I use Gaerne G-Adventures. I have only been riding for 2 years, and never rode dirtbikes as a kid. I had some A-Stars Tech 3s and found them to difficult to ride in due to the stiffness of them. The Gs don't offer as much ankle protection, but they are more suited than a "normal" boot. I will occasionally wear a hiking boot when commuting (like today).
I wear lace up 8" work boots, steel shank, and steel toe along with an Aerostich Darien pants and coat with pads. I crashed earlier this summer on a single track and pushed a foot peg thru my shin to the bone. Didn't really notice until the blood soaked my pants and was running out the bottom of my leg. Whether a MC boot would have stopped that or not is questionable. It did not tear my Darien Pants and when I pulled the pants up the blood was squirting with each beat.
I have been looking at MC boots for some time and not totally sold on the concept. I also cracked two ribs and suffered what the Dr. called soft tissue damage on my leg. All with out tearing my gear. It was not one crash, but numerous get offs on the same weekend.
Some times ATGATT just keeps you able to go back to work on Monday. I was thankful for that. I also will pick my riding partners better.
Oakley Sabot Mids. Lightweight, breathable, supportive and uber comfie for my paddles. $100. The only negative: Since I literally wear them everyday I only get about 8-months out of the sole tread. But in addition to Land Cruiser camping...that also includes some rock trail hiking, hunting, hiking to fishing spots, etc.
i use the APlinestars Tech 3 enduro boot for off road, very sturdy comfy boot and has saved my ankle on 2 occasions that i can think of, just pack a pair of hiking boots in your case for when you get off the bike. for DD and non off road forays i have a set of ICON street shoes which are comfy and much easier to shift with, the Tech 3's make shifting a pain without a lowered footpeg, i usually shift with the side of the boot rather than the toe which i prefer.
I use Sidi Adventure Rains, but I also just picked up a pair of Gaerne G Adventures recently because they were blems and I got them dirt cheap. The Sidi Adventures seem to be a good balance between protection and comfort and they have been totally waterproof. But they squeak, if untreated, and look like motorcycle boots. I commute on the bike regularly and swap to normal boots once I get into work. It would be nice to have a pair of boots I could leave on all day. The G Adventures I just got might be able to do this and look a bit more subtle under my pants, but they are far less protective than the Sidis.
Previously, I wore hiking boots. The main reason I switched really wasn't for safety. It was because I wanted waterproof boots - not just from rain, but also from water getting in over the top in creek crossings. I had been using some waterproof Redwing hiking boots, but I basically ruined them from stagnant water getting in over the top. And because they were waterproof, the water couldn't get out or dry quickly. I'd probably still wear hiking boots, but the ones that are tall enough and protective enough are usually too bulky to be able to shift properly, especially protective toe boots.
I still keep thinking about selling the Adventure Rains and getting a pair of Gaerne Balance Oiled boots. Much like the Sidi Adventures, they seem to be a good compromise between comfort and protection (more toward comfort), but look like normal boots under your pants.
I commute on the bike regularly and swap to normal boots once I get into work. It would be nice to have a pair of boots I could leave on all day. The G Adventures I just got might be able to do this and look a bit more subtle under my pants, but they are far less protective than the Sidis.