Dirt or motocross (MX) boots offer the highest level of protection your feet can possibly receive. The only reason they aren’t used on ‘normal’ motorcycles is because all of that protection results in a heavy boot that can feel incredibly stiff and alien on the bike. Alpinestars’ Tech range of MX boots is renowned for offering some of the best comfort in the business, with a little bit of flex in the sole while still retaining a high level of protection.
The Tech 7 is on the higher end of the company’s MX range, and the Enduro variant gets a different lugged sole to help improve grip in muddy situations. What makes these boots unique is that they now come with the option of Alpinestars’ Drystar waterproof liner, making it one of the only hardcore dirt boots out there to offer waterproofing.
The Tech 7 is amazingly comfortable in comparison to most MX boots, both cheap and expensive. It still feels stiff, big and heavy compared with a road boot, but it’s also relatively easy to walk around in, and the inner liner is soft and comfortable. The company has been able to engineer some flex into the boot via a biomechanical armour for the ankle as well as a sliding-blade mechanism along the back. These both really help comfort, but come at the cost of making this a pretty squeaky pair of boots.
The armour and protection scheme is immense and it’s worth reading all about it on the company’s website. The things that stand out are the TPU reinforcement that runs around the entire base of the boot, a comprehensive amount of shin armour and four recessed buckles that firmly clasp the boot in place. The arrow-head buckles are replaceable and this is the best buckle system I’ve experienced to date.
The inner side is lined with a large panel of textured TPU that generates plenty of grip along the side of the motorcycle. As for the Drystar waterproof liner, I’ve used these boots on a hot 40degC day out shooting on big adventure bikes and while they ran warm, they never got too clammy or sweaty. Another thing to bear in mind is that you will need a wide enough rain pant to cover the top of these big boots for them to remain watertight in torrential rain.
The waterproof liner also extends the capabilities of the Tech 7s into offering perhaps the best foot protection you can get on an ADV bike in all weather conditions. Having now used them on multiple bikes, I’ve learnt that despite the comfort factor, you still need to raise the gearshifter to be able to comfortably hook the boot underneath for an upshift.
The Drystar membrane is a nice feature, but if you’re solely interested in using these off-road, the normal Tech 7 Enduro is probably the smarter choice in our hot climate.
At $420 (about Rs 30,000) the Drystar model costs about 30 dollars more than the standard Tech 7 Enduro in international markets. Unfortunately, huge duty rates mean you’ll end up paying around Rs 45,000 for them in India when they arrive here in the next couple of months.
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