Feeling the wind caress you is one of the perks of riding a motorcycle in fair weather. And while wind in your face is tolerable, pleasant even, at low speeds, cold air gushing up your pants is not a nice experience. It can be downright annoying and even make you look funny with your pants sailing in the wind. Constantly having to stop and pull your legs down can also become a hazardous distraction. And so, I sought to answer the question — how do you keep pant legs down on a motorcycle?
Aside from tucking in, using boot straps, boot clips, or boot bands are effective solutions to keep your pant legs down while riding a motorcycle. You’ll appreciate how affordable and convenient they are as an excellent addition to any riding gear ensemble. Interestingly, some winter motorcycle jackets and pants also use the same mechanism to provide complete protection. But how do boot straps, boot clips, and boot bands differ in their effectiveness? Let’s explore the differences and determine the best option for you.
5 Best Solutions for Keeping Pant Legs Down on a Motorcycle
I’ve carefully thought of these 5 ways to help you avoid uncomfortable feelings due to flappy pant legs and minimize the risk of accidents, besides avoiding burns from hot motorcycle parts, by ensuring that your pants don’t get caught by the brake pedal and shift pegs.
1. Tuck in to Keep Your Pant Legs Down
A pants tucker with their jeans tucked into their motorcycle boots enjoys their ride.
Take a gander at your fellow riders, and you’ll quickly spot two schools of thought when it comes to pant legs: tucking them into boots or leaving them loose. Your choice here can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your pants from riding up on a motorcycle.
In particular, skinny jeans and narrow race leathers must go inside boots, obviously, although some exceptions exist. You may find that it looks cooler (typical of the racing style), provides better aerodynamics, keeps you warmer during chilly weather, and is safer. No sogging, snagging, or flapping about, not to mention it being a fashion trend! It’s not surprising to come across boy racers, or at the other extreme, Ulysses members wearing pants inside boots. Then there is the café racer “rocker” trend, which involves tucking jeans into white socks with the tops rolled down over the boots.
A loose legger wearing purpose-built motorcycle boots folds the cuffs of his jeans to prevent them from getting caught on motorcycle parts while riding.
But hey, to each their own, right? Some riders prefer to keep their pant legs loose and fancy-free (loose leggers, unite!), especially during summer or if they’re sporting adventure-style riding pants that have a tuck-in piece with another part that rolls or zips over the boot to keep the rain and dirt at bay. But the problem here is that your pants might get caught half-mast on the top of your boots partway through your ride.
Sure, you can try pushing the bottom of your jeans up under your shoelaces to keep them in place, but that only works for so long before you’re stuck tugging at your pant legs every five seconds. And so, the big question still remains: how do you keep pant legs down on a motorcycle?
2. Use Boot Straps to Keep Your Pant Legs Down
Four finely woven elastic boot straps featuring polished metal clips with plastic teeth inserts, as well as mini adjustable lock controls.
A boot strap is an elastic fabric band with clips on either side that attaches to the bottom of a pant leg and wraps around the shank or arch of your boot. The materials used can be either nylon or rubber, both of which can stretch up to 15 to 30% and up to a factor of 10 from their original length, respectively. Combine that with the adjustable feature that most boot straps come with, and you have an accessory that can adapt to fit various leg sizes for every rider. The spring steel or plastic insert clips keep pressure on the pant cuff.
To use a boot strap, first attach it to the bottom of your pant leg, then move it around the boot and fasten it to the other side of the pant leg. You can attach the strap to your pants by sewing it on or by using a clip or hook. Another method of putting on a boot strap is to hook it on both sides of the cuff, creating a loop. Slip your foot through the loop and pull it up so that the strap is snug around your ankle or just above your boot.
A black boot wrap securely loops around the shaft of a brown motorcycle boot.
With the boot strap in place, you can enjoy the added benefits of secure and comfortable riding. Boot straps are popular among motorcyclists and equestrians alike.
🤩 What I Like About Boot Straps
- Prevent the right cuff from getting caught on the brake pedal and the left on the shifter pegs
- Comfortable to wear and walk with, even when off the bike
- Versatile and can be attached with clips or sewn onto pants
- Adjustable to fit different leg sizes
👎 What I Don’t Like About Boot Straps
- Need to be removed for safekeeping when taking off boots
- Constant stretching can cause them to become loose.
