Rock the Gear wants to keep you on your toes… literally. There are 28 bones in each of your feet and ankles, and 25% of all the bones in your body are found below your shins. Hopefully those numbers are enough to urge you to wear protective boots or shoes to keep you happily riding (and walking) for years to come.
A good pair of riding boots is made to do 3 things: The first is to protect your feet from injury in case of an accident. Obviously, this means your boots should be made of an abrasion resistant material that covers your entire foot and ankle. The internal structure of the boot should be sturdy enough to keep your foot and ankle from bending in an unnatural manner, protecting you from broken bones and torn tendons or ligaments.
The second thing a pair of boots should do is keep your foot comfortable, dry and at a neutral temperature. If it’s hot, your foot should stay cool, if it’s cold, your foot should stay warm. Some boots are waterproof or water resistant and will keep your feet dry in case of rain or other inclement weather. You need your feet to shift and brake, so if they are uncomfortable, it can affect the safety of your ride.
The third and final thing a good pair of riding boots should do is LAST. We’re not saying you should only have to buy one pair of boots in a lifetime, but depending on your riding style, they should be made well enough to make it through several seasons of cross country trips, a year or two of track days, or many years of bike nights.
Find a pair of boots that is comfortable and durable, reinforced for riding with heel, toe, and ankle protection. Most boots will be stiff at first. Take a walk around the mall, wear them around a bit, they will soon conform to your foot! And if you buy road racing boots, remember, the squeaking noise they make is a GOOD thing. It means they are doing their job. Take a walk on the wild side…. just don’t do it without the proper footwear!