Every rider is guilty of it. We grab our helmet and jacket and hop on our bike to head out for a quick ride without swapping our shoes. Reasoning being — we’re not going far, know the local roads and have covered the most important parts. Swapping sneakers for boots would take longer than the trip itself, we tell ourselves to quiet our conscience. Yet most accidents happen within five miles of your garage. Given just how good modern riding gear looks, fits and protects — jeans for every cut and style, jackets worth swooning over — there’s no excuse. Even if boots aren’t really your thing, today’s riding shoes have morphed from yesteryear’s mid-height Power Ranger’s kicks (adorned with more plastic cladding than a Pontiac Grand Am) to something you’ll actually want to wear, all of the time. Here’s a different pair for every day of the week.
Alpinestars Oscar Rayburn Riding Shoe
Best Cafe Racer Companion: The Rayburn Riding Shoe has the bespoke aesthetic of a hand-cobbled pair of heirloom chukkas. They look fantastic with anything shy of formal dress and transition seamlessly from slicing through slabtown traffic to Monday morning meetings or dinner and drinks after work. A gusseted tongue keeps the elements from ruining those new argyle socks while an integrated toe box, heel counter, shift pad and TPU ankle disc (on both sides) keep your feet CE protected. If there’s a vintage cafe racer in your garage, these should be on your feet.
Best for Hidden Protection: Subtle and stylish, the Fairfax sneaker from Rev’It offers incredible levels of rider protection in an under-the-radar package. A thermoformed heel cup and toe cap provide crush resistance in case of an off, while the injected ankle cup insulates your foot’s main hinge. There is also a reflective pull tab to amplify visibility in dark conditions. All that protection comes in a package that will compete and beat out your current favorite kicks for non-moto activities. Add to those great looks a flexible, anatomically shaped footbed and you’ve got one of the most comfortable pairs of sneakers with a mission, both in the saddle and on the streets.