If you’re shopping for new motocross boots, you’ve got a tough decision to make. With each passing year, the field widens with boots more innovative, protective, and comfortable than their predecessors. 2021 is no different, but, like always, we’ve compiled a guide to help make the decision a little easier. We’ve narrowed the field down to five exceptional premium boots and five incredible mid-level boots, all of which we’ve ridden in and recommend. Watch the videos below, or keep reading for a breakdown of each boot.

Premium Boots

These boots are at the top of their class in performance, strength, and comfort.

Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots
Price: $369.95

It’s rare for a sub-$400 boot to be considered premium, but Alpinestars’ Tech 7 boot is certainly deserving of the title. It’s at a mid-level price point with top-level performance – some professional supercross riders even choose to ride with the Tech 7. Why? It’s a lot of the safety features of the premiere Tech 10 packed into a lighter-weight model. The Alpinestars flex blade system is the key feature, preventing hyperflexion, hyperextension, and rotational injuries by keeping the foot and ankle safe and secure. This system works in tandem with the biomechanical link between the middle and bottom sections of the boot, along with a pivot point on the medial side to offer full protection while still providing complete feel and interaction.

As for the feel of the boot, it’s fit and length are true to size. The toe box is a comfortable size, not to mention the boot is one of the most comfortable boots we’ve ever worn out of the box despite a small amount of heel float. Rider reviews agree, too, giving the Tech 7 a solid place on this buyer’s guide.

Privateer at Washougal MX
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Alpinestars Tech 7 Boot Colorways
Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Black Orange White Blue Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Black Red Green Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Black White Silver Gold
Black/Orange/White/Blue Black/Red/Green Black/White/Silver/Gold
Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Black Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Dark Grey Dark Blue Pink Flou Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots Grey Red
Black Dark Grey/Dark Blue/Pink Fluo Grey/Red
Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots White Black Alpinestars Tech 7 Boots White Red Burgundy Alpinestars Tech 7 LE Dialed 21 Boots White Black
White/Black White/Red/Burgundy White/Black

Fox Racing Instinct Boots
Price: $459.95

We’ve spent more time in the Instinct boots than any other in this lineup, and there’s a reason why. Straight from the box, the boots are comfortable with great flex, and if you want to know what boot has the most feel on the foot pegs, the Instinct is it. The heel sits snug against the insole of the boot, keeping the foot and ankle safe and secure. This tight fitment leads to some suggestions that the boots run small, although we believe they run true to size. Either way, the fit and construction of the boot offer exceptional peg feel, making braking and shifting easier.

Some technical features of the boot include a hinge lockout to prevent hyperextension, proprietary Fox Duratec rubber compound to provide durability, and a slim medial design to ensure a close fit. There are some cons to the boots, however. First, the buckle design can be problematic, prone to getting gunked up and being difficult to unlatch. Second, because the boots offer so much flex out of the box, they can lose some of their supportive feel over time compared to the other boots in this lineup. That being said, and for the price, the Instincts are still capable, dependable, and reliable, and, like we said, there’s a reason why we’ve worn them as much as we have.

Ken Roczen at ATL 3
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Fox Racing Instinct Boot Colorways
Fox Racing Instinct Boots Black White Orange Fox Racing Instinct Boots Black Fox Racing Instinct Boots Blue Red
Black/White/Orange Black Blue/Red
Fox Racing Instinct Boots Fluo Yellow Fox Racing Instinct Boots Red Black Fox Racing Instinct Boots White Silver
Fluo Yellow Red/Black White/Silver
Fox Racing Instinct X Boots Black

Sidi Atojo Boots
Price: $524.99

The Atojo is the brainchild of MXGP legends Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado, along with Sidi themselves. The Italian manufacturer paired ingenuity with quality to create a boot engineered for riders and racers. The all-new design simplifies the boot, shaving nearly a pound of weight per pair while still maintaining great protection. Two flex points work with three anti-hyperextension systems to promote flexibility and prevent injury. Of course, Sidi’s renowned sole replacement system is incorporated in the boots as well to make replacing the soles at home not only possible, but pretty darn easy.

When it comes to fitment, it’s clear that the MXGP riders did a great job developing this boot. The boot hugs the ankle well, providing a strong feeling of support and protection. What’s more, they’re the most lightweight boots on this list, and the pounds shed are certainly noticeable. The toe box, however, could be a problem for some. The boots are the narrowest on this list, and that, paired with the fact that the Atojo is only offered in half sizes, can make for a challenging fit for those with wider feet.

