6 Best Motorcycle Shoes in 2023: Buying Guide

6 Best Motorcycle Shoes in 2023: Buying Guide

Our picks are based on motorcycle shoes that offer the best blend of safety/performance, function/features, and price.

  • Best Overall: Joe Rocket Atomic Boots
  • Best on Pegs Or Rear Sets: ICON Hooligan Riding Shoes
  • Best Classic: REVIT Jefferson Shoes
  • Best Waterproof: Alpinestar J-6 WP Shoes
  • Best B Budget: Sedici Vertice Low WP
  • Best Quality: Merlin Bandit D3O

Regular shoes lack the abrasion and impact protection required to be deemed adequate for riding a motorcycle. While traditionally this has meant having separate pairs for your time in and out of the saddle, the advent of more fashion-forward pieces of protective riding footwear is changing this by affording riders a single product that offers the best of both worlds

What are the top riding shoes for motorcycles? With any of these six top motorcycle-riding shoes, you can show up at work or at your favorite restaurant in style.

Best Motorcycle Shoes

Here are the best motorcycle shoes:

Best Overall: Joe Rocket Atomic Boots

Joe Rocket Atomic Men's Street Boots

The Joe Rocket Atomic short boots were made by combining the best aspects of their track boots with the comfort elements that a casual street rider seeks. Now that Joe Rocket boots have the fit needed to go with jeans, riding pants, or anything casual for a day or night out on a bike, riders can experience the race quality of Joe Rocket boots.

The Joe Rocket Atomic short boots are a great product at this price point because they provide excellent comfort and safety features at a cost that is very affordable, coming in at just over $100.

Best on Pegs Or Rear Sets: ICON Hooligan Riding Shoes

ICON Hooligan Riding Shoes

ICON Motorsports’ Hooligan model is built around an abrasion-resistant textile and mesh chassis that is structurally reinforced by transverse beam rigidity plates, Aramid toe overlays, axisymmetric shanks, and D30 ankle guard inserts. It was designed from the ground up to be the ideal urban commuter moto shoe.

The Hooligan shoes feature a clever footpeg interface arch for moving around freely and comfortably on the bike’s pegs or rear sets in addition to a mesh bootie base stacked on top of a custom, low-profile ICON outsole.

Best Classic: REVIT Jefferson Shoes

REVIT Jefferson Shoes

The REV’IT! is CE and EN certified. Jefferson Shoes are made to look great both in and out of the saddle while offering sufficient protection while riding a bicycle. The shoes are constructed with a primary layer of partially perforated Nubuck and synthetic leather, which is then reinforced with washed canvas patches and thermoformed reinforcements at the ankle and heel cup.

The Jefferson shoes have also been outfitted with a padded and gusseted tongue, reinforced side panels, leather toe shifter pads, and ultra-plush X40 foam insoles by OrthoLite. This model comes with a second set of colorfully contrasting laces and is offered in three appealing color combinations, including a pair that is completely blacked out.

Best Waterproof: Alpinestar J-6 WP Shoes

J-6 Waterproof Shoes

The Alpinestar J-6 WP (Waterproof) Shoes are a modern yet minimalist interpretation of riding sneakers with a clean, timeless design that hides a number of remarkable safety features. With a dual-density, MX-inspired ankle, and heel protector sandwiched between the shoe’s chassis and lining and a fully waterproof membrane, this includes a shell made of a lightweight yet durable combination of suede and full-grain leather.

Other features include a padded tongue and heel, an advanced non-slip rubber compound sole molded to the uppers, a layered internal toe box and heel counter design, a reinforced midsole, and a fully removable and replaceable anatomically profiled EVA and Lycra footbed.

Best B Budget: Sedici Vertice Low WP

Sedici Vertice Waterproof Boots

Although Sedici is arguably a budget brand, that does not imply that their equipment is of inferior quality. The Vertice Low WP boots demonstrate that this is far from the case. These are made to be versatile and can be used on both an ADV and a sport-tourer because they are not tailored to any one type of riding.

Hipora’s full-grain leather backing keeps water out while allowing your feet to breathe. To accommodate the ADV crowd and allow you to stand on your pegs comfortably, the midsole contains a fully reinforced steel shank. The molded TPU armor on the toe, heel, and over the malleolus of the ankle is from the riding community’s sports division.

Additionally, the boots have stretch zones around the shin and calf that are supported by heavy-duty nylon straps with metal buckles for secure fastening and to ensure that no water seeps into the boot in the event of a light splash. Overall, a short boot fits any type of motorcycle and is both affordable and highly protective.

Best Quality: Merlin Bandit D3O

Merlin Bandit D3O Boots

The Merlin Bandit D3O, which borders on being a full ADV boot, is what you want if you’re looking to have good off-road or dual-sport protection and a ruggedized boot that can withstand the abuse off-road riding dishes out.

Described by Merlin themselves as “work boots with motorcycle-specific features,” the Bandit is made of 2.4mm premium cowhide with a full boot Hipora breathable waterproof membrane. Inconspicuously cloaking toe, ankle, and heel armor, the sole is made for lateral grip as well as multidirectional grip.

The style is understated and practical, and because it sits at the very top of what might be considered a short boot before entering ADV territory, it also shields your lower calf and shins from low branches and the bike landing on your foot in the event that you fall while rock crawling on your ADV.

Buying Guide to the Best Motorcycle Shoes

The vast majority of riding shoes available today share many characteristics, but there are still a few key features that set these pairs apart and distinguish the truly valuable models from their subpar counterparts. We’ll briefly go over nine of the most important things to think about before making your purchase in the section below.


