Below are some of the notes from our testers while conducting the Dirt Rider Boot Shootout that appears in the May 2007 issue of Dirt Rider. As you can read in the magazine article, each boot has different traits and strengths. The key is to find the best boot for you. Below are the test riders’ raw comments on all the boots to help you determine which boots will be the best for you. Remember that a lot of the comments point towards the negative points of the boots since as a bunch they are all very good and expected to be top of the line.661 HurricaneI hated these boots. They felt overly stiff and never felt like there was a hinge in them. They gave terrible feel for the bike, the shifter, and the brake.Good buckles, tight cupped toe and ankle, feels good though a little weird getting on at first. Break in seems quick, especially the ankle flex which is easy. The ankle is fat cushy padded and thick inside (and out) as it felt like it held my foot farther off the side of the bike (I grab with my ankles). I got a little pinch inside the right boot through the bootie. Good ankle movement, average toe movement.These are really comfortable and super protective. A bit stiff in the toe, but the ankle movement makes up for it. I really like hinged boots now. They look really good, but the buckles are just all right.Alpinestars Tech 6This is the best bang for your buck boot. Just like the Tech 8 with a little less plushness because there’s no comfortable bootie. Really good feel and a ‘never think about it’ boot when riding. No complaints.Excellent feel right off the bat. A little stiff when new in the ankle but pretty good flex for no hinge system. Narrow on the outside overall and thin at the ankle. The sole is stiffer than most with less flex. Nothing stands out with this boot, could be called the “standard boot.”Before I even got these on my feet, the little rubber Astars patch fell off the top. They have good buckles and fit, with a simple, comfortable shape. They adjust well and move naturally with the foot. They are a little big around the very top, this may account for the feeling of the ankles having some play front to back. The sole is stiff and solid. The rubber wrap over the toe area is rigid, but still provides some feel. Good boots.Very comfortable. The buckles are to hard to tighten and way too hard to clip in. Interior of the boots are very padded and extremely comfortable. Soles of boots are very strong. Boots don’t make any pinch points (ex: when shifting, braking)Alpinestars Tech 8I like these better than the Tech 10s because the 10′s seem ’round’ on the leg and don’t ‘hug’ the bike, but the 8′s and the 6′s feel pliable on the leg and give a better feel for and connection to the bike. I’m not sold on the new Alpinestars buckles yet.I got the ankle pinch out of these because the buckles were adjusted wrong and got the boot flexing in the wrong spot. The boot has decent flex and a nice wide toe box with excellent protection. The have great side-to-side stiffness and a light stiffness feel in the normal foot movement range. These boots, like the tech 10, have a great sealing lip around the top of the boot to keep crap out.Great fit, with no pinching. These keep your feet really warm. It’s hard to feel shifter and brake because the toes are too stiff. They are hard to buckle, but easy to get off.These have the best feel overall. I wore them all day at Last Man Standing in the mud and my toes barely got wet. At night, even when it was 20 degrees, they stayed warm. The only bad thing is the buckles: they were fine until LMS, but they suck in the mud and I couldn’t keep them buckled the whole race and now they are messed up. I always get trapped in them cause they are impossible to get off without pliers.Very comfortable soft bootie. Boot takes a couple rides to work in. Once worked in, its very comfortable and maneuverable. Buckles are very difficult to shift (looser or tighter) and very hard to clip all the way in. Great soles. The all around weight and support of the boot is spectacular.Alpinestars Tech 10Nice low toebox area and a comfortable boot, but sometimes the leg portion felt too stiff to really get a good squeeze on the bike. The buckles are a pain to get on, a pain to get off – until you realize the trick to getting them off is to make sure there’s no tension on them, then they’ll unbuckle easily.Straps are very easy to adjust and stay put. Buckling “click” is crappy and often times takes a good hit, sometimes hard to do on the top buckle. There is a metal part in the bootie that now cuts my ankle and would require me to grind it smooth and pad it for any long term use (this is new since the first tech 10s for me) It pinched me so bad I couldn’t ride. Movement was good but the boot doesn’t feel as protective as others, especially in the toe/front of foot area. This boot is one of the coolest, best vented boots I’ve worn.Boots broke in extremely quick. Felt slimmer, which helped you control with your feet. Only three buckles made them hassle free. Bootie is definitely the best around, the plastics sides gave unbelievable ankle support. If you wear the boots for too long, the plastic on the bootie digs into your ankle. Very maneuverable with the rotation system. (great control breaking and shifting.)Answer ModeThese felt like plastic boots – like cheap boots with a clumsy feel on the bike and bad feel. I got hung under the shifter and felt