PRODUCT: The latest version of the Alpinestars Tech 8 boots uses new materials and innovative design features to create a lightweight boot that boasts high levels of safety and performance. At 15 percent lighter than the older Tech 8, Alpinestars has incorporated a leather inner ankle sleeve that mates to a 3D mesh panel and adjustable shock-absorbing gel inserts on the ankles and lower leg. The dual-density sole is replaceable, and the right-side boot has a kickstarter replacement insert. A new low-profile toe targets improved control and sensitivity in the shift area, and a reengineered ankle construction means no break in is required before riding. The full-length rubber panel on the inner side of the boot gives grip against the bike and is insulated with aluminum foil for improved heat resistance.
POSITIVE: Wow, this is a huge improvement over the last Tech 8s we evaluated. First off, they are considerably lighter, and when we weighed them against our Sidi Crossfire 2s, the Tech 8 came in lighter—per boot, size-48 Sidis weigh 4.75 pounds and Alpinestars Tech 8s weigh 4.5 pounds.
Next, the comfort level has been enhanced considerably, the inner bootie is a slip-in affair, the new buckles are easy to adjust and lock, and the break-in period is the leanest we’ve experienced with any Alpinestars boot. This translates into footwear that is easy on the knees (weight is a big factor), has super feel (the new lower toe box helps here) and the ability to hit it hard out of the box, thanks to the quick break-in time wrapped in a product that sizzles with craftsmanship.
NEGATIVE: Yep, for all of the high-end technical advancements, the price is, well, the price. At $459, the Tech 8 is at the top of the food chain in the price world. The only other gripe came from riders with fat ankles and could not get their foot shoehorned in and the boot buckled.
BOTTOM LINE: There are many riders who flat prefer a bootie-styled boot. They demand the enhanced ankle protection that they provide over a hinged boot design. Usually the drawbacks are a long break-in period, plus the big feel through the ankle and a wide stance. The Alpinestars Tech 8 pretty much flushes the old ways down the commode and gives us a super-light boot, with virtually no break in, a very normal set through the middle of the boot, and a superb feel during both shifting and braking. In a word, superb! q

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