Sometimes, living life on the open road seems like a fun fantasy. With the wind blowing through your hair and some leather on your back, you’re sure to shrug the stresses of the daily grind away. Bonus points if you have the stereo cranked up high, blasting some classic rock music in said fantasy. Even if that moment isn’t ever actualized, you can still embrace the biker vibe through fashion—namely, motorcycle boots.
There are so many styles of moto boots to make an outfit feel whole, be they a pair with chunky heels or a more low-profile, lace-up style. Best of all, the stomper boots are built to last, so you need not worry about cycling through them quickly. If anything, this is a style that looks better with age and the patina that comes with it.
In terms of what’s hot right now, a global trend report from Afterpay found that nostalgic and genderless trends are reigning supreme, with sales of ‘unisex’ items up 154 percent year-over-year. On a more micro scale, The RealReal, which specializes in luxury consignments, saw a 71 percent increase in demand for moto boots in its 2022 sales from the previous year (a seemingly obvious impact of it-labels like Miu Miu showing moto boots on their fall runways.)
What constitutes a moto boot? “Signature elements of a moto boot are the hardware—particularly the buckles,” says Noelle Sciacca, an executive at The RealReal. “They’re also generally pull-on or side-zip styles.”
Ahead, discover Byrdie’s list of the best motorcycle boots available now, along with key insights from Sciacca and style expert Zanna Roberts Rassi.
Stuart Weitzman Ryder Lift Bootie
These Stuart Weitzman boots epitomize the fashionable biker aesthetic for less than comparably crafted pairs, like those from rival designer Jimmy Choo. They’re made in Spain from soft leather, set on chunky lug soles, and embellished with striking gold buckles. Plus, the shafts are wide enough to wear over slim-fitting jeans.
Heel Height: 1.75 inches | Size Range: US 5-12
Schutz Caligas Studded Combat Boot
Get the most out of your moto boots with this decorated platform pair from Schutz—a mix of leather and silver-studded embellishments on a flat, platform sole.
Heel Height: 1.75 inches | Size Range: US 5-11
Celine Bulky Buckled Medium Boot
Celine’s take on a motorcycle-combat boot hybrid is so sleek. A top pick for Sciacca, the slip-on style is made from black leather and complete with simple gold buckles on the sides. Given its timelessness, it could be worth the splurge.
Heel Height: Approx. 2 inches | Size Range: EU 35-41
RE/DONE Cavalry Boot
Like Annie Oakley, this RE/DONE boot style is made from tough stuff. The leather boot features classic western embellishments, such as a square toe and a circular, harness detail and minimalist studs. Its thick soles ensure long-lasting wearability consistent with the brand’s mission to preserve fashion items and reduce industry waste.
Heel Height: 1.5 inches | Size Range: IT 35-41
Harley Davidson Rambert Boot
If you’ve ever been partial to the Harley Davidson aesthetic, you’re in for a treat. The company makes a classic harness boot in leather. It’s Goodyear-welted to promote sturdiness and longevity. However, sizing is in men’s, so beware of that as you shop the pair.
Heel Height: Approx. 1 inch | Size Range: US 7-11.5
Dr. Martens Leona Vintage Smooth Leather Heeled Boots
This Doc Martens style is packed with so many rugged moto boot features. It’s a lace-up silhouette with antiqued brass tunnel eyelets, commando soles, and platform heels. It strikes a great balance between femininity and toughness.
Heel Height: 2.25 inches | Size Range: US 5-11
Tamara Mellon Easy Rider Mid Calf 35
If you’re looking for something with a bit of height in the shaft, this Tamara Mellon style could be for you. Its construction is clean and simple, so you can wear it with everything. It also prioritizes functionality, as its serrated soles allow for good traction and two pull-on tabs make them easy to take on and off.
Heel Height: 1.67 inches | Size Range: US 5-12
Dr. Martens Wincox Smooth Leather Buckle Boots
These ankle boots are as close as you’ll get to a moto-inspired Chelsea style. The pair is made from polished leather and complete with harness details, elastic gussets, and a round-toe design. They’re also Goodyear-welted, which means that the upper and sole are stitched and heat-sealed together, to provide durability over the course of years.
Heel Height: Approx. 1 inch | Size Range: US 5-12
Jimmy Choo Youth II Buckled Leather Ankle Boots
Biker boots are perennially popular in fall, though, depending on the style, you can wear them with bare legs and dresses in the warmer months, too. It’s detailed with two silver buckles but otherwise minimalist in appearance, and it features a loosely fitted shaft so you can take them on and off with ease.
Heel Height: 1.5 inches | Size Range: IT 34-45
Stella McCartney Trace Logo Boots
Stella McCartney never fails to pull through with leather-alternative apparel, accessories, and shoes. This lace-up style checks so many boxes for the modern moto style, with a sturdy, lugged rubber sole, a rounded toe, and a stiff faux leather upper.
Heel Height: 2 inches | Size Range: IT 35-41
Pas De Rouge Velar Moto Boot
Who says moto boots have to be black? These boots from Italian shoe brand Pas De Rouge epitomize the tough moto boot style. They sit on thick lug soles for sturdiness, and wearers can feel super secure given its side zips and ankle straps.
Heel Height: 2.75 inches | Size Range: US 6.5-11
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like material, size range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
What to Look for in Motorcycle Boots
“Motorcycle boots tend to go in and out of fashion, so it’s smartest to invest in brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada that consistently feature the style in their fall collections,” Sciacca says. “Since moto boots are more of a signature style for them, they maintain more steady demand and can hold better value.”
What often changes when a trend comes back into the fashion vernacular is how it’s styled, Sciacca points out. “The previous trend was tucking leather leggings or skinny jeans into moto boots. Now, we’re seeing them juxtaposed with ultra feminine pieces, like lingerie-inspired tops and mini hemlines,” she says, adding that moto boots are also part of the rising metaverse matrix trend of avatar-inspired dressing. “I have a pair of classics that I wear with literally everything,” Roberts Rassi says. “Dresses and shorts in the summer; jeans or menswear suiting in the winter.”
What are motorcycle boots?
When you think about tough boot styles, the primary ones that come to mind are motorcycle boots and combat boots. Signature elements of the former included studded hardware and bold buckles. They’re also mainly made as a pull-on or side-zip style. Combat boots, on the other hand, are known for their chunky lug soles and laces up the front. However, some consider these a form of moto boots, especially when designed with the aforementioned hardware elements, given their rugged design and durability.
How do you break motorcycle boots in?
Why Trust Byrdie
Hayley Prokos is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor focused on fashion and lifestyle. She contributes regularly to Byrdie’s commerce section and has a passion for sourcing chic and practical pieces with long-term wearability. After hours of researching and chatting with our experts, she’s gathered enough insight to determine which moto boots are worth buying this season.