is very forgiving of my mistakes. I was amazed at the stuff it would easily climb up and over when I couldn’t pick a path around. Just awesome 🙂

      Thanks for the video link. I love watching these. And I appreciate your comment about impact. I care about what I share and the people who take the time to read it. I’ll be writing more often in a short while. Had a lot going on lately.

      Cheers

  3. Darkrider

    I wear a similar design boot for riding. The ones I use are the Classic 9″ sidezip boots made by SWAT. They are very similar to yours other then tread design but they work awesome on the pegs of my old Yamaha Dt250. I am planning on picking up a new Crf 250L next spring and was looking for more info on the Tci adventure windscreen. In the process of searching I found your blog.

    Chris

    1. ScootToots Post author

      Hi Darkrider,

      Yah, these boots are very comfortable to ride in. You could stand on the pegs all day and not feel the stress in the feet. Plus, I can hike in these comfortably. They are really an all-round boot that serves my purposes well. That TCI windscreen is a good product if you ride long distances on the highway. I wouldn’t ride off-road with it though. I found that out the hard way 🙂

      Cheers

  4. Darkrider

    Good to know that the windscreen isn’t off road friendly before hand. Guess I may go with plan b and just try the front rack by itself to carry a small bag or first aid kit.

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