Lower leg and foot protection - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2009, 2:38 pm Thread Starter
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Lower leg and foot protection

Lower leg and foot protection:

As I reported in another post, I went down hard Saturday on my right side. Right foot and calve up to and including knee are Severely bruised and swollen. Looks like a Bratwurst about to burst, and the color is not a nice shade of black and blue. I was wearing BMW pants with all protection pads in, and BMW Contour Plus boots, heavy leather. I had no broken bones which is nice, but I am wondering if there is a boot that would provide some more rigid protection against what must have been the bike crunching down on my leg as we slid across some asphalt and then grass. Would some of those hard plastic racer boots be better for this king of injury.

I'm glad my injuries were all of the "soft tissue" type, but there is a lot of soft tissue that is not looking so great right now and while it will mostly heal, I'm sure I'll be able to predict rainfall pretty well now when the leg throbs.

BTW, Arai Signet GT (5 years old) took the blows and kept my noggin in one piece, but will now get retired for for a more current model.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2009, 3:49 pm
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you could look at some off road boots. They would have more protection but probably not as comfortable. Dunno.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2009, 10:38 am
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There are a number of race-oriented boots that try to address part of this issue, but not sure how well they would work as touring boots (they'd probably be fine on the bike but are not well designed and durable for walking around off the bike).

When I say "part" of the issue, they are designed to keep the lower leg from moving in directions it shouldn't (part of why they are tough for walking), and have a number of schemes to accomplish this. There isn't much that will protect you entirely from the weight of a bike falling on you, though.

I have Sidi boots (when I'm on the track) which have had a "vertebrae" (interlocking segments) system for quite some time. Alpinestars have a different, but functionally similar, system in their top race boots.

The top of the line ($) in boots with this functionality are probably Daytona boots, distributed in the USA by Helimot. They have a rigid inner liner and are very expensive. There is a description of their system here...

As bad as you feel, I'm sure you existing gear reduced the severity of your current injuries. The question is how far you want to go to protect against certain incidents.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2009, 1:18 pm
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There is a big difference in the protection you would get in a track boot vs. a street/touring boot like you were using. There was a time where I would only use a track style boot for the maximum protection, but gave up on that because they were just too uncomfortable on longer rides, difficult to walk in and looked kind of silly when used on the street.

When I read stories like yours it makes me second guess my decision to abandon the track boot for the street. If you are looking for more protection, give the race style boots a look.

Use this link and look at the boots under the "race" section and compare to the "street" boot section: http://www.newenough.com/boots/.

Glad nothing was broken.

'12 K1600GTL
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2009, 5:30 pm Thread Starter
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Since the worst damage to my leg was above the boot and below the knee I am tempted to get a pair of Sidi Off Road boots, like their Crossfire TA which are 18 inches tall. I liked the features of the Daytona boots but they are only 13 inches tall and would not have helped in this accident scenario. I realize these offroad boots are still and heavy, but I am worried that I may re-injure my already damaged leg. The road race style boots also look good for the plastic shell protection but are also too short to help me.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2009, 9:02 pm
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Please tell us you went to a Dr. to have that leg checked out for blood clots and the like.
Hope you feel better soon. Probably not too many boots that would protect against the weight of the bike.The bright side...you didn't scrape up your bike

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2009, 11:18 pm Thread Starter
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Yes, thanks, under the care of an orthopedic surgeon. X rays, ultra sound, etc. Wearing leg brace and compression stocking. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. 5 weeks into recuperation. Walking with slight limp. Bike was totaled. Leg and rider survived.

I will be trying on a pair of really tall dirt bike boots because I don't ever want to repeat this particular injury to my calf and ankle. I've never tried on a pair of these and I'm curious to see just how (un)comfortable they are for touring riding.

Darth Vader

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 2009, 1:36 am
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There is no way I would ever consider using my A* dirt boots for street/walking around in. I can't walk 20' in them without making a mental note on how bad they are for walking in. I'm also not sure they are slip resistant as they weren't designed for that type of use and the sole is very hard. They are taller but they wouldn't help much if a 600# bike falls on your leg.

One thing you might consider is a pair of Motoport pants. They use lots of padding in their garments and on mine it goes down to my boots to cover the shin/knee. They also have some new quad-core padding that is supposed to be very protective. I've gone down in the Motoport pants and they didn't even get a scratch ... more than I can say for my BMW jacket I was wearing. Again these won't help much from being crushed but they would from an impact.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 2009, 2:48 am
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I've had a pair of Sidi Couriers for 2 years now and they seem to be an ideal compromise between an all-out off-road boot, an all-out track boot and a touring boot.

They're really tall and have a huge amount of support, hard plastic, etc.

Hellishly stiff and uncomfotable when new but once they're broken in and the leather part has softened up, about as comfy as a pair of bike boots gets (and I ride every day all-year round). I even helped a mate move house recently whilst wearing them!!

You can get spares for them if any of the buckles should break (mine haven't) and they seem to be wearing really well - I would estimate I've done around 30,000 miles in mine and they're still going strong (if a little whiffy). They also seem to be reasonably waterproof too which was a bit of a bonus.

Like a previous post said, unlikely to help much if 300kg of Bavaria's finest falls on your leg (it's not boots you need, it's a steel exoskeleton) but I definitely be looking for another pair the same when these eventually give up.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 2009, 11:26 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies, I appreciate the advice.

I do realize that a dirt bike boot is not very useful when walking around. In my case, I am only interested in the boot providing protective coverage up high over the back of my calve area and outside ankle as those are the areas that took a pretty bad hit in my recent crash and I don't want to re-injure this area any time soon. The only boots I have found that have a very high upper (17 inches) are the dirt bike boots, and this is 5" more vertical coverage than my current street touring boots. Sort of the same logic as using a full face helmet on your head rather than a 'shorty', not so much wind in the face riding fun but safer in a crash.

I'll be stopping in a local store to try on some of their tough dirt bike boots to test for flexibility and mobility.

Regarding a 600+ lb bike(K12GT) falling on my leg I was thinking back to my old K1200LT and how those great big side bumpers that stuck out so far served so well to prevent side panel damage AND kept the bike off your leg when you dropped that 700+ lb beast. You could literally drop that bike and sustain no more than a scratched mirror and a bruised ego. Dropping a GT is an extremely expensive proposition.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

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