Dirt bikes are hard on our bodies, period. One place in particular is our feet and ankles. Boots have come a long way from their all-leather construction and tons of straps that made them look like they came out of an alternative rock band’s dressing room. Look down at your feet…. I personally have broken everything you can imagine in my left foot and ankle from the tib/fib down, making me the perfect candidate to snivel about boots. In the last few years I have set my feet into about every major boot for some extended time. For 2014, Alpinestars has released a new version of their flagship Tech 10 boot. As someone who never wants to experience the pain of a broken foot again, I took the opportunity to slide my feet into latest high-end offering from the Italian company.
Alpinestars Tech 10 Feature Highlights
A new Dual sliding blade system allows for less break in time and easier movement front to rear.
The updated buckling system uses an all new design with an aluminum bridge and center pin that is much easier to lock and unlock (for past tech 10 users, no more hammers!)
The new and heavily revised Tech 10 comes in size 7-14 and 6 color-ways currently.
I was curious to see how the new Tech 10 would feel since it has been a while since I’ve tried on a boot with an inner bootie system. Although most major boot companies have leaned towards a hinged ankle system, Alpinestars has kept the bootie in their Tech 10. Having a shoe size of 8 ½, I tend to lean towards a size 9 boot. However, after slipping on the new boot in a size 9 , I was surprised at the amount of extra room I had around my foot and decided to try a size 8. As it turned out, Vital MX Content Manager, Bayo, had a similar issue, going down one boot size from his regular choice. After strapping in the booty and latching the new buckling system (anyone who has had Tech 10s in the past knows this can be a tough feat, but now is as simple as well… flipping a switch), I walked around the pits for a few minutes. In the past the tech 10s have been extremely stiff initially for me and have taken some notable break in time, but after my walk down the pits they already felt ready to moto.
On the Track
Out on the track is where the real opinion matters. Having not used a bootie system in a long time, I had forgotten how much ankle support they actually offer. The Tech 10 bootie gives a bit of extra confidence when over jumping, landing in a corner, and other situations where that extra bit of support is usable. Because I don’t have the largest of foot sizes, there’s a fine line between riding on my heels, riding on my toes, and my boots not even being on the pegs. I have struggled in the past with keeping traction while on the riding on balls of my feet. Fortunately though, the Tech 10 has a unique rubber pattern on the toe box area that aids in extra grip, which, in this case, was quite noticeable. The toe box area is a bit stiffer than some boots I have used recently, meaning that shifting and braking duties took a little while to get used to with the boot having less feel at the shifter.
Long Term Durability
In the past I haven’t exactly been nice to boots, gripping heavily with my feet and legs usually leaves me with chewed up or soles that fall off in a hurry. The Tech 10 lives up to the quality that Alpinestars is known for. After spending every riding hour in these boots for the last 5 months, I have been quite pleased with how they are holding up. The soles, of course, have signs of foot peg digs, but nothing out of the ordinary. The boots themselves still feel as stiff as they did after their initial break in (that’s a good thing). When spending serious money on boots, you not only want protection but quality and life span and the Tech 10 delivers on both fronts.
Hard Boiled Truth
I was not a huge fan of the previous Tech 10 boots, but I have been immensely impressed with Alpinestars’ latest version of their premier MX footwear. The new slider and buckle systems are huge improvements as are the practically innumerable other revisions. As with any pair of boots, I highly recommend trying a pair on first before dropping the money for this high-dollar item. In a perfect world, I would like for a bit more feel in the toe area under braking and when shifting, but the overall quality has me keeping these my standard choice to throw into my gear bag.
About the Test Rider
Michael Lindsay is a born and raised moto freak and gear head from the heart of motocross in Southern California. Swinging a leg over a bike at five, he immediately caught the racing bug, spending nearly every weekend behind a gate…and a lot of time on the couch while injured. Eventually, Michael swung over into the off-road scene, racing WORCS and GPs. He even had a short-lived freestyle career that included hitting steel ramps at least a dozen times with huge one- and two-handers. Of course, all of this lead to one thing: Lindsay loves working on his bikes almost as much as he loves talking about the them. When he’s not on the Vital MX Moto-Related forum, you can find him out at the track taking dirt naps, tearing down bikes, working on heavy equipment, or maybe even over at enzo racing praying that he put his suspension together properly and doesn’t come apart in mid-air. With an outspoken personality and gear head background, Michael is here to share his unbiased opinion…even if it’s wrong.