Privateer at RedBud MX
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Sidi Atojo Boot Colorways
Sidi Atojo SRS Boots Black Black Sidi Atojo SRS Boots Black White Sidi Atojo SRS Boots Flo Yellow White Navy Blue
Black/Black Black/White Flo Yellow/White/Navy Blue
Sidi Atojo SRS Boots Grey Black Sidi Atojo SRS Boots Red Black Sidi Atojo SRS Boots White Black Flo Orange
Grey/Black Red/Black White/Black/Flo Orange

Gaerne SG-12 Boots
Price: $476.99-$494.99

Durability and reliability – that pretty much sums up the Gaerne SG-12 boots. They’re on our guide year after year because they hold up to the test of time and the test of riding. Besides, they’re Italian, and Gaerne’s quality control is phenomenal.

The SG-12’s features are what really give it a spot on this list. It’s a race-winning boot with impeccable protection in the form of a supportive razorback strut, dual-pivoting glide plate hinge system, and an anti-shock, dual-compound sole. The sole is indestructible, but that durability comes at the consequence of foot peg feel, which can be hard to get used to. If you’ve never ridden in them before, you likely have a few missed shifts and accidental brake taps in store. But, like with any boot, muscle memory will take over and this will become a non-issue after a few rides. All of that protection comes wrapped up in a memory foam inner-lining, making the boot unbelievably comfortable. That being said, the boot is actually rather stiff out of the box with a rigid stitched sole. What’s more, the SG-12 is the heaviest boot in the lineup, and that extra weight is noticeable when compared to the lighter choices like the Atajo and Instinct.

While that weight is noticeable, the pros of the SG-12s certainly outweigh the cons. A spacious toe box and adjustable shin plate make the boot perfect for riders with wider feet, calves, or those wearing knee braces. Plus, Gaerne’s buckles are the best in the business – they’re easy to use and are nearly impossible to gunk up.

Malcolm Stewart at Houston 1
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Gaerne SG-12 Boot Colorways
Gaerne SG12 Boots Black Grey Gaerne SG12 Boots Black White Gaerne SG12 Boots Blue
Black & Grey Black & White Blue
Gaerne SG12 Boots Grey Flo Yellow Black Gaerne SG12 Boots Grey Magnesium White Gaerne SG12 Boots Red
Grey & Flo Yellow Grey & Magnesium & White Red
Gaerne SG12 Boots White Grey
White & Grey

Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots
Price: $599.95

Alpinestars’ Tech 10 boots are a favorite in the sport. On any weekend watching supercross or motocross, chances are more riders are wearing the Tech 10 than any other boot. What we’ve noticed about this boot from our time riding in it is that it’s the stiffest brand new. Even after the typical break-in time, the Tech 10s feel stiffer than the other boots in this guide. It’s a give and take, though. While the boot is stiffer out of the box, that stiffness gives your foot that much more security in the case of a crash. That support stays consistent long after the boot has broken in, too, keeping it extra secure and protective even at high hours of wear.

This longevity can be attributed to the Tech 10’s innovative design and safety systems. A frontal flex frame offers both seamless flexion and protection by working as a shock absorber in the case of impact. The heel of the boot operates in the same way with expanded poly-foam used to absorb energy during a crash. The real unique feature of the Tech 10s, however, is their bootie system. The inner ankle system straps your foot into the boot in a biomechanical inner ankle brace. There’s no question that it’s protective, but it’s worth mentioning that, depending on the shape of your foot, it can feel like your ankle doesn’t sit completely snug in the boot.

All things considered, the Tech 10 has the most support, even well after break-in, than any other boot. And, if you’re a rider in hotter, dryer climates, you can now enjoy the security and functionality of the Tech 10s in a supervented option to get even more ventilation.

ELi Tomac at ATL 3
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Alpinestars Tech 10 Boot Colorways
Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Black Grey Orange Fluo Red Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Black Red Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Black White Yellow
Black & Grey & Orange & Fluo Red Black & Red Black & White& Yellow
Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Black White Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Black Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Cool Gray Orange Fluo Blue White
Black & White Black Cool Gray & Orange & Fluo Blue & White
Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Dark Gray Dark Blue Red Fluo Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Gray Blue Orange Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots Red White Black
Dark Gray & Dark Blue & Red Fluo Gray & Blue & Orange Red & White & Black
Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots White Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented Boots Black White Gray Red Alpinestars Tech 10 Supervented Boots White
White Black & White & Gray & Red White

Mid-Level Boots

Affordability without sacrificing performance – these mid-level boots are value-packed and race-ready.

