TESTED: ALPINESTARS TECH 10 SUPERVENTED BOOT
BY: CHAD DE ALVA
How many times have you peeled your boots off after a ride where you felt sorry for the raisin-y things called your feet that you just freed from the swamp inside your boots? Whether from perspiration, a water crossing, or a rainstorm, wet feet are a common occurrence with modern motocross boots. The fact of the matter is that plastic doesn’t breathe at all, leather doesn’t breathe well, and on most boots the only hole is at the top. And water still hasn’t developed the ability to drain up. Once your feet are wet in motocross boots, they are most likely going to stay wet for a while. Yet Alpinestars has a solution to the stagnant swamp found inside of most MX boots. They’ve taken their impressive Tech 10 motocross boot, and filled it with vents to create the Tech 10 Supervented – and this new boot is the coolest and quickest drying boot I’ve ever worn.How many times have you peeled your boots off after a ride where you felt sorry for the raisin-y things called your feet that you just freed from the swamp inside your boots? Whether from perspiration, a water crossing, or a rainstorm, wet feet are a common occurrence with modern motocross boots. The fact of the matter is that plastic doesn’t breathe at all, leather doesn’t breathe well, and on most boots the only hole is at the top. And water still hasn’t developed the ability to drain up. Once your feet are wet in motocross boots, they are most likely going to stay wet for a while. Yet Alpinestars has a solution to the stagnant swamp found inside of most MX boots. They’ve taken their impressive Tech 10 motocross boot, and filled it with vents to create the Tech 10 Supervented – and this new boot is the coolest and quickest drying boot I’ve ever worn.
The Tech 10 Supervented is a version of the standard Tech 10 that is all about moving as much air through the boot as possible to promote convective cooling. Starting at the toe of the boot, you’ll find a couple of intakes that allow cool air to enter the boot where it is then fed through channels in the sole, a special insole, and a mesh bootie to deliver cool air to your foot. As you move up the boot, you’ll find things like perforated padding, and a ventilated shin plate which feed air to your ankle and shin. The back side of the boot has exhaust vents that allow hot air to escape. In lab testing, Alpinestars states that the Tech 10 Supervented dissipates 34% more heat than a non-vented boot. And all of this venting has been incorporated without compromising the safety or fit of the boot.
Starting with fit, the Tech 10 Supervented boots are the best-fitting boot I’ve ever worn. I’ve had to work on other brand’s top shelf boots to dial-in the fit, by doing things like custom insoles and thermoforming. Yet, with the Tech 10 Supervented, I just had to put them on. The bootie and boot system may sound like a hassle, but it’s actually really easy to use. The bootie secures with Velcro, and the boot uses three buckles that work great and are much easier to manipulate than other brand’s buckles. Fit is a subjective thing, as human feet come in all shapes and sizes, but to quantify sizing as best as I can, my feet measure 10 and C width on a brannock device, which is that old school metal foot measuring contraption you’ll find at a good outdoor gear shop. Size 10 Tech 10’s fit me great, and I have yet to so much as feel a hot spot on my feet while wearing these boots.
Protection provided by the Tech 10 series is top shelf, and I can quantify that by pointing to the CE rating for these boots. The Tech 10 Supervented has earned superior pass ratings for standard EN 13634:2017, which measures abrasion resistance, impact cut, and transverse rigidity in motorcycle boots. The CE standard doesn’t test every single protection mechanism on the boot, but know that the Tech 10 is designed to fully protect your foot. Hyper-flexion and extension protection works progressively, meaning that the boot doesn’t crash into a hard stop should you flex or extend your foot too far. Alpinestars also incorporates their Dynamic Heel Compression Protector (DHCP) system into these boots, and while DHCP might sound like something an IT guy would talk about, it’s actually a genius heel protection system that can absorb impact energy in a crash, which can help protect against bruising your heel or worse.
On the pegs, the Tech 10s grip exceptionally well. The replaceable sole area runs from the front of the heel cup to the ball of your foot, so no matter where you spend your time standing on the pegs, you’ll find great traction and be able to replace that part of the sole should you wear it out. You’ll find additional grip panels on the medial side (side toward the bike) of the boot, but if you run Over The Boot (OTB) pants, you obviously won’t be able to take advantage of this additional grip. Downward control interface is great, and I felt that I had a great connection to my shift lever and especially my brake pedal. These boots will feel rather stiff for the first few rides and that can make upshifting somewhat challenging. However, once you have a few hours on them, these boots work great with the bike’s foot controls.
When it comes to venting, the Supervented lives up to its namesake. The obvious disclaimer here is that these boots will vent the best with In The Boot (ITB) pants. If you run OTB pants, you are basically opening the window, and then closing the blinds on all the vents above the ankle, which means that your OTB pants will reduce the airflow that can make it through your boot. That being said, even with OTB pants on, the way these boots breathe is pretty impressive.
Airflow is a function of speed for the Tech 10 Supervented, so your type of riding will determine how much air is able to flow through your boot. On single track and while doing soft enduro riding, the boots felt cooler to me than other boots I’ve worn, but it’s when you get to cruising on a dual sport ride and even more so on an ADV bike that you really start to feel the Superventing move some air. This does make for very thermally comfortable feet, but you need to exercise care in gear selection, as it’s possible to wind up with cold feet if you do something like go for a freeway blast on a freezing cold morning. You can control the amount of air entering the toe intakes by changing how the toes of your boots are exposed to the oncoming air, but this isn’t always easy to do effectively.
Speaking of those toe vents, yes, they will allow dust to enter the boot – but it’s really not a big deal. After a session in our local sandy single track I certainly had dust in my boots and that dust made it all the way through the bootie and into my socks, but it’s nothing a quick hose out of the boots, and a quick bootie rinse can’t fix. The benefit of additional cooling is worth getting a little dust in your boots. What’s awesome about the Supervented boot however, is how much quicker the boot will dry out after you dunk your foot in a water crossing. Think about it – most boots are made of materials that aren’t known for their quick dry properties, and once they get wet, they’re going to stay wet for a while. Yet the Tech 10 Supervented boots will dry surprisingly fast after immersion in water. For a quick shade-tree science test I put on one Tech 10 Supervented boot and one boot from another manufacture. I then stepped into knee deep water, and after soaking the boots I went for a ride to see how long it took for the boots to dry out. Lets just say one boot was still wet when I got home, and it wasn’t the Tech 10 Supervented.
Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented boots are great riding boots that make a real difference when it comes to keeping your feet happy. Superventing is not some marketing gimmick, but a functional design change that makes a very noticeable difference in how these boots can cool your feet, and allow your feet to dry out after your boots get wet. Fit, function, and protection are great, so you can buckle into these boots knowing that you’re not giving anything up in exchange for cooler, happier feet. As long as you don’t need to grind out 100 miles of freeway in freezing temperatures, these boots are the business, and one more way you can make riding in the heat more enjoyable. If you’re ready to experience top shelf fit, protection, and cooling, you can’t beat the Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented. MSRP: $649.95. ww.alpinestars.com