Can You Ride a Motorcycle with Regular Shoes? Is It Safe?

can you ride a motorcycle with regular shoes

When you ride a motorcycle, you’re not just exposed to the elements — you’re also in close contact with the road. That means if you crash, it’s going to hurt. And it’s going to hurt a lot. You need the proper gear and equipment for protection, but a helmet and jacket aren’t enough if your feet are unprotected as well.

Can regular shoes be used to ride a motorcycle? While some riders choose to wear regular shoes on their motorcycle, it’s not advisable. Don’t wear regular shoes on a bike if you care about your safety and comfort. 

Continue reading to find out what happens when you ride your bike using regular shoes, the reasons why you shouldn’t wear them, and the types of motorcycle riding shoes you should be wearing.

Riding a Motorcycle with Regular Shoes – Is It Safe?

It’s not advisable to ride a motorcycle wearing regular shoes. There are many reasons why this is the case, but the most important one is that regular shoes do not offer the same protection as a boot. If you get your foot caught in something while riding, it can cause serious injury or even death. So riding a motorcycle in regular shoes is not safe.

Regular Shoes Are Easy to Come Off

Another reason why it’s not advisable to ride a motorcycle in regular shoes is that they are easy to come off when shifting gears and braking hard. This could result in getting road rash on your feet or being unable to put your foot down at all, causing you to fall while riding.

Less Stable

Your feet can act as shock absorbers when riding, but if they’re encased in regular shoes, they can’t absorb as much impact.


When you’re riding a motorcycle, you want to be as safe and comfortable as possible. That’s why it’s important to wear the right gear, and that includes shoes.

The regular shoes you wear every day aren’t made for the movement and vibrations that come from riding a motorcycle, so if you ride with regular shoes, your feet will hurt.

Reasons Not to Wear Regular Shoes While Motorcycle Riding

Wearing regular shoes on a motorcycle is nearly always a bad idea. Though some exceptions apply to this rule, they are so rare that it’s not worth considering them. Instead, consider the following reasons why you should always wear the right footwear when riding a motorcycle:

No Foot Protection

There’s no protection between your feet and your motorcycle’s moving parts. If you were to crash, the shoes would be pressed into the ground and could result in losing your foot or at least suffering a serious injury to your toes.

Regular Shoes May Affect Your Control

Regular shoes can limit your control of the motorcycle. Shoes can slip and get caught on the pedal, affecting your ability to shift, brake, and steer effectively. The soles of shoes may also get caught under the brake pedal or exhaust pipe while riding, which can cause slippage or injury.

Not Designed for Motorcycle Riding

You’d never drive a car without using a seatbelt, right? Right. Motorcycles are less stable than cars, and they require a higher level of skill to operate. So it’s not safe to trust footwear that’s not designed to handle the throttle, the brakes, or any of the other controls.

Riding a Motorcycle Without Motorcycle Shoes – Is It Illegal?

No, it’s not illegal. In fact, you can ride a motorcycle with regular shoes. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

When you’re riding a motorcycle, not only do you have to be aware of your surroundings and other vehicles on the road, but you also have to be aware of the terrain under your feet.

If you’re riding on soft surfaces like dirt or sand, or if you’re going over bumps in the road, your feet must be protected so that they don’t get cut or scraped up by rocks or debris. That’s where motorcycle boots come in!

Motorcycle boots keep your feet safe while riding by providing protection from sharp objects on the ground and preventing them from getting injured in case of an accident. They also offer ankle support so that you’ll feel stable while riding and won’t have any issues with balance or stability while operating the bike.

Motorcycle Shoes You Can Wear Instead of Regular Shoes

Not all shoes are appropriate for riding motorcycles, but some have better foot protection than others. Motorcycle shoes have thick soles that cover and protect your feet, toes, ankles, shins, and calves from harm. They are often more expensive than regular shoes, but they can save you from serious injury if you ever have an accident.

1. Commuter Motorcycle Boots

Motorcycle commuter boots are a type of shoe designed to help you ride your motorcycle in comfort. They’re perfect for long trips and can be worn with any outfit.

Motorcycle commuter boots are made from a variety of materials, including leather, suede, and nylon. They’re usually high-top, meaning they go up past your ankles, but you can also find them in low-top styles. The main benefit of motorcycle commuter boots is that they’re lightweight and flexible enough to move with you as you ride.

The TCX Climatrek Surround Gore-Tex Boots is a great pair of motorcycle boots for commuters and trailblazers alike:

2. Touring Boots

Motorcycle touring boots are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of long-distance motorcycle riding. They have thick soles, which help to protect the foot from the pressure of the motorcycle’s footpegs and other parts.

Motorcycle touring boots also have reinforced toes and heels, which can prevent damage from kicking a motorcycle’s shift lever or footpegs. Because they’re designed for long-distance riding and require more protection than regular boots, motorcycle touring boots tend to be heavier than regular boots.

A pair of touring boots I would recommend are the Forma Adventure Low Boots, which are perfect for adventure touring riders with larger calves:

3. Sport Boots

Motorcycle sport boots are designed for comfort, protection, and performance. They provide more ankle support than regular boots, which helps riders maintain their balance during extreme maneuvers. The extra stability also helps riders to avoid injury when they fall off the bike.

Motorcycle sport boots are typically made from leather or nylon, and they have reinforced toes and heels to protect against abrasion from the pavement.

An example of sport boots acclaimed by race teams, racers, and riders who enjoy pushing their limits is the Spidi XP3-S Sport Boots:

4. Motocross Boots

Motocross boots are designed to provide maximum protection for your feet during extreme sporting activities, such as motocross racing. The boots are usually made of heavy-duty leather or synthetic materials, and they feature a high level of rigidity, which is necessary in order to prevent the rider from being thrown from the bike.

Aside from protecting your feet from injury and providing stability on the bike, motocross boots also help you stay on the bike by increasing your leverage over the footpegs. This is especially important when riding off-road terrain and jumping over obstacles.

For motocross boots, the Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots are made to handle just about anything you throw at them, from the street to the track:

Conclusion – Motorcycle Riding with Regular Shoes

Regular shoes don’t provide proper ankle and foot support, making them unsuitable for riding motorcycles. They also don’t provide protection in the event of an accident.

Remember, it’s important to make sure you’re wearing the right footwear when it comes to motorcycle riding. So before heading out for a ride, take a moment to think about your shoes and decide if they’re truly the best option.