Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex Boots
Great boots! Initial Impressions (LONG)
I just received these boots today and put my first 100 miles on them. I’ve worn them continuously for the last 9+ hrs.
My initial impressions of these boots are:
BACKGROUND: I’ve owned a pair of Aerostich Combat Touring Boots (CTB) for the last 15+ years and put hundreds of thousands of miles on them and resoled them 3 times. They finally are at the end of their road. My Aerostich size is a men’s 11.
FIT: The Toucans definitely run a little large. I’d estimate about a ½ size large compared to my street/athletic shoes. I’m normally a men’s 10.5 US. I have med/wide feet with high arches, narrow heel & ankles, and large calves. Using the size chart, I’m between sizes for these boots and wasn’t sure which way I should go between a size 10 or 11.
I read tons of reviews here (all 56+ reviews), watched video reviews, and read up on forums, and I was still confused as to sizing, especially if you are between sizes. Some said they fit small, others a size large and some even said they fit to size. After shooting my info to Revzilla the recommendation was to go with the 10. I can say that Revzilla’s suggestion was spot on. In fact I still have a little extra room if I wore a heavier sock during colder weather.
Hopefully this helps others in the fit department.
BUILD: Unlike some reviews, mine came perfect. This is my first boot since the CTBs so I don’t have a whole lot to compare it to, but I’ve read that Alpinestar’s can be inconsistent in their build quality. The typical comments seem to be related to sole issues (i.e. uneven sole stitching and warped sole bottoms). Of course knowing that, the first thing I did was to check out the soles and they are perfect.
The rest of the boot is also very well put together. All the panel stitching, buckles, and insides are perfectly put together.
Mine do squeak. I don’t really care. So did my other boots. IMO when you mix leather and plastic it’s gonna do that.
RIDING: Granted I don’t have a lot of time in these boots yet, but like any new boot it’s gonna feel different compared to what you already have. I’ve found that foot positioning, especially the left boot, is going to take some getting used to. The more rounded top foot area compared to my CTBs requires a different foot action to get a positive shift, specifically during an upshift. I missed my fair share of shifts today. It’s too early to say if I should just raise my shifter slightly, but I’m going to put a few thousand miles on them first on/off road before I decide.
The ankle flex is great. It’s something I really had to work on as I broke in my CTBs but is near perfect right out of the box with the Toucan.
COMPARISON: Again I don’t have a lot to compare it to but compared to the CTBs it’s night/day. Dimensionally they’re pretty close. They’re pretty much the same height but the top of the CTBs are a touch flatter compared to the Toucans. The Toucans are more rounded on the top of the foot.
The Toucans have a larger shin guard area which is pretty obvious considering the extra protection it provides over the CTBs, but the part that was a pleasant surprise is that they still fit under jeans, 5-11 style cargo pants, and all of my riding gear (Roadcrafter, BMW Rallye, and Aerostich Transit). Under jeans it does take a little work to get them over the shin guard. I wear loose fit jeans though vs. the latest skinny jeans. Not baggy but a little looser than 501s. Of course YMMV on the jeans.
Comfort was a big improvement. CTBs are notoriously tough to break-in. However after 15 yrs they were perfect. I can walk in them, set up camp after a long days ride, search for firewood, as well as, wear them all day at work which requires being on my feet for most of the day.
From the moment I put the Toucans on, they felt great. I might be exaggerating a little in saying they are as comfortable as my running shoes, but not by much. They are that comfortable from day one. After my first 100 miles in them, and going on 10 hrs of continuous wear, not one hot spot or area of discomfort. In fact I’m writing this review with them still on.
They are a little warm but not uncomfortably so, but that’s a very subjective thing.
CONCLUSION: Needing a new pair of boots, I was drawn to these because of the extra protection while riding, but also the walking comfort off the bike. High on the list was also the ability to resole and replace bits that wear out. I obviously keep my gear for a long time, so my intent was to find a boot that would last me another 15+ yrs. Waterproofness wasn’t as high on the list. I’m used to waterproofing my CTBs which are not ‘waterproof’, but with a little work and maintenance they’ve never leaked on me in driving rain or while walking through streams/rivers to scout out the best line. One thing I do like about the CTBs that very few boots in this category offer is a full leather lining….obviously it wouldn’t be gore-tex. IMO they breath the best, and the durability of a leather lining compared to other synthetic options is superior.
The Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex (because of the full grain leather), was high on the list, but I quickly remembered I don’t have SIDI feet. In the times I’ve tried on different SIDI boots in the past they’ve always been too narrow for my feet. I realize that the CTB is made by SIDI, but they must use a completely different kind of last, because they are very generous in width. The Gaerne Midland was also a consideration, but the extra protection of the Toucans w/o the downsides of off-bike use, made the difference for me. I wanted to get all the protection I could get while still keeping walking comfort.
If I had SIDI feet I may have gone that route. I personally think they look better than the Toucans and all the other features I was looking for are there also. I prefer the plainer toe box and more subdued look of the SIDI. But because the SIDIs were not an option, the Gaerne was going to be my second choice if the build quality of the Toucans was lacking. From what I hear Gaerne build quality is the bench mark in the high quality/consistency of their boots.