Fly Racing FR5 Boots
Price: $249.95

At the $250 mark, these boots do everything well. There is room for improvement, namely in the buckle design, but there are no dealbreakers. With the FR5s, you’re getting an all-around option at a great value.

One defining feature of these boots is the hinge system in the lateral and medial side. That support for your ankle is critical and the FR5s provide it without sacrificing comfort. Other safety features include 3D molded plastic shift panels, a full coverage heel, lateral, and medial TPU piece, and a contoured TPU calf plate. Outsole rubber provides good grip, rounding out the features of this jack-of-all trades boot. It does everything it’s supposed to at the price you want to pay.

Fly Racing FR5 Boot Colorways
Fly Racing FR5 Boots Black Fly Racing FR5 Boots White
Black White

Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots
Price: $279.95

The Tech 5s are a step up in price, but it’s well worth it for Alpinestars’ proven quality. In their lineup of MX boots, the Tech 5s come first, then the Tech 7s and Tech 10s, both of which are featured in the premium boots section. Despite the discounted price, the Tech 5s contain several of the same premium features that the Tech 7s and 10s do. Firstly, they offer a four polymer buckle closure system that includes ratchet with memory and a quick release locking system with a self-aligning design. That’s a lot of words, but basically, it means that the buckles are very user-friendly and remain convenient even after months of riding in the boots.

Other high points of the boot include rigid support on the lateral and media side, a low-profile toe box, and great grip on the foot pegs. But, the feature of the boot that gets us every time is the comfort. Out of all the boots we’ve tried on and ridden in, the prize goes to these Tech 5s. If not the Tech 5s, then the Tech 7s, but either way, the comfort will blow you away every ride.

Alpinestars Tech 5 Boot Colorways
Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots Black Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots Black Red Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots Black Red Yellow
Black Black/Red Black/Red/Yellow
Alpinestars Tech 5 Boots Black Dark Grey White
Black/Dark Grey/White

Leatt 4.5 Boots
Price: $299.99

Leatt’s 4.5 boots are the budget version of their GPX 5.5 boot, but there aren’t many compromises that we notice. Like the 5.5, this boot hugs the ankle really well and gives a very supportive feel. Even at its sub-$300 price, the 4.5 has the feel and fit of a premium boot.

The SlideLock system is another bonus, an auto-locking one-way sliding closure that creates a great seal at the top of the boot. It’s like one-way Velcro that makes it incredible easy to get the boots on and off, which ups the comfort factor. If we had to choose between the 4.5 and 5.5, we’d pick the 4.5 for its extra flexibility and incredible fit and feel. That said, if you want a stiffer boot, the 5.5 is still a great option.

Privateer at Daytona SX
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Leatt 4.5 Boot Colorways
Leatt 4.5 Boots Black Leatt 4.5 Boots White
Black White

Gaerne Fastback Boots
Price: 369.99

When it comes to quality, there aren’t many brands that do it like Italy’s Gaerne. Much like with the other boots on this list, the Fastbacks are patterned off of their premium counterpart, the SG-12s. Key features include a wrap-around ankle pivot system to allow for more ankle support, a heavy duty burn guard, and the trademark (not to mention replaceable) Gaerne soles. Plus, the buckles are extremely easy to use, and we’d go as far as to say that they’re the best on the market right now.

One distinctive feature of the Gaerne boots is their wide toe box. Most of the boots on this list have a narrower fitting box, but these boots, along with the SG-12s, offer extra room for those with wider feet.

All things considered, the Gaerne Fastbacks are tried-and-true, and they’re a boot we always come back to year after year. For absolute durability, comfort, and reliability, you can’t do much better.

Gaerne Fastback Boot Colorways
Gaerne Fastback Boots Black Gaerne Fastback Boots Red Gaerne Fastback Boots White
Black Red White

Fit Guarantee

A lot has been said in this guide about narrow designs, wide toe boxes, inner ankle braces and the like. While we’re confident in the quality of each of these boots, we know that fitment can be an issue. That’s why we offer worry-free apparel ordering. If the boot you order doesn’t fit the way you like, you can get free shipping both ways on your first exchange. Read more about the Fit Guaranteed program here, or ask one of our helpful customer service representatives via phone or online chat when you place your order.

Shop Now

Use the product tables under each boot to shop all the cool colorways for 2021. Or, browse all of our motocross boots and closeout dirt bike boots for even more great options.

Salt Lake City 2 Gallery 57
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo