Every time we get on a motorcycle, we have to protect ourselves, whether it's a long journey or a short trip. Helmet, back protector, jacket and gloves – so far, we’re all in agreement. Often, however, we tend to neglect the shoes. For some reason, most of the time we’re happy to protect the upper body and ignore our feet and ankles, forgetting that they are the only parts of the body constantly in contact with the ground.
That's right – feet are the only parts of the body that touch the ground very often, and not just when we fall. They must therefore be protected just as much as all other sensitive areas such as head and back. How many times do we put our feet on the ground, even when riding in the city, without any caution at all? When we abruptly stop at a traffic light or when trying to prevent a slide at low speed, for example. It’s therefore easy to understand that a pair of normal sneakers or combat boots wouldn’t be enough to ensure the safety of feet and ankles.
We don’t always need to were MotoGP™ boots to protect feet and ankles, however – there are shoes designed according to strict certification criteria, which guarantee both protection while riding and comfort once you get off the motorcycle. These shoes are mainly distinguished by the many reinforcements placed in the toe area, at the point of contact with the gear shift, on the heel and on the ankle.
To be certified, motorcycle shoes are subjected to abrasion, impact resistance, cut resistance, sole deformation tests and many others. Only once they pass all the tests these shoes are classified as PPE, Personal Protective Equipment.
Protective motorcycle shoes are not necessarily heavy and can be used throughout the year, not only in spring or fall. In fact, several Dainese models are optimized for ventilation through the use of durable yet breathable fabrics, which make the shoes comfortable even in very hot weather. In any case, these are high shoes, as protection on the ankle is an essential requirement to obtain certification.
There are shoes specially developed for winter and rainy periods, which integrate a waterproof membrane inside the upper. It can be a Gore-Tex® membrane or of another type, but it works just the same. All membranes feature countless tiny holes, small enough not to let the drops of water pass but large enough to allow breathability and the expulsion of heat and moisture.
Of course, membranes not only protect against rain and weather. They’re also the most valuable shields against air and low temperatures, in shoes as well as in all other motorcycle clothing’s elements.
Whether it's summer, winter, spring or fall, there are specially designed motorcycle shoes that combine certified protection and the practicality of ordinary sneakers once you arrive at your destination, whether you’re going on a Sunday outing or to work by scooter. What really matters is to never neglect protecting your feet and ankles.