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Recommend a boot with very good toe protection.

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Hey guys, long story short, I had an awkward crash over the weekend where I caught a rut and went down hard. I managed to break my left big toe in two places and now I cant walk let alone ride for about 6 weeks. I was wearing Alpinestars Tech 3 boots that are about 8 years old and maybe thinking I need to get a better boot. I'm switching to off road/woods riding as opposed to MX if that makes a difference. I always thought my Tech 3s were protective but I guess not.

What boots would you recommend that has a strong toe box and good for off road/woods riding? I've seen the Fox Instinct off road boot but that's all I can really find that details a protective toe box. 

 

Thanks,

Steve

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I wrote this a while ago (over a year), but should give you an idea of what you are looking for, make sure you read to the end, you'll see you exact situation talked about there. A lot of information came from my personal research. Atomicmoto.com has some great boot reviews (videos) that can help you make up your own mind as well.

Boot recommendations for trail riding. These are MY PERSONAL choices in boots available today and NOT a comprehensive list, there are other boots that people like, that are perfectly good boots, but I don't recommend for TRAIL riding for one reason or another. *2016/2017 has introduced a few new models of boots that I have not explored. If you read to the bottom, there are some tips on choosing boots, so please read the whole thing.

 

Priced low to high.....Obviously price makes a quality difference, some people can't justify spending $300 on a pair of boots (yet), growing kids etc. will prohibit the purchase of high end boots as well.

$100-$150

Fly Maverick....These are the cheap of the cheap boots. Build quality compared to other boots is lacking, even at the same price point. Find them on sale!

O'Neal Rider boots....Another low price boot, I recommend the $10 to $20 premium over the Mavericks as these have better build quality.

MSR VX2...Another pair of cheap boots, re-released this year. These have a lug sole for walking, otherwise similar/same as boots below.

Thor, AXO, Answer, all make a boot in the $125 range...To me, these boots are all the same, so take your brand and run with it.

Thor Blitz ATV……Another boot with a lug sole!

Moose 1.2.....Similar to the boots above, but these look to be higher quality and are available with an enduro sole......Again, pick your brand.

$150-$200....

Most of the boots listed here are pretty decent boots. I'm not saying that they offer better protection than the less expensive boots and may, or may not be, more comfortable.

 JT racing - Podium, Alpinestar - Tech 1, TCX - X-Blast and Gaerne - GX1. All these boots are very similar and prices vary, depending on where you buy them. All seem to offer the same protection and build quality is in the same range. Comfort and fit are where to go with these (A* is narrow, Gaerne is real wide etc.)

$200-$300....

A lot of these boots (but not all) are single hinge design. Boots in this range tend to be a "bad buy" simply because a safer boot can be had for $25-$50 more.....Save for another week and step up one level. The only recommendation that I have at this price point are the....

Forma Terrain TX or Terrain boot....Full hinge design, good build quality. TX is an MX sole, Terrain is a lug sole.

$300+

Look for a full hinge ankle! These boots tend to be all day comfortable. (not in pricing order)

Gaerne SG10.....I own these, rode a 120 miles in dessert terrain, right out of the box.....My feet where the only thing NOT tired. Fit is for wide feet.

Gaerne SG11....These are the updated version of the 10....can't go wrong, cost more.

Gaerne SG12....Again, next level up, there is supposed to be a difference in the boot from the 13 to the 14 model year. So prices will vary......Nobody dislikes the comfort of Gaernes....but they are a wide boot with a big toe box.

AXO A2 boot. Full hinge design. Check fit with these.

Sidi Cross fire TA.....Sidi is the boot of boots. Narrow toe box (I don't fit in these with my EE-EEE feet).

Sidi X-treme....

Sidi Charger...

Sidi Crossfire 2 TA....This is the ONLY boot with out a welt sole in this list. Parts are super easy to replace, even the sole, which is  a very nice feature. This boot has hyperextention limiting!

Forma Dominator Comp....Also look for the "old" model on close out for a $100+ discount....

