MOTOCROSS ACTION PRODUCT TEST: ALPINESTARS TECH 8 BOOTS

June 15, 2010
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WHAT IS IT?
A reworked, redesigned version of the tried-and-true motocross boot that Jeremy McGrath first made famous 15 years ago.

WHAT’S IT COST? $429.95.

CONTACT? www.alpinestars.com or (800) 727-8277.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Alpinestars revised Tech 8 boot.

(1) Updates.
There are new features. There is a spine on the front and back of the boot for better flex and protection. The streamlined, protective design of the Tech 10 was adapted to the Tech 8. The circumference at the top of the boot is a bit smaller to create a tighter seal around the calf. The top buckles have been flipped to create an interlocking pattern in an effort to improve fit. Alpinestars worked with Pirelli to find the best materials for a tear-resistant sole. The calf and shin slide systems have been designed for better flex and support.

(2) Bells and whistles . Alpinestars incorporated tons of buzz word-infused features into the Tech 8, including extended flex panels in the instep and Achilles’ heel region, a shock-absorbing insert in the heel, high-modulus PU outer-protective panels, an enlarged TPU rubber gaiter at the top of the boot, and asymmetrical gel inserts in the bootie, just to name a few.

(3) Comfort. There’s no doubt that bootie boots are plush. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, you stick your foot in a little padded slipper before putting it into the boot. This translates into comfort for riders who love a snug, heavily padded feel. Some MXA riders, however, get foot claustrophobia. They believe the bootie-in-a-boot feel is overkill.

(4) Durability.
Every Alpinestars owner, and Alpinestars themselves, knows that the durability of their soles has been suspect in the past. The new collaboration with Pirelli should end that drama.

(5) Support/protection.
Tech 8s offer top-level protection against collisions, excellent arch support, and Brooklyn Bridge-style ankle bracing. Alpinestars put a lot of effort into getting the new Tech 8 to flex in the right direction and resist movement in the wrong direction.

(6) Options. The new Tech 8s are available in sizes 5 to 15 in white (vented version), black, white/red and white/blue.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK?
The new Tech 8 boots are bulky and heavy. Our size 11 boots weighed over five pounds each. Additionally, the toe box and middle of the foot area feel massive when braking and shifting. With the taste pendulum suddenly swinging towards lighter boots, The new Alpinestars Tech 8 is bucking the trend.

rating 4 out of 5
This is a four-star boot in terms of comfort and protection, but it barely hangs on to that rating because of its weight, bulk and complexity.

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