Decent wear and tear from these
It’s getting to that time when I need to think about replacing my boots. Inevitably you get to thinking about the impact on your wallet – they are not cheap are they.
Although I can’t quite recall exactly how much I paid for my Alpinestars SMX boots I think they were around the £170 mark – one reasonable question then is have they been good value.
The answer to that is an easy and straightforward yes. And the reason I would say they have been great value is that I bought them in February 2009 and am still (just about wearing them).
But really the amount of time you’ve had a pair of boots (or anything else for that matter) has nothing to do with how long you have them , really the test is how much have they been used in that period.
Well I can’t quite be sure of the exact mileage but a reasonable estimate would be that these boots have done around 45,000 miles, have been used on five different bikes and apart from the countless days of regular usage in the UK they have seen action in: Andorra; Belgium; Czech Republic; France; Holland; Italy; Lichtenstein; Luxemburg; Portugal; Spain and Switzerland … and it probably goes without saying that it wasn’t always dry!
But then I suppose even more importantly than the extensive use have they ever been really tested?
Unfortunately in my case the answer is yes – once in 2010 and once in 2012 when I was sent down the road big time (neither accident was my fault).
Although the 2010 accident was more significant than the 2012 accident the nature of my ‘off’ meant that I was probably airborne longer than I was sliding along the ground and although I received multiple injuries both my feet and ankles were completely intact.
The 2012 accident saw me sliding along an Italian Autostrada for much longer than I wanted or was comfortable. On that occasion it’s fair to say that the boots probably took more of a bashing and were in contact with the road for longer and probably put them to the test more than in 2010 but I’m pleased to say that although I was left with a number of injuries to ribs, chest, legs, thighs and arms once again my feet and ankles were intact.
So I can’t say that in my case the tests were scientific or that they replicate other accidents – but what I can’t say is that as far as I’m concerned the boots did the job.
So what have they been like then for these last 45,000 miles?
They were immediately comfortable and needed next to no time to ‘break in’, the inner fastening that pulls up with a corded mechanism with the cord fastened to the boot by Velcro has continued to work well, the zips have been perfect and are still in great working order.
Have they been waterproof – well no, but when I bought them back in 2010 they were not sold as waterproof and although a look along any of the racks of boots in your local bike store/accessory store these days will give you plenty of waterproofing options it’s just the case that in 2010 those options were not as readily available and the use of Goretex linings wasn’t as plentiful.
Despite that I can’t really say that’s been a problem – once or twice a year I have sprayed them with a cheap waterproofing product (you’re local Decathlon store has some good stuff) and I also bought myself a pair of Sealskinz socks that have been superb.
Apart from being all day comfortable on the bike they have been pretty decent for walking around when your off the bike – although to keep that in context I’m not for one minute saying that you would want to choose these for your Saturday night or wear to the office boots!
In terms of how they are now and why they need replacing, then it’s pretty straightforward really. The soles are wearing through and the panel on the left boot for gear shifts is feeling a little bit thinner than is ideal. Also the ratchet mechanism for closing the boot against your leg seems to get a little loose now during a ride
My only grumble about them has been that the zip fasteners on both boots broke after about a year or so – again it’s not really been a big problem as I’ve just used cable ties looped around the zip fasteners – which actually provide more of something to grip on and pull on than the regular zip fasteners.
So all in all the Alpinestars SMX boots have been superb and probably better from a comfort perspective than the pair of Sidi’s that I had prior to these.
I’m sure there are plenty of other folk who have had great wear from their boots and if that’s the case why not drop your thought’s in the comments box below.
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