PHOTOS | KATE DISHER-QUILL
When looking for inspiration from other women on what can work as a motorcycle boot both on and off the pegs, we often look to the street before searching online or in store. It's not just a style thing, it's also knowing that someone wearing a shoe or boot on the road is doing so because it works for them, they've road tested the boot so to speak.
Given that, we looked at some of the more popular boots seen on the road that are not manufactured or designed as motorcycle boots and discuss their style and safety to help you make a more informed decision when you see these out and about. We also acknowledge we haven't included the under-dressed versions of street attire that often is seen on some super-sport bike riders, and hence a lot of what we show here usually seen on smaller, custom motorcycles. Most are some type of sturdy work boot and others are purely style so none of the following would have been put through the testing that motorcycle gear is before they are released to the public.
Before reading this, have a look at our guide to riding boots for an overview on what is important before deciding on footwear for your riding, style and experience. There is no replacement for good quality, well stitched, sturdy motorcycle boots and we recommend your first port of call is with boots that have their intentions on saving your foot. You will, however, see these following examples a-plenty on the road, so street style wise we talked to women and men to find out what it’s like to ride a mile in their shoe.
These bad boys are super-street and a cool twist on the biker boot look. Their iconic colour is a classic mustard, which is a nice departure from the ubiquitous black and brown. Sturdy and with great grip, they are also a great all weather boot and is available with a steel cap. Always do those laces up and tuck them in! Also be aware ankle protection pretty average.
These are really popular with novice and experienced riders alike. With these guys, the more they’re worn in the better. A word to the wise though – wearing these in is a huge commitment. Give yourself a few months of foot torture before putting them on for any extended period of time. But once they are broken in, boy are they comfortable. They usually allow for a bit of extra room to squeeze on a pair of thick socks, making them an ideal winter boot. Plus they come in every color imaginable to give you a unique look. Ankle protection is again not brilliant.
Timeless and versatile, these Australian made classics are beautiful on and off the pegs and will be family heirlooms. They are made to your exact foot measurements, so you’re guaranteed for a perfect fit. Because these boots are a little exxy (around AUD400) you can protect them with this nifty boot guard that is worn on your left foot to help stop wear and tear from changing gears. New, they are slippery on the sole and stiff at the ankle so best to wear them in really well and gain some confidence before considering these as your city riding boot. Once worn in they are popular for women who use motorcycles as their main mode of transport between meetings and hot desks in the city. Maybe consider having these resoled for a stronger grip. Ankle protection non existent.
Now available in women's sizes and actually designed as a sturdy work boot, this hand stitched and full leather boot have made their way into the motorcycle scene via moto retail stores as a popular, durable boot that is comfortable and long lasting both on and off the pegs. The sole is solid and grips well underfoot which provides a lot of confidence when stopped and your legs are acting as a stand. The stitching is solid and leather thick, which proved durable during some pretty unsafe dirt racing recently (and survived a hot chain without a guard), which barely scratched the surface of these boots. Aileen of The Moto Quest also wore Redwings on her journey around Indonesia and wears them almost daily.
Leather Converse are good for going from bike to bar (or anywhere in between) as they are the ultimate in street wear, plus they're great during the warmer months. They are really popular within the cafe racer aficionados and the light footed Ducatistas, however... despite their incredible comfort, they're about as useful as an ashtray-on-a-motorbike when it comes to your safety. Both the leather and canvas options won't survive your regular gear changing without ripping at the stitching much less anything more rigorous. Rev'it and Alpine Allstars have come out with street alternatives to motorcycle boots that borrow from the [undeniable] converse Chuck Taylor phenomenon.
For the thrifty, lets be honest, motorcycle gear in general is very expensive, and as long as it is, women (and men) alike will be looking for leather alternatives that are pre-loved and/or cheap. Like with our guide to buying vintage leather look for sturdy cow leather, solid sole and heal. Make sure all stitching is in-tact, consider ankle support and laces as the better choice for the best chance of them staying on in any event.
Buying gear is an expensive undertaking, so we believe (from experience) that making choices about what you spend your hard earned money on should never be made under a cloud of other's judgement. We know the readers of IVV are free-thinking, independent, smart women who are looking for guidance that they're not finding elsewhere, but also hate being told what to do. Please make your choices, for you, with your own safety and style in mind, and keep telling us what you want to read (and wear).
Erica is everyone’s support crew and personal cheerleading squad. A lover of all things moto and vintage, she is a red-lipped founder of the Throttle Dolls, splitting her time between her custom Sportster and her convertible BMW ‘Brenda’. As a regular IVV contributor, Erica shines a light on Petrolette road style, and standing on your own two feet when it comes to selecting vehicles, mechanics and gear.