As of today, no one has ever run a marathon wearing Motocross boots. So, unless you're a glutton for punishment you never will either. If you tried you wouldn't last a mile.
It's a good thing our feet and legs can't comprehend claustrophobia because the dirt bike boot is like a snake wrapping around its prey except providing safety is the primary concern. A riding boot protects your feet and calves up to your knee from minor, moderate and severe injury. They are not easy to walk in, fit tight and make a tennis shoe feel as light as a feather.
To ride you must wear but that doesn't mean Motocross boots can't be comfortable.
Of course the best start is to get the right size boot. First rule of thumb is to get one size larger than your regular shoe size. Wear riding socks prior to sizing your foot. For more information on sizing and supplemental features and protection read Motocross Boots Buying Guide.
Once you've decided on a pair and slip them on you'll likely find the boots a bit constrained or just straight up uncomfortable. That doesn't mean you've got the wrong size, you probably just need to break them in. However, if you're having difficulty getting your foot inside the boot or you can't wiggle your toes once you've locked the buckles in place or it's difficult to close the buckles you've probably got the wrong size. Keep in mind, some brands like Gaerne, size wide, and Sidi, size narrow, so plan accordingly.
Certain Motocross boot manufacturers claim a "no break-in" required in their marketing campaigns which for some riders could very well be true. Not everyone has the same size or foot shape therefore breaking in a dirt bike boot is all about preference. If you're just starting out, you might go through half a dozen different brands and models until you find the right boot. Remember, regardless of cost, the right boot is the one that fits, is comfortable and allows you to ride without hindrance.
However, with today's technology and an ever-increasing drive towards making riding gear wearable without constraining the rider, much thought and design goes into the modern day boot. Therefore, most riders say the best way to break them in is go riding. So put them on, deal with the initial discomfort, assuming it doesn't fall into the above example, and spend a day riding with your new boots Eventually they'll break in and they'll be good as new, or make that good as used.
After this, if you're still trying to work the kinks out, or just plain finicky on getting the right fit, or simply want a time-tested alternative to breaking in dirt bike boots, a number of methods exist, some oddly ritualistic and others fly in the face of conventional norms.v
The Hair Dryer or Heat Gun
There's a lot of plastic put into good use on Motocross boots but plastic is also very rigid and until you've effectively broken in your new boots, they'll have a mind of their own. A hot hair dryer or heat gun blown onto the plastic while your foot is in the boot helps ease the restrictiveness of the plastic and conform the boot to your foot shape, size and movement.
Photo: Transworld Motocross
*Be careful not to melt or damage your boots. You'll comprise the integrity, void any warranty and cancel the seller's return policy.
Until You've Walked a Mile...
You won't be running that marathon but strapping on your boots and walking around the house for a few hours going about your daily routine is another method to breaking in your boots. This is similar to breaking in new shoes before you go out on the town. Walking around breaks the stiffness and molds the boot to your foot. The other benefit to walking around in new boots is the realization you picked the wrong boot. Since they are clean and for the most part unused, you'll have no problem returning them.
*MotoSport offers a no hassle return policy and it's easy to return your boots for new ones. Check out our return policy.
Drown Those Boots
Submerge your boots in water. Yes, you heard correctly. Leave them there for at least an hour though we've heard of some riders leaving them overnight. This mainly applies to leather boots since fresh leather is so stiff but also absorbs the water. Another alternative is to fill the boot with water.
Now wear them like you would on ride day. Yes, wear them wet. What happens to wet leather when it dries? It shrinks! So get your shape and size into that boot and let it dry while you're wearing it. That means find something to do for several hours until thoroughly dry. Since wet leather tends to crack after it's dried it's advisable to coat your boots with appropriate conditioning oil or shoe polish.
The big drawback to this method is if they still don't fit right it's highly unlikely you'll be unable to return them regardless of where purchased.
Put Them Under Your Mattress
Drop a baseball in them and put them under your mattress, oh wait, never mind. That's for breaking in a glove.
There's probably even more obscure or eyebrow raising methods to breaking in Motocross boots so if you've got a method passed down to you from Dad or a friend and it works, then stick with it. Finding the comfort "sweet spot" on your dirt bike is just one piece of the puzzle to enjoying the sport, grabbing the holeshot and stepping on the box.
Nevertheless, if you can't wait to get riding or don't have time to break them in, have no fear, most riders simply put them on and if they feel good, line up behind the gates. They'll only get better from there.
Written By: AndrewT