Forma Predator..... You can get the old model for $300 on close out....Forma is an up and coming company, you can get great boots at a great price.....Make sure you consider these boots when going to the high end!

There are other boots that people highly recommend. I have purposely skipped a few boots do to bad buckles/poor quality at their respective price point.

I don't list Fox boots AT ALL.....Their build quality tends to be low end.  For example, even with updates to the Comp5, it is still a crappy boot at the price point.

Alpinestar is listed limitedly, and I have no experience with the ONE pair I listed. At that boots price point, I figure it will be the same/similar quality as other boots in the price point.

There are other boots not listed do to having a Bonded Sole.....I don't recommend bonded sole boots for trail riding. While they are OK for MX, they don't have the same toe protection as the welt sole boots and it sucks to walk with broken toes!

A lot of people also ask about Fox's Comp5 boots. I have owned a pair. I'll never buy another pair of Fox boots again. If you go to a shop, pick a pair of these boots up, grab the heal and toe and try to fold the together (towards the top). You'll see that this particular boot simply folds in half. Imagine your foot in there, between your bike and a rock/rut/stump.....I'm sure you get the idea. Yes, this has happened to someone, he broke his foot in many, many places. Now, pick up even a cheap pair of boots with a welt sole and try to do the same thing...

I have noticed that welt sole boots are coming back. A few years ago most manufactures moved to the bonded sole, mainly do to the cost savings of this type of sole over the welt soles. A* and O'Neal are two examples....Those two brands didn't have or had very limited models, with welt soles last year.....This year, their new models have the welt soles. This is a good trend for trail riders. I doubt it matters as much for Motocross as it does for trail riding. Trail riders have obstacles that track riders will never see, so they need different types of protection. Keep that in mind when choosing your boots.

 

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Thank you for posting this, very helpful. I just checked my Tech 3s and the sole will collapse when you grab the heel and toe and fold up. Damn, that's ok, now I know what to look for!

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Thank you for posting this, very helpful. I just checked my Tech 3s and the sole will collapse when you grab the heel and toe and fold up. Damn, that's ok, now I know what to look for!

Broke 3 toes in a tech 3 about 5 years ago now. Gaerne sg10 ever since. No more broke toes. :)
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5 hours ago, shrubitup said:


Broke 3 toes in a tech 3 about 5 years ago now. Gaerne sg10 ever since. No more broke toes. :)

The exact boot I'm looking at now! Thank you for posting. gives me a little more confidence in the SG10.

 

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19 hours ago, 6 Riders said:

I wrote this a while ago (over a year), but should give you an idea of what you are looking for, make sure you read to the end, you'll see you exact situation talked about there. A lot of information came from my personal research. Atomicmoto.com has some great boot reviews (videos) that can help you make up your own mind as well.

Boot recommendations for trail riding. These are MY PERSONAL choices in boots  available today and NOT a comprehensive list, there are other boots that people like, that are perfectly good boots, but I don't recommend for TRAIL riding for one reason or another. *2016/2017 has introduced a few new models of boots that I have not explored. If you read to the bottom, there are some tips on choosing boots, so please read the whole thing.

 

Priced low to high.....Obviously price makes a quality difference, some people can't justify spending $300 on a pair of boots (yet), growing kids etc. will prohibit the purchase of high end boots as well.

$100-$150

Fly Maverick....These are the cheap of the cheap boots. Build quality compared to other boots is lacking, even at the same price point. Find them on sale!

O'Neal Rider boots....Another low price boot, I recommend the $10 to $20 premium over the Mavericks as these have better build quality.

MSR VX2...Another pair of cheap boots, re-released this year. These have a lug sole for walking, otherwise similar/same as boots below.

Thor, AXO, Answer, all make a boot in the $125 range...To me, these boots are all the same, so take your brand and run with it.

Thor Blitz  ATV……Another boot with a lug sole!

Moose 1.2.....Similar to the boots above, but these look to be higher quality and are available with an enduro sole......Again, pick your brand.

