Quality dirt bike boots are a must for any dirt bike rider, whether you are a beginner or an old-timer. Besides quality and protection, the comfort that these bikes offer is crucial, but this can be especially difficult for those of us who have wide feet. I should know. The good news is that there are awesome dirt bike boots available that are comfortable for the wider part of our feet.
The best dirt bike boots for riders with wide feet come from the Gaerne company. The Gaerne SG-12 and SG-10 models come highly recommended from buyers as being the best dirt bike boots for riders with wider feet.
I am going to explain why these boots are great, and also about how to find other boots that fit wide footed riders.
Gaerne SG-12 and SG-10:
Gaerne is an Italian company. All of their dirt bike boots are manufactured in Italy. Honestly, when I hear that any shoes (or boots in this case) are made in Italy, I always associate those shoes with good quality. So, when I heard about Gaerne, my interested piqued. Who knew that one of the top brands of dirt bike boots were made in Italy? I didn’t until now.
Generally speaking, dirt bike boots from Gaerne can be a little pricey, but the high quality and comfort go to show why. Many dirt bike riders who practice frequently have claimed that these boots have lasted up to four to five years while maintaining their excellent condition, with little wear and tear that normally accompanies other boots.
What are the Differences Between the SG-12 and the SG-10?
Both of these boots offer superior quality and ratings for their protection and overall comfort, but there are a few differences between these two excellent boots.
Toe Box Width:
The main differences between the two, at least in regards to this post, is the size of the toe box. Both have wide space for your feet, but the SG-10 has even more space than the SG-12 due to the removal of some of the padding near the toes. Also, newer SG-12 models have been designed to be a little more narrow so the rider’s feet are closer and more in tune with the movements in the bike.
Another difference between these two dirt bike boot models from Gaerne is the pivot mechanical hinge system. The pivot hinges are an important factor when deciding which boots to purchase, especially since the pivot hinges of dirt bike boots are what aid in the flexibility of the boot in moving with you as you ride.
The SG-10 has a single pivot mechanical hinge, which makes the flex of the boot really smooth. The SG-12 has a double pivot mechanical hinge that many consider performs smoother than the SG-10. The SG-12 also has some lateral movement built in up the boot that allows for more flexibility while you’re riding than other boots.
So, SG-12 or SG-10?
From all the reviews that I have seen (and trust me, there are many), the SG-12 comes out at the top above the SG-10 for overall quality. But the SG-10 comes with high ratings as well. Both boots have considerably wider toe boxes than other dirt bike boots; but if you’re looking for even more toe room, the SG-10 is sure not to disappoint.
The SG-12 from Gaerne comes highly recommended for optimum protection and comfort for wider feet from various users on online dirt bike discussion boards.
These boots come in shoe sizes ranging from seven (7) to fourteen (14), so they can easily accompany whatever size of boot you need. These boots also have the capability of comfortably fitting up to a 4E (4-11/16th inches) foot width.
Along with the wider toe box, these boots accommodate different sizes for the calves due to the anatomically designed shin plate that can be adjusted to fit a calf size of up to 22 inches. Whether you’re looking for a looser fit on your calves or have a leg brace on, this feature is definitely one built for your comfort and riding security
Besides being versatile in size, these boots are extraordinarily comfortable in a secure kind of way. The biggest aspect that I’m impressed with is the memory cell foam lining inside of the boots. This material for the lining makes these boots snug around your feet and ankles, but not in a bad kind of way.
The memory foam holds your ankles in place, offering the support they need on rough trails. This plays a key role in the protection that these boots offer, but we’ll talk further about that aspect below. Riders have also said that the lining keeps their feet nice and warm during races and trail riding even when out in cold weather for several hours.
The gaiter is made of Acronos fabric that is stretchable and effective at keeping sand and dirt out of the boots. It can be pretty annoying to have a bunch of loose sand grating around in your boots while you’re out on the trail. This makes the Acronos fabric an awesome addition to these boots.
The Gaerne SG-12 has a supportive razorback strut, a heat-resistant grip guard that goes up the full length of the inner sides of the boots, and a dual pivot system. The dual pivot system is unique to Gaerne. It entails that the first pivot is attached to the Razorback. This connection creates strong lateral support which is further supported by a glideplate that keeps the upper portion in solid, upright standing.
These boots offer superior protection. The memory foam lining is fantastic support for your ankles, keeping them snug in their place while still allowing you the ability to move your feet the way you need to when riding.
Many reviews of these boots from riders who have worn them while riding claim that these boots were phenomenal protection for their feet, ankles, and calves. When these riders have crashed and broken femurs, tibiae, and other bones, they discovered that no injuries occurred where their legs and feet were covered by the Gaerne SG-12 boots.
