Within two hours of taking the Alpinestars Radon Drystar boots out of their box for the first time I found myself riding in the pouring rain across a muddy field.
After surfacing from a massive trench full of rainwater, I discovered my feet were completely… dry. It was a real wow moment and showed the boots were very much the real deal.
It was my first proper off-road jaunt on my new KTM 1190 R Adventure and I’d switched to these boots as I wanted something that could withstand winter commuting duties and my occasional trips off the road.
They’ve done both jobs perfectly in the 1500 miles since that wet day of off-roading, and they’ve remained comfortable and reassuring throughout.
I’m wearing them as I type up this review and it feels like wearing slippers. The inner is nicely padded – not excessively, so I still get good feel of the bike through the pegs and gear lever.
The insole is removable and is made from soft EVA foam, like the stuff used in flip-flops, which I think explains why they are so comfy to walk in.
I haven’t tested them in warmer weather, but I suspect that come the summer some will find their feet overheating as there is no ventilation so you’re relying on the breathability of the waterproof membrane.
That membrane is made from Alpinestars’ own Drystar material. Having worn Drystar-protected items before and got soaked numerous times I wasn’t confident in their waterproofing abilities, but I can honestly say they’ve not leaked once.
I’ve ridden through some right thunderstorms, stood in three inches of water while trying to get my bike out of ruts, splashed through puddles and they haven’t let in one drop of water.
To fasten the boot there are three velcro straps. The bottom two pull through an eyelet each to get a good tight fit and the top one secures the shin.
The opening of the boot becomes surprising large if you allow the straps to come out of their eyelets, but I can’t be sure that the top strap will be long enough for riders with very large calf muscles to fasten the boots again.
The one area on the spec sheet I would argue with is the claim for an anti-slip sole. I’ve had a few slips while walking on tarmac and on a few occasions I’ve had a foot slip off the footpegs when it’s been wet.
The sole has no flex in it sideways, which is a good thing, and a little flex in it lengthways, which allows for some ankle movement to change gear. In my opinion the sole would benefit from being a little taller in the heel, giving a raised instep, and I’d prefer a chunky tread on the bottom rather than the smooth race boot style.
As a touring boot on road bikes, there’s just enough protection – and the boots meet the CE safety standard for bike boots. For more off-road riding, more protection would be needed as there’s not much support around the ankle and the shin protection is very flexible rather than rigid.
Still, the Alpinestar Radon Drystar boots are very comfy, practical and waterproof boots. I would be quite glad to do a few hundred miles in the pouring rain with these on and then go for a walk afterwards.
Fit & Comfort
My boat-like feet are size 47 and I often need to go up to a 48, but the size 47 were perfect for me in these boots. A raised heel would create an instep that would make it easier to hook feet onto the pegs.
I can’t fault the waterproofing at all on these boots, which left me with 100% dry feet all the time.
The boots left my feet nice and toasty even when temperatures got as low as 2°C, but I feel the lack of ventilation and the waterproof liner mean that come the summer months your feet might get a bit hot.
The microfibre uppers have lasted more than 1500 miles with no signs of wear, cracking or even soaking in any water in during prolonged downpours. I’ve taken off a couple of points because I think the protection could be stiffer.
Read the long spec sheet and you’ll come away thinking there’s loads going on, but if you just look at them and try them on they are a nice comfy, simple-looking waterproof boot.