Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 Drystar review

A great pair of boots that combine sportiness and waterproofing in equal measure

Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 Drystar waterproof motorcycle boots

by Jim Blackstock |

It can be a dilemma sometimes, choosing the right gear for a ride. It’s a nice day and you want to enjoy a quick blast across country but there is always the possibility of a shower or worse. You want something that is fairly lightweight and offers great comfort and feel for the bike yet won’t succumb to the worst of a British summer. So you need some waterproof sporty boots.

These are two seemingly mutually exclusive qualities, but Alpinestars managed to bring them together in the SMX-6 V2. There are two versions of the boots; one with a Gore-Tex membrane and one with Alpinestar’s own Drystar membrane and these are the latter.

They are formed with a microfibre upper backed with the Drystar membrane and with a breathable lining to prevent the feet becoming too hot and sweaty.

They are a high-leg design with the entry zip on the inside of the leg and this goes about 2/3 of the way to the top, with a large Velcro-covered flap to close against the calf. This forms part of a flap which covers the entire zip to help keep water out.

There is plenty of protection, helping them to achieve a highest-possible CE rating of 2-2-2 against the older, 2015 standard (the later 2017 standard is the same testing methods but adds another 1 or 2 at the beginning, to denote low or high-leg design respectively).

There is a chunky section of TPU armour on the shin, though this doesn’t make them so large that you can’t get a generous jeans leg over them.

Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 Drystar shin protection
©Photo: Bauer Media

There are also very solid heel and toe cups and a section of hard TPU armour inside the access zip panel on the inside of the ankle. On the outside, there is an articulated brace section, that not only prevents the ankle turning over, it also offers hard protection to the ankle itself. There is also a reinforced sole to prevent crush injuries of the foot.

So on paper, they provide everything you would need. But it’s once you put them on that you realise the paper spec doesn’t do them any justice whatsoever. They are unbelievably comfortable, straight from the word go. I take an EU44 in motorcycle boots (I’m usually a 9 in shoes) and this equates to 9-and-a-bit in UK sizes but my feet slide in perfectly and once in, the boots are bang on.

They hold my foot securely without being overly tight; they don’t pinch (which some boots do across the base of my foot) and the lining is both smooth and has enough compliance to allow the foot to move enough for comfort but not too much so they feel like they don’t fit.

Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 Drystar
©Photo: Bauer Media

Moving around in them, the articulation from the ankle bracing system and the two accordion panels – one at the front and one at the rear – mean you can get your foot over or under the gear lever without your heel lifting or the top of the boot digging into your leg, as can happen on stiffer boots that don’t flex. The microfibre upper and the sole are both thin enough to give exceptional feel for the bike and even off the bike walking around, they are supremely comfy.

They are also completely dry. As you can probably tell from the pics, I have used these boots extensively in all kinds of conditions, from warm summer cross-country blasts to mid-winter hour-long commutes and my feet have consistently stayed warm and dry throughout.

I even once tested these against the Gore-Tex version and stood in a bucket of water for five minutes and the Drystar version let no water in either – the Gore-Tex ones did – the gusset is perforated whereas the Drystar one is solid material. The Drystar ones are also £30 cheaper...

Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 Drystar toe slider
©Photo: Bauer Media

Verdict

I love these boots. They are sporty enough for almost any road use but are superbly comfortable and very reassuring, with the armour and protection. They go under most of the jeans I normally wear in summer and easily go under textiles while leathers also fit inside easily. They have kept my feet warm and dry for two years on a variety of bikes and have plenty of life left in them yet.

Pros:

Superbly comfortable

Completely dry

Highest rating for protection

Cons:

None I have found

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