I am not sure if Alpinestar QC has improved or if I just got lucky, but I’m very impressed and happy with the Toucans. With all the positive reviews on this boot, my guess is Alpinestar’s quality issues aren’t nearly as bad as what is purported on the internet, but maybe still not as perfect as the other brands.
I hope to wear these a very long time. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.
Ride: BMW GSAW
May 21, 2015
If the boot fits, wear it!
If the boot fits, wear it!
Want to stay planted on your pegs? Want to stay dry? Like to get off the beaten path or take the road less traveled? Well, these are the boots for you!
It was between the Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex and the Toucan's and the Toucans won out for a variety of reasons:
FITMENT/COMFORT: Sidi boots fit a narrow foot shape. If you're like me, and want something that you can wear for hours or days on end without regretting it, the Toucans fit a wider foot shape MUCH more comfortably. Go with whatever boot/shoe size you usually wear, because A-Stars boots fit like you expect without guessing on the sizes, and man are they comfortable.
FEATURES: Great material and build quality, Gore-Tex, hinged heel and armor that you don't really notice is even there, self-cleaning buckles, sole that grabs the pegs and more. These boots have everything you're looking for.
PRICE: At more than $150 less than the Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex boots, it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.
May 19, 2015
comfortable and well made
Walked around in them for three hours today. Quite comfortable and my feet stayed dry. I normally wear a 10.5 wide and the 11 fit fine with no issues. The boots fit my massive calves too.
May 18, 2015
Picked these for all-weather, paved and un-paved riding. I don't go seriously off-road with my 1190, but wanted good protection nonetheless.
When I first put them on, I was impressed with the cushioning, feeling like my feet were wrapped in protection and comfort. The toe box is a little narrow and I ordered size 11 when I would normally wear a 10.5
The velcro closure at the top of the boot does not fit my (apparently) under size calves - when the velcro surfaces are mated, The inside of the top edge of the boot has some rough stitching or something that was pretty uncomfortable - suggest tall socks.
The two buckles are simply brilliant - would definitely consider getting new motocross boots just to have those buckles.
The first two rides I took wearing these were 250 miles the first day and 350 the next in moderate temps with no moisture. My feet felt great at the end of the day and was happy to put them back on for the second day. Only sore spot was my calf - my socks dropped down and the boot rubbed on bare skin.
Overall, feel well-protected, very comfortable and love the easy-on easy-off. Makes me much more inclined to put on on proper boots - if only I could get my street pants (Carhartt for example) over the shin protection.
April 11, 2015
Super Comfortable Boots
I went from BMW Santiago boots to these and the difference is night and day. The Toucans are very comfortable to walk in and the soles seem to absorb more shock. I normally wear a size 14 shoe, but the 13 fits perfectly. Pricey, but I'm very happy with them.
February 9, 2015
READ THIS REVIEW
I bought these as a replacement boot for riding on the street on my BMW GSA. A bit overkill in rhetrospect, they're beefy, stiff and non-sensitive. They're designed for a specific purpose: to save your foot/leg in an accident/crash from direct or indirect impact. They are more of an off-road friendly boot than a road friendly boot; they don't allow much movement in the joint (ankle) so shifting is easier when standing (a more dirt oriented position) than sitting (more street oriented). They also, like I mentioned earlier, are not very sensitive so it's hard to "feel" the brake and shift pedals and the pressure applied to them until you feel the bike react to your input (good luck finding neutral). This might sound normal and how it works anyway but you litterally can't feel the brake pedal under your foot and the pressure you apply is based on muscle memory and blind faith, so it's not really "normal." These boots are designed for the hard core adventurer who's about to ride to Patagonia or Dead Horse, or the guy who wants the utmost protection for his feet short of wearing a motocross boot. Which leads me to the dirt part of this review. I also ride a Husqvarna FE350 enduro/trail dirt bike. I am in need of a new oair of boots and recently my group was planning a ride in the high desert in northern Nevada in late January. Cold conditions, stream crossings, rocky desert terrain, etc. I decided screw it, I'll wear the Toucans. They're not being utilized to their potential on my GS, they're Gore-Tex, lots of plastic and leather; they're really just a shorter motocross boot that happens to be Gore-Tex (waterproof motocross/dirt bike boots are like unicorns). Besides, I wear over-the-boot off road pants so I knew the shorter height wouldn't be an issue. And it wasn't nothing was. These boots were made for off road. Kicked them on bolders, drug them around corners, fell down with them once or twice (I never said I could ride) and they were AWSOME. I have zero complaints about these boots and they've become my new full-time trail riding boot, as well as street boot. The only thing I wish was different is they're LOUD to walk in. They squeek and you're not going to sneek up on anyone. People look because they're so loud but then I think "yeah...check out my boots. I know you wish you had a pair..."
January 31, 2015
I wanted to get the Sidi but they were simply too narrow for my foot. The Alpinestars are wider and have now broken in to the point of being comfortable to ride and walk in. So far so good.
January 12, 2015
Excellent fitting and comfortable waterproof boot
Day one with this boot started out with rainfall that was flooding the streets, it was a deluge. The temps were in the 50's, and while the boots kept my feet dry from the rainfall, they also kept them warm but not muggy. Getting to the office provided dry socks and warm toes.
I've since been riding daily with these boots for three weeks now and from 31F to sideways rain these boots have kept my feet warm, dry and i look forward to more days with these boots.
January 5, 2015