Alpinestars GTX Motorcycle Boots

A pair of boots that work on and off your motorcycle. By Andy Cherney.

We motorcyclists are a bipolar bunch. We love the look, feel and protection of a purpose-built hi-tech motorcycle boot, but as soon as we get to where we're going, we want to slip into something more comfortable.

Alpinestars' GTX boots are not only cool (literally), but also an effective compromise between function, fashion and comfort. Though not cheap at $165 (in men's sizes 3-1/2 through 12), these suede and nylon kickers offer the protective features you would expect in a good riding shoe -- over-the-ankle coverage, padding at crucial impact points, Gore-Tex lining for surprise summer showers -- plus the extremely light weight and ventilation of a casual boot. We have taken to wearing these boots as all-purpose shoes; great for urban commutes to and from the office and stylish enough for the foo-foo gourmet dinner after hours.

Best of all, we no longer find ourselves compelled to travel like Imelda Marcos, with 10 pairs of boots for every occasion stuffed into a tail bag.

Another bonus: the sole of the GTX boot is an aggressive, rubber design, which is grippy enough for off-road excursions on foot if you decide to park the bike and get back to nature. The center lace system has a hook-and-loop flap to seal out dirt and water, and a shifter guard, made of reinforced suede, resides in the toe area. There's a retro-reflective patch on the back of the ankle and the footbed is made of, ahhhhhh... fine velvet.

Even though we loved their light weight and good looks, we felt the Gore-Tex lining in the GTX boots couldn't keep up with perspiration transfer in extremely hot conditions, so we'd probably avoid them in the height of summer. The GTX boots are intended, as Alpinestars claims, for easy touring and trekking -- and they live up to that job description nicely, on or off the bike. It's always nice to have options for your feet.

RESOURCE
Alpinestars
(310) 891-0222
www.alpinestars.com

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