If you’re going casual in a pair of jeans, riding around town on an urban commute or just want a bit more comfort and mobility when you’re off the bike, then a short boot may well be the answer.
Less cumbersome than traditional full-height footwear, these low-rise designs have many of the same features that you’d expect from any decent pair of bike boots, with the obvious exception of shin and calf protection.
There are several factors to take into account when choosing the right boot for you, so let’s start by looking at safety.
In order to earn CE approval, all motorcycle boots must go through three main tests against an EN standard - abrasion resistance, impact cut and transverse rigidity. The results of these are printed in that order on the label, with 1 being a basic pass and 2 a superior pass.
Boots that meet the most recent standard, EN 13634:2017, will have an extra digit at the start to denote ankle (1) or shin height (2). You can discover more about CE ratings in our handy guide here.
Ventilation and waterproofing
Other features well worth considering are ventilation and waterproofing. If you want to keep your feet from overheating, perforated upper panels can work particularly well and several manufacturers make a similarly vented version of their standard boot. Some also have integral exhaust ports which use the venturi effect to draw out warm air as you ride.
Linings such as Gore-Tex and Hipora (other brands are available) are breathable by design and offer a degree of waterproofing too, however, the very nature of short boots can make keeping the worst of motorway spray out during a downpour somewhat of a challenge.
That said, if you want the peace of mind of keeping your toes dry on a short journey or during a brief shower then there are waterproof options available. If the wet weather performance meets the CE standard, you’ll find a WP on the label.
We've focused on the best sports and touring short boots here, check out the Best Urban Boots for more casual styles.
Alpinestars SMX-1R V2 boots
Microfibre construction reinforced with Aramid makes these CE approved boots both soft to wear and incredibly durable. Heel and ankle protection comes in the way of external TPU armour and the integrated shift pad and toe slider make them sports bike-friendly. The closure features a side zip with hook and loop panels for added security and precise fit. A vented version is also available.
Also available on Sportsbikeshop.
RST Tractech Evo 3 CE Short boots
Race style boots with perforated leather upper for maximum cooling and a cut down rear to make them comfortable for walking in. The zinc alloy toe slider is replaceable, so you can grind it out to your heart's content, and the insole features an antibacterial gel to help keep your feet fresh. A TPU heel cockpit and polycarbonate anti-twist shank help achieve a CE rating of 1/1/2/1.
Also available on Sportsbikeshop.
Richa Slick Waterproof boots
These leather suede boots have a Hipora membrane for waterproofing and breathability. The heel, toe and sole are all reinforced, as is the ankle with hard plastic. A velcro and laces closure keeps them in place and reflective side inserts add an extra element of safety for riding at night.
Spada Icon CE WP boots
Classic touring style boots with PU moulded ankle protection. The leather outer is PU coated for water resistance and the anti-slip sole should come in handy when you touch down at greasy wet junctions. Beefed up heel and toe boxes, moulded gear change pads and CE approval.
TCX Jupiter 4 Gore-Tex boots
A waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane is key to the versatility of these suede leather and hard-wearing Cordura constructed boots. The anatomic and replaceable insoles are constructed from Ortholite, a durable material which keeps moisture away and allows air to circulate ensuring daylong comfort.
Sidi Mid Performer CE boots
Sports performance road boots with replaceable toe sliders from renowned Italian motorcycle footwear manufacturer Sidi. Hard armour for heel and metatarsus, with inner and outer ankle protection and a reinforced shift pad. The upper is constructed with techno-micro microfibre, which combines with the air Teflon mesh liner and calf area exhaust vent to help keep feet cool.
Daytona Journey Gore-Tex
At the upper end of the price scale is the Daytona Journey boot. Handmade in Germany, they feature a pre-treated water repellent leather upper with a Gore-Tex XCR membrane for full waterproofing and breathability. Ankle protection on both sides and a plastic inner sole reinforced with galvanised steel. The closure is via twin Velcro fasteners to ensure a secure fit.
Lightweight lace-up boot with a tough microfibre construction for durability and rigid inserts for protection. The sole is an all-new design with differential grip zones, claiming to offer superior grip - and that's no bad thing on the slippery road surfaces found around town. Comfort-wise there's a mesh liner and large ventilated panels, plus a TPU shift pad. A waterproof version is also available.
Revu2019it Mission Textile
A thermoformed toe cap and heel cup top and toe these tough textile boots, which also feature injected ankle inserts and reinforced side panels. The insole is formed from OrthoLite X40 foam for comfort and there are both laces and a Velcro strap for secure closure. Ventilation is via a perforated tongue and the rubber shift pad should make for fuss free gear changes.