I have owned the original Alpinestars SMX-6 boots for around 4 years now and they have served me well.
There were a couple of small niggles though that I’m glad to see have been ironed out with the SMX-6 V2 boots.
These boots are targeted at the everyday rider, who want similar protection that you would find on a more expensive track boot, but want the comfort and convenience of something like a touring boot.
The Alpinestars SMX-6 comes in different variants, making it a motorcycle boot that you could buy for any riding conditions at any time of year.
SMX-6 V2 Key Features
- TPU bracing system which stops overextension and torsion by connecting the lower ankle to the shin. This also acts as an ankle slider.
- Accordion flex zones basically everywhere that is required to have extra mobility. This makes the boots much more flexible.
- Reinforced toe box to prevent your toes getting crushed.
- Reinforced insole to support and protect the bottom of your feet.
- TPU toe sliders which won’t dig in if you have a bad habit of leaving your feet sticking out when leaning over.
- TPU shin guard to protect your shins from being smashed to bits in a crash.
- Waterproof and breathable.
Motorcycle boot protection is always a trade-off between comfort, protection, and price. I believe that the SMX-6 does probably the best job at maximizing all 3 of these.
If you want the absolute best protection, then a motocross boot would probably achieve this best. The trouble with that is that it won’t be all day comfortable when you are on and off the bike. They sacrifice comfort for protection.
Likewise, a touring boot would give you the best comfort, but you wouldn’t want to take one on the track.
The Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 gives you 90% of the protection that you would find on a track day boot, with 90% of the comfort from a touring boot and all for a reasonable price.
Continuing on with the sporty theme of these boots, they expect that you may take them on the odd track day or at least be dragging some knee out in the twisties, so include toe sliders to prevent your boot digging into the tarmac if you manage accidentally touch your toes to the ground.
These sliders also happen to be replaceable which will ensure the longevity of the boots.
The SMX-6 V2’s have High modulus TPU-injected shells for shin protectors… aka very hard plastic.
I had the misfortune of being able to test this in an “altercation” with a cager where my leg was bashed between the bike and the car.
My bike was a write off, but I came out with nothing but a bruised leg. I highly suspect though that my leg would have been broken had it not been for these boots. Instead, I had a limp for a couple of days and a bit of bruising.
This is one of the key selling points to the SMX-6 boots. The TPU bracing system bridges the shin to the bottom of the ankle in order to restrict the movement in the ankle to the maximum flexibility of your ankle.
This also provides a slider which stops the boot digging in in a crash and provides additional protection for the ankle from an impact.
The only thing I will say about this is that the TPU cover isn’t as rigid as the SMX plus and so the protection won’t be quite as much as it’s more track orientated brother.
It is certainly a step up from the simple hard part you will find on the SMX-S.
Reinforced Toe Box and Sole
The toe box is reinforced to prevent your toes being crushed, this also provides support for your shifting foot. You will know what I mean if you have ever ridden in trainers, the lack of support on the upper makes shifting feel less tactile.
The sole of the boots is also rigid enough to provide support and protect your feet from folding in a crash, but flexible enough to not be uncomfortable.
As I mentioned before I have had the original version of the Alpinestars SMX-6 and have found them to be all day comfortable.
You will find much more padding inside these motorcycle boots than on many of its competitors, making it feel like you are putting your feet into a cloud.
The sole still retains enough rigidity though, so not to detract from their feeling on the bike, but you will find that the shin areas will have more flexibility and padding than most of its competitors.
The only drawback to all the extra padding is that it keeps in the heat a little more, which is usually only an issue in very hot weather or if you are sitting around off the bike. The vented version of the SMX-6 V2’s though does a great job in getting fresh air flowing through the boots. So if you don’t plan on riding in the rain and live in a hot climate, then the vented variant is perfect for you.
If like me, you live in the UK where it’s cold and wet most of the time though, then the regular Drystar or Gore-Tex models will serve you well.
There are a couple of key areas which have been fixed on these updated motorcycle boots which should help them last much longer.
The outgoing models weren’t always perfectly waterproof. Personally, my left boot can be a little leaky, while the right seems watertight.
The new Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 boots come with the option of a Drystar lining or the more expensive Gore-Tex lining. This makes sure that the new boots will survive the harshest of downpours and keep your tootsies dry.
I would recommend just opting for Alpinestars own brand waterproof Drysar lining, as it’s proven to be just as good and costs less.
I personally haven’t had the misfortune of trying the new SMX-6 V2 Drystar boots out in the rain, but a buddy of mines has and has confirmed with me that they kept him water tight.
The biggest concern that has affected the predecessor to the SMX-6 V2 is the heel torsion plate. On the old boots, the screws holding the plate on would work their way loose.
The SMX-6 V2 has fixed this issue with the use of some Locktite, which is good because the screw heads were under the fabric, making them hard to get back in.
Another area of concern is the durability of velcro over the years.
The velcro on my old boots has stood up well, but has lost some of it’s luster.
If you don’t do a lot of walking off the bike, then I think the velcro will probably be your first point of failure before the soles wear through.
But this is just a consequence of any boots which use velcro for fastening the boots.
I could see my SMX-6 V1’s lasting a couple more years before the velcro would need replaced, which is impressive given that they have lasted 40,000 miles and 4 years of abuse.
Leather & Stitching
All I have done in the 4 years and 40k miles of owning my SMX-6 boots is to give them the occasional clean and then treated them with some Renapur to protect the leather.
The result is that the leather still looks almost brand new, with only a couple of minor scratches in the leather to show for all the abuse I have given them.
Overall these boots will stand the test of time, even if like me you use and abuse them, walking and riding all day in them.
If you are looking for a boot that does everything well, then the Alpinestars SMX-6 V2 is about as good as you will get. It can cover you for the odd track day and be comfortable all day, on and off the bike.
If you do nothing but race on the track, then a more track focussed boot might be more appropriate.
If you do nothing but tour and aren’t planning to get your knee down on your big touring bike or cruiser, then perhaps a touring focussed boot would be a better fit.
If I had to suggest one boot though and I didn’t know what your riding style would be, then it would have to be the Alpinestars SMX-6 V2.