If you like motorcross or dirt bike racing, then you know the sport places a physical toll on your body. This is why protective gear is required. Helmets are by far the most important piece of equipment you should purchase. Boots come in at a close second when it comes to gear importance. Lower extremity injuries are extremely common during motorcross, and the right boots can prevent injuries. If you do not already have boots or if you are a beginner, then you will need to choose the right ones to make sure your feet, ankles, and shins are protected. Keep reading to learn some tips on picking the right motocross boots.
Choose The Right Size
Motorcross boots are meant to fit snug against the ankle, foot, and shin, and they will feel much like a cast when tightened. While the boots may not fit comfortably, they will provide stability and protection. Since the boots are so rigid, some people may buy varieties that are too big for their feet. This is a mistake, since it will allow the foot and ankle to move. Harsh movements can contribute to hyperextension and hyperflexion injuries that can cause joint, ligament, cartilage, and tendon tears around the foot and ankle. Even a small, but abrupt, movement can cause damage.
The first step in making sure the fit is correct is to find correctly sized boots. It is wise to size boots while wearing riding socks. Riding socks are thick and tall socks that offer breathability, cushioning, and warmth when you wear the boots. Once the socks are on, use a ruler and measure your foot in inches. Use a boot sizing guide to then choose the right size boot. In many cases, riding boots that are one size larger than your regular shoe size are best to make room for thick socks. Also, since motorcross boots do not "break in" and stretch like regular shoes, the size difference will minimize pressure and stress that can cause your toes to hurt. You should not go up more than one size though, or your feet may be able to move too much in the boot.
Find Locking Buckle Boots
There are two different types of closures or buckles used on motorcross boots. Hinge and locking buckles are the two varieties. Hinge buckles feature straps that wrap around the front and side of the boot and then clip into place. The straps are typically made from flexible vinyl or rubber materials, and this allows the foot and leg to move slightly in the boot as the straps stretch. This flexibility can be dangerous during an accident. To prevent injuries, look for boots that use locking buckles instead.
Locking buckles are small hinged closures like the ones seen on ski boots. A plastic strap fits through the buckle and can be tightened once your boot is placed on your foot. The top or open hinge of the buckle is then pressed down. This tightens the strap even more and locks the buckle in place. Some of the locking buckles are also ratchet varieties. Ratchet closures are common around the foot, where the boot should fit as tight as possible. The buckles feature ribbed plastic straps that run through the buckle. When you want to tighten the buckle, you open and close the buckle to pull the plastic strap further through the closure. The buckle can then be snapped and locked into place.
Locking buckle boots can actually be tightened too much though, so make sure to walk around in the boots for several minutes after the closures are locked into place. If you feel tingling, numbness, or pinching around the feet, ankles, and legs, then the buckles should be loosened a small amount. If you do loosen the buckles, make sure that you cannot shift your foot or ankle around. You should be able to wiggle your toes a bit though.