Alpinestars Tech 10 boot ($580)
When it comes to motocross boots, Alpinestars sets the standard in quality, comfort, protection and style. Founded in 1963 by Sante Mazzarolo in Asolo, Italy, Alpinestars started out making hiking and ski boots before turning their attention to perfecting the un-developed motocross boots of the time. Their first motorcycle boot was introduced in 1965 and featured several innovations including a steel shin protector and a buckle closure system instead of laces.
Now nearly 50 years later, Alpinestars continues to lead the market in innovation, and the Tech 10 -- introduced in 2004 as the successor to the wildly popular Tech 8 -- is the industry standard and sported by the majority of professional and amateur riders worldwide.
WHAT IT IS:
Take a look around at the X Games or an AMA Supercross race and it'll be apparent just how popular Alpinestars' Tech 10 boot is. There are multiple reasons for this, but lets start with the obvious: The Tech 10 is the first boot in history to veer away from the dated stitched-sole, metal-tipped toe to feature a one-piece lower shell with a dual compound integrated sole, making for a low-profile boot that that is lighter, stronger, and more stylish then its competitors.
On the top portion of the boot, full-grain leather is combined with an impact and abrasion resistant polyurethane shell allowing for controlled flexibility, while a PU spine protects the heel, controls flex and features a hyperextension guard. Unlike the Tech 8, which features a four-buckle closure system, the Tech 10 holds everything together with three techno-polymer and aluminum buckles. This makes for easy adjustability and a streamlined fit ... not to mention it speeds up the process of actually putting the boots on, which can be a process in itself.
The Tech 10 is the only boot on the market to feature a biomechanical inner bootie that provides an extra level of support and safety. Torsion bars control ankle and leg rotation, while allowing freedom of movement. The booty is also fully removable, washable and replaceable.
WHY IT RULES:
Besides your head and neck, if there's one thing that requires the utmost protection in motocross, it's your feet. With the feet taking the most impact of any body part on a motocross track or FMX course, there's no room to skimp when it comes to protecting your dogs. There's a reason why top FMXer's like Nate Adams, Jeremy Stenberg, Brian Deegan, Travis Pastrana, Levi Sherwood and may others trust in Alpinestars -- the Tech 10's are the most protective boots on the market, period. And with six different colorways and futuristic design, they're also the most stylish.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
You'd be hard-pressed to find a motocross retailer that doesn't carry Tech 10's. And though you can purchase them at most online retailers, including from directly from Alpinestars, you're best bet is to try them on in person before purchasing them to ensure they fit properly. As a rule of thumb, Alpinestars boots are known to run a bit small.