MC Tested: Alpinestars Stunt Motorcycle Boots

From the November 2006 issue of Motorcyclist magazine

We've said it before and we'll say it again: For cash-strapped riders looking to save money on gear, high-top sneakers make passable riding boots. Not canvas Keds, mind you, but leather (or leather-like) basketball sneakers with padded ankles. That observation hasn't been lost on today's Street Extreme riders, which is where Alpinestars' Stunt boots come in.

A-stars' previous Jet boots were little more than high-top sneakers with plastic ankle guards, so the Stunt boots are a step in the right direction. Though at first glance they appear shorter and less substantial, they're actually more protective, thanks to a full-length molded midsole, a thick extended toe counter and a protective thermoplastic heel plate. Even if you never "tro' a 12 o'clock," you'll appreciate the grippy vulcanized rubber soles, the Stay-Put suede patches inside the heels and the raised rubber bumps at the shifter patch and other high-wear areas.

Made of Cordura and a synthetic-leather material called Probuck, the Stunt boots are said to be breathable yet waterproof--though why you'd wear ankle-high boots in the rain is beyond us. They're also quite comfortable--or at least they were after we tied the laces at the second set of eyelets. They were too tight around the ankles before that.

The other thing--two actually--we didn't care for were the stretchy thermoplastic-and-rubber shoelace guards, which were forever coming detached. We did, however, find them useful for squid hunting at bike night. An old-fashioned Velcro-closed flap would be preferable.

Obviously, ankle-high boots can only protect from that point downward, leaving your lower legs vulnerable to injury. Within that constraint, however, Alpinestars' Stunt boots (available in black only, in men's sizes 6-13) offer excellent protection. The fact that they cost half as much as a proper pair of riding boots--less even than many brand-name high-tops--just means more riders can afford them.

Alpinestars Stunt Boots

PRICE
MSRP: $79.95

RATING
Three stars

VERDICT
Decent, inexpensive protection in boots you can wear out on the town

CONTACT
Alpinestars USA
(310) 891-0222
www.alpinestars.com