Scooter riders, we’d be willing to bet that for the larger majority of you, until you clicked on this article, you didn’t really even consider your feet and legs as something that needed protecting when riding a scooter. The fact of the matter is, a scooter is technically the same as a motorcycle in the most literal sense of using two wheels, one of which is powered, is steered through moving your body weight and center of gravity around, and uses a hand throttle.
The truth is that pavement doesn’t really care if you’re riding a 200 HP supersport or a 3 HP scooter. Suffering a fall at 30 MPH results in the same thing happening, which is generally an unpleasant tumble down said pavement. Yet, many scooter riders wear only a helmet, although a growing number are also wearing appropriate jackets and gloves.
Rounding out that package with some good riding shoes and/or boots can mean the difference between a bruised ankle or a broken leg. One gets you riding again in a week, the other is several months of recovery.
After much research, these are the best motorcycle shoes and boots that transfer well to scooter riding, either in protection, aesthetics, or both. These will be broken down into three levels: Entry (sub $150), Mid-Range ($150 to $300), and High End ($300 and up).
While it is an incorrect stereotype, scooters are quite often seen as being ridden far more by women than men. The truth of the matter is that both sexes enjoy scooters equally, yet riding gear, until the last decade or so, has been male oriented. As such, it is nice to see Sedici, as well as a few other manufacturers, starting to make women’s only riding gear.
The Tourisma WP is a mid-height top touring boot that will easily fit under kevlar jeans, or fit over armored leggings, to compliment both styles. It may not look like much, but it is made of full grain cowhide leather, with a diamond quilted flex panel to allow you to easily walk to and from your preferred two wheeled vehicle. The boots are waterproofed using a Hipora membrane on the inside, with a full height gusset to the rim so your feet are dry, even if you step in a deep puddle.
The sole is made of high grip rubber compound, with a shock absorbing insole that has a 2cm lift with an extra 2cm (for 4cm) at the heel for more stable footing when balanced at a stop sign or stop light. The zippers are brand-name YYK, so they won’t come undone unless you want them undone. In terms of protection, there is a full set of toe, ankle, and heel armor with reinforcements over the ankle in case you do come off the bike to prevent twisting or fracturing.
There are times when you hop on your bike or scooter and simply twist the wrist. There is no destination in mind, and you’re simply going out to ride because you’re going out to ride. For those days, Cortech has a great low-height riding shoe in the Chicane Airs.
Synthetic leather with a microfiber feel makes up the chassis of the shoe, with carbon-fiber-look synthetic material for the shift pad and outer toe overlays. These materials are water repellent, but not waterproof, to give you time to get parked and inside before the skies open up. Where the shoe really excels, however, is on the inside.
First, there are molded TPU dual-density toe and heel armor zones, with a dual-density and externally padded ankle malleolus armor set. The internal midsole of the boot is molded and manufactured to innately provide twisting resistance, and the sole itself is thin but non-slip and penetration resistant. This means that should you come off, the shoe actively tries to prevent your ankle twisting—one of the most common lower limb injuries in injury accidents on two wheels.
To top it all off, the shoe provides both laces to get it fitting just right on your foot, then has a strong velcro strap that covers the laces to prevent the laces coming undone at an inopportune time. While they are sport shoes, these shoes are also designed to wick away sweat and provide cooling air to the feet, so you can ride comfortably. The ventilation is also optimized to work with specialized riding socks, if you choose to wear any with them.
The AlpineStars Centre shoes are, and we’re being completely honest here, criminally underpriced for what they are at $140. These are shoes that would easily sell closer to $300, so consider these the bargains of this list when we go over what these shoes do.
The whole design philosophy of the Centre’s is to be understated and casual, yet provide supersport racing levels of protection in a shoe. This is achieved through the entire chassis being made of synthetic leather with a microfiber liner, which replicates the abrasion resistance of 1.2mm cowhide at half that thickness.
The entire ankle, and not just the malleolus, has double density TPU armor, with lateral and medial reinforcement through impact foam backing, something borrowed directly from professional racing boots.
The toe cap and heel box are both layered TPU between the upper and the liner for comfort, and the heel features an extra TPU external stabilizer to prevent twisting and to provide impact absorption. The tongue and collar are both fully padded with impact foam, and the lacing finishes through welded, ultra-strong eyelets. There is a discreet and hidden TPU midsole in case you are using these shoes on a bike to absorb peg vibrations and prevent your feet getting sore.
Lastly, these shoes are certified to CE EN 13634:2017, the most recent certification standard for motorcycle gear in the EU. To achieve this certification, the shoe has undergone a series of five tests for armor strength, abrasion resistance, amount of force needed to force the boot apart, and the like. It is stringent and tests the protective gear beyond what the average rider could expect in a crash, so the certification provides added peace-of-mind that these are great shoes.
When you live in warmer climates, sometimes a full leather boot with padding and warm inside layers is a bit unreasonable. That is why Rev’It decided that for those people, a fully featured riding shoe based off of basketball and skater shoes would be a perfect addition to their lineup.
The chassis of the shoe is made of suede around the toe, heel, and collar, while the bulk of the load bearing is done with synthetic leather. The tongue is made of washed canvas and backed by foam for comfort. Without showing it, the ankle is fully armored with TPU molded from the malleolus bumps all the way around the rear of the shoe. The toes have a thermoformed TPU cup that extends back to the suede covered shift overlay, and the heel has a reinforced, molded TPU cup.
