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I purchased some boots for riding a few days ago. They are not specifically made for motorcycles but not unlike actual riding boots. They are called Tactical boots. My problem is do to the thick toe area and fairly stiff ankle flexing, it is difficult to get my toe under the shifter on my bike.
Is there usually an adjustment on the shift lever to compensate for this? Or should I just find another style boot?
J
 

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Your making me nervous, I just bought a pair of Bates tactical boots and haven’t ridden with them yet.
To answer your question yes on most bikes you can adjust the linkage rod to raise or lower the shifter to fit your boots. Loosen the locknuts on the rod ends( one is left handed and turns the wrong way) turn the rod with pliars to adjust the height then tighten the nuts again.
This will probably help!


I purchased some boots for riding a few days ago. They are not specifically made for motorcycles but not unlike actual riding boots. They are called Tactical boots. My problem is do to the thick toe area and fairly stiff ankle flexing, it is difficult to get my toe under the shifter on my bike.

Is there usually an adjustment on the shift lever to compensate for this? Or should I just find another style boot?

J





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I purchased some boots for riding a few days ago. They are not specifically made for motorcycles but not unlike actual riding boots. They are called Tactical boots. My problem is do to the thick toe area and fairly stiff ankle flexing, it is difficult to get my toe under the shifter on my bike.
Is there usually an adjustment on the shift lever to compensate for this? Or should I just find another style boot?
J
My experience has been that new footwear on the bike always feels awkward/weird at first. I have worn sneaker-style "boots", tactical boots, hikers, Harley style boots, and dedicated racing/track boots. All of them took some getting used to and, other than the tactical boots, I was able to wear them enough that they felt normal. The issue I have with my tacticals is that the soles have a very aggressive tread pattern and it is difficult to slide my foot back and forth.

Now that I'm thinking about it, the track boots felt much like you are describing yours, i.e. I couldn't "feel" through them very well and they felt incredibly stiff. After wearing them for several long riding sessions, they are my favorites and everything else feels extremely flimsy in comparison!
 
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It is true that most bikes will have some way to adjust the shift lever. Only problem I can see is if you ever wear different boots to ride, and then you may be faced with a too-high lever!

I have found (the hard way) that not all boots are suitable for riding -- including some that call themselves motorcycle riding boots! The main problem I have encountered is that stiff ankle problem. I want ankle protection, for sure, but if they're too stiff the result is clumsy shifting, ankle fatigue, and sometimes even a blister on the ankle from binding. And I have encountered the toe of the boot being too thick to fit easily under the shifter. At the very least, that's danged annoying.

My solution -- I found two pairs of economical Brahma brand work boots at Walmart. The lighter pair have rough-out leather uppers, thick but flexible "oil-resistant" tread soles, and the tops come up just high enough to give protection for the ankles. These are very lightweight and comfortable for walking. Slightly heavier, the other pair is of the same style but has smooth leather uppers. These are also slightly stiffer in the sole but still flexible enough for comfort in the ankle, and waterproof. I confirmed this by putting them on as soon as I got home, going outside, and standing for 10 minutes in my dog's oversized water bowl. Boy, ol' Jack was sure confused by my apparent madness, but my feet stayed bone dry. These also have the oil-resistant soles, and while not as light or flexible as the first pair are still comfortable for walking. Neither pair is steel-toed, but they do have hard plastic interior toe-boxes. The light boots cost a whopping $20, the waterproof ones about $40 as I recall. For less than the price of one pair of high-end walking or running shoes, I have two pretty decent pairs of riding boots, one for hot/dry weather, one for rainy days.

I am still looking at more expensive, purpose-built riding boots -- I spent an hour at a nearby H-D dealership yesterday trying some on, but the price and lack of comfort put me off everything they had. Until I find something "perfect" these'll sure do.
 

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Most tactical style boots have a thicker sole and heel compared to traditional motorcycle boots, they will feel different but most bikes will accommodate them. I've been using the Bates tactical boots for several years on several bikes and only encountered a problem where I couldn't adjust with one bike.
 

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Downside of course is that a normal tennis shoe offers little ankle support and will very easily slip on wet/oily/icy ground.

