Due to some equipment incompatibility issues that I was facing with my S-MX 3 boots, I decided to casually browse around for some new boots to try out. One day when checking out EBay I came upon an auction for a pair of Alpinestars S-MX Plus boots (pretty much one step up from my S-MX 3’s) with a starting price of $50.00. I decided to keep an eye on the auction and over the next few days the price only went to $60.00. So with about 10 seconds left I bid $61 and luckily I won (yay!).
Upon arrival I realized that these aren’t casual riding boots, these are 100% racing boots. These things are made to have the rider go flying off his bike at 130 mph, get up, and say “darn, I think I broke my toenail.” External armor, internal armor, steel heel cap, internal lacing system to limit how far your foot can twist, toe sliders, calf sliders, etc, etc, etc. I make fun of Verm all the time for looking like a power ranger in his gear, but I’ve got to say, other than the Sidi Vertigo Corsa’s and the Oxtar Evo Titanium boots these are the most space-agey boots I’ve seen yet.
Might not go along with my relatively docile looking EX500, but personally I liked the look.
Alright, on to my first impressions:
The boots simply feel good, I can’t really describe how or why. Put ‘em on and they fit snugly thanks to the internal lacing system. Inside the boots themselves is another pseudo-boot. Slip your foot into it and pull the quick-lace system tight and lock it down (quite easy) and Velcro it into place so the drawstring won’t flap out of the boot. Now the boot is tight around your foot (a problem I had with my S-MX 3’s being a ½ size too big for my foot, they didn’t feel as secure). Once you’ve got it laced, zip them up (the zipper goes about ½ up the boot.) and then finally secure them shut with the ratchet system. Once that’s all done the boot fits like a glove on me. It’s a lot of work to go through for a street boot…which is one of the downsides. It takes me probably 2x as long to put these on as it did my S-MX 3’s.
The boots are a bit narrow, so at first walking seems a bit odd. Also, since they aren’t meant to flex too terribly far walking can be awkward. I think once the leather loosens up a little bit it may be easier, but at first it’s weird. My S-MX 3’s feel much better and more stable when walking around, as they also flex further in the ankle. They’re also wider. There are a few ventilation ports on the boot but nonetheless they can and will get steamy if left on for a while. There is a ventilated version of these boots available as well, so if you ride where it’s often hot and doesn’t rain too terribly often, that might be something to look into.
My S-MX 3’s felt good on the bike, but for some reason, maybe it’s the fit, maybe it’s the security, I’m not sure…but these Plus’ just feel great. It didn’t matter how I positioned my foot, they felt good. The feeling on the toes is nice as well, shouldn’t have a problem locating that shifter. After wearing them for a few rides I honestly am considering selling my S-MX 3’s. Not because they’re bad boots, but (I think it’s the size issue for me) the Plus’ just outdo them. My two biggest gripes I had with my S-MX 3 boots are non existent in these boots (the very tall toe and the sticking out Velcro that gets caught on my shifting peg). The toe is flatter on these and the zipper area is on the outside of the boot (the part that faces away from the bike). Also, since the Velcro doesn’t go all the way up, there is nothing to stick out like on my S-MX 3’s.
Overall I’m extremely happy with my purchase. The only downsides I’ve had thus far with the boots is the amount of time they take to put on and remove, and that I don’t want to wear them out of fear of wearing them out. Sometimes I contemplate putting my S-MX 3’s back on so that these will last longer!
If you’re looking for a pair of boots that look sharp (maybe a little TOO sharp!) and feel great, then I highly recommend giving these boots a try.