Dual 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
I 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.
I 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…