First things first, these boots run big. I suggest taking advantage of Alpinestars fitment suggestion and if possible, trying them on at a local dealer. I normally wear a 10 (44 or 44.5) in all shoes and I am a 9 (43) in the Tech 7 Enduro boots. Besides sizing, these boots fit and feel great for my feet. The microfiber upper has a very large opening when unlatched making it super easy to get in and out of. When it comes time to get in or out of the boots, Alpinestars’ buckle closure system, which is replaceable, works very well and is super easy to access. Even with gloves on it was easy to latch or unlatch the boots.
Within a few hours of riding these boots really started to get comfy and loosen up. They offer a great blend of protection and mobility. Compared to my Gaerne boots, which feel like Sherman tanks, these boots don’t quite feel as “protective” since they’re not a hard shell encompassing my foot, but the benefit is a much more breathable, lighter and flexible boot.
Depending on my body position on some of the tighter trails where quick changes between standing and seated positions are paired with quick shifts and braking, I found myself riding much quicker and smoother than my Gaerne’s. The slim and low profile toe box allowed me to easily find the shifter and get up or down no matter how the braking or accelerating forces were pulling me. It’s easily one of my favorite parts about the boot.
I also really enjoyed the sensitivity of the boots. I could always tell where my feet were and thanks to the slim and snug fit, I never felt like my feet were sticking out like target waiting to get snagged by waiting obstacles. Coming from a mountain bike background where pedal feel is really important, these boots offered the best foot sensitivity I’ve experienced yet in a boot. Granted I’m far from an expert in the field.
Before you think I’m totally in love with these boots, I need to get one major complaint off my chest. These boots do not offer good protection against moisture. Alpinestars website says the “Innovative microfiber material is flexible, abrasion-resistant and reinforced with PU for high levels of water-resistance,” however I strongly disagree with the claim.
I didn’t just come to this realization on wet, snowy rides in the high country, I learned it on some of the lower singletracks we regularly ride in the Cascade mountain range. We’ve got quite a few backcountry singletracks through waist-high new growth trees as well as long overgrown sections through dense Manzanita brush. On multiple occasions, I rode these trails on foggy mornings or the days after rainstorms had come through leaving moisture on the leaves and branches.
As I rode through the brush, the moisture from the branches would smack the boots and within a few minutes, my socks began to get colder and colder. Much to my surprise, without seeing a single raindrop or water crossing, my feet and socks were wet just from contacting the wet shrubbery. This is my biggest critique of the Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro boots as I don’t believe an “enduro” boot should be marketed as such without the ability to handle some moisture, whether it comes from mud, creek crossings or riding on misty mornings.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Boots are really impressive overall but one major critique brings them down in my overall rating. If you live in dry climates where moisture or water is seldom seen, then I’d highly suggest you give them a try. If you spend a decent amount of time riding in rainy, muddy, wet or damp conditions, you should know these boots do not offer much protection.
Beyond my critique regarding moisture protection, Alpinestars has made one of my all-time favorite boots. During the summer months, these boots will probably be at the top of my gear bag as they offer incredible peg feel, mobility, and access to the shifter and brake pedal. The slim toe box makes shifting on the move a breeze and the biomechanical hinge lets my feet move freely on or off the bike. The fit, comfort and aesthetics all combine to make this $369 boot feel like you spent a whole lot more. I just hope they’ve got a water-proof version coming down the pipe in the near future.