As we’ve been discussing safety gear for motorcyclists, we’re going from head to toe. So we started with the all-important helmet and then discussed full-body coverage. While in comparison to those two categories, protecting your hands and feet might not seem as significant, you really don’t have to choose between protecting your entire body or only the most important parts. Arguably, your hands and feet are pretty significant, both when you’re riding your motorcycle and when you’re living the rest of your life.
Give Yourself a Hand
Not only do gloves protect your hands in case of inclement weather, allowing them to remain able to properly control your bike even when it’s wet or cold outside, but they’re also extremely important in case of a crash. One of the most natural reactions to a fall is to put your hands down to catch yourself. While road rash is painful anywhere you get it, it can be especially crippling when it’s all over the palms of your hands. The best gloves cover your entire hand, including your fingers and wrists.
You do want to make sure you choose a pair that’s comfortable in any climate, for two reasons. First, you’ll be more likely to wear them if they are. Second, the more comfortable your hands are, the better equipped you’ll be to control your vehicle, especially over long trips.
The Agony of the Feet
Your feet are extremely important parts of your motorcycle experience, helping you remain balanced at stoplights and taking a major beating from the elements. Tennis shoes simply won’t hold up under that kind of abuse, and cowboy boots aren’t nearly as durable as quality motorcycle boots.
What makes motorcycle boots special? We’re glad you asked! First, good motorcycle boots have stiff rubber soles to provide both protection and traction, helping you avoid tipping when your foot is planted in sand, oil, or gravel. Second, boots with heels offer better holds on a bike’s pegs. Third, the best boots are made from leather and are made to protect your legs as well as your feet. They’re reinforced in the ankle, calf, and shin areas with Kevlar, a stronger material that protects your foot and leg from debris as you ride as well as from injuries in case of a crash.
In addition to stiff soles, heels, and composition, the best motorcycle boots are extremely comfortable. They need to be snug enough to remain on your feet in the case of a crash but not too tight that they inhibit circulation. They’ll help your feet stay cool and dry, especially if they include a ventilation system and are made from water-resistant materials.
Of course, motorcycle safety doesn’t end with gear. It also includes safe riding practices, and we’ll take a look at some of those in Part 4.
Motorcycle Safety Series
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or Northeast Shopping Center or call us at (717) 764-2024.
Image credits: Top © Andrey Armyagov/Fotolia; 2nd © Unknown; 3rd © Andrey Armyagov/Fotolia.