PRODUCT: The Alpinestars Tech 7 is one of the most popular motocross boots in the U.S. It is what Alpinestars considers a mid-level boot, but it would be a premium product for virtually anyone else. It’s designed and developed in Italy, but manufactured in Alpinestars’ facility in Asia in order to keep the price down. In doing so, the Tech 7 comes in about $230 less than the company’s top-line boot, the Tech 10. The most noticeable difference between the two is the fact that the Tech 10 uses an inner bootie, while the Tech 7 does not. The boot features several flex points and four aluminum buckles on plastic straps. There is also a Velcro closure at the top with a gaiter for closure. We last reviewed the boot two years ago, and since then the dual-compound sole has been redesigned, as well as the instep and the Achilles accordion flex zone.
OUR TAKE: The Tech 7 boot remains one of our favorite products across the whole Dirt Bike staff. The reasons haven’t changed. First of all, they require almost no break-in. The pivot and flex zones are well thought out, so you can unbox them for the first time on the morning of a race and have no problem. Another bonus is the fact that they are easy to put on, even for those of us with big, honkin’ feet. This is often a problem with inexpensive boots; manufacturers will resize the foot compartment for larger feet but use the same upper section. That means you can’t get your foot through the ankle opening. Not so here. The Tech 7s are easy to install, and once the four buckles are fastened, they fit well and are comfortable. In terms of shape, the Tech 7s fall right between Sidis, with a relatively narrow toe box, and Gaernes, which are wider. Protection is outstanding. The sole is moderately flexible and wears very well. This is always a difficult balance; too much rigidity and you can’t shift or brake. Too much flex and the footpegs can beat your arches into submission very quickly. Wear can also be an issue with flexy boot soles. The Tech 7s have tougher material right where the footpeg comes in contact with the soles as well as a steel shank. The sole and footpeg inset are replaceable. Overall, this is an exceptionally durable product.
Our biggest complaint is that we often lose buckets. This won’t happen on a normal ride, but in the chaos of a crowded first turn, it isn’t unusual to have someone bump you or run over your feet. Usually, he’s wearing an orange MXA helmet. Your boot buckets can easily get torn off and lost. Our advance is to get an extra set of four buckles (usually around $25 for all four) and keep them in your gear bag. And, stay away from orange helmets.
PRICE: $369.95 CONTACT: Your dealer or www.alpinestars.com