Short motorcycle boots are now more advanced than ever and come in various styles, from boots that look like trainers to short sports boots and even short adventure-style boots.
They can offer some pretty good foot and ankle protection, and with such a range available, there will be a pair to match your riding style.
We have picked some of our favourite short motorcycle boots and pulled them together, followed by a short buying guide to help you choose the right pair.
Let’s get straight to it.
Here are our top short motorcycle boots.
Best Short Motorcycle Boots – Quick Picks
Richa Slick Waterproof Boots: Best Value
TCX Hero 2 Waterproof Boots: Best Vintage
RST Tractech Evo 3 CE: Best Sports
Alpinestars J-6: Best Trainer Style
Forma Forc50 Adventure Low WP Boots: Best Adventure
Dainese Nighthawk D1 Gore-Tex Boots: Best Waterproof
Alpinestars CR-X Drystar Riding Boots: Best Casual
Motorcycle boots don’t have to be expensive to do their job and do it well; the Richa Slick boots prove that point.
Richa has created a lightweight short boot best suited for commuters riding around cities.
They are easy to wear, comfortable, and not heavy, so fatigue is significantly reduced, and they have protection in the necessary places.
The boots seem pretty sturdy, except for the reinforced gear changer pad that wears down relatively quickly.
A Hipora lining is fitted to keep the water out, and a couple of reflective patches are very bright when lit up in the dark.
You would be hard-pressed to find another pair of boots of equal quality for the money.
- Adequate protection
- Gear shift pad isn’t very durable
These boots replace the original Heroes, which were an awesome pair of boots that packed a serious punch in the style department. The Hero 2s are a worthy successor, and the focus remains on the vintage styling that riders have come to love.
They have a full-grain leather construction and a full T-Dry waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry while still being breathable.
A lace-up fastening system provides security, while the zip closure makes getting in and out of the boots super easy.
A padded upper collar and joint above the ankle add even more comfort. The boots are perfect for all day riding and for walking around off the bike. In fact, they aren’t all that different from a regular pair of walking boots.
Reinforcements at the toe, heel, and ankle provide protection, while the sole provides excellent grip for any terrain.
- Heel, toe, and ankle reinforcements
- Superior grip
- Leather riding pad
- Less protection than sportier options
RST offers an alternative sports boot at a much lower price than the Dainese; the Tractech Evo 3 Short boots are the shorter version of their flagship Tractech boots.
These focus more on sports-style riding than anything else and aim to offer as much protection as possible for a short boot.
They are best used with an RST one-piece leather suit for maximum protection.
The boots have a moulded TPU impact heel for excellent shock absorption and grip.
Other impressive protective features include a nylon shank in the sole to increase strength and an anti-twist midsole to stop the boots from flexing.
You also get a replaceable zinc alloy toe slider and a gear shift pad.
They are relatively light to wear but not the best for walking off the bike.
Sizing is pretty good and accurate, with the only downside to the boots being some complaints of poor stitching but nothing that affects the boots’ functionality.
- Sports focused
- Nylon shank and anti-twist mid-sole
- Poor finish in some cases
Alpinestars J-6 boots bring something different to the mix, an urban-riding focused trainer style boot that is as casual as they come while still offering a good level of protection.
The shining feature of these boots is the MX-derived ankle and heel protector built into the chassis of the boot.
There is a reinforced midsole and a removable and replaceable anatomically designed footbed for maximum comfort.
You also get a toe and heel counter reinforced under the outer material.
Many trainer-style motorcycle boots are bulky and look like those ‘Heelys’ with wheels in the sole. Fortunately, these are quite the opposite and look very smart and would pass quite easily as a regular trainer.
They also have a waterproof liner which adds to their practicality.
- Great for urban riding
- Casual, relaxed style
- Sole tread doesn’t offer the best grip
A pair of boots that offer something different to the mix is the FORC50 Adventure style boots from Forma.
Generally, adventure boots are full-length and offer the maximum amount of protection possible. However, they are pretty restrictive off the bike, so may not suit everyone.
The FORC50 could be a great alternative to look at.
Forma markets these boots as having the maximum levels of protection for abrasion, perforation and strength.
I have to say I am inclined to agree with this statement, as they are a very sturdy solid pair of boots.
First, they are waterproof with a Drytex membrane that allows for breathability.
In terms of protective qualities, they are loaded with a TPU ankle and shin protector and memory foam for comfort; they are also equipped with an ISS (incorporated steel shank), which offers the best protection.
The interiors and aluminium buckles are easily replaced when they wear out, so the boots can last longer with these new components.
They are very solid boot with little flex and are bulky, so you will want to make sure that you can use them easily on your bike, as some gear levers can be quite small, and these boots could make the process awkward.
These are a boot worth checking out if you want a short boot that offers the most protection possible.
- Waterproof Drytex Lining
- Protective features
- Replaceable parts
- Quite heavy and bulky
If you’re looking for waterproof boots, you can’t go wrong with ones that are Gore-Tex lined for genuine waterproof and breathable properties.
The Nighthawk boots are equipped with an external TPU ankle reinforcement, thermoformed shin protection, and a rubber sole for comfort and great rider feedback.
Prioritising comfort, Dainese has used a soft-touch microfibre construction with perforated sections for airflow and elasticated inserts.
