Put your best foot forward with the best 5 boots for bobber motorcycle riders.
Yes I know, that was totally cheesy. Anyway, boots and bikes go together like straight-thru pipes and tinnitus, so put your best foot forward with the best five boots for bobber riders.
You could be paddling in and out of a space, or balancing the weight of your bike at a stoplight.
Maybe you’re dabbing down a foot on a slippery bend, or the worse case of all scenarios, chewing the tarmac; boots take a kicking, so make sure they’re up to the job.
Obviously, your particular bike will have a significant input into the type of boot you wear. In theory, it shouldn’t matter, you should always go for the safe, solid option, but it doesn’t always work out like that.
A good friend of mine would regularly ride his BSA B33 bobber in flip-flops, definitely not recommended.
So what makes a good bobber boot? Well, there are some factors to take into consideration, but mostly it’s to do with material and construction.
Leather has been the go-to material for biker gear since the invention of the motorcycle, but the leather boot has been a source of extra protection for the wearer since 1000BC. Its sturdy can be rendered waterproof, has enough give to adjust to the wearer’s foot and has excellent abrasion resistance.
For the more technical sports boot, (for road racing and motocross) man-made material is often used for its impact resistance and light-weight. Either way, stitching should be doubled or reinforced to prevent the boot falling to pieces under stress.
The method of fastening should be secure, weather laced, zipped or Velcro, some form of ankle and toe protection is also a good idea. Whenever possible, look for soles and heels that are replaceable. There is one more consideration for a good bobber boot that we haven’t thought of yet, and that is, they have to look cool.
Rokker Classic Racer Boot
Rokker jeans have been around for a while and have gained a solid reputation for quality and safety; their boots are also of the same caliber. Don’t be put off by the name; the Classic Racer has the streetwise ‘tough as nails’ looks that will be right at home on your cut down ride.
Handmade in Portugal, the 8” lace-up boots are greased cowhide and both breathable and water resistant. The insole is shock absorbent while the outer sole is heavy duty Vibram-rubber. This tread is oil and abrasion resistant and non-slip.
As for protection, there are additional layers of padding in the heel and toe and a padded cuff around the top of the shank. Like any decent leather boot, the Rokkers will take a little time to break in, but they’re built to last for years and have replaceable soles and heels.
Forma Elite Boots
The Forma Elites may look like one of those famous fashion boots, but don’t be taken in by their laid-back looks. They’ve been specifically designed to take everything you can throw at them.
The full-grain leather upper has a breathable and waterproof Drytex lining and a soft polymer padded memory foam interior. This combination will keep your feet, warm dry and comfortable.
The dual-flex anti-shock midsole heel and toe sections come with reinforcement and TPU molded protectors’ cover your ankles. The lace closures get reinforced eyelets, and the chunky rubber sole is non-slip and flexible enough to wear all day.
The Elite’s also get some great extra features like a double stitched shift panel, tongue pouch to keep the laces tucked in to and a built-in reflector in the heel. The boots are available in gold, brown and black.
The Bomber is an American made military style lace up boot, this time coming up slightly higher to cover you to mid shin. Unlike the Elites, the leather and nylon combo uppers get a water-resistant finish, so are suitable for two-thirds of the year for those living somewhere precipitous.
The Dri-Lex lining keeps feet comfortable as it wicks moisture away, and the Poron XRD side impact foam will keep ankles safe. The Vibram rubber lug outsole is very flexible and gives excellent traction, but has no extra reinforcement on the instep.
This lack of a significant shank means the Bombers are great for riding and walking, but are not kickstart friendly. Double and triple stitching feature on the main areas of the boot, there’s a handy webbing pull strap at the back and a shifter panel on each foot.
TCX Street Ace
West coast bobber riders do like their baseball sneakers when they’re boogying around town, but that sown on ankle badge is about as protective as a thick sock. If that’s your style though, then the Street Ace is for you.
The Street Ace replaces the highly popular X Street, but unlike their predecessor, give no outward clue of the heavy-duty protective features hiding beneath the surface. The uppers are full-grain leather with suede insert panels and have a waterproof lining.
Upgrades to this model include a thicker and grippier sole, with built-in ankle, toe and heel reinforcements. Inside you’ll find the Comfort Fit System for all day wear-ability and the tongue has an internal gaiter for added weather protection. There’s no need to worry about those summertime stinkfoot blues either, as the anatomically shaped inner sole is replaceable.
Just something to bear in mind, the Street Ace are a flat sole boot, so are ok for mid mount foot-pegs, but not so good for forwards as there’s no heel.
Chippewa Engineer Boot- Steel Toe
No Bobber boot review would be complete without an engineer style boot thrown into the mix. Chippewa has been making boots in the USA for over 100 years, and I think it’s safe to say, they’ve got it right.
Chippewa does a number of different styles and heights, but for me, these 11” oiled leather boots are the best regarding safety and ease of getting on and off. The boots are leather lined and have a Texon inner sole that gives some cushioning.
Vibram outer soles give that industry standard slip-resistant traction, the steel toes are virtually indestructible, and the buckles are no-tarnish nickel. With the 90-degree heel block and triple ribbed steel shank, even the gnarliest kick only bobber isn’t going to give you any trouble.
The soles and heels are replaceable, which is just as well as the boots will probably outlast your bike.
Decent riding boots aren’t always cheap, but with 26 bones and 33 joints in the human foot, it pays to take good care of them. Bobber riders need all the usual safety features associated with riding boots, but they also need that added cool factor.
Anyone of our boots would look awesome gracing your footpegs, so put your best foot forward with the best five boots for bobber riders.
Images: The Rokker Company, Forma Boots USA, Bates Footwear, TCX Boots, and Chippewa.