Top Picks: Best Motorcycle Boot Straps
Best Boot Straps Adjustability (Inches) Average Rating Availability
Goodtimes Adjustable 8 Piece Boot Straps 7-11
Loosco Elastic 4 Piece Boot Straps 6-12
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Boncas Improved 8 Piece Boot Straps 5-9 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Biker Motorcycle 2 Piece Boot Straps 7-11 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Boao Adjustable 8 Piece Boot Straps 8-12 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Gargoyle Bells 2 Piece Boot Straps 4.71-8.46 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Goodtimes stand out with an impressive adjustability range of 7-11 inches, which means they can easily accommodate any foot size and boot style. On the other hand, Loosco straps has also taken a thoughtful approach to their design by incorporating plastic inserts that protect your clothing from wear and tear. Meanwhile, Boncas offers double-woven elastic polyester straps that provide ultimate flexibility, with a range of 5.2-9 inches and a stretch of up to 16 inches.
For a secure fit, Boao’s elastic straps are adjustable between 5-12 inches. And if you’re planning on venturing into the great outdoors, Biker straps are a must-have as they are weatherproof and built to withstand anything that Mother Nature throws your way.
3. Use Boot Clips to Keep Your Pant Legs Down
A stainless boot clip featuring a customized United States Air Force badge on the tic-tac button. Designed to clip securely onto the front of your pants leg.
A boot clip, also known as boot loop, is a strap made of either leather or stainless steel that features a tic-tac button on one end that snaps around the laces or straps of your boots. The other end is a clip that attaches to your pants cuff for added function, safety, and style. Leather boot clips have the added benefit of being slightly stretchy and can expand up to half a size (1/2) from their original size. They’re fashionable, small, easy-to-use, typically inexpensive and can be left on the boot’s laces after use, making them the go to solution for keeping your pants down while riding.
A cowhide leather strap forms a boot loop that securely clips the pants cuff, while the other end snaps onto the laces for added security.
To use a boot clip, first clip the small decorative, spring-loaded metal insert onto the cuff, and then attach the tic-tac button to the laces or straps on your boots, or vice versa. Cruiser riders, in particular, appreciate boot clips because of their rustic or vintage look. They can also be customized with badges on the tic-tac button or clip to suit your preferences.
🤩 What I Like About Boot Straps
- Small and fashionable
- Easy to use
- Can be left on the boot’s laces or straps
- Customizable with badges on the tic-tac button or clip
👎 What I Don’t Like About Boot Straps
- Only clips the front pant cuff, leaving the other sides exposed to brake pedals and shift pegs
- Only one side can be sewn onto pants
Top Picks: Best Motorcycle Boot Clips
Best Boot Clips Weight (Ounces) Average Rating Availability
Ryder Boot Clips (Skull/Wings) 1.6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Engine and Shield Laced Front Clips 1.6
Warhawk Boot Clips (Buffalo Nickel)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Arimis Boot Clips (Pirate) 2.08
Ryder Clips (Chrome Heart/Skull) 1.6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Ryder Boot Clips (Engine/Shield) 1.6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
These 6 clips are not just ordinary accessories, they boast impressive designs that are bound to turn heads. Ryder’s clips feature a combination of a skull and wings design that adds a touch of edginess to any outfit. In addition, the engine and shield designs on another pair of Ryder’s clips exude a strong and rugged vibe, while the buffalo nickel on the Warhawk clips is a subtle nod to the old Wild West.
The Arimis clips, on the other hand, come with a daring pirate design that is both charming and mysterious. The Ryder’s chrome heart and skull design is a perfect blend of elegance and rebellion, adding a unique touch to your style. Each clip tells a story, making them a must-have for any fashion-forward rider.
4. Use Boot Bands/Blousers to Keep Your Pant Legs Down
Designed in navy green, these boot bands feature metal hooks and elastic that can accommodate different ankle sizes under normal conditions.
