Date reviewed: April 2023 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £179.99 | alpinestars.com
I’m a big fan of saving money, so while the Alpinestars J6 boots on review here aren’t cheap, they’ve proven to be as good on the bike as off it, so there’s been no need to buy ‘normal’ shoes as well as these.
I’ve been wearing them for several months on an R1250GS and a VFR800, as well as for family days out, walking the dog, shopping and sitting in the office. They might look a bit more worn now, but they’ve got a lot more abuse to put up with yet…
The Alpinestars J6 boots have a full leather upper that’s available in five different styles. The ones on review here are ‘black/flint/white’ with a faux dirt pattern on the soles that might help anyone worried about getting fresh kicks grubby. The Alpinestars website shows them with a very pronounced pattern applied to the sides of the sole, but it’s actually more subtle on the pair I have.
The top three eyelets on each side of each boot are metal, with a good clean finish that allows the laces to pass through smoothly.
The tongue and rear is padded, while the removable footbed adds some extra comfort to the vulcanised rubber sole.
It’s easy to pull the Alpinestars J6 open to get your feet in thanks to the metal eyelets, and while I don’t tend to use the top pair, the boots are very secure with the traditional laces.
The end of one of my laces has frayed, having lost the plastic aglet. This is my fault for not using the top holes and the laces ending up longer, causing them to get caught under the boots when walking at times.
Some casual-style bike boots have a zip up the side for ease of access, but I prefer the traditional look of these.
As required by law, the Alpinestars J6 boots are certified to EN 13634:2017. This standard has two levels (2 being the highest performance), with the following achieved:
It’s a shame the impact cut resistance doesn’t meet the higher level, or these would have been eligible for Gold in the Bennetts High Performance Award, but while a shorter boot like this might not offer the same protection as a good-quality full-height model, it’s still great to know that something this great looking for everyday use can offer good levels of safety if the worst were to happen on the bike.
All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is a good thing for riders as it can help them choose kit that has provable levels of safety because, to meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. To fully understand the labels found in all bike kit, click here.
I was worried the Alpinestars J6 would be a bit narrow, but they fit me well. I’m typically a 44 in most boots (43 Wide in Daytona), and the J6s fit me fine, with no breaking-in needed.
From the off, they felt particularly light and comfortable, and have proven great when worn all day for several days on the trot.
Only on one day – where I was standing up for about nine hours – did I find the bottoms on my feet start aching. A little more arch support in the insole might help, as this seems to happen a lot on flat-soled shoes, but I’ve spent several other full days in them without any real issues. It’s probably more an indicator of the state of my feet, and the weight they have to support.
Despite having a waterproof membrane, I haven’t found the Alpinestars J6 to feel too hot – something I have seen with some boots when driving in them, for instance.
When we hit peak summer, these will feel warmer than some, but I can’t see them causing me any real issues.
The sole on the J6 can feel a little slippy on smooth surfaces, including some wet asphalt outside our house. Wet tile floors in outdoor shopping centres (I’m looking at you, Springfields) show it up the most, but I do think it’ll likely get worse as the texturing is starting to wear down around the balls. The balls of the feet.
I’ve not had any major issues with grip, but it’s worth being aware that if you’re using these in the wet a lot, they could get slippery…
It’s unlikely that you will be wearing the Alpinestars J6 in the wet much as a short boot like this doesn’t seal well with waterproofs, so will only ever really get you out of trouble in a shower.
The membrane works well, keeping the feet dry as long as water doesn’t run in the top, and when riding through some puddles on the GS recently, they got soaked but didn’t leak at all, partly thanks to the tongue being gusseted to the level of the penultimate eyelet. I did find that the bike’s rubber-coated gear selector was quite slippery though, compounded by the leather becoming quite slick.
The area where the bike’s gear selector rubs is wearing fine, if getting a bit discoloured
There are loads of casual-style motorcycle boots on the market now, so be sure to check them out. Here are just three that we’ve reviewed:
I’ve been generally very impressed with how well the Alpinestars J6 boots have worn. The sole’s got bags of life in it, despite getting a little smooth at the balls of the feet, and there is some discolouring, but I love wearing them. As I use them every day – through puddles, sand, mud and more – I’m not surprised they don’t look sparkling new, but they’re going to be getting a lot more use yet.
Darker colours are available if you want to hide any dirtiness, but the Alpinestars J6 are a great pair of boots both on and off the bike.