I received an email from a guy in the Netherlands who asked,
I was wondering about your thoughts on modern motorcycle boots, the kind that you can buy in the motorcycle clothing stores nowadays. I’m talking about for example Dainese and Alpinestars with the ankle protection, twist/torsion protection, plastic shin shields, that sort of thing. Although they are usually synthetic and glued together, don’t you think those would offer more protection than leather stitched harness boots? If not, how so?
Okay, fair question. My reply is after the jump.
Yes, I have seen this style of motorcycle boot for quite some time. However, no one who I know here in the United States where I live and ride wears them. My reply, as follows:
I appreciate what you are asking, and noting that you are in Europe, we come from different perspectives on the look and appearance of motorcycle boots. Here in the United States, it is my observation that only people who compete in motorcycle races wear boots of the style such as are made by Alpinestars and Dainese.
Further, if you look at current information about these boots on each manufacturer’s website, boots with these company’s labels are made in China. It is well known that boots and gear made in China is of poor construction and quality, even if factory specifications dictate otherwise. Reviews of these boots on U.S. reseller websites have a number of remarks about these boots breaking, falling apart, or having technical failures.
Also, I do not like to spend money that goes toward further investment in China. I would rather invest in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, or Australia. That is my personal preference.
So that is why I prefer more traditional-looking and -wearing motorcycle boots, such as engineer or harness boots. When made by a quality company with good materials and craftsmanship in preferred countries of manufacture, even if more expensive, that is what I choose.
As I frequently have commented on this blog, you do not always get what you pay for. Prices of these boots in the U.S. range in the mid US$200s or more. One would expect if paying that much for a pair of boots, that they would be well-constructed and last a long time. These boots, at least according to on-line reviews, do not meet that minimum criterion.
Further, upon review of the Dainese brand, the company announced that in 2015, 80% of its investment was by a venture capital firm. That makes us regular folks suspicious. Venture capitalists are out to make a profit, not necessarily a quality product. After all, look at what happened to Chrysler when it was owned by the venture capital firm Cerberus. What a disaster; the brand’s reputation is still suffering due to the significant lack of quality imposed by that venture capital company sucking the life out of a once-stellar brand.
I posit that the same thing is true with Dainese as well as any other brand that gets in bed with venture capitalists. (Frye boots is another example, because owner Li & Fung of China are venture capitalists, too.)
Life is short: know what you like, wear what you prefer, and avoid investments that make rich people richer at the expense of quality and construction.