$150-$200....

Most of the boots listed here are pretty decent boots. I'm not saying that they offer better protection than the less expensive boots and may, or may not be, more comfortable.

 JT racing - Podium, Alpinestar - Tech 1, TCX  - X-Blast and Gaerne  - GX1. All these boots are very similar and prices vary, depending on where you buy them. All seem to offer the same protection and build quality is in the same range. Comfort and fit are where to go with these (A* is narrow, Gaerne is real wide etc.)

$200-$300....

A lot of these boots (but not all) are single hinge design. Boots in this range tend to be a "bad buy" simply because a safer boot can be had for $25-$50 more.....Save for another week and step up one level. The only recommendation that I have at this price point are the....

Forma Terrain TX or Terrain boot....Full hinge design, good build quality. TX is an MX sole, Terrain is a lug sole.

$300+

Look for a full hinge ankle! These boots tend to be all day comfortable. (not in pricing order)

Gaerne SG10.....I own these, rode a 120 miles in dessert terrain, right out of the box.....My feet where the only thing NOT tired. Fit is for wide feet.

Gaerne SG11....These are the updated version of the 10....can't go wrong, cost more.

Gaerne SG12....Again, next level up, there is supposed to be a difference in the boot from the 13 to the 14 model year. So prices will vary......Nobody dislikes the comfort of Gaernes....but they are a wide boot with a big toe box.

AXO A2 boot. Full hinge design. Check fit with these.

Sidi Cross fire TA.....Sidi is the boot of boots. Narrow toe box (I don't fit in these with my EE-EEE feet).

Sidi X-treme....

Sidi Charger...

Sidi Crossfire 2 TA....This is the ONLY boot with out a welt sole in this list. Parts are super easy to replace, even the sole, which is  a very nice feature. This boot has hyperextention limiting!

Forma Dominator  Comp....Also look for the "old" model on close out for a $100+ discount....

Forma Predator..... You can get the old model for $300 on close out....Forma is an up and coming company, you can get great boots at a great price.....Make sure you consider these boots when going to the high end!

There are other boots that people highly recommend. I have purposely skipped a few boots do to bad buckles/poor quality at their respective price point.

I don't list Fox  boots AT ALL.....Their build quality tends to be low end.  For example, even with updates to the Comp5, it is still a crappy boot at the price point.

Alpinestar is listed limitedly, and I have no experience with the ONE pair I listed. At that boots price point, I figure it will be the same/similar quality as other boots in the price point.

There are other boots not listed do to having a Bonded Sole.....I don't recommend bonded sole boots for trail riding. While they are OK for MX, they don't have the same toe protection as the welt sole boots and it sucks to walk with broken toes!

A lot of people also ask about Fox's Comp5 boots. I have owned a pair. I'll never buy another pair of Fox boots again. If you go to a shop, pick a pair of these boots up, grab the heal and toe and try to fold the together (towards the top). You'll see that this particular boot simply folds in half. Imagine your foot in there, between your bike and a rock/rut/stump.....I'm sure you get the idea. Yes, this has happened to someone, he broke his foot in many, many places. Now, pick up even a cheap pair of boots with a welt sole and try to do the same thing...

I have noticed that welt sole boots are coming back. A few years ago most manufactures moved to the bonded sole, mainly do to the cost savings of this type of sole over the welt soles. A* and O'Neal are two examples....Those two brands didn't have or had very limited models, with welt soles last year.....This year, their new models have the welt soles. This is a good trend for trail riders. I doubt it matters as much for Motocross as it does for trail riding. Trail riders have obstacles that track riders will never see, so they need different types of protection. Keep that in mind when choosing your boots.

 

Nice list, not so accurate, though.  A lot misconceptions and "internet knowledge" there. ;)

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2 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Nice list, not so accurate, though.  A lot misconceptions and "internet knowledge" there. ;)

What part of that is "internet knowlege" and not so accurate?

