Set For Adventure

Cost: $699.90 | Rated: 10/10 | Distributed By: Crown Kiwi Enterprises

With an invite to go on the launch of the latest DL1000 V-Strom adventure bike from Suzuki, I knew that picking the right boot was going to determine how my day went. With a good 8 hours in the saddle taking in a mixture of fast backroads and winding gravel, I knew I needed a boot that could handle both tasks.

The Toucan Gore-Tex boot from Alpinestars appeared to tick all the boxes after a search through the Crown Kiwi website, with the tough yet flexible adventure boot looking like it would be comfortable enough for all-day riding yet strong enough to take a few impacts. Fully CE-certified shows that the Toucan is made tough, with ankle, shin, heel and toe protection designed to dissipate impacts. And I could be sure the elements would be kept out thanks to the Gore-Tex liner.

But it’s no good having all that protection if you can’t actually move your feet, but being an adventure boot rather than a full-on motocross model, the Toucan is designed to provide feel and flexibility. An advanced instep and Achilles’ accordion gives a specific ‘flex zone’ that makes walking and riding while wearing the Toucan a comfortable experience. A calf suede panel on the boot inner provides extra grip on the side of the bike while also protecting your pride and joy, and the rubber sole comes complete with a steel shank for added protection.

With only two buckles to contend with, the Toucan is much easier to put on than motocross boots, with a nice wide entry making it easy to slip your foot in. A Velcro closure at the top means you can adjust the Toucan to go either over the top of trousers or pull it tight to go underneath, while the buckles are set and forget. Inside is a nice breathable mesh that makes the Toucan comfortable enough to wear all day, while also aiding the Gore-Tex membrane to breathe and keep your feet cool.

The V-Strom was the perfect bike to test the Toucan’s, with the reasonably road-biased riding position meaning the boot needed to be flexible enough to accommodate the high pegs and low gear lever. And whether we were dragging the pegs hooning down the fantastic Gentle Annie road or spinning the rear wheel tackling corrugated corners on the gravel, the Toucan’s performed perfectly. At no point did my feet start to protest, there was plenty of grip on the pegs and I could still feel what my feet were up to at the end of the day. I was fortunate enough not to need to test the impact resistance of the Toucan’s but just looking at them and I could tell they were up to the job if I came a cropper on the V-Strom.

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