The SG-12 also uses lightweight alloy buckles that attach to the boots’ adjustable straps. These buckles make the boots super easy to take on and off, so there is no need to worry about the frustration of not being able to take the boots off because the buckles are stuck or caked with mud.
The SG-10 is another fantastic model of Gaerne that many riders are super satisfied with. Although similar to the SG-12, there are a few differences that make these boots their own unique pair.
Although both boots are pretty wide, the SG-10 has a wider toe box than the SG-12 due to the removal of some of the memory foam in the toe area of the boot. This allows the rider to spread out their toes a little more than the SG-12. So, if you’re looking for even more room for your feet, the SG-10 is probably the dirt bike boot for you.
The SG-10 comes in sizes six (6) through fourteen (14) in US shoe sizes, so this boot offers a little more size option for dirt bikers. Each boot weighs about 4.8 pounds depending on the size of the boot.
All of Gaerne’s protects come with superior ratings for their quality, protection, and comfort. The SG-10 is no exception. These boots feature gel padding throughout the boot, especially around the ankle area to give rider’s an excellent fit.
The aluminum buckles allow riders to adjust their boots to accommodate various calf sizes and even the use of a knee brace. I don’t know about you, but to me, this sounds like an awesome feature; with the adjustable buckles, there’s no need to be cutting off your legs’ circulation or feel plainly uncomfortable while riding with these boots.
The SG-10 has awesome protective features that are difficult to find among other dirt bike boots.
This Gaerne model has amazing padding that not only gives you a good fit while riding but also acts as an impact absorbing in case of an accident or just the rigors of riding on rough terrain.
This boot features polyurethane construction along with the Razorback system. These materials and technologies provide more protection and impact absorption without adding in exuberant amount of weight.
As far as weight and protection go, riders should be aware that this boot has a little more weight than others due to the protective plastics on the outside. Personally, I would rather have a super protective boot, even if it’s a little heavier. But it’s all depends on what you’re looking for in a dirt bike boot.
Measuring a Foot at a Time
When it comes to actually measure your own feet, my suggestion is to measure both feet individually. Why? Well, our bodies are not perfectly symmetrical, so one of your feet may be wider or narrower than the other foot.
Don’t just measure one of your feet; measure both. One of them is probably bigger than the other.
The simplest ways to measure your feet includes a piece of paper that’s larger than your feet, a pencil, and a measuring tape or ruler.
First of all, it’s highly suggested that you sit down while you’re measuring your feet so your feet are not strained or flattened out. If you’re standing while you measure, your feet will spread out and appear wider than they actually are.
Second, with the sheet of paper, a pencil, and a measuring tape or ruler in hand, put your foot on top of the paper and trace your foot. Try to keep the pencil straight up while you’re doing this so you don’t trace under the outer edges of your foot. After measuring your first foot, flip over the paper and measure the second the same way.
Third, after you’ve measured both of your feet, take your measuring tape or ruler and measure the widest part of your feet’s outline. Then subtract 1/4 inch or 1/2 centimeter from each measurement to account for the drawing. No drawing is exactly perfect so you’ve got to account for any extra space in your foot’s outline in order to get the most accurate measurement.
I would base your overall boot size (ex. D or 2E, etc.) on the wider of the two feet. This will ensure that you don’t end up with a boot that fits well on one foot but is too tight on the other foot.
How to Tell What Boot Size You Need:
After you’ve figured out the width of both of your feet, it’s time to look at sizes. When you’re looking for a certain shoe width size, it’s important to consider that most shoe sizes don’t specify the width unless it’s anything but standard.
Generally speaking, shoe width size ranges are narrow, standard, wide, and extra wide, but some companies might have different options, so it’s worth checking out. The shoe codes (ex. 2E), which tell you how wide the shoe is, differ for men and women.
Men shoe widths are categorized with the following codes. Narrow is coded as B (3-5/8 inches wide); standard is coded as D (4 inches wide); wide is coded as 2E or EE (4-5/16 inches wide); extra wide is coded as 4E or EEEE (4-11/16 inches). Of course, there are sizes in between these main four that offer a little more variation.
Women’s shoe widths are categorized a little differently than men’s, just like shoe sizes, in general, are a little different for men and women. Narrow is coded as 2A or AA (3-1/4 inches wide); standard is coded as B (3-5/8 inches wide); wide is coded as D (4 inches wide); extra wide is coded as 2E or EE (4-5/16 inches wide).
Can You Adjust the Dirt Bike Boots you Already Have?
Generally speaking, I suggest just buying boots that have a wider toe box so you don’t ruin your boots while trying to make them wider for your feet.
