Every rider needs good protection for their feet when riding an ATV. You want to stay protected but you don’t want to brake the bank either. At the same time, if you get a pair that’s too cheap, you’ll be spending more money in the long run buying new quad riding boots all the time.
I go over a lot of information in this post about riding boots. A quick answer for you is that riding boots are worth spending a little money on. There’s no need to get the high end $500 boots unless you ride all the time and your hard on the trails. I wouldn’t cheap out either though, you will end up spending more money buying new boots every year. You can usually find a good pair for around $160. I recommend the Fox Comp 5 Riding Boots found here on Amazon. I love these boots, and I will buy them again when I need a new pair.
Let me go into more detail about why I ended up with these boots. When I first started riding, I wore regular sneakers. Until a rock flew up and hit my shin, I was in pain for a few days and decided it was time I got a pair of boots to protect my shins and feet. My first pair of boots were cheap, I paid around 40 bucks for them and I thought that’s all I needed. Well, those boots broke after owning them for only a couple months. What a waste, I wasn’t happy. After trying a few different pairs I ended up with the Fox Comp 5 Riding Boots, and I love them. I’m sticking with these because I know I won’t be wasting money on riding boots anymore.
Why The Fox Comp 5 Riding Boots?
After going through a few pairs of cheap boots, the Fox Comp 5 Boots were amazing. They cost more than the cheaper ones, but it’s well worth it. And, I didn’t have to spend 400 plus dollars to get a pair of nice boots. They don’t have all the features of the expensive boots, but most riders don’t need that anyway, I didn’t. The protection on these boots is really good too. My ankle’s are fully protected but I can still walk around normally, that’s a huge plus for me. I don’t like boots to be uncomfortable to move around in.
These boots feel sturdier than the cheapo boots, and they look much better too, they look like a high end boot. The toe box on these is rigid, which helps protect you, but they can feel a bit tight at times. It’s good for them to be made this way though, it keeps your foot from hitting the ground or getting snagged on something.
The ankle protection is top quality too. On the cheap boots the ankle protection is basically just some leather that wears out, and you could still get an ankle injury because of it. The Fox Comp 5 Boots are made with this rigid thermoplastic that helps keep your foot aligned and has this tapered effect leading up to the calf. This helps protect the calf and still allows for great mobility while wearing them to walk around in.
The inside panel of the boots is made of suede material which helps you grip onto the quad and protects from heat coming off the engine. This makes for a cool look and feel of the boot. Some of the more expensive boots will have a rubber material which will grip better, but the suede works better than just slick plastic like some of the cheap boots have.
The buckles are made of aluminum instead of plastic. Even though most boots with plastic buckles are made of hard plastic, they still brake sometimes. I like the aluminum and they snap in place nicely. I have had problems with the buckle coming undone sometimes if they get snagged on something, but I have had that problem with every riding boot I’ve owned.
These boots fit great too. I normally wear a size 10, and so I got them in a size 10 from Amazon and they fit perfectly. They range from size 8 to size 15. If you are a 1/2 size I recommend getting the next size up, for example if you are 10.5, then get size 11. They will still fit you perfectly. Out of all the ATV riding boots I’ve tried, these Fox Comp 5 Riding Boots are the best riding boots for the money.
What To Look For
There are some features you should look for when buying ATV riding boots. You want to make sure you get something that will last, and you will be comfortable wearing for long periods of time. If you get the wrong boots you could end up with blisters or something cutting into your feet, and you will hate them. After all, what’s the point of getting riding boots for you quad if you never wear them?
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Comfortable ankle padding on the inside of the boot
- Full leather uppers on the boot, and reinforced leather plates that run along the back side of the boot
- Shin plates, preferably composite or a curved plastic
- Quick release buckles, try to get aluminum buckles
- Inner linings, get linings that keep water out of the boot
- Steel inner plates
- Rubber soles on the bottom of the boot, you want good grip here
- Inner and outer toe box plate guards
If you get a pair of boots that fill most of these requirements, then you will be well protected on the trail.
If you have a hard time finding boots that fit because you have wide feet, check out this article about ATV Boots For Wide Feet.
Maintaining Your ATV Boots
If you maintain your boots properly they will last you a long time. If you’re going to spend the money, why not make it worth it.
Here are a few things you can do to properly maintain your riding boots:
- If you’re going to have the boots laying around or in the trunk or something, clip the buckles to prevent any damage happening to them if they get jostled around
- Don’t leave them out in the sun. Leaving your riding boots out in the sun will dull the color and dry out the leather. If the leather gets dried out it will crack, and your boots will lose some of their protection.
- Clean them after you ride especially if they got wet or muddy. If your boots get wet and muddy and you don’t clean them off, the safety features of the boot will weaken.
- Dry your boots off after cleaning. Do this for the same reason you clean them after they’ve gotten wet. Letting wet boots just sit there will weaken the integrity of the boot. The boots could become flimsy and will not protect your feet anymore.
Keep your boots in clean working order and they will last you years to come.
