In all of my years of riding, the one piece of equipment that I have come to respect the most for being waterproof, has always been the boots.
If there is one thing I hate when riding, it is wet feet. I hate wet feet in general. I do not like to walk around when my shoes are wet inside, and I do not like an uncomfortable ride when my feet are wet.
Ever since I was young, I could deal with wet clothes, wet gloves, but never wet feet.
With riding year round, and in all types of weather, the boots seem to take the biggest beating when it comes to the elements of all my gear. Directly exposed to whatever the front tire kicks up from the road, the boots take a constant barrage of tiny impacts of small rocks, sand, water, etc.
Even after the rain stops, the boots need to continue to provide the water protection that you require when the remaining water from the roadway gets kicked up, covering your boots in a road grime of dirt, oil, and moisture.
Of all my pairs of boots, these are the only waterproof, water resistant liner boots that I have. My other pairs of boots are more sport bike oriented, with vents that allow air to channel in and keep your feet cool on a hot summers day.
But of all my boots, the Alpinestars Effex Goretex Boot, is the most worn, and has put on several thousands of miles since I purchased them several years ago.
But before I go into the details of my experiences with this particular boot, lets take a quick look at the manufactures specifications of it and other information.
Manufactures URL: http://www.alpinestars.com/
Product URL: http://www.alpinestars.com/Effex_Goretex_Boot/pd/c/113/np/113/p/233005.html
In The Wild: $142.97 – $284.95
Website Description: Alpinestars’ Effex Gore-Tex boot offers comfort, durability and all-weather performance in a touring boot built to withstand the rigors of life on the open road.
- Long zipper and Velcro® closure system for ease of use and a high degree of calf adjustability.
- Closure features overlapping leather reinforcement.
- Shin plate features an injected stiffener covered by leather.
- Injection-molded PU guards the ankles.
- Internal heel counter.
- Internal toe counter is layered under the leather.
- Alpinestars’ exclusive vulcanized compound sole with unique side wrapping design.
- Injected high-modulus polyamide midsole follows the shape of the foot and features a structured shank reinforcement.
- Water resistant full-grain leather upper.
- Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex® lining.
- Instep and Achilles flex zones for superior comfort.
- Removable anatomic footbed.
- Rear reflective insert for increased visibility.
As you can see, the features of this boot is rather well rounded and expected for a touring type of boot.
What I have absolutely enjoyed with this boot, is the wear.
The boot has just held up. After nearly 4 years of using this boot, thousands of miles in the heat, rain, snow, you name it, this boot has just held up.
With any leather boot, one should take the time to occasionally clean and treat the leather. This will ensure that the leather continues to stay pliable and not dry rot, causing cracking which would further degrade the usefulness of the leather as a form of protection from the elements, as well as unexpected sudden visits with the ground.
What I really like about these boots, is the full length zipper from the bottom to the top, and the oversize storm flap, allow them to be put on with much ease.
It does take some time to wear in the zippers (like most zippered products), but a little silicone lube will go a long way once in awhile to keep the zippers functioning smoothly.
Once zipped up, the whole flap is secured by copious amounts of Velcro. This helps keep the boots secured to your foot, as well as protect the zipper from damage. Because the boot uses a storm flap inside the boot, the zipper itself does not need to be water proof.
The fit of the boot is good and snug on me, and the padding is in the right places. It fits well, and the padding provides comfort on your feet all day long. Regardless if you are riding, walking or sitting around in an office chair, they will provide the proper amount of comfort. And I use them for all of those.
As I have stated above, I wear these daily on my commute to work. I then wear them all day while at the office walking and sitting around. I’ve worn them for extended days at a time while camping as my only foot treatment, and I’ve worn them as snow boots. In each situation, they have provided to work as a great, well rounded boot.
Recently, I had the soles replaced on these boots by Totem Lake Shoe Repair, located in Kirkland, WA. Over the years I had continued to wear them down to nothing, until they were just smooth pieces of rubber. With the new soles, I am more than confident that I will attain just as many more years of service out of these boots.
So I have a lot to say about these boots. They have continued, year after year, mile after mile, rainy day after rainy day, to provide me with warm, dry feet. They have, above all else, proven to be extremely well made, and the quality is that of what you would expect from custom boot manufactures, such as Danner. In fact, I wear these boots more often than my Danners due to the simplicity of putting them on. If I was going to buy another pair of soft side touring boots, these would be it. And for the price? How can you go wrong?
What can I say, these are great boots. My one and only complaint is that they are a soft side boot, which by that I mean they do not provide a whole lot of side to side support. So they are essentially a well crafted zipper pull boot.
When the day comes that I need a new replacement of soft side boots for day to day commuting, these will be my choice, and I hope that Alpinestars continues to make them for many more years, as they have done so already. There is not much to improve on these boots, unless you bulk them up more, which is exactly what I wouldn’t want to see happen.
Although I have made a new purchase of the TCX Infinity Goretex boots, do not misunderstand my intentions, as they are not replacements for this boot. They are simply a boot for a different style of riding. I will continue to use the Effex Boot daily for my commute, and days I ride when I know I will be spending extra amounts of time on my feet, as they are made to provide comfort for walking as much as riding.
What can I say, if you are looking for a well rounded, waterproof, multipurpose boot to compliment your riding, these are the boot to get. I know when it comes time, I will again.