Why did I buy Alpinestars motorcycle boots when I bought my first pair way back in 1997? Because many of the top AMA road racing stars I watched wore Alpinestars. And you know what? I was absolutely right in doing that. Alpinestars is probably the most recognized name in the world of motorcycle boots and the pros wear them for better reasons than getting free ones from the company.
When my boots were new, the GP Tech line had just come out and they had a carbon fiber shin plate, which was pretty high tech in those days. I remember watching Scott Russell dominate the Daytona 200 that year and took particular notice of his racing boots for some reason. Actually, it was because I was in the market for a new bike (my Triumph Daytona T595 that I own to this day) and I wanted to have proper motorcycle gear. It seemed to me at the time (and still does) that I couldn’t buy better sport motorcycle boots than the ones pro racers wore. After all, that’s why companies pay the pros to wear their gear: they want all of us to buy it. But the pros aren’t stupid. They wear good equipment.
Alpinestars takes a lot of input from professional racers into account for making the next generation motorcycle racing boots. They’re the testers for the brand. And you don’t have to have a paycheck the size of Nicky Hayden to afford his brand of motorcycle boots either. There is quite a range of boots in each of the styles. From road racing boots to riding shoes to regular shoes (for walking around the paddock between practice sessions, of course).
Soles are thermally bonded to the boot. No stitching is needed. Some companies tout stitched soles as a selling point, but there’s no way the soles are coming off Alpinestars motorcycle boots. They've become Siamese twins with the rest of the boot!
Read on for a quick sample of some of the highlights of the Alpinestars motorcycle boots line-up.
Their top line sport boots basically resemble a downhill ski boot when the outer part is removed. The “inner boot” encases the rider's entire foot in a PU (polyurethane) cocoon that is very impact resistant. The ankle is allowed to move in a natural range of motion by way of “torsion bars” that allow pivoting, but prevents hyperextension in any direction, which can damage tendons and more in the ankle and transfer damage to the knees. It reminds me of the ankle braces that some volleyball players wear. You'll know what I mean if you play competitive VB.
The outer part of the boot is a microfiber material that offers good abrasion resistance. The soles are designed to be abrasion resistant also. Even better, they are engineered so that they prevent the edges of the boots from catching in a slide, which can cause you to tumble and that's a major source of injury. They also have aluminum sliders on the heel to minimize drag in the event of a crash. Dissipating the kinetic energy in as gradual a way as possible is the name of the game. Think of the joke, “It's not the fall that kills, it's the sudden stop”.
There are tons of other features that I won't go into that offer a flexible, comfortable fit. I'll tell you they've come a long way in the last 10 years since I bought my Alpinestars motorcycle boots. At about $450 a pair ought to be good! But can you really put a price on protection? If you have the means, you probably can't find a better motorcycle boot on this planet or the two nearest others for that matter.
Alpinestars Touring Boots
Looking for cruiser boots? That's more of an American niche and is a gap in the Alpinestars motorcycle boots line-up. Cruisers are more of an American phenomenon. Alpinestars do make “touring boots”, which can be worn by anyone who lives to inhale mile after mile of roadway, whether highway or byway. If you're a member of the Harley subculture, you're not going to be very satisfied. The touring boots on offer here definitely have a European flair here. They're like toned-down racing boots, but are still engineered with the same eye toward comfort and safety in mind.
If you are a fan of moto-touring, you are much more likely to ride in inclement weather than your average crotch rocket squid riding back and forth from junior college. You definitely need boots that use Gore-Tex or similar waterproof fabric in them. Take for example, the Tech Touring boot from Alpinestars. They are made from full-grain leather (the most durable and abrasion-resistant kind) and has the benefit of a Gore-Tex membrane grafted to it to keep the rain from coming in and letting the sweat from your tootsies out. Remember, the Gore-Tex membrane has something like 9 billion micropores per square inch, which is flippin' genius. Each pore is waaaay smaller than a water droplet (so rain stays out), and is still waaaay smaller than a water molecule so water vapor can escape.
Return from Alpinestars Motorcycle Boots to Motorcycles