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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India




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  #1  
Old 23 Aug 2022
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Boots with great ankle support

Hi all,

I managed to rupture the Achilles' tendon on my gear foot last week. On foot, sober, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the city. Don't ask, but it has to do with behaving like the 12 year old that lives inside my head... No more riding this year (obviously), and I'm looking at a six months recovery. To lessen the mental trauma, I've started planning for next year.

I really want to be sure that I'm not stressing my Achilles' tendon too hard, too soon. So I'm looking for boots that are stiff enough to take away load from my calf muscles, and limits the flexion in my ankle.

I'm doing mostly paved roads, but I'm planning to get more onto gravel next year, so an adventure or even off road type boot is perfectly fine.

If anyone has any tips for which boots I should look into and eventually put on my Christmas list, I would be really grateful.
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Old 23 Aug 2022
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MX type boots will protect your lower leg well and stop over-flexion of the ankle, but I have seen them transfer injury to the shin bone instead, just above the very stiff boot!

For adventure riding or touring I'd say go for something like Sidi adventures, 100% waterproof, buckle fastening round the foot and ankle but velcro round the calf. Bit more flexible for walking but still good support while riding.

Or my own preference, Alt-Berg Hogg boots, traditional lace up, also waterproof, better for walking than the Adventures and a bit shorter in the leg - about 10-15cms above the ankle.
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  #3  
Old 23 Aug 2022
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Most MX boots have smooth soles, which is also a PITA when riding anywhere other than an MX track, lol

I have a pair of O'Neal Rider boots that have grip on the soles are are absolutely rigid in the ankles ... however they're a very cheap and cheerful boot, and I wouldn't recommend them for adventuring.
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Old 23 Aug 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat View Post
For adventure riding or touring I'd say go for something like Sidi adventures, 100% waterproof, buckle fastening round the foot and ankle but velcro round the calf. Bit more flexible for walking but still good support while riding.
Yeah, I was looking at those. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Turbofurball View Post
Most MX boots have smooth soles, which is also a PITA when riding anywhere other than an MX track, lol
Yeah, my road bike has rubberised pegs... I'm really looking for something that has the stiffness of an MX boot but with more "sensible" soles.
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Old 23 Aug 2022
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FWIW I had a pair of Sidi boots resoled (for a whopping 36 euros) with Michelin branded boot soles and they're great, so maybe you could look into that as a solution (?)

EDIT: I forgot to mention, they're a bit more flexible than regular motorbike boot soles, so might not be comfy for being stood on the pegs all day!
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Old 23 Aug 2022
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I love my Sidi Crossfires, super comfy, adequate for walking short distances, though certainly not for a proper hike, and excellent protection. For off-road, protection first last and always! You can carry a pair of flip-flops or runners as appropriate and switch.
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Old 24 Aug 2022
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Yeah, there are definitely loads of enduro/adventure tall boots that fix your ankle super well, and are still perfectly fine for walking around. As long as you get a tall boot with clamps/buckles around the ankle joint, they will be sufficiently protective - and from then on, select one with the sole that makes you feel happy. Basically go to a gear shop and try some on.

This feels like a good spot to give a shoutout to my Dainese Fulcrum boots: they don't look like the most protective pair out there, but mine have survived multiple lowsides and one major crash, they are still effectively waterproof and comfortable enough to walk around the city off-bike all day. And I have found that in general, touring/adventure boots make very good hiking boots! As long as they have a grippy sole, they are pretty damn great for dirt/gravel trails and even boulder-hopping, where ankle support is key.
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Old 24 Aug 2022
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Originally Posted by AnTyx View Post
... and even boulder-hopping, where ankle support is key.
Trials boots are super flexible at the ankle, I use Forma Boulders for general trail riding* and they work very well in highly technical terrain ... but they offer zero ankle support (just protection) so wouldn't be suitable for Mr. Viking here

* unless it's hot, then I use some old cheapy motorbike trainers
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Old 24 Aug 2022
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I meant boulder-hopping on foot, off the bike
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Old 24 Aug 2022
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Ah ok, that makes more sense, lol
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Old 25 Aug 2022
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I have a pair of Alpinestars Tech7. With the enduro sole. Not all stiff boots have slick soles.

They are very stiff. And that's the point. You won't be walking far in them.

I've never heard of anyone breaking their shin or knee because they were wearing MX boots. Although I'm sure the stress has to go somewhere. This seems to be some urban legend which is thrown about by people wearing cheap boots to make themselves feel better.

However, your ankle is the LAST place you want to break. The ankle is one of the most fragile and complicated joint in your entire body. I'd rather break my leg in five places than break my ankle. Especially in places where they don't have first world sophisticated medical care. Even if you can get good care, it's a very long and complicated process. And even then you may have to fuse it up. No thanks !!

I personally know five people who have broken their ankles and lower leg when their ADV bike has fallen on them when wearing non-MX style boots. Or twisted it trying to save a drop. If you have have hard metal panniers, you'd be a fool to wear anything else if you're riding rougher roads.

If you're happy to compromsise safety for more comfort then I hear the Sidi Adventure boot are a good 50:50.

Personally, I'm with the MX boots all day long. I've been trapped under a bike a few times wearing MX boots. And they have saved my bones and my trip without a doubt.
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Old 25 Aug 2022
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
... I'd rather break my leg in five places than break my ankle. ...
I broke my leg in the UK, had to wait 3 days to get a metal rod put in, which subsequently caused problems with both the ankle and knee - it's not a slam dunk that one thing broken is better than the other.
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Old 25 Aug 2022
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Originally Posted by Turbofurball View Post
I broke my leg in the UK, had to wait 3 days to get a metal rod put in, which subsequently caused problems with both the ankle and knee - it's not a slam dunk that one thing broken is better than the other.
Agreed...It's not. But from every paramedic, doctor or surgeon I've spoken to on the matter, they've all agreed that the ankle is by far one of the worst thing you can break and a hugely complicated thing to fix PROPERLY.

I'm no expert in anything medical whatsoever. But it's an easy comparison to make if you look at the mechanics of the joint.
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Old 26 Aug 2022
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And the ankle is just a very easy thing to damage even if you don't break it. Every twist of the ankle makes it more likely that you will twist it again, damage to the tendons and stuff in it compounds with every further injury. Protecting the ankle is not necessarily about the major accident or dropping a metal-panniered ADV on a single-track - it's about stopping at a traffic light and putting your foot down on an oil slick, or maneuvering awkwardly out of a muddy parking lot.

The most foolish thing you can do on a bike is of course ride without a helmet. But the most "it doesn't apply to me because I'm a veteran/a good rider" sort of foolish is riding in sneakers. I am frankly baffled that the category of low-rise motorcycle shoes even exists.
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Old 26 Aug 2022
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I wear them when the risk of heatstroke outweighs the risk of having an accident, same goes for everything else - when it hits 40º and I've gotta get to work I don't want to faint at a stoplight!

Edit: It's a slow day at work so I've had time to think about this ... actually I don't think my motorbike trainers have less protection on the ankle than my road boots and only a little less than my trials boots - they have side protection plates and limit the sideways flex a bit.

If one puts their foot down and it slides, do people not generally just dump the bike? I crash at least once every time I go out in the mountains, lol
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