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1 minute ago, 6 Riders said:

What part of that is "internet knowlege" and not so accurate?

I'll start with the first 2 boots on the list, because I have experience with both.  The Fly Mavericks are probably the most maligned, and bad mouthed boot on the planet...by those that have never owned them.  They are extremely durable.  The O'Neals, they are junk.  I have had both, the Flys, a pair of which I still have can last a few years, the O'Neals a few rides, they literally start coming apart at the seams.  I have experience with a couple other of the boots on the list, you didn't list A Stars, and I have mixed opinions on them, the 7s not so good, the 10s, excellent except for the buckles.  My experience also extends to Answer, boots from the early 2000s, decent lower mid priced boots.

Anyway, my point is there are as many opinions on boots as there are guys that have worn them.

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The TCX Pro 2.1 is one of the best off road boots on the market IMO. I picked up a pair just for that specific purpose... trail riding. The price point is right and they are extremely durable and comfortable as well. Break in time is good too! 

Fox Instincts or Tech 10's on the track... TCX Pro 2.1 in the woods. 

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1 minute ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

I'll start with the first 2 boots on the list, because I have experience with both.  The Fly Mavericks are probably the most maligned, and bad mouthed boot on the planet...by those that have never owned them.  They are extremely durable.  The O'Neals, they are junk.  I have had both, the Flys, a pair of which I still have can last a few years, the O'Neals a few rides, they literally start coming apart at the seams.  I have experience with a couple other of the boots on the list, you didn't list A Stars, and I have mixed opinions on them, the 7s not so good, the 10s, excellent except for the buckles.  My experience also extends to Answer, boots from the early 2000s, decent lower mid priced boots.

Anyway, my point is there are as many opinions on boots as there are guys that have worn them.

I have experience with both the Fly and the Newest model of the O'Neal's and I see the O'Neal's being the better build quality of the two (that is as of 2105). THe reason I don't list the A*10s is because of the bonded sole and it's flexibility, the newest tech 7 is a welt sole boot. I did list the Answer boots in there as well. I'm pretty sure the Thor AXO and Answer boot, possibly the O'Neal Rider and MSR VX2 are all the same boot and are for the most part, listed in the same catagories above. I tried to give option at every price point, because as I was saying, not everyone has $400 to drop on a pair of boots. So informing people of what to look at and why is the whole point. It's tiring to read "A*", "Gaerne", "Sidi" all the time. There are other boots out there. I'd like to give people the knowledge to protect their feet, within their budget. As you notice above;

22 hours ago, Hulley said:

Thank you for posting this, very helpful. I just checked my Tech 3s and the sole will collapse when you grab the heel and toe and fold up. Damn, that's ok, now I know what to look for!

^ That is what the whole write up is about.

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Just now, 6 Riders said:

I have experience with both the Fly and the Newest model of the O'Neal's and I see the O'Neal's being the better build quality of the two (that is as of 2105). THe reason I don't list the A*10s is because of the bonded sole and it's flexibility, the newest tech 7 is a welt sole boot. I did list the Answer boots in there as well. I'm pretty sure the Thor AXO and Answer boot, possibly the O'Neal Rider and MSR VX2 are all the same boot and are for the most part, listed in the same catagories above. I tried to give option at every price point, because as I was saying, not everyone has $400 to drop on a pair of boots. So informing people of what to look at and why is the whole point. It's tiring to read "A*", "Gaerne", "Sidi" all the time. There are other boots out there. I'd like to give people the knowledge to protect their feet, within their budget. As you notice above;

^ That is what the whole write up is about.

You will note my last sentence.  Buying boots is a crapshoot.

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Its not like buying a pair of shoes where you walk around the store for 5 minutes and walk out with a new pair of shoes.  Even if you are lucky enough to live somewhere where you can try on a variety of boots, the true fit and comfort don't come until much later.  That is why I am so reluctant any more to drop a few hundred bucks on boots.

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1 minute ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

You will note my last sentence.  Buying boots is a crapshoot.

