Dirt biking requires proper gear and accessories, and boots are maybe the most crucial gear when it comes to preventing injuries from happening to you.
Your legs are pretty much open to injuries when dirt biking, especially your ankles since they are pretty sensitive and they can be easily damaged in an event of an impact.
That being said, what you can do to protect your ankles is get a pair of supportive boots that come along with plenty of protective features to prevent injuries from happening.
This article is all about helping you find the right dirt bike boots for you. All of the listed boots do a great job at supporting and protecting your ankles, while some of them come with a couple of extra features to also do a good job at keeping you as comfortable as possible.
Top 5 Best Dirt Bike Boots for Ankle Support
5. TCX Comp Evo
If you haven’t heard about it, TCX is a well-known and respected brand in the dirt bike boots industry. I don’t blame you, the first time I became familiar with this brand was only a year ago, but it definitely impressed me.
Double Flex Control System
This unique system is what makes these boots stand out from the other models on the market, and they are the successor of the TCX Pro 2.1. What this system allows you to do is basically lets you move in different ranges from eighteen degrees in front and fifteen degrees in the back.
Although it’s important to note that these two positions can vary in their mobility, and you can control this position while riding. Even though you are provided with mobility options, these boots won’t allow you from moving your foot or ankle into hyperextension or hyperflexion.
PU which translates to Polyurethane reinforcements are what make these boots’ price go up. It’s an extra layer of protection that will keep your ankles, feet, and lower legs as comfortable and safe as possible.
For your information, this material is very unique mostly due to its shock-resistant capabilities that successfully compose the padding inside these boots. In addition, what I also like about this material is that it’s soft, and what makes it even better is that you can find it around the ankles to absorb energy and offer protection plus stability.
Apart from that, the PU is also present in the toa guard to make up for an adjustable shin plate, reinforce the heel, the ankle, and the malleolus as well.
All and all, if you combine all of these features into one piece, they work great altogether to absorb energy upon impact and the boots will take the brunt, so you’ll be pretty much equipped and protected at all times.
Bold or narrow feet, these boots will accommodate you just perfect. I have been personally using them for quite some time, which is why I feel comfortable recommending these to you guys. The price might not be as pleasant, however, the boots bring great value so you definitely won’t go wrong with them.
4. Alpinestars Tech 8 RS
Alpinestars are the most popular dirt bike boots all-around, but they do come at some really hefty prices. There are a couple of Alpinestars Tech line models that you can consider, however, for this article, I decided to enlist the Tech 8 RS and the Tech 10’s. For now, let’s just stick to the Tech 8’s and see what makes these boots be so special.
Shock Absorbing Gel Inserts:
Companies have started to try out new things that can support the ankle, and shock-absorbing gel inserts are the most appealing feature so far. What happens is that the inserts surround the ankles, and as an addition, they take all the impact energy leaving you comfortable without any fatigues. With such features, there’s no such thing as a rough ride.
In practice, the inserts are sort of like cushion, and apart from providing protection, they also add an extra layer of comfort to the overall experience. But that’s not all, you can also adjust them in a very interesting way, while for the most part, you’ll also like the fact that you can replace them when they get squished down after various impacts.
Reinforced Lateral Flex Zone:
The manufacturer has also taken some extra precautions, such as the reinforced lateral flex zone which resides just above the ankles to protect against torsion.
You might think that this is not such a big deal, however, lateral support is probably the most in-vogue feature for ankle support in dirt bike boots. Why is that? Because it will prevent you from moving in angles that you’re not supposed to in the event of a crash, or something similar to that.
Internal Protection Plates:
As an addition to all the protective features that we’ve mentioned, these boots also have a sturdy, extended, internal protection plates for ankles and foot protection. Getting more into the details, the plates also contain polymer which is a shock-resistant material that will add extra protection in case of an impact.
More on that, what makes this feature special is that the plates also tend to protect the lower foot and the toe box area, and if you’re a dirt bike rider, then you probably know that those are the most crucial areas that truly affect your performance while riding.
The Alpinestars Tech 8 RS are probably the most feature-rich boots out there, and the fact that they also have instep and Achilles flex zones makes them even more preferable over the other models that are included in the list. If you’re after comfort and the best ankle support for the price, then these boots would be your ideal choice.
