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In our last article we discussed what makes and how to choose a motorcycle jacket that will protect your body, let you stay comfortable while riding and fit you properly. Arguably the protection of your body core is paramount since it is home to most of your major organs and especially in a lowside slide is highly subject to the meat grinder effect that most paving materials have on a body.

None of this should be discounted, but in my work, as a personal injury attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents, I can tell you that the majority of rider injuries (30% according to the CDC) that I see are to the legs and feet with the ankle area being particularly vulnerable to permanent damage.

You couple this knowledge gained from personal experience with what I see as I ride to work every day and, to be honest, I am amazed that I don’t see more of my brothers and sisters of the road either on prosthetics or crutches. It is frightening enough about the number of riders that I see wearing regular street shoes, but the number of people that I see with sandals and flip flops on their feet truly makes me wonder how more people aren’t left permanently injured. Apparently these mental giants have never seen what happens when you are forced to put a foot down. Even at 20 mph, foam rubber doesn’t last long when dragged against asphalt.

Function vs Fashion

As always, I am going to recommend that you wear the maximum amount of protection you can afford to put on. However, that doesn’t mean that I am completely oblivious to the fact that a pair of top quality racing boots may be beyond the means of many, and are not the most beautiful fashion statement. In truth, many are near impossible to walk comfortably in and will not even fit under the legs of a pair of slacks or jeans.

I am lucky enough to be able to wear what I want and then change once I get to the office. I recognize that not everyone has this freedom. There are some compromises though, that fit the middle ground. It is a bit hard to give examples without talking brands, but suffice to say that many of the top brands on the market now offer motorcycle boots that are comfortable and functional. Some even offer what have been termed riding sneakers, but I am not a big fan of this category as it does little to nothing to support and protect that all important Achilles areas.

In short, when it comes to function versus fashion, you have to find the best compromise that works for your particular situation, but always err on the side of caution.

Go Old School

I hesitate to to go in this direction for the simple reason that as a lawyer, I am more than slightly aware of the ramifications of liability laws. So, let me state.

I am not an expert on motorcycle safety or an engineer who has spent any time doing scientific studies of the effectiveness of various clothing in regards to the level of protection it offers during any type of accident. All information stated herein is opinion only, based on personal experience and real life observations.

That being said, one of the best options available for people who must spend all day in their riding boots has been the choice of the biking community for years, engineer’s boots, more commonly called work boots.

They offer good ankle support, are steel or composite toed, are comfortable to wear all day, and while they may or may not match your three piece suite, come in so many styles that you are sure to find one to fit with your everyday clothes.