awkward.These have a large fit with big toes and a long, wide foot. There is no up down, foot flexing ankle support. None. They feel very broken in when new. There is a soft sole, but it still provides no feel of the controls with very little grip. The buckles are cheap, but easy to adjust. Overall, the boots are thin and loose feeling, and feel light on the bike. There are no hard spots or pressure points for me. They do feel a bit tight around the top, though.Nice two way buckles. Surprisingly very comfortable interior. Sole was good (not as strong as the Alpinestars or Sidi). Doesn’t have the best ankle support. (It supports it but works in and get a little soft.)Good fit, roomy. A little on the stiff side when new, they feel decent on the protection side. Good buckles that have adjustability in the clip, multi position. Stayed shut with good locking on the clip.AXO RC6Okay boots. Better than I expected. I would say they were similar, but just a notch below, the O’Neals.A stiffer feeling boot, especially in the field filled with hinge boots. There were also some pinching spots inside the test boots, but I have another pair that didn’t do this. Average and sized right in the fit area and the sole is sturdy and didn’t flex.Berik RCThis boot feels fine on the track, with good feel right off the bat, but I wonder if they will hold up, and they feel loose and cheap when not on the bike.Tight in the toe, loose in the ankle and a little on the stiffer side of the scale in flex. Easy to adjust the buckles. Feels like the ankle breaks in good but the toes stay stiff. I have a problem with the straps getting caught under the buckles upon removal, like the Oxtar.Good fit and feel, true sizing, maybe a bit small. There are weird pressure points in the Beriks at the front of the ankle on both sides. They have super cheesy buckles that are difficult to adjust, and a somewhat slippery sole. Of all the boots, these have really outstanding toe protection. There is a really good leather seal/ gaiter thing at the top. The top of the boots are angled forward a little too much for my taste, kind of like when you leave a boot sitting upright on a shelf for way too long.Very comfortable interior. Easy to work in (Shifting, breaking). Great ankle support. Strong sole. Boot had something hitting the outside of my ankles. (even when loosening the boot, it still did it)Fly ViperThese were my least favorite boot. Bad everything. I couldn’t feel the bike or the shifter in these boots. The brake was okay, but I felt like I was wearing two casts – really hard to ride even when not shifting or braking. I think my foot would move but the boot would not. Also I think they are loose for a 10.Roomy fit, especially in the toes and even on top the foot but still manages to holds the ankle snug. Buckles adjusted easy enough but could work loose easy when not buckled. And the clasps were a little rubbery and flexed when clipping in. They were also pointy and hooked up easily on stuff and opened as easy as any other when you didn’t want them to. PLUS I broke a buckle putting them on, the plastic on the straps is CRAP. But I liked the stiff sole and relatively stiff boot portion. It flexed enough and is a HUGE improvement over the last pair of Fly boots I wore that didn’t move at all and NEVER broke in. Other than the buckles the rest of the boot feels strong, like it will last. There is pretty good protection and my feet felt safe. There was a slight pinch up higher in the ankle/low shin that wasn’t a normal area for a boot to pinch.These are very big in the toes and calves. They have a tighter ankle. The really low-grade leather bunches up, folds and flexes poorly. The buckles pop out on the insert side when buckled. The top of the toe is very rigid. You can feel this when shifting, plus it catches under the brake pedal. The single piece is not very well molded. The ankle has a serious blowout point; after a certain amount of flex, the support goes to crap. They are soft inside, though the foot area is hard and uncomfortable.Garnere SG-10A really great feeling boot when you put it on, but I got hung up on the bike with these boots more than the other boots. Had poor feel for the bike, brake, and shifter – a little ‘two left feet’ feeling.I like the way this ankle feels. The heel protector is great. The inside of the toe is hard and it hurts my feet, also they really need insulation because my toes got cold at night. These boots have the best buckles of the bunch; they are easy to put on and even easier to take off. On the inside they hook the pegs and it’s annoying. I almost crashed a few times because of that.Good fit for me. The buckles are difficult to adjust, but they don’t come undone. The boots are light, and offer good protection all around. The only weak point is on top of the ankle, where you hit your peg when starting a bike. They are thin there. The third buckle up is set at a weird angle, I wanted to pull it down more because it put a ton of pressure on the top of my feet. They shift and move really well.These are just a really good all-around boot. Fit is good, especially the wide top opening that will work well on BIG calves. Buckles are not fancy but work and don’t come unhooked. Fit is sized right and good, not roomy or loose. The ankle flexes good when new and stays good with the protection keeping the boot stiff and the hinge letting it move. Average stiffness sole which most