Typically speaking, robust riding boots will almost always offer greater levels of protection than riding sneakers, however riding shoes do have the ability to afford solid protection while boasting a markedly more fashion-forward appearance that doesn’t readily announce itself as a piece of moto-specific footwear, could easily pass for a regular pair of high or low-top kicks, and can comfortably and confidently be worn off the bike.

And, while most riding shoes will sport a generally more casual and style-conscious aesthetic, these pieces of footwear do come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from modern streetwear-inspired sneakers to running shoe-derived moto shoes to moto hiking boot hybrids. Considering that style is one of the main reasons one would consider buying a pair of riding sneakers, this category is extremely important.


Any type of footwear you buy will depend greatly on the materials used in its construction for its overall quality, functionality, and durability. As a result, it always pays to learn about the various materials that were used to make the shoe when buying moto sneakers.

6 Best Motorcycle Shoes in 2023: Buying Guide

Constructions made of real and synthetic leather, as well as textiles and more technical materials like GORE-TEX, are all frequently used in this industry. And, while the primary construction will almost always be the most important, it’s still worth reviewing the other materials used to supplement the main construction for items like liners and trim pieces.


When it comes to having the stamina to avoid sliding (i.e. abrasion resistance), moto sneakers owe their protection to their main construction(s). The use of integrated armor, however, is what makes the footwear able to shield its wearer from impacts.

The armor on moto riding shoes is occasionally made from TPU or dual-density foams, though D30 continues to be the gold standard in the moto riding gear space, and footwear is no exception. It is typically installed to protect the wearer’s ankles and heels, though additional metatarsal protection is also fairly common.


Many of today’s top motorcycle riding shoes are partially or completely weatherproof in addition to protecting the wearer from impacts and abrasions. Weatherproof finishes, treatments, and sealed or taped seams are used, as well as breathable yet waterproof membranes, to achieve this.

If you intend to commute every day on two wheels, rain or shine, waterproofing is a crucial feature to take into account when choosing a pair of riding shoes.

Footbed & Liner

The type of footbed and midsole being used, just like with any other kind of footwear, will have a significant impact on how comfortable a pair of motorcycle riding shoes are overall.

Although supple memory foam and other types of breathable padding are frequently used, it’s also not unusual to see insoles from outside brands like Dr. Ortholite and Scholl’s. Many of today’s top riding shoes also come with equally luxurious liners, many of which are quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and/or antimicrobial.

6 Best Motorcycle Shoes in 2023: Buying Guide

Internal Frames

The underlying integrated chassis systems that riding sneakers frequently have enabled them to offer noticeably higher levels of protection and greater structural integrity, even though from the outside they may look like your typical pair of sneakers. To name a few of these hidden structural components, these include the use of PU-reinforced elements, axisymmetric shanks, metal forefoot transversal bars, and transversal protection frames.

Additional Moto Amenities

Additional features can enhance a pair of shoes’ suitability for riding and daily commuting, in addition to internal frames, breathable and waterproof membranes, and integrated armor.

The most popular of these features are reinforced extra toe shifter pads. However, there are also riding sneakers with extras like Kevlar overlays, reflective accents, vibration-absorbing outsoles, integrated LED lighting, and bike-linked lighting.


Whether it’s gloves, riding jackets, or motorcycle helmets, in order for motorcycle gear to properly do its job and be as effective as possible, it needs to precisely fit its wearer — and moto-specific riding sneakers are far from an exception.

While it goes without saying that you should purchase a pair in your size, some models offer fitment systems that enable a tighter fit. These areas are made possible by the use of traditional lacing systems that are supplemented by items like BOA or MOZ fitment systems, side zippers, or other adjustable elements that allow the pair’s fit to be more precisely dialed-in.

Off-Bike Use

6 Best Motorcycle Shoes in 2023: Buying Guide

The ability to ride sneakers to be worn when not on the bike—both in terms of visually blending in and actually feeling like a pair of regular sneakers when not in the saddle—is one of the biggest distinctions between them and regular moto boots. Because of this, while the majority of contemporary riding sneakers do provide genuine all-day comfort, whether worn on or off a bike, some are designed for more specialized uses like running or hiking.

Is a Short Boot Appropriate for You?

Consider the amount of time you will spend wearing them both on and off your bike, the weather and terrain you typically ride in, and the position that feels most comfortable when choosing a pair of short boots. The best short-riding boots for your riding style and level of comfort will depend on all of this information.

Since they look great paired with everyday street pants, short boots have a very specific purpose and appeal for riders. It can fit inside the cuff of riding jeans and motorcycle pants and is about the same length as a high-top athletic shoe.

Since they are less constricting at the ankle than longer boots, most short boots are more comfortable to wear while walking. And finally, the majority of riders can afford the price range of high-quality short boots. It’s never a bad idea to spend money on foot and ankle protection!

Conclusion: Best Motorcycle Shoes

We have listed the top six motorcycle shoes in this article so you can pick the one you like best. We recommend Joe Rocket Atomic Boots because it performs well in all aspects.

  • Best Overall: Joe Rocket Atomic Boots
  • Best on Pegs Or Rear Sets: ICON Hooligan Riding Shoes
  • Best Classic: REVIT Jefferson Shoes
  • Best Waterproof: Alpinestar J-6 WP Shoes
  • Best B Budget: Sedici Vertice Low WP
  • Best Quality: Merlin Bandit D3O

Regardless of the type of riding you do, you should buy protective and useful features if you actually ride rather than just want to look like you do. The real thing will support your muscles and joints, making your feet and legs safer and—importantly—much more comfortable.

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