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alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Boots

Rating: The alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Boots has a 5 star rating.5    
Average Price: $329.95
The Quick Wizz:
alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Boot is an excellent CE rated touring boot.
 
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Pros:
  • Very comfortable right out of the box
  • Excellent 3 season boot
  • Work great for walking and light hiking
  • CE rated 2|2|2

Cons:
  • Sole pattern picks up a lot of little rocks that need to be scraped out

My quest for motorcycle boots started when I was planning a road trip from Seattle, Washington to Colorado Springs for the Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds. I wanted to have full protection for my feet, ankle and lower leg for such a long ride. Sure, I could have gone with just regular work boots, but I felt that motorcycle specific CE rated foot wear just made sense, and after looking at quality work boots like Danner and Wolverine they were just as much, and in some cases more than specifically designed, tested and rated motorcycle boots. On to the web to research motorcycle boots that would best suit my riding style: comfort and protection for long days, with the additional functionality for some light duty walking and hiking.

After reviewing many brands and types, the word "comfortable" kept coming up every time I read anything about the alpinestars SMX-6 V2 motorcycle boots. The four styles of the SMX-6 V2 motorcycle boots included: Vented, Drystar, Standard and GORE-TEX. Which one would suit me best? All versions had their benefits, but what drew me to the GORE-TEX model was the water protection and breathable liner. I also liked the fact that it did not have the toe slider, which might be good for track days, but not really necessary for touring and walking. The price was the only drawback, at $329 they were definitely at the top of my budget, but I figured for the extra $60, if they let my feet breathe a little and kept the weather out, then they would be worth it. The next step was to size the alpinestars motorcycle boots. European sizing means they are not a direct conversion, but from all of my research, the proper sizing was to go with the European size that matches a 1/2 size smaller than your normal shoe size. So out came the credit card and the money flew out of my account faster than my Tiger 1050 down the Bonneville Salt Flats. This would be the biggest purchase for my upcoming trip, but if my research was correct then these boots would work for many rides to come.

When you're taking an extended motorcycle trip, you need to start planning early, and although I had been planning for 6 months, my boots did not get ordered until the last 2 weeks. Needless to say watching them take longer than they should was a little stressful. The motorcycle boots arrived just in time. I was glad that I had focused on comfort, because they were comfortable right out of the box and didn't need to be broken in. So would the alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Motorcycle Boots live up to expectations? I was really hoping so. My bike was loaded and off I went, and man, the comfort was top shelf right from the first turn, and got even better as the trip progressed. I was riding between 300 and 450 miles a day with some side trips and light hiking. The weather I encountered gave the SMX-6 V2 boots a 3 season test, with conditions ranging from 35 degrees in the morning to 98 degrees in the afternoon and some rain, too.

alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Motorcycle Boots Review Breakdown:

The Wet

When the rain hit in Oregon's Blue Mountains, I was sure glad that I had the GORE-TEX liners, because wet feet get cold and cold feet can quickly turn an enjoyable ride into a miserable one. So how good did the SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX boots perform in 100+ miles of rain? Perfect! My feet were dry and comfortable, the boots did not get water logged or stiff, and the Velcro and zippers were not affected. It is also important to mention that the boots soles were not slippery, these boots did a great job gripping, no matter the weather or surface.

The Cold

Riding highway 80 through Wyoming can be a long haul. It seems to have a lot of truck traffic, and you are exposed to weather and high winds that can really rip through the area. In order to mitigate a few of these factors, we got an early morning start, which cut down on cagers, but added cool mid 30 degree temperatures. Thank goodness for my hand warmers, because they were on high and just barely enough to keep my hands warm. My feet, however, were never cold. They were comfortable and unaffected by the wind chill and low temperature.

The Heat

The heat was the next big test, which I would say is a pretty tough test. I am asking a boot to offer maximum protection to my foot, ankle, and lower leg, while simultaneously maintain comfort in searing heat. So do these boots possess some sort of magic to keep your feet cool in 98 degree weather? Nope, but my feet were on par with the rest of me. Sure it was tempting to try to beat a little of the heat and wear a pair of sneakers, but ATGATT (All the Gear All the Time), right? One option, if you do a fair amount of riding in warm climates with little chance of rain or cold weather, I would probably take a look at the alpinestars SMX-6 V2 Vented boot. Some free flowing air running through my boot would have been welcomed, but I would not have traded it for the rain and cold protection.

The Comfort

So how much can we ask of the alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX boots? They are comfortable to ride in, comfortable in the wet and cold and hold their own in the hot, but if you are touring, hopefully you are doing more than just flogging it down the interstate. Getting off the interstate, seeing the sites and talking to people are all a part of a memorable motorcycle trip. This also means that you are going to do a fair amount of walking and maybe even a little hiking in your boots. So with zero boot break-in time, I used my boots for everything and I can say that, although not designed for walking, the boots did remarkably well. I did not have any hot or sore spots, even after a long day in the saddle and extended walking and standing in them for hours at the Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds. Hiking was more of the same, but with an added bonus. When we were doing some exploring in both Idaho and Wyoming, it was very comforting to know that I also had built in rattle snake protection. Don't get me wrong, these boots are in no way designed to be out hiking on a trail, but will work for light duty excursions. Also, I have to say that not having the toe slider, like on all the other SMX-6 V2 versions, was nice.

The GORE-TEX Breathable Liner

So was the GORE-TEX liner worth the extra? In my score book, absolutely! For 3 season riding and trying to plan for the unexpected, a breathable, waterproof liner has the advantage over no liner and a non-breathable liner. GORE-TEX has been around for a long time and is the go-to fabric for apparel that needs to withstand weather. So for an extra $60 dollars compared to the SMX-6 V2 standard boot and just $30 dollars more compared to the Drystar, I believe it was money well spent. The GORE-TEX liner is also guaranteed for life.

The One Gripe

These boots are definitely top notch, but my only gripe is the sole pattern. Now I'm sure that alpinestars has put a ton of research into these boots, and honestly you can tell, but the sole grips in the boots are so close together that small rocks get caught in between them, so you are constantly digging them out every day. Now I never even came close to slipping in the boots and my traction was always good on the foot pegs, but it just bothered me seeing a bunch of tiny rocks stuck to the bottom of my boots. Was it a deal breaker, not in the slightest.

alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Motorcycle Boot Review Summary

The legendary alpinestars fit and comfort holds true. These boots were evaluated over a 10-day period covering 3,422 miles, and never once did my feet get wet, cold or hurt. I used them for riding between 300 and 450 miles a day, walking around camp and town and even some light hiking. They were comfortable in both the wet and cold, and manageable in the extreme heat. The alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX boots are CE 2|2|2 rated and provided protection to my foot and lower leg while still being comfortable and having a natural flex. The GORE-TEX version is a slightly modified version of the standard SMX-6 V2 boot, having more of a touring focus rather than an entry level track day boot, with a streamlined upper and no toe slider. The touring design mods probably add to the overall comfort. So for those that plan on buying a great touring boot that will offer state of the art protection, give you some mobility when you are walking, offer you 3 season protection, and last for years I would definitely take a look at the SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX boots. You will not look back.

Review Disclaimer

This review was written with the intent of giving a fair and honest review of the alpinestars SMX-6 V2 GORE-TEX Boots. These boots were purchased by WizzWare and not sent to us as a demo. All images in this review are WizzWare originals and the product was not touched up or specifically positioned to hide any flaws.