3. Fox Racing Instinct
Fox is an industry-leading company when it comes to dirt bike gear in general. They are the big-brother to every other brand, and being the big-brother also means being more expensive. Anyhow, they keep surprising dirt bike lovers with innovative gear and quality products that last for many years to come, while they also come with plenty of interesting features.
The boots that I am currently reviewing are probably the most popular model of the brand, the Fox Racing Instinct Boots.
For added convenience, you can get these boots in offroad style and racing soles, and that’s great because it can accommodate different dirt bikers abroad.
Hinge & Buckle System:
I have mentioned features that offer plenty of support to your ankle, however, this is a whole different case. The hinge and buckle system not only offer support, but they also offer remarkable comfort to the rider. When looking for dirt bike boots, lateral support is the first thing that goes through our minds, and the hinge, in this case, offer more than that since they also prevent harm by locking before hyperextension and hyperflexion is possible.
In addition, the hinge also tends to offer protection against rotational injuries, and that’s a very important feature to have in an event of an impact. Apart from that, if you combine all of this into one piece, the boots also prevent unnatural degrees from happening while providing the rider with comfort and mobility.
To continue, the buckle system is great because it makes sure that you’re comfortable while moving, and what’s even better is that it smoothly flexes with the boot to make sure you get optimum comfort. That’s pretty much the cooperation that good dirt bike boots should offer, and the Fox Racing Instinct boots do that without any problems or whatsoever.
For more convenience, to make the boots fit the way you want them to, there’s also a pivoting system available which allows for further adjustments.
TPU Heel Cup and Panels:
As an addition to all the above-mentioned features, the TPU that can be found in the heel cup also gives extra credit when it comes to protecting you from injuries in an event of an impact.
If you haven’t been injured hard before, lucky for you, however, most hard injuries occur when you land hard since that channel the energy through the bike into your shoe, and the heel is the most open spot for such injuries. Nonetheless, such injuries do not only harm your heel, but the ankle is also quite sensitive in these cases, and that’s pretty much what controls mobility and flexibility.
In other words, the TPU and the other fortifications that are found will be a protective layer that will absorb all the energy of an impact for you. Anyhow, it’s also important to note that the TPU panels are pretty large along the shin and the back of the boot, and they make for a great addition when it comes to absorbing the energy and providing protection for your legs.
As you can see, there’s really a lot to talk about these boots, but just from these features and protective measures that I mentioned, I believe you already get the idea of how quality and premium they are. All and all, they also consist of the exclusive Duratec rubber compound for added durability and grip, so once you buy these boots, you won’t have to worry about changing them for many years to come.
2. Gaerne SG-12
This boot brand is probably the most highly-praised dirt bike boot company on the market, and they like to call their boots Italian-made boots, don’t ask me why it is what it is.
However, their boots are truly superior in terms of quality and craftsmanship when it comes to comparing them with the other models on the market.
The Gaerne SG-12 are probably the most premium boots out there, and they come with a wide range of protective and ankle supporting features that will truly elevate your dirt biking experience to a whole new level.
Dual-Pivoting Glide Plate Design & Razorback Strut
This is probably the most appealing feature that plays the biggest role when it comes to protecting your legs, especially your ankles. What makes this design work out so well is the Razorback Strut.
You can refer to it as the backbone of the boots, and it moves with your feet as you ride which it’s great because it gives you extra flexibility in a bumpy or tough ride while keeping your ankles from moving in unnatural positions that could possibly cause injuries.
In addition, the so-called dual stage pivot system is a pleasing thing to have as an extra support. In theory, there are two pivots, the first is attached to the “wishbone” of the boot and it does a great job at providing you with lateral support. In addition to this, a glide-plate aids in keeping the top part of the boot in a decent position which is pretty comfortable and supportive in practice.
Now the second pivot helps when it comes to maintaining flexibility while riding. You can find it attached to a sliding glide plate, and it provides you with a natural, smooth feeling when your feet are shifting or braking.
It’s important to note that the pivot has a limit in its movement, and don’t think of it as a bad thing because it’s actually great. This limit will prevent hyperextension in case of over-jumping a hill or placing a lot of pressure on your ankles and feet.
I pretty much explained what this type of material is in the above-mentioned boots, however, for the sake of the article TPU will greatly help because it’s a shock-absorbing material, and that’s all you need when it comes to supporting your ankles while dirt biking.
In practice, you can find the TPU throughout the boots, and just as I said, this material will help absorb the energy in case of an impact, energy which is most likely to go to your ankles and heels.
