Cruiser Tested: Alpinestars Ridge Waterproof Boots

(February 2008)

Regardless of the season, keeping your feet comfortable while riding is always important. To meet that need Alpinestars carries the Ridge Waterproof Boot in its line-up. The first thing you should know is that these boots live up to their name: The day they showed up here at the palatial Motorcycle Cruiser offices was the day a mega-rainstorm hit the area. My riding gear was soaked long before I arrived home but my feet stayed bone-dry.

It seems that Alpinestars intends the mid-height boots to be at home in the city as well as out on longer trips. They are approximately 3 inches taller than the top of the ankles and protection is provided by padded cups on each side. The heels have a protective polyurethane cap while the toes are shielded by a stiff toe box with a double layer of Lorica on the sides and a rubber rand. The Ridge's wide tongue is gusseted to prevent leakage and the boot closes with two large Velcro patches plus a Velcro strap in front of the ankle. The sole is a single piece of rubber. Extra touches include a reflective patch on the back heel, a thin layer of insulation all around the foot and thick padding over the Achilles tendon.

The Ridge's fit is typically European, which is to say snug for average width American feet and a no-go for owners with wide dogs. These comfortable boots give better control feel than that provided by the overly stiff, blocky boots we've encountered on the market. The Gore-Tex membrane not only keeps water out but does a good job of venting away perspiration--which helps your feet stay dry. The boots' insulation keeps toes toasty but LA-la-land weather only allowed testing down to about 48 degrees Fahrenheit. The soles provide stable platforms while waiting at red lights but pushing off from the toes on rain-slicked pavement can cause a slip--not a big deal, just something to note.

The Ridge boots are well-made, completely functional and a very good value at $110. They should appeal to those seeking waterproof footwear for rainy days, those who don't like tall boots and those looking for a versatile pair of riding boots.

Available through www.alpinestars.com or your local motorcycle apparel dealer.

- Evan Kay