Everyone who rides knows the importance of having good riding boots, right? They’re a crucially important piece of gear for controlling your bike and keeping your feet and ankles intact. There’s the same gang of boots people usually think of, too: Tech 10s, SG-12s, Fox Instincts, Crossfire 3s, etc. However, BTO has lined up 4 great boots that may not be as “well-known”, but are still packed with a lot of great features, and at a more affordable price point than the more well-known boots just mentioned. These are BTO’s Best MX Boots Under The Radar.
Starting off the group is a boot from a brand that you might not expect—Leatt! Most people know their neck and knee braces, and they’ve brought that industry-leading technology over into their first-ever motocross boot. The Leatt GPX 5.5 FlexLock Boot has a ton of great features that is sure to put Leatt on the “boot” map!
Leatt’s first-ever motocross boot is the result of a 3-year development project with testing from Pro athletes from around the world. The star of the show for Leatt is what is right in the name; FlexLock. This system, which you’ll notice by the joint on the back, adjusts to allow for a customizable degree of movement. A lockout feature prevents your ankles from being hyperextended. This system has been proven to reduce forces to the ankle by up to 37% and the knee by 35%. That’ll give you that feeling of security and peace of mind that will be familiar to anyone who uses their top-tier braces.
The FlexLock fit is very roomy, so even those of you with wider feet can slip into these without any issue. A breathable, 3D mesh inside liner with anti-slip reinforcement means zero heel lift. Leatt’s SlideLock system is an auto-locking, one-way sliding closure, making on-the-fly boot adjustments a breeze.
The shape and profile specs are worth talking about too. The toe-box has been made into a low profile, gear shift friendly shape. The bike-side parts of the boots are extra flat and extra grippy, giving you stellar bike control. They’ve also built the FlexLock with an extended peg riding zone, for arch and on-the-blade riding styles. Leatt looks like they’re in the boot game for the long run.
Check out our Holeshot Review on the new Leatt boots here.
Pretty much everyone knows about the brand Alpinestars, and practically everyone who rides knows about their ever-popular Tech 10s. You shouldn’t count out another boot from A-Stars however; the Tech 7. The 7 has plenty of tech in it, and it’s at a substantially lower price than its Tech 10 cousin.
The coolest thing (I think, at least) about this boot is the cool and innovative buckle closure system. Consisting of 4 high-impact, aluminum closures that have a quick-release and locking system. The top and bottom buckle actually face the opposite direction of the 2 middle ones. What this does is it self-aligns the boot and your foot, which makes for super easy and precise closing, improving your ride.
Another great feature on the Tech 7s is its Advanced Lateral Hinge. So—there’s a lot of boots out there that offer linear movement (front-to-back, think of the Y-axis on a graph). What this hinge does is allow for lateral (x-axis) movement; side-to-side! This gives a more full range of motion while still offering plenty of support.
The latest iteration is also the greatest, with re-designed accordion flex zones for better support and control. Alpinestars also incorporated a dual-compound anatomic footbed with EVA and Lycra to ensure even weight distribution. The heel has anti-slip microfiber suede to help keep your foot planted. The upper is made from an innovative microfiber material that is flexible, yet abrasion-resistant. A-Stars ensure a consistent fit for long-term use while being easy to clean and maintain.
Viva Italia! Gaerne has been hand-making boots exclusively in Italy for over 50 years. Any company with that level of dedication, craftsmanship, and quality control is sure to make premium gear, and the Gaerne SG-10 is no exception.
The most distinct feature of Gaerne boots is their welt-stitched soles. For those who don’t know, welt soles go back to traditional shoemaking. The sole is attached to a welt, which is a strip of leather that runs around the outside of the boot. The sole/welt is then attached to the boot’s upper. What this does is create a unique “bumper” edge around the SG-10, giving it additional protection AND durability.
This piece of gear also has what’s called a floating “Razorback”. Acting as the back spine, this piece connects to the wrap-around pivot kit and buckle assembly, giving you unrivaled support. The Razorback has a built-in ankle alignment system, keeping your foot centered in the boot.
Interestingly enough, the SG-10 is actually roomier than its more expensive SG-12 counterpart. If you ride with a knee brace, this boot may be the perfect option. It can expand the opening up to a whole 21 inches! The interior of the boot is made with high-quality memory foam. These Gaerne boots are seriously durable and comfortable.
Last but certainly not least; the Fox Comp R! If you know anything about riding, you know Fox. There’s a reason this legendary brand has been around and at the forefront of the industry for as long as they have. They continue to roll out high-quality gear year after year. The Fox Comp R Boot is no different.
Let’s start with its exclusive tech: the ActiveLock™ system. Fox has an ultra-strong silicone strap closure system. What this does is allow for the shin to flex with the motion of the boot, while still providing ample support.
The Comp R’s Floating Cuff System gives lateral (side-to-side) support and allows for increased linear (front-to-back) movement. Located in the Achilles and ankle area, the cuff system will lock out before any kind of hyperextension.
This Fox boot has a TON of protection. TPU plates cover almost everything: the shin plate, calf guard, heel cap, and full toe box coverage. These’ll stand up to just about everything. And, thanks to the floating cuff system, all this protection doesn’t affect flexibility. What’s TPU, you ask? It stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane, which is a fancy way of saying hard, durable, heat-treated plastic.
The 2 buckles that are used are the same ones used on the Fox Instinct, their top-tier motocross boot. These give a completely secure, zero heel lift fit.
The bike-side and sole of the Comp R are made with Duratac rubber, not only providing excellent grip for the motorcycle body and pegs but greatly increasing overall durability.
And there we have it! All of these boots, while maybe lesser-known, are great pieces of gear for riders of any level. If you’re in the market for some new ones, definitely keep these in mind. You can find all of these boots and any other motocross or motorcycle gear you could ever need over at BTOSports.com!