I recently picked up a new pair of Alpinestars ST vented boots.
The ST stands for sport touring I guess because this is definitely not a race boot. The usual Alpinestars quality is there but if you're coming from, or looking for, the protection of a full race boot You will be a little underwhelmed by the ST's minimal protection.
It can be hard to wear all the gear all the time when the temperature is pushing the triple digits. I wanted a comfortable boot to keep me from the temptation of squidding out and wearing sneakers around town. Race boots are a bit much for the cafe circuit, and my touring boots are Gore-tex, neither really fit the bill sometimes.
These boots feature the familiar velcro over elastic mounted zipper side entry found on many street / race boots. There is a nice PU shift pad on both toes and a little PU pad over the outside ankle bone, but it's more of a decoration, it is not a substitution for good hard protective inserts. The boots are CE certified, but by the looks of things I think my Redwing work boots should be able to meet that standard too.
What these boots do offer is fantastic slipper like comfort, right out of the box, and great ventilation. There is a large perforated flex panel on the front and back of each boot that achieves both of these features very effectively. There are also nicely finished vents, with metal screens, in the PU heelcup and shin protection. Again, these seem to be more like design notes than protective features.
The soles are thin and made of Alpinestars vulcanized compound ( it's like tire rubber and has great grip and long wear ) offering a good mix of stiffness, forefoot flexibility and feel. Nice clear feedback from the pegs, which is welcome given the already damped nature of the rubber covered pegs on a lot of our bikes.
I mentioned before that the usual Alpinestars quality is there, and in fit finish and attention to detail it is, but this just isn't a very advanced boot. The lack of hard armor ankle cups, shin guard, heelcup and covered triple stitching are disappointing but only if you are looking for these boots to be something they're not.
What these boots are is a great riding-specific alternative to work boots or some of the other compromises we can be tempted to make in the hot summer months.
Given their price, $179., and intended purpose I'd have to say these are a great pair of boots. Comfortable, well ventilated and sporting a familiar list of motorcycle-specific features.
In the grand scheme of things, and ignoring the intended purpose of these boots, I'd only be able to give them a 6 out of 10 overall due to their minimal protection. If you're looking for a lightweight comfortable summer boot these are a great offering.