The rubber sole provides good feedback from the road and footpegs to the rider, as well as good grip for most road surfaces.
They are comfortable to walk around in and are a good option if you struggle to find boots to fit your calves. They have a lot of room and adjustability for the right fit.
They don’t come cheap, though, which is the case for most Dainese products. However, they are worth the investment as they are a premium pair of boots built from quality materials with the rider in mind.
- Gore-tex membrane
- Soft, supple leather
- External TPU ankle protector
- Shin-protector inserts
- Not cheap
The CR-X Drystar boots are a pair of waterproof, protective, short-style riding shoes that are both comfortable and protective.
Constructed from a lightweight microfibre and Drystar membrane, riders get the benefit of a light shoe that also keeps them dry.
They are equipped with flex grooves, which makes them as comfortable walking around as they are on the bike.
A TPU full-length inner sole plate is fitted for protection along with a PU-foam ankle disc protector and an outer sole that offers excellent grip thanks to its asymmetric outer sole stud pattern and oil-resistant dual rubber compound sole.
The boots are quite understated in their styling. They look more like a pair of black walking boots than motorcycle boots, which will certainly suit some riders' style preferences. It also makes them practical for commuting to work on the bike without needing to carry a spare set of shoes.
- Waterproof Drystar membrane
- Easy slip-in-and-out system
Care, considerations and cost
There are two main things you need to consider when it comes to boots. First, how protective are they and are they comfortable?
After that, you need to think about whether you need them to be waterproof and do they suit your riding style and other needs.
If you have clarity on these things, it makes the buying process ten times easier; we have put together a short buying guide to help you decide.
Read our general guide to choosing the right motorcycle boots.
Here are my top tips for buying short motorcycle boots:
Are they protective enough?
There are two elements to this question: the first is clear, do the boots offer adequate protection and meet safety standards?
The second is, are they protective enough for the style of riding you will be doing?
As of 2018, all motorcycle boots should be CE approved and tested for their resistance to abrasion, penetration by sharp objects and lateral crushing.
Any motorcycle clothing sold as Personal Protective Equipment is required to get a CE rating. For consumers, this means you know you are buying gear that has been tested and meets minimum standards.
Our selected boots all have a CE rating, usually found on the inside label.
There will still be differences in the level of protection between boots, as some will meet the very minimum standards, and some will go above and beyond.
When it comes to boots, particularly short boots, you need to ensure they meet the following:
- They have a tough, abrasion-resistant construction
- Ankle, heel, toe protection
- Good tread for grip on the road
- They are robust and sturdy to withstand crushing/twisting or penetration
Just because a boot is shorter doesn’t mean it can’t have the bare necessities of protection; if it has as much protection as possible, you would only be missing out on potential shin protection from a longer-length boot.
This can be countered with some leather trousers and one-piece suits with a shin protector built into the trouser leg.
One great feature in some boots is a steel shank that reinforces the sole to make it less liable to crushing or twisting. This is a great protective feature for any pair of boots.
Style of riding
You should consider your style of riding when opting for a short boot.
If you regularly ride on the track or have a faster, more aggressive riding style on the street, you would probably be better off going for a long-length sports boot to gain the benefits of extra protection.
Equally, if you are an adventure bike rider, then a full-length boot may be better and offer better protection; after all, adventure bikes aren’t light and dropping one on your leg isn’t a fun game.
Short boots are best suited for commuters, urban riders, casual weekend riders and those who perhaps go at a slower pace.
I find that with any motorcycle gear, comfort is king.
There is no exception when it comes to boots. Make sure that they fit correctly:
- They don’t rub anywhere or pinch
- You’re not sliding around inside the boot on the sole
- You can walk around easily enough
- They fit on your bike with your gear lever, so you don’t have to manoeuvre into awkward positions
- Also, check you have enough feel through the boot for rear braking, etc.
If the boots are comfortable, then you are on to a win. However, you may find that some short boots are great for riding in but less amazing for walking around, so be sure to choose wisely.
Some boots are built to be functional on and off the bike, like the TCX Hero boots, but others are primarily suited to riding, like the Forma FORC50.
Short boots are great for those who struggle to find boots to fit around the calf area; you no longer need to add some velcro or stitch a new piece of material to do your boots up.
Do you need them to be waterproof?
This is an essential feature for commuters, whereas for casual Summer riders, it is probably less important.
The waterproof boots we have mentioned all feature a waterproof lining. So, while the rain may penetrate the outer leather of the boot, it will not go through to your socks and feet; when you stop or get home, you will want to dry your boots out, though.
Some waterproof liners are great at being breathable and letting air flow through the liner, so you don’t get too warm, whereas others are more restrictive, and you will find your feet get quite warm.
The boots’ description on the labelling or manufacturer’s website will state the kind of liner and if they are also breathable.
There you have a list of our favourite short boots and hopefully some key points to help you find the right pair for you.
My favourites have to be TCX Hero’s. There is something about an old-fashioned pair of leather boots and motorcycles that brings a level of joyous nostalgia for old BSA’s and Vincents, with a scarf blowing in the wind.
However, the Richa Slick boots offer excellent value for money and suit any commuter who has to ride into town every day.
Our guide to the best motorcycle boots.