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Joe Frickin' Friday

Alpinestars SMX Plus Gore-Tex Boots

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Over the course of my riding career my priorities for riding gear have changed. When I bought my first RT back in 1999, I also bought (among other things) some modestly-priced Alpinestars Stage Gore-Tex boots. The boots offered decent (but not amazing) protection. When the soles started delaminating 100,000+ miles later, Shawn pointed me toward Sidi Strada Tepor Evo boots – slightly more expensive, but they also appeared to offer better shin and ankle protection than my first boots. I rode with those for roughly 9 years - until this summer, when I finally noticed the soles getting brittle and weather-checked. Last fall when Knappy spent a day riding with me in Wisconsin, he showed me his footwear, a pair of Alpinestars SMX Plus Goretex boots. I finally bought a pair last week and took them for a first ride yesterday.

 

5648_black_1_1_27-L.jpg

 

These are premium-priced boots, but you get what you pay for. The closure is slightly more complex than either of my other boots were, but it provides for a custom fit. The whole system is shown in

starting at 2:46 (that’s not my video): there is a Kevlar drawstring for cinching up the ankle fit, followed by a zipper for closing up the main flap, and then the shin armor has a single self-ratcheting retention strap. This means that regardless of how big/small your ankles and calves are, you can get this boot to fit properly: snug enough so it’s unlikely to depart in a crash, but not so snug that your foot goes numb.

 

Lined with Gore-Tex, so it’s suitable for all-weather touring.

 

Like my Sidi boots, there’s hard armor on the shin. Unlike my Sidi boots, there’s a lot more ankle support and armoring, along with a lateral toe slide. If you’re looking for a touring boot with top-notch foot/ankle protection, you’ll want to take a close look at these.

 

I found them to be very comfortable during a 70-mile ride yesterday; looking forward to giving them a more thorough test at FART just a few weeks from now. When I’m riding with the balls of my feet on the pegs there seems to be a lot more stiffness in them that resists dorsiflexion, such that my calf muscles aren’t working so hard to bear my weight. In spite of the stiffness, I can walk just fine; it’s not like wearing ski boots or something.

 

Unfortunately there’s a bit more stiffness than I would like when it comes to plantar flexion (what you do with your foot when readying for an upshift). I don’t know how much of this is because the boots are brand-new and how much will still be there after a few thousand miles of riding, but it takes a bit of effort now to cram my toe under the shifter. It may take some time to get used to this. I haven’t looked into it, but I suspect the RT’s shifter is adjustable; if so, I may dial it upward 1/8-1/4”.

 

Also unfortunately, they’re a touch on the gaudy side, with the giant white “a” logo on the shin. I may go after that with a black magic marker to make it a little less eye-catching.

 

All in all, I’m happy so far. I’ll see how I feel after some longer riding days at FART.

 

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Twinsig

Nice write-up joe! I'm looking at new boots,not sure about this price though.

Still happy with em?

Any issues?

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Joe Frickin' Friday

~1000 miles on them, no complaints so far. Wore them to FART, and can confirm that they are indeed waterproof.

 

Pricey, yes, but I have no doubt they'll last for years. I figure if I'm going to have something that long, I'll pay for the good stuff.

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Glenn Reed
Wore them to FART, and can confirm that they are indeed waterproof.

 

I know, I know, that was my fault... :dopeslap:

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Guest Kakugo

Thanks Joe.

 

Two quick questions.

1)How do they compare to the Sidi in overall feel? I haven't had Alpinestars in a long, long time and a lot of water has flown under the bridge.

 

2)Can the toe slider be changed? Silly question, but can made the difference for me. :grin:

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Two quick questions.

1)How do they compare to the Sidi in overall feel? I haven't had Alpinestars in a long, long time and a lot of water has flown under the bridge.

 

Not sure how to answer this one, except to say that they feel more substantial. I think there's more padding to them, so that they provide a more even snugness as you fasten them shut. They're stiffer, which is good for safety, but takes some getting use to while riding, particularly for the shifter (left) foot.

 

2)Can the toe slider be changed? Silly question, but can made the difference for me. :grin:

 

According to their website, yes, the toe slider can be replaced.

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Guest Kakugo

Thanks a lot Joe.

I've been split between these and the new TCX S-Speed Gore Tex.

Since neither is yet available in any shop here, I'll have some time to decide.

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