And all I am trying to do is reduce the the number of dice you are rolling. If one guy walks into the store, picks up a pair of boots he was thinking about buying, tries to fold the toe into the ankle, succeeds and doesn't buy that particular boot, then I helped one guy. Name brands mean nothing to me. I like my Gaernes, not because they are Gaernes, but because they are DAMN nice boots! I also likes my old MSRs, but the Gaernes are worth 2Xs the price, for sure. I wasted money on my Fox boots and I wish I new then, what I know now. Just trying to help a few guys out.

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Just now, 6 Riders said:

And all I am trying to do is reduce the the number of dice you are rolling. If one guy walks into the store, picks up a pair of boots he was thinking about buying, tries to fold the toe into the ankle, succeeds and doesn't buy that particular boot, then I helped one guy. Name brands mean nothing to me. I like my Gaernes, not because they are Gaernes, but because they are DAMN nice boots! I also likes my old MSRs, but the Gaernes are worth 2Xs the price, for sure. I wasted money on my Fox boots and I wish I new then, what I know now. Just trying to help a few guys out.

Unfortunately footwear is so subjective, its not like a chest protector, gloves, knee guards, etc.  Especially if you have feet that have trouble being comfortable in a boot or shoe.  This is the one piece of equipment that I have become reluctant to make any recommendations on anymore.

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2 minutes ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Its not like buying a pair of shoes where you walk around the store for 5 minutes and walk out with a new pair of shoes.  Even if you are lucky enough to live somewhere where you can try on a variety of boots , the true fit and comfort don't come until much later.  That is why I am so reluctant any more to drop a few hundred bucks on boots.

I can't do that, I'm so damn picky with shoes, it sometimes takes me a few trips before I find a pair I like. I've been to a lot of MC shops and tried on a lot of boots. A few I wanted to buy and quickly changed my mind. The one thing I know about my SG10s is that they feel the same day one as the do 3 years later (minus the dirt). That's the number one reason I recomend people checking them out. But you also need a wide foot (whick mine are). 

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1 minute ago, 6 Riders said:

I can't do that, I'm so damn picky with shoes, it sometimes takes me a few trips before I find a pair I like. I've been to a lot of MC shops and tried on a lot of boots. A few I wanted to buy and quickly changed my mind. The one thing I know about my SG10s is that they feel the same day one as the do 3 years later (minus the dirt). That's the number one reason I recomend people checking them out. But you also need a wide foot (whick mine are). 

And then you get into the discussion of what constitutes a wide foot.  And how wide is too wide for most boots.  Then you have feet like mine, skinny heel and fairly wide front part, I think its from running almost every day for over 40 years.  Virtually nothing is comfortable. :facepalm:

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I'd cough up the coin for tech 10s or sidi. 

The sidi has a nice toe box and a lot of hard plastic protection. It's the best boot IMO. 

The instincts have a good toe box but the glue comes apart and the strap passes break, the off-road model might be ok but heavy.   

Anything less than tech 10 not enough protection. Tech 10 is a good one..

Gaernes have memory foam and all that but are meant for relatives of Sasquatch and seem too pricey for what they are (sole).

 

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1 minute ago, Casing-daily said:

I'd cough up the coin for tech 10s or sidi. 

The sidi has a nice toe box and a lot of hard plastic protection. It's the best boot IMO. 

The instincts have a good toe box but the glue comes apart and the strap passes break, the off-road model might be ok but heavy.   

Anything less than tech 10 not enough protection. Tech 10 is a good one..

Gaernes have memory foam and all that but are meant for relatives of Sasquatch and seem too pricey for what they are (sole).

 

SO, My (and CJ's) feet don't fit in Sidi's, they are to narrow at the toe. I recommend Gaerne for wide feet and Sidi for narrow. What is wrong with the sole of the Gaerne? Mine are 4 years old and there is very little wear on the soles. They can also be resoled at any shoe shop.

And CJ, my feet are like yours, wide toes, narrow heel. 

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