Parents sometimes have a hard time sending their children out into the world but helping them throw a leg over a dirt bike? Hey, no problem!

OK, maybe not all parents jump for joy when their son or daughter comes home with the desire to ride, but in our experience most kids found their way via mom or dad, anyway. Regardless, riding dirt bikes comes with some hard and fast rules: Wear the right protective equipment.

The Core 4 - if you will - includes a helmet, goggles, gloves and boots which pretty much represent the minimum standard of protection when it comes to riding a dirt bike. Therefore, when it comes to protecting your child's feet and lower legs leave the tennis shoes at home and don't even think a pair of hard sole, steel-toed boots take the place of actual riding boots. Some food for thought: According to a 2009 study conducted by the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, 81 orthopedic surgeries were performed on patients 17 years of age or younger from 2000 to 2007 with injuries sustained while riding off-road 2-wheeled motorcycles. Of those 81 surgeries, 21 consisted of surgeries to the ankle, foot, tibial shaft and proximal tibia representing 26 percent of the surgeries.

Motocross boots have the best protection for your child's feet, ankles and calves by featuring protective elements that help secure and support feet in the event of a high speed impact or simply bar-banging with another rider. Youth dirt bike boots typically have the following features:

  • Removable arch support
  • Buckle lock system
  • Shock absorbing padding
  • Reinforced shin plate protectors
  • Steel toe and heel guards
  • Achilles flex zones

If you ride, notice manufacturers incorporate all the same safety components as the adult versions. And, like the adult model you have a range of features to choose from as well as price points. Simply put, the more attributes and higher quality materials incorporated into the boot the higher the price.

Sizing Kids Motocross Boots

Determining the correct size of dirt bike boots for your kid sometimes takes a little bit of trial and error. One rule of thumb to keep in mind, though not definitive, is to choose a boot one size bigger than your child's current shoe size. But before you run off to check under the tongue, consult with the size chart provided by the boot manufacturer.

Where do I find the size chart for kids dirt bike boots?

We post the size chart on the product page for every pair of youth dirt bike boots. Just scroll down a bit or click the "Sizing Chart" button in the "Description" section. Use the size chart for that specific make and model only. If you have eyes on a pair of Alpinestars kids dirt bike boots and a pair from Fox Racing use the corresponding size chart before finalizing a purchase. As you can see, each manufacturer has its own take on boot sizing:

Some manufacturers also use youth sizes not compatible with regular shoe sizing which requires you to measure your child's foot length - a good idea anyway to get as close a match as possible. Measure your child's foot while he or she wears riding socks not casual socks. Riding socks are thicker and should be worn with the boots. Keep in mind, as your child gets older he or she will transition from larger youth boots to adult small, therefore, if you have a hard time finding a good fit in youth sizes check out the adult boots and, as you will see, offers more options.

How To Fit Kids Motocross Boots

When your child first puts the boots on he or she might feel as though the boots fit too tight and if it's their first time wearing a pair they might not like them. Most youth motocross boots require a break-in period so have your child walk around the house to not only get used to wearing them but get them molded to their feet. Boots should not be used on the bike until your child has worn them and determined them a good fit.

If boots stay overly tight or the buckles remain difficult to close with discomfort, you probably need a larger size.* Also keep in mind when choosing the following brands:

* MotoSport's offers a Free First Exchange program to ensure your child gets the right pair of boots. See our instructions for all returns and exchanges.

Best Youth Motocross Boots

Like we suggest when shopping for helmets, the best dirt bike boots for your child fit comfortably and allow him or her to grip the foot pegs securely and operate the controls effectively. Typically, higher priced boots have better, more durable material, the latest in technological development and features the make the boot more comfortable and easier to wear. But that doesn't mean a more moderately priced dirt bike boot won't check off all the boxes for your child.

Compared to some adult dirt bike boots, you can find pretty reasonably priced youth dirt bike boots. Alpinestars features their popular Tech series and along with Fox Racing has the biggest selection available for kids. O'Neal and Answer both come in on the lower price range for boots that offer excellent models for beginners.

If your child is new to riding dirt bikes look into a lower cost boot and if he or she really takes off with the sport then move on to a higher level boot when the time comes.