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Are Biker Boots Really A Necessity Or Are They Just For Looks

Oct 17, 2007
Picture a biker in your mind. What is he wearing? Chances are that one of the first things you may imagine is their big old black boots, followed by a black leather vest and a white t-shirt. This is the stereotype that most people identify with and is considered "traditional" biker apparel. Today's bikers, however, are no longer so easily stereotype. Modern bikers are driving new sportier bikes and wearing athletic shoes while they ride. Business professionals are riding cruisers while sporting a pair of loafers. The question is whether biker boots are a necessity or just part of the traditional biker image?

If you were to ask an old-school biker whether he would ride without his boots, you would usually get a resounding "no". They may be reluctant to give their reasoning at first, but with a little prodding you will usually hear that their boots are worn for the image as well as for protection. Riding a motorcycle involves certain risks. One of those risks is burning your leg on the exhaust. Getting a burn is one of the most common biker injuries. The exhaust pipe gets extremely hot while riding and even the slightest touch o skin on it will cause a burn. The burn may be very serious, taking weeks to heal and often leaving a scar behind. Wearing a boot that covers the calf can eliminate the possibility of burns and making riding more comfortable. Even passengers riding on the back of the bike often wear boots for the same reason.

Another risk is severe scrapes from "dumping the bike". To avoid a more serious accident a biker will sometimes have to turn the bike on its side letting it skid, and he will slide across the road. The skin abrasions can be quite painful and serious. Bikers often wear leather jackets, pants and boots to lessen the injury should this occur. Little can be done to avoid injuries or death in the event of a serious accident, but the leather apparel can dramatically reduce or eliminate the exhaust burns and skin abrasions from skids.

The safety concerns are a legitimate rationale for the leather apparel including their boots, but most bikers will admit the image matters as well. When asked about today's sport bikers wearing athletic shoes to bike, you may hear a big chuckle. They don't see that sporty weekend motorcycle driver as a biker at all. The stereotype most people have of the biker look is one that they are plenty comfortable with. They enjoy their tough, mean image, although they aren't necessarily so tough and mean in real life. The look is also something that is just comfortable to them and if they wouldn't wear loafers in everyday life, why would they wear them to ride their bike? These guys wear their boots daily, on or off the bike. They are not concerned with their stereotype and will don their biker apparel even on the hottest summer days.

So a good pair of leather boots is a practical choice for any biker. Even if you are just a sporty weekend biker you might want to find a sturdy pair of leather boots (they don't have to be clunky or black) to prevent burns and protect your calves if you slide on the bike. If you are not a biker, but want to look like one, choose the clunky black leather boots, a hard rock t-shirt and awesome leather jacket or vest. Who knows, you might get invited for a ride and find a new hobby.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living with his beautiful wife and family in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about boots as well as work boots at http://www.westernandworkboots.com
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