riders prefer over stiff. Tough and very durable.O’Neal HardwareLike a “Lites” version of the awkward Oxtar sizing, just not as extreme – tight in the toe, loose in the heel. The braking feel was very good right out of the box, and the overall feel was good. I like these boots. This was a surprise boot for me – I would be happy with these and they are not a pricy boot.It took me 15 minutes to put these on because of the buckles. The left boot digs in outside of my leg. It’s hard to feel the rear brake, but the soles are soft. These are bad off road boots, and not good for kicking rocks. They’re great for walking around, though. There are no plastic guards around the toes, so the boots are good for up shifts. The soles wear very easily.I couldn’t even wear the O’Neals! They were so tight, and a very small size 12.These have super cheese ball buckles that are hard to undo, and very flimsy. The toes are tight (height wise), and there are some weird pressure points above the knuckles. This was very hard to adjust out. The O’Neal boots have moderately stiff soles when new, but a decent amount of flex. There is a lack of protection above the ankle, right where I hit the peg when I kick a bike. The sole inserts are good. I like the big heat shield. The bootie was good, it didn’t offer any support but made things a bit more plush.Oxtar TCX ProThese have an odd fit – the toe box is very tight and the ankle is very loose. Somehow, though, on the track they felt great. Once riding, I have no complaints for short motos. I wonder if a long ride would bring out discomfort from the odd interior size.Runs small, 10 feels like 9. Tight in toe, normal in ankle. Good ankle flex and stiff in the toes which is good and protective. The strap gets stuck behind the buckle on removal and gets stuck! The boot has great side stability with plenty of natural movement.The Oxtar boots ran really, really small. They have good ankle flexion, but are perhaps a bit weak as far as support. Good feel, seem to have great impact protection and a solid toe.Sidi ChargerThese have everything I like about the top of the line Sidis, but have better braking and shifting feel, and I think the foot portion of the boot is more compact than the TA Sidis. The SRS are nice and compact, but the sole it too stiff and doesn’t give the braking feel that I like.This is stiffer in the ankle area than the Crossfire and the fit was a little tighter in the foot. The buckles are top notch and it feels like the boot will last. The sole is stiffer than the regular Crossfire, it is more like the SRS but I don’t mind that. It also didn’t fit around my ankles and shins as good as the true top of the line boots as it felt like the leather material was a little stiffer here.Sidi Crossfire SRS Great boots in feel against the bike, and nice and compact toe area, and great buckles and design, and I love the easily-replaceable sole, but the boots’ soles are very stiff and give much less braking feel than other boots. If I was used to this they would probably be my number one boot.Perfect fit for me as it grips the ankle perfectly. A little tighter in the sole than the TA version but all the same great comments from me. The sole is super stiff, which I like especially for moto. This boot is Hot, unvented!Sidi Crossfire TAAll the great qualities of the Sidi SRS but with traditional sole-feel. Also wider than the SRS and with a ‘sole ledge’ like a standard boot – which are not good things.Perfect fit in ankle and toe, adjusting the buckles can be a little tough but NOT flimsy and they are easy buckling. Ankle flex forward and back is great but super good and stiff side to side. The sole, even on the TA version is stiff enough for big case-out landings, good protection from rocks and stumps. A little wide in the mid foot. You have to keep an eye on the screws. This is one of my favorites. Nothing really to complain about with this boot.Great ankle support. Strong sides and ankle hinge is a major plus. Doesn’t take long to work in due to hinge system. Didn’t like the lip around the boot. It was to big and got caught on the break pedal and shifter a lot. Great locking buckles. Boots look great.Thor QuadrantThese are the best of the worst. They feel cheap and plastic-y, and fold funny in the ankle and kind of hurt, but they are the best of the cheap feeling boots. That is, better than the Fly or the Answer.Decent buckle, like old Fox boots, sized right with a roomy fit, not too loose. The boot as a whole seemd a little flimsy and lower on the protectibve side of the scale. I wouldn’t recommend it for serious moto. The strong point was that the sole seemed stiff though.These are really hard to buckle. The toe is monstrous, so it’s hard to get it under the shifter. The boots have horrible ankle movement, but are easy to unbuckle. This is a good entry-level boot.Boot looks good. No ankle support, very flexible. The soul feel like wearing a shoe, you feel the pegs digging into your feet. And when kick-starting the bike it feels like you’re in sandals.The Thor boots are very soft inside, and have a ton of flexion (no support). They are very wide and tall in the toe area, but the top of the boots fit well. Overall, they are super sloppy, which means that there are no pressure points but they don’t feel very secure. The sole is very flexible, and the boots are heavy. The padding inside is great for holding the lower portion of your knee braces.