But if you’re set and determined at trying to make the boots you already have roomier, here are a few ideas:
Okay, so this one might sound super simple, but if thinner socks could work for you, why go through the trouble of possibly ruining your dirt bike boots?
This might be more of a challenge if you’re out dirt biking in colder weather, and you really need some good thick socks to keep your feet warm. But if you ride in nicer weather, I definitely suggest trying out some thinner socks before you start making any major adjustments to your boots.
Another option is to replace your boots’ insoles with thinner ones. This may offer you a little bit more room for your feet throughout the whole shoe. But I wouldn’t attempt to do this yourself.
If you’re able, contact the company that made your dirt bike boots to see if they offer any resoling services with insoles that are thinner. Who better to modify the boots than the company who made them?
It’s super important to consider that the insoles of your boots are there for your comfort and protection as this material absorbs much of the impact on your feet while you’re out riding.
Stretching Your Boots
Another option is stretching your boots as some people their other shoes. This, of course, could also deform your shoes, so you will want to be careful about how you approach this method.
Some riders have said that soaking their shoes and then wearing them until they dry out a little will help to stretch the leather and fit the boots to your feet.
Another way to stretch your boots is by stuffing them with something and running really hot water over them. The longer you do this, the higher the chance that you might deform or even ruin your boots so proceed with caution.
Honestly stretching out your boots is not a good option. The only time I would recommend this is with equipment that you cannot return or sell second hand. If you have the option of posting them for trade on some sort of internet marketplace like craigslist or Facebook, that might be a much better option for you.
Allow Time for Breaking Boots In
Boots can be really stiff when you first take them out of their packaging and can remain stiff for the first several hours of riding. But be patient. If you allow the boots to break in naturally as you wear them, they will soon form to fit your uniquely shaped feet without you going through the trouble of modifying them.
Even with Gaerne’s SG-12 and SG-10, people have said that they took about twenty hours of riding before they really broke in. But once they did, they fit like a glove. So, it may benefit you to wait it out the first several rides.
If it turns out they still don’t fit right, many companies offer returns, so I would definitely look into their policies before you make the purchase (just in case).
You really have nothing to lose by just asking the company to switch them out. Many companies are willing to do the trade in order to maintain a good name with you, and make sure you leave a good review so that the rest of us know what companies do right by their customers.
What People with Wide Feet Should Know Before Making a Purchase
Finding the right fit to any gear is important for your overall comfort and enjoyment while you’re out dirt bike riding. But finding the right sizes can be a little tricky sometimes. If you have wider feet, here are a few things to consider about dirt bike boots in particular.
Bigger Might Actually Better
When I hear the saying “bigger is better”, I automatically think to myself “not always.” But in the case with dirt bike boots, bigger might actually be better. Here are a couple of reasons why:
For one, just like when you’ve been out walking for a long time and it’s a warm day, you’re feet swell inside of your shoes. Blood rushes to provide the circulation and energy that your feet muscles need to keep up with your high adventure of rolling up and down rocky terrain and the pressure of pressing your feet down on the pedals while you ride.
If your feet are a little snug, or even fit “perfectly”, as soon as you try them on, you might want to go up a half size or so to ensure that your dogs won’t be barking when you’ve been riding for an hour or more.
Generally speaking, the term “wide feet” applies when your feet are wide compared to the length of your feet. Besides getting a ballpark figure, you probably won’t want to stick to your exact foot length when you’re picking out a boot size.
For this reason, I suggest finding boots that you like that are a little bigger than you’re regular size so that your toes will have plenty of room in the toe box of the boot. Even if the boots that are bigger seem a bit too big, it’s better to have a little more room than not enough.
Besides, it’s easier to put on some thicker socks than to have aching feet for the rest of the day because your boots are too small.
New Dirt Bike Boots Will Stretch
Another big factor to consider when you are trying on boots right after they come out of the package is that they will be stiff for the first several hours of riding before they break in.
As you wear the boots more and more, your feet will naturally start to form the boots to your feet’s unique shape. Some boots, like Gaerne’s SG-10 and SG-12, take as much as 20 hours before they loosen up. But once your dirt bike boots do loosen up you’ll feel much more comfortable in them.
Try them on first
The best possible option would be to go to a local store that sells dirt bike gear and try each boot on instead of doing the guesswork with online shopping. Even if you don’t make any purchases at the store, it is probably a good idea to go and try the boots on there even if you are planning to order them online anyway.
Like I said before, you might know that you have one foot that is larger, and you might want to try the boots on both feet.
The worst thing that you could do is settle. I know I am guilty of this. You order a new thing online and it gets there, making you really excited. You try it on and it doesn’t quite fit but you tell yourself that you will just deal with it. Then you never end up using it! Get boots that fit, and don’t be lazy.