Are you an extreme size – short, tall, skinny or large – but still want to ride a motorcycle? Unfortunately, you are out of luck as few stores stock these extreme sizes.
A former motorcycle gear distributor says it’s purely a commercial decision. It costs money to buy the stock and have it sit in the store on the off-chance that an overly large or small rider will buy it.
He suggests that for large gear, you shop online through American outlets as they cater for the rather large American riders.
It should also be noted that Harley-Davidson stores stock American-made clothing which comes in sizes right up to a massive 5XL, although their boots only go up to American size 13 (12.5 Australian).
If you are looking for smaller sizes, you should try Asian online motorcycle outlets or consider buying children’s sizes from the US and Europe.
The issue has come to light recently after Geelong rider Alastair Bain contacted Motorbike Writer saying he couldn’t find motorcycle boots anywhere for his size 15 feet.
“I have contacted large retailers, Rossi and even bought a pair of Forma size 16 boots online that were about 2 sizes too small,” says the BMW K 100 RS rider.
“I can’t for the life of me find any motorcycle boots that are a genuine 15 and I have been rejected from a returning rider course because I was told I needed to have motorcycle boots.
“I argued that I couldn’t get them and this made it all the more important for me to do the course as I was less protected than other riders.
“My plea fell on deaf ears and I have been unable to enrol in the course and continue to ride, untrained, in steel cap work boots.”
We contacted several distributors who said they did have large boot sizes in stock, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of variety to choose from.
Matthew Dowd of Ficeda says they have a Berik GPX boot in size 15 (part number BK1323BK49) which costs $329.95. However, the largest off-road boot they stock is size 14.
He says stores are reticent to stock extreme sizes “as those sizes just don’t sell, only every blue moon”.
Suus spokesman Stewart MacCiolli says they only stock European-made Stylmartin boots, but they don’t make a size 15.
“We hold the smallest and largest sizes available, both male and female,” he says.
“The smallest that we have available is a size 5(E36) and largest is a size 13 (E47).”
McLeod Accessories Brand Manager Andrew Wright says they go up to a size 50 in SIDI which is a US size 14.5, but says only larger stores carry this size.
Men’s Boot Sizing Chart
Several hours later Andrew rang back to say he had found that Mornington Ducati have both size 49 and 50 in the SIDI Vertigo boot in store for our Geelong rider.
Draggin Jeans sales and retail coordinator Rachel Rowley says stores don’t want to hold extreme sizes as they don’t often get requests for them.
“We offer all our stockists the opportunity to order the bigger or smaller sizes on an order and return policy so there is no risk to them in ordering a size in for a customer to try and we overnight ship everything so there is no delay,” she says.
“It’s a really tough call to make for a store and most know their demographic and stock accordingly. In general stores don’t want to have money tied up in stock that they may only get a request for once a year and so our order and return seems to suit them.
“We offer size 6 to size 24 in ladies styles and size 26 to 60 in men’s so we do have something to fit everyone.”
Ron Angel Wholesale National Manager Grant Sammut says they don’t sell boots anymore, but says XS and XXL clothing sizes are difficult to sell.
“We invariably get stuck with them at the end of every model run, whether it’s helmets or clothing, and for every one you get stuck with, you might as well not have sold the last four that you sold at full price,” he says.
“I’ve had the same XS and XXL helmets on special at below cost for the last few years … still got them.
“Actually, I’ve still got some 13 and 14 boots that I’ve had here since 2012 too. It’s not a good investment.
“Pretty much every motorcycle shop in the country has a specials bin full of XS/XXL products too.
“With size 15 – that’s way outside a viable thing to stock. I really feel sorry for people that have really large/small needs – but the percentage of the market that needs those sizes is very small, so it’s just isn’t viable to commit too much stock in those sizes as it only takes the smallest variance to become overstock/dead stock and start ruining your profitability in a big way.”
So there may be some extreme sizes out there, but finding them could be difficult.
It all leaves Alastair and others like him very frustrated.
“Surely there must be boots out there for people with big feet? I can jump online and buy casual and dress shoes up to size 17 no problem, but it doesn’t seem anyone is catering to big-footed bike riders,” he says.
“I have also tried Eu50 boots also which are far too small. For some reason these tend to be sized smaller than work boots.
“It is frustrating and although I have large feet, there are plenty of people out there with bigger feet, and it seems that as a general population we are getting bigger and bigger.”
The only other answer to extreme sizes is custom gear although it does make it more expensive.
We couldn’t find a cobbler who makes motorcycle boots, but you can try Tiger Angel and Ricondi for tailor-made leather and textile gear.