Pro Secrets: Refurbish Your Thrashed Boots - Dirt Rider Magazine

Besides a helmet, a riding boot is the most important piece of battle armor you can wear off-road. There are many tiny bones in your ankles and feet that require protection, and those ratty old boots of yours have been with you every mile of the way. Is it time to give your boot its walking papers, or is there still some life left in it yet? Follow along as we try to squeeze one more riding season out of these Alpinestars Tech 8s.First things first: Although this boot is in OK shape and still comfortable, the sole is totally shot. You can take it to a cobbler in your area or have the sole replaced by Alpinestars. According to Alpinestars rep Emily Orr, customers need to ship the boot to Alps at their own expense and pay a flat fee of $75 to have their boots resoled, including new buckles if they wish. Alpinestars will pay for return shipping, and turnaround time is four to five business days, not including shipping time.With this particular boot, we tried our luck at a local cobbler. The cost was about the same-roughly $75-but obviously didn't include a genuine Alpinestars replacement sole. As you can see, this is more of a work-boot tread pattern. Some riders may actually prefer this type of sole to the stock version; it gripped our footpegs just fine. Since the buckles were all intact, we didn't bother replacing them.Last but not least, it's time to freshen up the outside of the boot. After a few rides, a white boot develops a dingy yellow tint, especially when ridden in clay-based soils. Some people prefer to remedy this with Simple Green, but for this boot I used Soft Scrub With Bleach. Along with a scrub brush and a lot of elbow grease, the gritty Soft Scrub did an admirable job of removing the stains from the plastic and leather. It's not sparkling white, but it looks much better than it used to.After absorbing countless impacts for our feet, our boot's stock heel inserts are squashed flat and provide almost no support. There are a couple of options here: One is to slip in Dr. Scholl's sport inserts (around $10 per pair at Wal-Mart). Another choice is to install a fresh pair of inserts specially designed for a motocross boot, such as Shoxx Innersoles ($19.99 per pair; 800.692.6739,, which claim to be "like suspension for your boots."There you have it-for less than $100, this refurbished Tech 8 will provide many more miles of comfortable protection on the track or the trails. If both you and your dirt bike are in need of some new footwear but you can't afford both, give these tips a try, and put the money you saved toward those awesome new tires you've had your eye on. See you on the trail!