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What kind of boots are required for CSS?


I usually wear nylon hiking boots with padded ankles. I have 6" and 8" version that offer IMHO excellent protection and walking comfort. I had planned to buy some "road racing boots" for school. Today I tried on 4 pairs. Two I could not even get on my feet, even going a full size too large. The second 2 fit okay, and would offer fine protection in a crash. They were also wretched toture devices to walk in. There is no possible way I could wear them around the mall or a state park or even out to dinner.



..... So, do I HAVE to buy those clunky leather ankle braces to attend CSS?


..... Can I wear lace up boots instead?


..... If not, can you recommend acceptable boots for school that a normal person could wear out to dinner and a movie?



I know they USED to make walkable touring boots back in the dark ages--you know-the seventies? I just haven't seen anything like that in the stores lately. Thanks.

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Not sure what the rules are in the 'States, but ideally your boots should offer some of the best protection you wear, it's not so much an issue on a Goldwing with shaft drive, but I've read that the average damage in a crash decreases as you go up the body, so you should be investing in better boots and trousers before worrying about things like back protectors, a chain will quite quickly make a mess of your leg if it comes off. What you consider excellent protection may be fine in the event of a minor slide or slipping on a rock whilst you're hiking, but having a bike run over your leg is a different proposition.


You ideally want something with reinforcement at the shin and ankle, which most decent race boots will offer. Unfortunately this protection does involve bulk, so you're not going to find a protective riding boot that also allows you to tap dance and sprint like an athlete.


I tend to make decisions based on the types of riding I'll be doing, a ride to work or a quick trip to the shops and I'll consider jeans, or lesser boots, but if I'm going out with the intention of riding quickly or heading out on track then I'll dress myself up in the best gear I have. Just like you'd invest in a proper pair of running shoes if you were going to start running seriously, a decent pair of sports boots really are a necessity if you're heading out on track.

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I very much doubt anyone would let you on the track in lace-up boots I'm afraid. As Steve says, a good pair of boots could one day be the best thing you every bought. No idea about the US offerings but there are a lot of types on offer over here, from MX style (which sound like what you're talking about) to touring and race-style in hideous colours. You gear is checked on arrival at the school so make sure you're going to comply. Do they hire out gear where you're planning to go? You can hire leathers in the UK at CSS for example.

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You do NOT want to fall off wearing soft boots! I got trapped under me bike once and ended up with 3 broken bones from the ankle down because the boot was so soft. It was a proper motorcycle boot from Diadora, but with a soft sole and virtually no protection. Also, you want the boot to go very high up on your calf and/or wear proper racing leather - broken shin bones have a nasty habit of sticking out through the flesh, and it's better then to keep it inside leather than to push it into the ground, a shure way to get infections at best.


Even though nobody plan to crash, we all know it happens. Investing 1500 dollars in protective gear get very cheap if you fall off at speed and find that it saved your hide and prevented broken bones.

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I. would call the office and ask about the rental equipment they have available.





Kai's right. The School does have boots (and suits and helmets and...) for rent and it would be better for your first school to see how you do on the track before you spend a lot of money on gear.


You wrote earlier about boots that "They were also wretched toture devices to walk in. There is no possible way I could wear them around the mall or a state park or even out to dinner." Good track boots should be equally as uncomfortable when you go out to dinner in them; much like downhill ski boots, they are highly specialized for riding and NOT good for walking around anywhere but the paddock. (After my helmet and gloves) They are the first thing I take off after EVERY track session.



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I actually had similar problems finding good boots. But believe it or not Sidi has a pair that have the Goretex label on them that have all the protection but are made for wide feet. I would not wear them to the mall (which is punishing enough) but they are comfortable enough. They were not cheap but with one ankle reconstruction under my belt, 450 was reasonable!

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Hey Crash,


My most simple advice in this situation (and many others) would be "hope for the best, plan for the worst". wink.gif


You can't really expect to walk comfortably in a full-on sports boot. Then again if you had the full kit you'd be walking like a gimp because of the cut of the pre-curved one-piece suit anyway. tongue.gif

Expecting to walk comfortably for any amount of time in a sports boot is like complaining that it's difficult to walk down the street to the ice skating rink because your skates keep getting you stuck in gaps in the footpath. The gear works great (even exceptionally well) for it's intended purpose. But comfort = street. Maximum protection = track.

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Thank you all for your feedback. I believe I'll rent boots for the school. No sense buying the full on sport boots when I'm not planning on doing track days or endurance racing. :) Of course, you never know when that speed bug might bite!


I did find a wide assortment of boots at SportBikeTrackGear.com--including some nice Sidi boots and some "boots" that have motorcycle features but look more like black high top leather sneakers. The Alpine Star SoHo boots looked great. I just didn't expect them to be so pricey--the internet price over $300. Why, oh why, isn't everything made the way I want it, at the price I want to pay? Reality can be so darned THICK!


I sure wish I had been wearing ANY of the racing or touring boots the last time I did impact testing. May I just say that sneakers are not great for that sort of thing.

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