If your motorcycling involves sports bikes, trackdays or even racing then you almost certainly want the race-style clothing to match – and that includes not just one or two-piece race-style leathers with a sports full-face helmet but also gloves and race-style boots, too.
All of that’s not just to look good. Race-style gear may not be designed to deliver warmth, weather protection or be intended for year-round use but it does have the latest safety features and is designed to be light and comfortable ‘on-bike’ when machine control, aerodynamics and comfort are paramount.
And although one-piece race leathers have their limitations on road, race boots still give brilliant road protection and lots of enviable style.
There’s also a huge choice from a raft of manufacturers, most with mind-boggling features and across a huge range of prices.
Related: Best motorcycle trackday tyres
So which race boots are best for you? What do they offer, what features do they have and how much do they cost?
To help you decide, whether you’re off racing, are trying a few trackdays or simply want to enjoy your sportsbike on the road, here’s our choice of some of the best.
Richa Blade WP Boots
Tested by Gareth Evans for 2,000 miles and two track days
Quality 4/5, Value 4/5
I’ve built quite a relationship with these boots over the past few months. We’ve seen some things – most notably some huge storms, both on road and on track. I can confirm Richa’s claim that they’re 100% waterproof, but more importantly, I love how comfortable they are considering the rigidity required to offer the required protection. But you might expect that from the most expensive boots in the firm’s racing line-up.
There’s bracing for your calf, armour for your shin and both things for your heel, plus removable toe sliders and even a reinforced patch for gear changes, which was welcome given the quickshifter on my R7 needs a bit of a kick to operate.
Despite their racey looks, they’re actually pretty flexible for use off the bike (although my jeans don’t fit around them so I’ve had some weird looks) and they’re well ventilated too, which helped in the blazing sunshine at Brands Hatch between the torrential downpours.
The soles have treaded rubber grip, which helps on the pegs and the ground. Plus in this colour scheme they match Yamaha’s 60th Anniversary Edition Speed Block livery brilliantly. You’ve got a choice of four other hues if this one doesn’t work.
In fact, my only criticism of these boots is that they’re fairly tight around my calves and ankles, and while they’ve faired well to date, I’m a little concerned the fastening zip is getting a hard time. It gets the liner trapped occasionally too, and that plus the force required to do the boots up could mean it doesn’t last as long as I’d like. I’ll keep on going with them and let you know.
Frank Thomas Qualifier GP
These race boots are from long-established, budget-orientated British brand Frank Thomas. Although costing less than £100, the Qualifier GPs are proper sports boots with lots of protection at the heel, ankles and shin, have a gear change panel, a comfort liner and a conventional zip and Velcro flap closure.
They might not be bristling with the latest tech and sophisticated features but they have all the sports basics and style at an affordable price.
Lacks latest high-tech spec
RST TracTech Evo3 WP
These TracTech Evo3 race boots from reputable brand RST come highly recommended, at a great price and are well-rated. They have a PU coated micro-tech construction and Hipora breathable membrane so are waterproof, too (which is a bonus for a sports boot), have race-spec aluminium toe sliders, a gear change panel, a moulded, anti-twist sole for extra protection and also moulded TPU shin, ankle and heel protection.
Lots of features
Lacks cache of some Italian brands
Alpinestars Supertech R
Premium Italian clothing brand Alpinestars originally made their motorcycling name in bike race boots (after expanding from ski wear, hence the name), their wares remain one of the most popular choices on grids across the globe and its Supertech R is its current range-topping race boot, as you might have guessed from its premium price!
As such it wants for nothing. There’s a multi-material construction, a replaceable, lightweight rubber sole for maximum grip, a separate ‘inner brace’ protection system, lots of ventilation and protectors and some of the most desirable styling and brand value in motorsport – if you can afford it! Seal of Approval - We've tested this product and have found it performs well
Top drawer features
Ultralight and breathable
A high-spec, high-quality race/sports motorcycle boot from a proven, premium, specialist Italian manufacturer, this time Sidi. The Vortice is Sidi's top-of-the-range boot and stands out for its ski-style Tecno tensioner system at the instep, shin and calf.
There’s also a Technomicrofibre construction, an inner mesh lining, sophisticated ankle-support braces and air ventilation system, alloy sliders and more – in short, if you want a fancy technical feature, the Vortice has got it. As it probably should do, considering the price.
Only for the well-heeled
Dainese Torque 3 Out
No guide to motorcycle or race boots would be complete without the inclusion of that other great Italian clothing brand, Dainese, whose top-spec race/sports boot is the Torque 3 Out (they also do an 'In' version, designed to go inside the legs of their race leathers rather than outside as is convention).
A real eye-catcher thanks to its stylish design, ultra-light and with novel features such as magnesium sliders, internal retaining strap, flexible joints, a quick-release system and constructed in a mix of microfiber and Dainese’s ‘D-Stone’ material, these race boots are currently as high tech and stylish as they get – for a price!
Stylish desirable brand
Ultra low weight
Alpinestars SMX-6 V2
Another from premium Italian motorcycle footwear brand Alpinestars, but this time a more affordable, mid-range choice. The SMX-6 V2s are performance road and track boots are one of the firm's best-sellers thanks to their tempting blend of technical features, versatile performance and value.
They have a durable, high-tech, microfibre upper construction, a breathable textile interior, a grippy compound rubber sole, are CE certified for safety and are stylish and comfortable, too.
Top quality brand
More affordable price
Good blend of features
Less high tech than some
TCX RT Race
The RT Race from TCX come in several varieties, solid microfiber, as shown here as well as waterproof and ventilated for additional airflow. Formed in full microfibre, they are Vegan-friendly and are a very proper sports and race boot; they recently won a Best Buy triangle from sister title RiDE.
They have a laced inner boot for excellent comfort and ankle bracing as well as strong heel and toe cups, shin armour and a ratchet strap at the top. They use a zip fastening on the outside which some may find odd but offer excellent feel and comfort. Seal of Approval - We've tested this product and would spend our own money on it
Read our full review of the TCX RT Race boots here.
Not the cheapest
Spada Curve Evo CE WP
Another race boot that proves that track-style performance doesn't mean you have to compromise on real-world features. The Spada Curve is a waterproof race boot that's constructed from 100% PU microfibre and has a Hipora waterproof membrane to keep out the rain.
There are also moulded TPU shin and heel protectors, an anti-slip sole, metal toe sliders, a zip with hook-and-loop cover and accordion stretch panels for extra comfort and movement – they’re good value, too!
Less well known than some
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