High End Riding Boots
I’ll admit, some of these high end boots are nice. One of the boots that I’ve gotten to try on was the Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots found here on Amazon. They are comfortable and come with a removable insert. It makes it nice and easy to clean the inside of the boot, but I didn’t find any added value to the riding experience. These boots are well made though, and get great reviews wherever I find them being sold.
Since I liked the Fox Comp 5 Boots, I searched for a better higher end boot made by Fox. And what I found was this, the Fox Racing Instinct Offroad Boots found here on Amazon. These boots are probably the most comfortable quad riding boots I’ve tried on. The buckles on these boots are great, they flex well allowing you to maneuver exactly as you’d want to without losing protection. They call it the easy buckle system, and it has gotten excellent reviews. If I ever had the extra money to spend this much on riding boots, these would be at the top of the list.
These next boots cost a little less than the Fox Instinct, but not by much. They come in all different colors and sizes, so you can customize your look. The Gaerne SG12 Offroad Boots found here on Amazon aren’t only for looks though. They deliver on multiple levels. There is this memory foam support for your ankles inside the boots that make them really comfortable. The reviews on these boots speak for themselves. I have noticed complaints about the boots being more rigid than other brands. But, that is expected because these boots offer some of the best protection you will find in a riding boot.
Sure, a nice set of riding boots looks cool, but the reason we wear them is for safety. Besides wearing a helmet and goggles, I think the next most important piece of safety gear is a good pair of quad riding boots. They will protect your shins from impact, in case of a crash or falling off the machine. They will protect your ankle if your foot gets caught on the ground while riding. And they protect your calf from burns and heat from the engine.
ATV are really safe to ride when you’re on flat straight trails. But once you start trying to climb hills or take corners quickly, there is greater chance your ATV could tip. Most people’s natural reaction to a tipping quad is to put their foot down, trying to stop it. In most cases, the rider doesn’t have the strength to keep the quad from tipping, leading to foot, leg, and ankle injuries. This is just one example of when wearing boots can greatly reduce the risk of getting an injury.
If the ATV does tip, it could topple on to you. Wearing riding boots will help prevent injuries in the case of the machine rolling onto your foot and ankle. One of the worst case scenarios is getting your foot caught in the moving rear wheels, which could pull you off the quad and cause serious damage to your leg and foot. Roll overs do happen, and they cause many injuries to ATV riders. Even slow moving roll overs can cause injuries that end your day early. Wearing a good riding boot will keep you protected and keep you on the trails.
If you get a cheap riding boot, you will notice your ankle support diminish in a couple short months. Most of them are made with a thick canvas or leather material that feels good when you wear them at first. But once they wear in, which can happen after just a few rides, the protection just isn’t there anymore. A lot of them have a piece of plastic sewn in to protect the ankle, which is good if a rock flies up and hits that spot. But twisting your ankle becomes way easier once the leather has worn out.
Another thing to look for in a good protective riding boot, is shin protection. The less expensive boots will just have some leather flaps to protect your shins. If a roll over occurs, your leg could be crushed. Try to find a boot that has a hardened plastic or thermoplastic material covering your shin bone. Make sure the plastic extends all the way to the top of the boot. Shin bone breaks are one of the most common bone breaks in off road riding.
Having good riding gear doesn’t mean you are protected 100%, but it will increase your chances dramatically of walking away uninjured. Getting an injury while riding can still happen, but without boots, it can happen easier and from even the smallest mishap. If you going to be trying any kind of tricks like jumping on an ATV or pulling a wheelie on a quad, I highly suggest wearing protective riding gear. And having a good pair of quad riding boots makes the short list.
Let me start by saying, it is entirely worth it to get a boot that is comfortable on you. You could pick out the most expensive ATV riding boots they make, but if they’re uncomfortable, you’ll regret buying them. The first step is to make sure you get the right size. If I wear the wrong size boot, I end up calling it quits early, which kinda ruins the day for riding. If you try on a riding boot and don’t feel like you could stand to wear them for a few hours, or all day, keep looking. It will be worth the extra time spent finding a comfortable boot to wear.
Wearing uncomfortable riding gear can end up being a safety issue, not to mention a waste of money. If the gear doesn’t feel comfortable you’re more likely to go without wearing some of it, putting yourself at risk. It gets harder to wear it all in the summer months when it’s hot out. So do yourself a favor and make sure you’re comfortable wearing your boots for extended periods of time.
Try getting a pair of boots that will keep water from getting inside them. Having wet feet is uncomfortable and will probably lead to you ending the ride early. I wouldn’t worry too much about how well the boots breathe and let air flow through them. In fact, I think every boot I have tried says something about good air flow but all of them are hot, and have very little air flow. If they didn’t, they would allow water to get into the boot, getting your feet soaking wet.
Make sure you have good flexibility in your ankle. This is important because you need to be able to feel the shifter and your rear brake easily. This is a comfort issue but also a riding issue. If you don’t have good flex in the ankle, you won’t be able to tell when you shift gears, the boot will be too rigid. And knowing how hard you are pressing on the brake is important too.
If you need wide boots to fit your feet, that’s fine, get wide boots. But if you don’t need them, keep in mind that wider boots tend to get caught on the machine when trying to shift or use the rear brake. Follow these tips and get something you’re comfortable in that you like the looks of, and you should be fine.