Memory Cell Foam Lining:
The Memory Cell Foam Lining is what makes these boots’ comfortability go above the charts. This type of lining basically molds in a unique way to match your ankle structure, which is great since you’ll be provided with a comfortable fit having your ankles firmly in place, and that’s the kind of support you should be looking for when purchasing a pair of dirt bike boots.
The Gaerne SG-12 is a pair of premium dirt bike boots that check all the boxes of how dirt bike boots should be like. They are pretty feature-rich, in fact the most feature-rich in this list which comes with the most premium protective measurements all-around.
1. Alpinestars Tech 10
I previously reviewed the Alpinestars Tech 8, and the Tech 10 is the successor which clearly tells you that it comes with more improvements and plenty of other features to support your legs and protect your ankles.
Inner Ankle Brace System
It is an incredible system that comes along with plenty of features that are specifically made for supporting and protecting your ankles. For starters, what I like about these boots is the redesigned biomechanical inner ankle brace, and what’s even more impressive is that they’re built within the boots.
The brace does a great job at providing medial and lateral C torsion bars, and that’s really great because it’s simply a decent way of protecting your ankles.
As a dirt biker, you should know that braces are an in-vogue feature when it comes to supporting your ankles. What they do is basically keep your foot from moving or twisting in unnatural positions, while you will still be able to freely move your legs desirably as you ride.
In other terms, Alpinestars has truly made a great job at perfecting this system, and it does what it’s exactly supposed to do, it decreases the harmful effects and preventing you from getting injured.
Double Pivot System:
This is something I explained in our second listed boots, and we got pretty much the same case here. As you can imagine, a double pivot system will add further support to your ankles, and it’s a great feature to have in dirt bike boots.
Most ankle injuries come from strained twisting and your feet turning in undesired or unnatural positions, and the dual-pivot system will prevent that from happening in case of a crash. It basically offers extra resistance for vertical rotational forces.
What I also like about the Tech 10’s is the flexion inserts. To cut it short, they add a limit to how much your ankles stretch, and that’s great because it decreases the chances of hyper-extension in your ankle.
Same as the other models the I’ve mentioned, these boots feature TPU padding as well. If you didn’t know, TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane and you can find it throughout the boots, mostly around the heel because it’s the most sensitive part.
What TPU padding does is basically absorb the shock in an event of an impact, and absorbing this shock is very important because shocks can harm your heel and ankle in some serious ways.
The Alpinestars Tech 10 boots are very popular among dirt bike riders, and the reasons behind that are pretty obvious. One last thing to mention is the dynamic heel compression protector, and I saved that for last because it’s the most appealing feature that the boots have, or maybe just the feature that I like the most about them. So basically, in an event of a crash, this feature will force the heel to collapse in on itself, which will absorb the impact energy without allowing it to transfer the damage to your heel, ankle, or leg.
How to prevent ankle & foot Injuries while riding
There are a couple of things you can do before riding which can truly play a huge role when it comes to protecting your ankles. Doing these stuff before riding actually requires only time, not money, not much effort, only your time, so let’s take a look.
Stretch Before Riding
This is something that applies to every sport, and most people don’t even put much attention to it. However, the most serious injuries can occur by cold muscles, which is why it’s very important to stretch before doing sport, and kind of sport, dirt biking is no exception.
Just as the headline suggests, drink water, lots of water.
Medically speaking, it is essential to keep your body hydrated, meaning that your muscles and joints limber will work better if they have enough water to work with. I am trying to keep it simple and not go into much details, however, you don’t want to be dehydrated when you go out for a ride because you just make your muscles for vurnerable.
Finding the right boots to support and protect your ankles is a really complex matter, and you should take this really seriously because once you get injured, there’s no going back.
There are a lot of features that do a great job at keeping your legs protected as well as supporting and keeping your comfortable at all time while you’re riding. You can find all these features in the above-mentioned products.
All the dirt bike boots were chosen with proper research and testing, and from my experience, they’re the best that you can find on the market. No matter what you choose to buy, you’re still going to ensure yourself a way to keep your ankles protected and supported at all times.
My top pick for today is the Alpinestars Tech 10 boots, and I don’t think someone can argue about that. They are the most premium on the market, but they do come at a hefty price though. Basically, you’re going to love everything that they have to offer, they come with a plethora of protective and supporting features that will elevate your dirt biking experience to a whole new level, so you simply can’t go wrong with them.