The shoes are well ventilated, letting in a lot of air, and combine with a OrthoLite X40 insole to both wick away sweat and smells, as well as provide all day walking and riding comfort. The soles are high grip and abrasion resistant, and the shoes could realistically be worn while playing basketball or riding a skateboard without any discomfort.
Sometimes, you want to rock the “just going for a quick ride” aesthetic without wanting to look like you’re dressed head to toe in serious riding gear. TCX understands that, which is why they made a riding boot that doesn’t look like one unless you get up close.
Both the X-Blend and the Blend Womens are made from full grain cowhide leather that has been treated to look both vintage, and provide waterproofing through both a light surface waxing and a full waterproof lining. The boots also feature a reinforced shift level area over the toes, have full toe and heel armor, and provide ankle armor over the malleolus areas with extra padding.
The soles are made of high grade, wear resistant rubber with both a high grip pattern and anti-slip properties for when it rains. These boots are designed to be used when riding, but as they are not solidly shanked across the mid-foot area, they can be worn comfortably for off-scooter use, such as browsing the grocery store or walking up a pathway to get to a nice place to take a photo without worry.
Leave it to the Italians to make the most stylish mid-height boot of the mid-range market. Dainese put all of their research and development in powersports to use with the Street Darker, and then made sure they were also waterproof with a Gore-Tex liner.
The chassis is made of highly breathable but rip-stop and abrasion resistant polyamide fabric mixed with synthetic microfiber leather. This allows for the breathable Gore-Tex liner to allow sweat and heat to escape via the large outer foot panels, without allowing water in to ruin your day. The shifter pad is reinforced, while the toe cap underneath consists of powersports grade TPU armor.
The heel is ventilated as well, with a reinforced TPU multi-density structure. The ankle features both soft TPU inner armor under hard TPU external armor over the malleolus bumps. External reinforcements hold the heel and ankle in place should you come off, preventing twisting or dislocation. The laces are high-durability nylon, and a comfort insole provides all day riding joy.
These boots have obtained both CE – Cat. II – 89/686/EEC Directive certification, which was superseded by the CE level 2 EN 13634:2017 certification they carry in their latest incarnation. Both of these certifications mean that the boots are just one step below racing gear, which is CE level 3, and will protect your feet with some of the best armor and features outside of powersports racing.
So far, all of the protective boots and shoes on this list have been mostly modern styles or casually oriented to look like regular footwear. With scooters having both modern and retro style cues, it was about time a properly retro-oriented pair of boots showed up, and Stylmartin has delivered with the Rocket boots.
Unequivocally cafe-racer based, these boots replicate the vintage look of paratrooper boots from World War II, while also hiding a host of modern armor and protective features. The least of these is the fully waterproof lining behind the full grain cowhide leather, meaning you can ride even in a hurricane with dry feet (although we do not recommend riding a scooter in a hurricane). The rubber sole is anti-slip, anti-static, and oleophobic (oil-resistant), giving you the best grip possible on the pavement or your scooter’s floor.
In terms of protection, the only evidence of any armor is the outer malleolus TPU disc over the internal TPU armor that covers both malleolus bumps. The heel of the boot features multi-layered armor, and the toe cup is reinforced under the leather upper and before the waterproof lining.
The boots are very adjustable, with a gusseted side entry zip, and hard-core nylon laces to adjust the final fit of the boots. Both the laces and zip are then covered by a military style buckle-over leather guard that also acts as upper shin armor.
All in all, if retro protection is what you want, then the Rocket boots are what you need.
Balancing the line between neo-retro styling and modern work boots, the Rev’It Royale H2O boots suit both styles of retro scooters and modern bikes. Designed specifically for the needs of the urban rider, these mid-height boots are meant to take an absolute beating and still look premium afterwards.
This starts with the full-grain cowhide leather chassis, with PWRShell synthetic textile panels over the sides of the ankles. A hydratex liner sits beneath both, allowing for ventilation and breathability, while also being 100% waterproof. This lining is also gusseted to the tongue, so even if you get a splash through the laces, your feet remain dry.
In terms of protection, these boots have a fully thermoformed toe cap and heel cup, and an injection molded full ankle cup with extra armor over the malleolus bumps. The lacing is high durability solid core nylon to prevent the laces snapping, with the knot enclosed under a moc pull up strap. The sole is 100% synthetic rubber, and features a reinforced mid-sole and an anatomically-thermoforming (meaning it fits to your foot) insole to give you all day riding comfort.
If you’ve never heard of Belstaff, that is not entirely surprising. Originating in the UK, Belstaff is a high-street mens and womens fashion store that leans heavily into the classic clothing direction. They also, as part of their business, create stylish and fully functional riding gear, of which the Endurance boots are just one example.
Unlike modern boots, the Endurance rely on their structural strength and naturally sourced materials to provide protection. As such, these boots are made of waxed full-grain buffalo hide of a minimum thickness of 1.4mm, some of the most abrasion resistant leather in the world.
The soles are made of name-brand Vibram rubber, which are anti-slip, extremely durable, and penetration resistant. A waterproof lining provides protection against the elements, something important in the UK, and a molded insole sits just inside that lining to provide all day comfort.
Protection comes mostly from the fact that buffalo leather is very abrasion resistant, but hidden ankle, heel, and toe TPU thermoformed armor is subtly placed within for full foot and lower leg protection. The boots are adjustable with both a foot and calf strap-and-buckle system, and a hidden, gusseted zip on the inner facing shafts allows for easy access and egress from the boots once adjusted perfectly to your foot.
These boots are expensive right out of the gate, but are meant to be worn over years and years of two-wheeled adventures, breaking in beautifully and giving you untold thousands of miles of scooter riding comfort and protection.