Did you know that a severely-injured ankle takes more than half a year to recover?
Motorcycle boots are a very sensitive subject, but they make the difference between broken bones and walking away unharmed.
Personally, I never paid too much attention when I bought my gear. I was always strict about the helmet – it had to be something very good. The suit, gloves, and boots were just mandatory for racing. A hard fall, last weekend made me realize the importance of quality gear.
An aggressive high-side made me jump in the air a few meters and land on my left leg. When the rumble stopped, I was sure that my ankle was history. Nothing is too expensive when it comes to your health. The pain and agony of broken bones are almost unbearable.
Fortunately, I managed to get away again with just some pain. Nothing had broken this time. It’s not the first time I fall or get hit by the bike in the ankle area. Every time, I thought, it was down to luck, but now I realized that my boots are damn good.
No matter if you ride a chopper, motocross or a race bike, the boots must satisfy a few simple conditions. They have to be flexible enough to allow you to change gears and brake but they must not bend sideways.
A misstep can be fatal for your ankle. Imagine a high-side crash at 60 mph, then landing on one of your legs. The weight of your body combined with the bike’s speed together pressing on your ankle, this is the moment where the right boot comes in action.
When you choose your boots, you want them to be reinforced with plastic on both sides. If you have the money, go for the ones that have an inner plastic or carbon fiber boot. You won’t believe how important that inner boot is. It restrains the ankle rotation while being flexible enough to allow you to reach the controls.
I bought my boots back in 2014, a pair of Dainese Torque Rs that were not the best on the market. But I loved the flexibility they offered.
They have a nice finish and feature heel and toe metal reinforcements, but they don’t seem indestructible like the Sidi Vortice or Alpinestars SMX boots. The Dainese offer a high level of protection without compromising comfort. For me, it’s more important to feel comfortable on the bike rather than competing with Iron Man for body armor.
The toe reinforcement did a great job absorbing the impact while the ankle protection, although a bit flexible, saved me. The doctors told me how lucky I am to evade multiple fractures.
I still feel the pain, but I’m grateful it ended up like this. Unfortunately, my boots are a bit torn from the crash, and I have to buy new ones.
But a thing is for sure: I will look for the highest protection level from now on.