Great ADV boot
Over the years, I've owned numerous pairs of riding boots, and while some were better than others, they all did their job relatively well. By saying their job, I mean they kept my feet comfortable, they kept my feet dry, and they provided some protection.It wasn't until I started riding dirt, however, that protection climbed to the top of the list of features important to me. And this whole new chapter in my life - adventure riding - sent me looking for a new pair of boots.
For street riding and walking off the bike, I could not be happier with my Tourmaster Solutions boots as they kept me dry and comfortable. However, they offered only limited protection. For dirt riding, my Axo Prime boots saved my ankles more times than I can remember, but try walking in them and you'll soon discover those boots are not made for walking. The protection they offer is second to none, and standing on the pegs in them is very, very comfortable, but they take in water faster than a strainer. Since my current riding is, more often than not, a mix of street and dirt, I needed a pair of boots that will be both comfortable and waterproof, as well as featuring good protection. My search turned up several candidates, but based on my preferences, I narrowed my choices to either Alpinestars or Sidi. The preferences being quality, reputation, protection, comfort, waterproofing ability, and the ability to adjust the fit (I have skinny calves).
In the end, price and availability shifted the odds in favor of Alpinestars Scout Boots.
The boots arrived in a typical store box. Once opened, I removed the hard cardboard stuffing (kept the boots' shape) and tissue paper, and touched the boots for the first time. The leather feels very soft (yes, these boots are real leather). The boots utilize a three buckle closure system, combined with a Velcro top loop (there are no zippers to mess with). The buckles are made out of aluminum and hook securely with an audible click. The straps are micro-adjustable for the right fit, which is an important feature to me. If I can tailor the fit to my legs, then there is a lesser chance of the boot coming off during an accident.
The Scouts are not short boots by any means, checking in at 14" (Tourmaster Solution are 11.5" and the Axo Prime are 16"), but getting them on and off is very easy thanks to a generous opening.
Once I slipped into them, I immediately noticed how great these boots feel. They fit like an old pair of sneakers right out of the box. There was no discomfort at all. After i adjusted the buckles, I went for a walk and encountered no restricting or awkward feeling. Likewise, sitting on the bike, and even standing on footpegs proved to be very natural.
The boots provide ample support in the footbed (I have arched feet) without any shifting when changing position, and the ankle protection is better than most. The shin plate appears to be reinforced as well, but all the protection is hidden from the view, as it is layered within the leather.
The buckles appear to be of good quality and fully serviceable should something break down the line. The soles are stitched, not glued, which should also prove better in terms of longevity. Overall, these boots are very well made, with stitching in all the important areas, and some double stitching to add style. Yet, the styling is subtle enough not to scream 'motorcycle' when off the bike.
Another great feature (to me) is the shape of the boots. When I tried them on, I was wearing simple Banana Republic khakis, and the pant leg fit comfortably over the boots. When, later on, I tried them with my Tourmaster riding pants, the result was the same. So, while these boots are great looking, one can comfortably wear pants over them when riding in rain.
So far, I have not tested how waterproof they are, but there are a plenty of reviews attesting to their ability to keep the rider's feet dry, so I have no doubts they will perform well. After owning many pairs of boots over the years, these Scouts are quickly becoming my favorite pair of boots, and will surely become my all around boots (short of trail riding) .
Here are a few pics, and two next to my other boots, just for size reference.