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Bought New Motocross Boots & Can’t Shift – Break-In

Buying new motocross boots is both a great feeling and a tough one (pun intended) because it can be difficult to shift gears on your dirt bike. Riding with fresh gear can be like riding a new bike because everything is nice and tight.

However, when you buy new boots, they are usually hard as a rock and suck to ride in without breaking them in first. That is, unless, you spend several hundred dollars on a pair of MX boots that don’t require break-in.

The best ways to break in new dirt bike boots that are stiff are:

  • Bend them with your hands
  • Wear them and crouch
  • Ride with them and use them a lot
  • Heat them up
  • Walk around with them all day

Stiff As A Board

If you’ve never put your feet in a new pair of boots, just imagine putting your feet in ski or snowboarding boots; stiff and weird to walk in at first. If you can’t bend your ankle up and down then you will have a very hard time shifting, and using the rear brake will have much less feel because you have to move your whole foot.

How To Make Your Feet Usable Again

So, how do you break them in so they’re actually usable for a race or long day in the wilderness? The easiest, although probably the longest way is just by riding with them until the leather of the boot is broken in.

Before I go any further, you should know that for dirt bike riding boots to work properly and help protect your feet from injury they have to be stiff. If you happen to fall off your bike and land on your feet, and you rarely land perfectly flat, you need the boots to hold together and not flex because your feet are going to do the same.

Break Them In Before You Ride?

It can take several hours of riding before your new boots are feeling comfortable, so I wouldn’t do any important rides or racing with them until they are.

If you want to break them in with little to no riding, you can work your riding boots in off of the bike. It’s as simple as bending the boots back and forth at the ankle (where it would normally bend while riding.

Use Your Hands

Just grab the top and bottom of the boot with your hands and flex the shin towards the toes, and then back the opposite direction. Keep doing this for a few minutes until you feel the leather start to loosen up.

Bought New Motocross Boots Cant Shift Break In Bought New Motocross Boots & Can't Shift - Break-In
New Motocross Boots

Wobble Your Feet

Once you’ve worked the boots in with your hands, put them on your feet and buckle it up. Don’t need them too tight as you won’t be riding quite yet. You’re basically doing the same thing as you did with your hands. Just crouch down so your knees are bent and rock your ankles back and forth so the boots stretch out.

Try Them Out For A Final Break-In!

After doing this for a few minutes, the your new boots should be flexed enough to be able to ride with them. Go ahead and gear up and hop on your dirt bike for a ride. This simple process will help break your fresh boots in with minimal riding. A good 30 minutes of riding with shifting and braking involved and you are ready to race again with better support!

Other Top Secret Ideas

There’s many other ways to break in your new dirt bike boots, such as heating them in the oven, walking around in them all day, as well as soaking them in water and walking around in them until they loosen up. Any way you do it, there’s going to be some break-in process before you are able to ‘feel’ the shift lever and brake pedal while riding.

If it’s hard to shift with new motocross boots at first, try sticking the toe of your boot under the shift lever and lift your entire boot up. It’s a good technique to get used to in case you are standing and need to shift.

Once you figure out how to shift with your new boots, it’s time to figure out the best way to shift with the clutch. Do I use it or can I shift without the clutch? Find out what the fastest way to shift is here.

How to ride with confidence and control off-road

Riding a dirt bike isn’t hard, but riding with control so that you stay on the bike, rather than the bike controlling you takes skill. It starts with your riding technique, and I want to help you get started with the basic techniques so that you don’t crash and get hurt. Want to get started by taking a few minutes to read these techniques in my free training guide? Click here to learn more.

Ryan Brackman

Monday 23rd of September 2013

Its always nice to break in new stuff and I dont mean only cars or motorcycles. Even your new motocross gears needs some break in too! Thanks!