Top Casual Riding Shoes And Boots

Motorcycle boots disguised as normal footwear

If you’re a child of the ’90s, you might remember the live-action Super Mario Brothers movie and Mario and Luigi’s awesome rocket boots, which look amazingly similar to modern race boots. As an eight year-old, I would’ve worn boots like that to school in an instant (with or without rocket propulsion), but that look isn’t exactly appropriate for the responsibilities of adult life. If you commute to work or ride your bike to do everyday tasks like picking up the groceries or hanging with friends, your trusty pair of Red Wings, while great for nearly every other occasion, aren’t up for the protective duties you may demand.

Thankfully, many gear brands make footwear that looks like your everyday kicks but are CE rated for better crash protection. Most follow a pretty similar protective formula but distinguish themselves in style and materials. Here are a few of our favorites.

The Classic Moc Toe: Rev’it Mohawk 2

Rev’it Mohawk 2

Rev'It's Mohawk 2 is clearly inspired by Red Wing's classic moc toe (style No. 877 to be precise), but it has a slimmer toe cup to work better under the shifter. Increased protection comes in the form of reinforced ankle cups and toe and heel protectors. Available in black and in the more traditional brown leather/white sole combo of the No. 877s, the Mohawk 2s are water repellent and are ready to wear with your favorite pair of riding denim.

The Italian Jordans: Forma Hyper

Forma Hyper

These Italian-designed riding shoes have a throwback basketball sneaker look but with a moto twist. In fact, they're kind of reminiscent of Nike Air Jordan VIIIs (speaking of the '90s). Full-grain leather uppers are paired with a waterproof/breathable lining. Protection comes in the form of internal heel, toe, and ankle protection as well as an external heel protector that hints that they're more than just a cool pair of sneaks. Pair with black riding denim and black leather jacket for the full effect.

The Jump Boot: Stylmartin Rocket

Stylmartin Rocket

Designed in Italy and handmade in Romania, the Stylmartin Rocket boots have the classic look of WWII-era paratrooper boots. In addition to beefed-up interior and exterior ankle support, the Rocket boots have a waterproof/breathable membrane and an additional leather patch at the shifter.

The Cap-Toe Dress Boot: TCX Metropolitan

TCX Metropolitan

Looking for riding shoes for the next Distinguished Gentleman's Ride? TCX, the Italian company previously known as Oxtar, introduces the Metropolitan, a cap-toe dress boot perfect for classing up your next bike night. The Metropolitan will earn its keep in your gear closet thanks to its reinforced heel, toe, and ankle protectors and full-leather construction.

The Chukka Boot: Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn

Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn

With looks somewhere between a chukka boot and a work boot, the Alpinestars Rayburn boot from the Oscar line of vintage-inspired gear is an easy sell. As you'd guess, the Rayburn features ankle, heel, and toe internal reinforcement. It lacks waterproofing, however, so save this one for the sunny rides.

The Commando Boot: Rokker Urban Racer

Rokker Urban Racer

The Swiss brand has done an excellent job of making an all-American s—tkicker, the Urban Racer. Greased cowhide is sure to age well and provide some level of water repellency. Hearty looks are matched with internal armor.

The Skate Shoe: Dainese Street Biker Shoes

Dainese Street Biker Shoes

With unabashedly Vans high-top styling, the Dainese Street Biker shoes are the sort of gear that should get non-gear wearers in the door. In addition to boosted protection featuring nylon heel and ankle protectors, the shoes also have a waterproof/breathable membrane.