Wednesday, March 16

Short Sport Motorcycle Boot & Riding Shoe Guide

For today's installment of our 2011 Warm Weather Motorcycle Gear Guides, we detail our top picks for short sport boots and motorcycle riding shoes. Since these boots are generally geared towards the city rider and the light motorcyclist, we took some different things into account when whittling down the field of over 60 boots to a mere 6 top picks for 2011. The criteria for this category was that they had to have elements of protection, be extremely comfortable, and look stylish under a pair of jeans walking around the city. Each one of these boots fills a different locus within this overall class, and every one will have a different appeal to different riding styles.

Check out our Short Sport Boot and Motorcycle Riding Shoe Guide:

First up in our mix of Sport Short Boots is the Icon Super Duty 4 Boot. Now onto its fourth iteration, this extremely popular work boot styled option has harkened back to the style of the original of the series. Getting its classic style elements back, the clean lines of the Super Duty 4 couple with solid protective and performance elements to appeal to the city street rider. The high-grip non-slip sole features an axialmetric steel shank for rugged support and an intelligent arch to interface with the footpegs. There are protectors internally at the ankle with reinforcements in the heel cup and the toe box. The ghilley lacing system and ratcheting tightener strap helps to keep the laces away secure. Just a slick, workboot-inspired riding shoe.

Next up is the brand new TCX X-Square Boot that arrives as part of TCX's reinvigoration for 2011. Extreme levels of comfort, airflow and style define this boot as its Air Tech fabric mixed with suede offers ventilation and abrasion resistance. There is significant malleolus protection with a rear heel counter and reinforcements in the shifter area. The wear-resistant non-slip sole combines with the anatomic footbed to provide both grip on the footpegs but also all-day-long comfort if you're walking around town. The lacing system is protected by a velcro panel that keeps them from getting tangled. Amidst TCX Boots new run for 2011, the X-Square is definitely a standout for the Italian-styled do-it-all riding shoe.

If you've got a closet full of sneakers, the Shift Kicker Shoe is definitely going to be your pick for warm weather riding. They seriously embody everything that makes high-top sneakers so popular, but they add legitimate levels of protection, breathability and performance at a reasonable price. At a glance you wouldn't know, but there is hard part protection at the medial and lateral malleolus, a reinforced toe box and heel cup, and a molded PU outsole for durability. The interior is a breathable and moisture-wicking comfort material that'll keep you cool and dry all day long. Lastly, the speed lacing system combined with the ratcheting alloy buckle closure is one of the finest entry systems within this category.

To leave Sidi out of any boot category would be a crime; to that end, our 2011 riding shoe selection from them is the Sidi Slash Riding Boot. Italian style, high levels of ventilation, protective elements and comfort all come together in this boot designed for warm weather riding. The upper is Lorica synthetic leather and vented nylon mesh for high airflow while the Cambrelle lining is moisture-wicking and antimicrobial to keep you cool and dry. Reinforcements are found at the ankle, in addition to an encapsulated heel cup and double stitching in every high-wear area. A non-slip sole and a zip-and-velcro entry system round out the features of the Sidi Slash.

The Alpinestars Ridge Waterproof Boot made the cut for a few reasons. First, it is the only waterproof boot in the mix. It is an extremely stylish premium Italian leather boot that looks great under a pair of jeans and really is an excellent value. It features dual density hard part lateral and medial malleolus protection, toe box and heel cup reinforcement, and the Alpinestars proprietary Drystar waterproof breathable membrane. The removable anatomic footbed features multi-density EVA foam padding for all day comfort. The vulcanized rubber compound sole offers a solid amount of grip and gets its ruggedness from a high modulus shank reinforcement. This boot is also fully CE certified. Great value here from AStars.

Lastly, the most technical boot of all of these is essentially a chopped-down version of a full-on premium race boot. The Dainese Dyno Shoes borrow heavily from the TRQ line of Dainese race boots which translates to an immense amount of protection in a short boot. Featuring TPU protectors at the medial and lateral malleolus, nylon hard part toe box and heel cup, shock absorbing inserts at the heel, a replaceable toe slider, and a high grip shifter panel, the Dyno is about as technical as a short boot can be. Combine this with the airflow that comes from the breathable polyamide upper and the internal microclimate created by the 3D bubble liner, and you've got one of our top picks for 2011 short boots.

Check out our Dainese Dyno Shoe Review:


Touring and Commuting Motorcycle Boot Guide
2011 Motorcycle Boot Guides
Shift Kicker Shoes Review
Icon Super Duty 4 Boot Review

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