Safe & happy feet By Rachel Boesmer
ο As a petite female in a predominantly male sport, it is extremely difficult to find boots and gear that fit comfortably and properly. In years past I have searched for boots that are high-tech, comfortable and in men’s size 5 with little to no luck. Thankfully, Alpinestars offers multiple boots in small sizes to choose from, including the Tech 7S Youth, Tech 1, Stella Tech 3 women’s boot and Tech 5. Until recently, I have been racing the National Hare and Hound Association series wearing the Stella Tech 3 boot. However, after five races, the boots’ buckles became difficult to use—so difficult, in fact, that I began slipping my boots on and off like a pair of Vans slip-on shoes. After a few NHHA seasons, I began to search for a new pair of boots that would fit my small feet and had easy-to-manage buckles. Once again, Alpinestars offered the best selection of boots for my small feet, leading to my decision to test the $269.95 Tech 5 boot.
The Tech 5 is available in white/red/blue, white/black, black/red/yellow and black in men’s U.S. sizing 5–16. This boot capitalizes on the successful technology of the Tech 7 and Tech 10, using advanced materials and multi-panel construction. Alpinestars incorporated a durable and lightweight microfiber chassis, a medial biomechanical pivot system increasing support and stability, and accordion flex zones. All of the aforementioned features greatly aid in functionality and comfort.
The Tech 5 boot is constructed using abrasion-resistant microfiber with synthetic polymer on the toe box. The materials used allow the boots to have a high level of water resistance and durability. This boot is also light-weight and flexible. They also feature an innovative buckle closure system, which incorporates polymer and fiberglass buckle arms and high-impact aluminum bridge closures for durability and weight savings. The buckle system also features memory and a quick-release/locking system designed for easy use.
This boot is CE certified and features an anatomically profiled, high-modulus polymer shin plate, as well as a TPU-injected dual-compound foot shell providing the rider/racer with excellent impact and abrasion resistance.
Compared to the Stella Tech 3, these boots have been a huge upgrade, as the buckles latch and lock with minimal effort. They provide riders/racers with enough room to wear bulkier, more protective knee braces such as those from Alpinestars, Pod, EVS and Leatt. Also, the soles on these boots provide the user with great grip; however, the soles may need to be replaced if they are worn frequently, especially with sharper footpegs. Like most boots lacking hinge technology, it will take some time and use to break in new boots, which will greatly increase the rider’s movement, ability and comfort. Overall, if you are looking for a boot that comes in smaller sizes with great and easy-to-use technology, the Alpinestars Tech 5 boot is a great choice for all riders and racers alike. For more info, see www.alpinestars.com.