A boot band, also called a boot blouser, is a thin strap made of materials such as spandex, rubber, nylon, or polyester, which fastens on top of boots around the boot shaft using hooks on both sides. Some models come with added silicone grips to prevent slipping and decorative elements like lace or fringe to add a touch of style. Boot bands are particularly favored among military personnel for their practicality and functionality in enhancing the appearance of their attire.
A boot blouser hooked between the second and third eyelet from the top of the boot.
To use a boot blouser, begin by lifting your pants to expose the boot. Next, hook the band between the second and third eyelets from the top of the boot. Then, roll down your trousers just below the band. If your trousers are long, cuff them to maintain a neat appearance. Finally, tuck the pant leg underneath the boot band. I personally blouse mine to just below the first or second eyelet to keep debris and water out. It performs an actual function, not just an appearance. This technique not only enhances your appearance but also provides a durable and edgy feel, especially during the colder seasons.
🤩 What I Like About Boot Bands/Blousers
- Not visible from the outside
- Improved appearance
- Easy to use
👎 What I Don’t Like About Boot Bands/Blousers
- Metal hooks may pose a danger
- May need frequent adjustments, which can restrict movement.
Top Picks: Best Motorcycle Boot Bands/Blousers
Best Boot Blousers Weight (Ounces) Average Rating Availability
Jovitec 12 Piece Elastic Bands
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Janegio 24 Piece Blousing Bands 0.63 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Alpine Choice 5 Piece Boot Bands 0.8 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wisdompro Ankle Strap 0.7 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Salty Lance 20 Piece Boot Bands 0.98 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Janegio 24 Piece Blousers 0.63 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Jovetic and Janegio are both good fits for most riders, with Janegio’s bands measuring 19 cm/7.5 inches in length and 0.4 cm/0.16 inches in diameter, and The Alpine boot bands are also 7.5 inches long, but its diameter is unknown. If you’re looking for adjustability, Wisdompro’s 3-inch-long bands are easy to adjust for adult ankles. And if durability is what you’re after, Salty Lance’s bands made of polyester/elastic materials are a great choice.
5. Try the Keyring Trick to Keep Your Pant Legs Down
Secured pants to a boot harness using a keyring to prevent them from riding up.
You may want to consider this simple and highly effective trick if you find stirrup accessories uncomfortable both on and off the bike. First, make a small hole in the outer bottom leg of your riding pants, and sew reinforcing loops around the hole. Next, attach a keyring to the loops, and connect it to your boots — this works especially well for harness motorcycle boots.
After riding for a few hundred miles with this method, you’ll notice that your pants stay in place and you won’t have excess fabric around your calves. Plus, when you’re off the bike, your pants will hang more naturally than they would with stirrup devices. This may not be the perfect solution for everyone, but it’s certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a better way to keep your pants down while riding.
Tucking in, boot straps, boot clips, boot bands, and keyrings all serve the same purpose of keeping your pants in place while riding a motorcycle, but they differ in their design and functionality. With all these options, you have the flexibility to change the hooks or clips or customize them to your liking.
Wind tunneling up the pants is a simple, yet incredibly annoying problem that has been around as long as riding itself. And it’s not just a problem for sport bike riders (where the pegs are located high up and the pants catch on the gas tank, causing the cuffs to rise and exposing the ankles, while the inseam squeezes the nether regions), but also for standard and cruiser riders who face a similar issue, especially with forward biased controls that position legs leaning into the wind.
Loose jeans can be hazardous while riding because they can become entangled in the controls, potentially causing an accident. For instance, if you stop at a light and your left pant leg is caught in the rear gear shifter, you might be unable to put your foot down, causing you to drop the bike and injure yourself.
Riding in colder months is also problematic, as your only layer of protection for your legs may shift upwards, allowing chilly gusts of air to enter. The cold can affect you more than the motorcycle, leading to distracted driving and even hypothermia. But some of us ride in all weather conditions and cannot simply store our bikes during the winter. So, we require a solution to keep our pants secure, providing thermal and abrasion resistance as they are intended to do.
Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:
Review on the Performance Characteristics and Quality Standards of Motorcycle Protective Clothing
Roles of Motorcycle Type and Protective Clothing in Motorcycle Crash Injuries