Since I ride in all conditions, I always ride with a shoe/boot that's non-slip, sturdy, and goes over the ankle.

Women's boots that aren't riding boots can be a pain to shift with due to a higher heel than the men's equivalent.
 

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After this discussion I decided to take a ride and test my new Bates lightweight tactical boots. They are thicker than my harness boots, on 2 bikes they were fine, on the third I will need to adjust the shifter a bit, I was able to ride but I had to force my toe under there. 3/8” adjustment will fix it.
The boots were good to ride in, the soles heavily lugged and grippy, i even tested wet grip when I got caught in an April shower. The heels are lower than on my other boots, I noticed that when I put my feet down and only my toes touched but I’ll get used to that.
Most importantly they are light and comfortable to walk in , the reason for buying these is to have a boot I can ride to work in and not change, I’ve been doing that with the heavy biker boots I was wearing the last few weeks but they weighed a ton and by the end of the day my legs were tired. These weigh less than average work boots, just a bit more than sneakers so they should do well for walking.


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I purchased some boots for riding a few days ago. They are not specifically made for motorcycles but not unlike actual riding boots. They are called Tactical boots. My problem is do to the thick toe area and fairly stiff ankle flexing, it is difficult to get my toe under the shifter on my bike.
Is there usually an adjustment on the shift lever to compensate for this? Or should I just find another style boot?
J
Your making me nervous, I just bought a pair of Bates tactical boots and haven’t ridden with them yet.
To answer your question yes on most bikes you can adjust the linkage rod to raise or lower the shifter to fit your boots. Loosen the locknuts on the rod ends( one is left handed and turns the wrong way) turn the rod with pliars to adjust the height then tighten the nuts again.
This will probably help!
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Have no fear guys.

I'm on my second pair of Bates tactical boots. I use them for work, hiking and hunting mostly.
When new they don't work very well (or not at all) for shifting on the bike. After you wear them enough to break them in good doing something other than riding, the shifting difficulties go away.
Seems like the toe area sorta 'flattens out' with wear so you can get them under the shifter just like with your riding boots.
And, you get to go all Tactical too... :smile_big:
 

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As a positive I find the "tactical" sunglasses normally work great right out of the box.

My VTX has a toe to heel, so no issue with what boot.

The forward controls on the 883 are set for my largest steel toed work boots.

I do have issues with my ATV and some mud boots. You have minimal adjustment with its setup.
 

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Heel and toe shifter takes care of that problem :)
 

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Nice to see so many 'positives' about the Bates Boots. Like any boot or even shoes for that matter, they need time to break in. I got tired of paying Cadillac prices and getting Yugo quality for a lot of shoes and boots. Bates solved that problem. I actually look forward to putting my shoes or boots on in the morning. Until and if something better comes along, it will be Bates, and only Bates.
 

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No one has mentioned another potential problem with boots that have deep or grabby cleats for soles. Most ribs on floor boards run front to back, but since when you take your foot off to put on the ground, you move sideways, you can have a conflict if the sole is dragging.

I have had some close calls that way by almost dropping the bike. Be aware that you may need to LIFT your foot.

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No one has mentioned another potential problem with boots that have deep or grabby cleats for soles. Most ribs on floor boards run front to back, but since when you take your foot off to put on the ground, you move sideways, you can have a conflict if the sole is dragging.

I have had some close calls that way by almost dropping the bike. Be aware that you may need to LIFT your foot.

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Potential but highly unlikely unless you are too tired and therefore probably shouldn't be riding anyway. I've never once had that problem and the grooves on my Indian's floorboards are running front to back. So was my Harley and VTX. But then all had heel-toe shifters so always made a habit of lifting foot to shift on the left side or brake on the right side. I could see where for those that switch bikes often that they might forget which bike they are on so might become a problem.
 

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You walked five miles?!! Are you crazy? If God had wanted you to walk, he wouldn't have invented motorcycles. :devil:

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You stole that quote from me.
Yami failed to proceed. A cab would not have got me to the 1310 ferry on time. Next was 1425, which was enough time to walk. Was nearly all down hill. Had the correct boots for heat, but not the best for walking.

UK
 
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