The upper portion of the liner has a plastic support section that's about 1/8" x 1" x 4" that pivots to allow natural movement. This structure gives a real feeling of protection and doesn't prevent natural movement of your foot at all
The outer main boot is a collection of different materials with flexible plastic sections covering over 1/2 of the outside of the boot. Something I noticed immediately was how flexible the overall boot was, this was obviously because the protective structure was incorporated onto the inner liner. The upper portion has an air gap between it and the inner portion of the boot with a mesh material inside allowing air to flow out of the boot. The tongue on the front of the boot is made of a material which allows good air flow. The bottom of the boot is made of a tough rubber like material and has a good heel portion on it as well. The back of the heel has a replaceable slider attached by 2 Allen head screws, the outside toe portion has a toe slider that locks in at 2 points very firmly, but does not require any tools to replace it.
I found these boots to be very comfortable and actually fit me and held the fit, they were a Euro size 45 - USA size 10.5. I normally wear a 10 to 10.5 USA size shoe depending on manufacturer and have wide feet as well. My large, muscular calve muscles (Ladies?– Ed.) have always been a problem for me with boots, most of the time the boots will loosen up by the time a race is over due to the Velcro not having enough surface area to hold when opened up large enough for me. The strap across the back of this boot solves that issue for me, even though there still is not a lot of Velcro engaged over my large calve muscles in these boots as well. After the races I found that they were still fitting as well as when I 1st put them on, I was very impressed by this since it's been a problem for me for the entire time I have raced. I was also very impressed by the soles, they offered great grip and 'feel' and don't show any signs of wear at all (even though I have relatively new heavily knurled foot pegs on my bike). Another thing I noticed was the cooling capability of these boots, even though they are not the model with the perforations in the leather. I normally want to get out of my boots ASAP after a race because my feet will have formed small puddles of sweat, but in these, my feet were comfortable after all the races I ran. Once in these boots I felt protected, combining the inner liner and outer shell gave me a confident feeling yet still allowed easy range of motion.
A few observations about these boots, when sliding my liner covered foot into the outer shell I encounter some resistance before my heel 'pops' into position. This was bad enough the 1st time I put them on to think I had the wrong size boot, but once my foot was in the boot it was comfortable. Due to my large calves, I encountered some resistance when zipping up the boot, but again once zipped the boot was comfortable in that aspect. The 1st time I went out on the track wearing these I noticed that due to the ankle protection the boots are slightly wider than what I have used in the past, though not a problem at all I had to slightly change the positioning of my foot when I shift. The only real complaint I have with these boots is a slight tightness on the top of my feet due to my feet being wider than most, not that this was to the point of causing a problem, but noticeable none the less. I have noticed that each of the minor issues I had with fit are getting better as I wear the boots more, I would imagine after a few more races none of these things will even be an issue and the boots will be fitting great then.
Overall I would highly suggest these boots to anyone looking for comfortable protection while riding or racing!
For more info go to www.alpinestars.com
- GSXR Racer Mike