Best Cruiser Motorcycle Boots

In the previous century, the manufacturers didn’t want us to call their motorcycles “cruisers,” because they were afraid to be associated with the 1980 Al Pacino film “Cruising,” which was about a serial killer preying on gay men cruising for sex. Today, that plotline could be a selling point, who knows? Things change. Anyway, as you know, cruisers in the motorcycle idiom refers to laid-back American style bikes which tend to be ridden less aggressively than sportbikes, which sort of lessens the need for titanium toe sliders, calf pucks, and Crayon-box color schemes. In other words, these are the kind of boots plenty of normal motorcyclists on cruisers, touring bikes, sport-tourers and standards, don’t mind wearing every day, on the bike and off. We selected a few of the Best Cruiser Motorcycle Boots.

 

Frye Women’s Engineer 8R

I’ve had a pair of the male version of these forever, like 30 years, and they’re still completely wearable as well as fashionable. Frye made boots for both sides during the Civil War, and they’re still around so what does that tell you? Made in the USA, these all-leather classics weld a 7-inch shaft atop a 1.5-inch stacked leather heel, with rubber outsoles and Goodyear welt construction. They’re not motorcycle boots, per se, but they are “moto-inpsired,” and their heavy-duty construction provides reasonable protection. These are available in several finishes besides Black, including Charcoal Old Town.

Bottom Line/Slightly more fashion than function, but definitely built to last

TCX Fuel Motorcycle Boots

These waterproof grain-leather Italian jobs get great reviews for style, comfort and protection – and they’re also resoleable. Zippers along the instep make them easy to get in and out of and snug-fitting. An Ortholite footbed is said to provide long-term cushioning and high breathability. Toes and heels are reinforced, as are double-layered shift pads. TCX was acquired by Dainese in 2020 – who are kind of the Ducati of motowear – so you know you’re putting quality footwear on your feet.

Bottom Line/Oozing style and comfort

Harley-Davidson Distortion

If Harley doesn’t make more money selling gear and clothing than it does on its motorcycles, it’s got to be close. And when it comes to boots for both sexes, the Motor Company offers a cornucopia of choices. These Distortions are as cool as any. Full grain leather uppers with 6-inch shafts (that’s plenty) have a mesh lining and 1.5-inch heels. The skulls and buckles offer psychic as well as some physical protection. YKK locking metal zippers in the insteps make for easy in- and egress. Oil-resistant outsoles and Goodyear welt construction mean these are in it for the duration.

Bottom Line/If you have to ask...

Sidi Tex Arcadia

Sidi’s known for its excellent high-tech racing boots (both road and offroad). These aren’t them. These are a “Sidi Design Series” boot, intended for more casual riding and off-bike profiling. The uppers are a combination of leather, suede and cordura panels, that, along with the breathable air mesh lining, let your feet breathe reasonably free in hot weather. The laces are really only for show (always tuck them in so they can’t snag on your foot controls): After you’ve adjusted the laces once, the zippers make these super-easy to get in and out of. And once on your feet, they’re super comfortable. Internal padding to the top of the shaft makes socks redundant if you swing that way, and these are quite light and so not bad for hiking. They do offer reinforced toe boxes and malleolus padding, but the price sort of reflects that these boots favor fashion over protection.

Bottom Line/Bargain-priced everyday boots from Sidi

Dainese Tamba

Another entry from Italy, your Tamba would look right at home on a cruiser, but it’s inspired by the boots worn by Paris-Dakar racers back in the day when cool dudes actually rode from P to D. As such, this is another CE-certified boot, containing rigid ankle inserts to protect that important joint, along with a thermoformed shin insert – inside a cowhide upper atop a thick rubber soul. Sole. Accordion panels and a mesh liner are said to make these cool and great for walking, as comfortable off your bike as on it.

Bottom Line/Cruise adventurously

Indian Women's Leather Tall Engineer

Not to be left behind, Indian has its own expanding line of excellent footwear for people who prefer its American V-twin products. This 13-inch Tall Engineer features an internal YKK zipper for easy pulling-on and off of this premium cowhide leather boot, complete with suede back panel and original Indian Motorcycle buckles. Wooden soles might not give the best traction, but they do give massive style points and make you taller.

Bottom Line/Nice boots, sister

Alpinestars Oscar Monty – $260

For me, the jury is out on white soles; luckily these also come in black with black oil-resistant grippy soles. Inside the hand-finished leather uppers, you’ll find protection in the form of reinforced toe boxes and heel counters, as well as dual-density TPU ankle disk protectors. Also inside, your dogs will appreciate the plush 3D breathable mesh liners and removable microfiber footbeds with anatomically shaped arches, and Lycra top layers in the heels for excellent comfort and coolosity. A’Stars says the toes are “uniquely patterned to work excellently with the gear shifter,” and the subtle heels are just right for “registering the foot pegs.”

Bottom Line/Tough yet safe

Spidi X-Goodwood – $280

Another bike-kicking Italian faux lace-up job, with zippered insteps for easy in- and egress. Full-grain thick water-repellant cow leather uppers with supple full-grain calf leather linings combine tough military fashionism with Italian comfort. Red stitching and accents, including the rear flex panels, provide flexibility with flair. The Vulcanized rubber lug sole provides traction, and composite reinforcements in toes and heel add protection.

Bottom Line/Fusilier fashion, classic comfort

FAQ

What do you wear on a cruiser motorcycle?

Plenty of people think a T-shirt and shorts are fine, and they’re correct right up until they fall off and directly into the reality of hard pavement on bare skin. Smart people will only have to do this once; really smart people will never have to do it at all. The difference between a bad scare and a few bruises, and seriously debilitating injuries, can many times be as simple as some reinforced riding jeans, a decent jacket with armor in the elbows and shoulders, a DOT-approved helmet, good gloves that will stay on your hands when you stick them out to break your fall, and our topic today: boots. The ankle is a complex joint, any layers of leather and armor you can put between it and the road, and possibly your motorcycle, can pay tremendous dividends. Your feet too: Stepping off your bike at speed is no time to question the structural integrity of your footwear.

What are the most comfortable motorcycle boots?

Pretty much as we’ve learned with helmets, the most comfortable ones are those that fit best. There’s no substitute for trying boots on, but if you must buy online, be sure to check the vendor’s return policy in case you need to go up or down a size. If you are lucky enough to try the objects of your desire on in a store, please give that store the chance to price-match your best online deal. Obviously, vented boots are going to be more comfortable when it’s hot, Gore-Tex lined ones will keep your feet dry if you ride in the rain, and ones with zippers are way easier to get off and on.

What are the best Harley-Davidson riding boots?

We picked H-D’s Distortion boots for this piece. But Amazon lists 184 results for Harley-Davidson boots for men, and 180 results for women. If you want to figure out which of those are the best, you’re going to need a lot of time and a bigger closet. All the H-D boots we’ve had the pleasure to slip our feet into over the years have been top quality.

Additional resources:

Top Rated Harley-Davidson Boots and Shoes For Women

Best Motorcycle Touring Boots – Motorcycle.com

Best Waterproof Motorcycle Boots

Best Adventure Motorcycle Boots For Those Looking to Go Further

 

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