Fox has been making off-road boots for many years, so they have about as much experience designing them as anyone. The new Alta boot is the lower priced offering from Fox which carries a suggested retail price of $185.
The styling of the Alta boot is simple yet attractive and it comes in any color you want as long as its black. This is no doubt a full-featured boot offering many functional features. The toe of the boot is graced with the usual steel cap (screwed on, not nailed). There are numerous attractive plastic plates covering much of the lower portion, some for added protection and some seemingly for styling. Heavy-duty plastic buckles handle the lace-up chores and offer a broad range of adjustment. Additional features include a heat-resistant guard on the inside of the boot, an elastic/leather gaiter that seals the top of the boot and a welcomed full length plastic guard covering the upper front.
Our first outing with the Alta boot was during a two day, advanced riders only, dual sport ride in Californias Sequoia National Forest. A place with more rocks, tree roots, and switchbacks than you can imagine. Over the course of two days the boots were... well, flogged! They were subjected to kicking rocks with the toes (enough to bend the steel toe cap), stepping (and falling) in streams, and repeatedly being smashed between engine cases, trees, rocks and dirt embankments. All-in-all, it represents the conditions you would normally subject your riding gear to over a much longer period of time.
The first time I put the boots on two things became very apparent. One, these are very heavy and stiff boots. They felt so stiff when new, we couldn't help but think back to the era of Scott plastic boots. Second, I found that the full length hockey-type knee guards I usually wear (which extend down around the ankles) wouldn't fit inside the boot due to the boots snug fit around the ankle. Oh well, out came the standard knee guards. Buckling and adjusting the boot is quick and simple. Just slide the adjustment straps for the desired fit and close the cam levers. Weve witnessed earlier Fox boots with straps that fell off, but the Alta has shown no signs of this to date.
Once on the bike the soles felt sturdy yet unusually thick, leaving you with the feeling that someones raised your footpegs without telling you. The boots are certainly stiff when new but part of this stiffness translates into maximum foot protection. The boots were repeatedly, but not on purpose, slammed and wedged in some very compromising positions where all you could think was "is my foot OK?". Every time this happened I was surprised by the protection offered by the boots thick lower portion. No bumps or bruises at the end of the ride!
Western riders rarely see enough moisture to reduce dust on the trail, so riding through numerous water crossings is a rarity. On this outing however, my feet, as well as my body and bike, sampled quite a bit of water over the two days. Each time I came out smiling with dry warm feet.
Our second outing was a two day off-road ride totaling 440 desert miles. Here the boots performed well with the only complaint being that the plastic trim on the boots caught on the motorcycles frame a few times. The comfort provided while riding is excellent and just average when walking.
Overall the Fox boot is one tough customer. After all the abuse we dished out, the
boots look great. The deep gouges I expected to see in the leather at days end were non
existent! Just scuff marks and a bent steel toe (my fault). If your looking for a
reasonably priced, full-featured and extremely well made boot look no further than the Fox
Suggested Retail Price: $ 185.00 (US)
Colors: Black only
Available sizes: 6 -13 (US)
Available From: Fox riding apparel is widely available
at most motorcycle shops.
15850 Concord Circle
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
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