At this point in my career, I have learned the difference between good and bad gear. I’m no longer impressed by a company’s name, price tag or use of space-age materials. When you have access to try everything and finally find a product you really like, you want to shout it from the mountain top because you can back it up.
Gear reviews are easy to do when you wear it for the photos, spit out a few facts from the website and say how great it is because you want more gear. But what does that really accomplish for a reader? Nothing.
When I say that the Anaheim Shoes from Alpinestars are possibly the best riding shoes that I have tested, I mean it and can back it up. Let’s preface this by saying that these are riding shoes. They are not trying to be road racing boots, riding boots, or fashion high tops. They are riding shoes. That means you can ride in them and still wear them on a daily basis.
I jump from Sportbikes to Cruisers regularly. I’ve worn everything from top of the line road racing boots, to nothing more than $20 sneakers. Currently, the majority of my riding is done back and forth to work and small jaunts around town. For this riding environment, the Anaheim shoes excel like no other.
I tested a similar model from Astars called the Stadium. The fit was very similar, but I couldn’t’ get over the florescent colors when riding a cruiser. That’s when I ran across the black and white Anaheim and haven’t looked back since.
So why do I like these shoes so much? Comfort. Normally a good pair of riding shoes require weeks of break in to get them even mildly comfortable. The Anaheim shoes are ready to rock out the box. When you’re off the bike, there’s nothing worse than walking around like a cowboy with a limp from boots that are too clunky and stiff. The beauty of the Anaheim shoe is, you can even wear these on a day when not riding and not thing twice about it. The difference is a regular shoe won’t provide the additional safety of TPU dual density MX ankle protectors and extra support for the heal. Also the abundance of perforation keeps your little piggies cool and dry once air starts to flow.
The AGATATATATTAATA crew will scream up and down that these are not real riding boots, and for the most part I agree. What they are good for is a replacement for the rider that refuses to give up his skate shoes, work boots and running shoes no matter how much your papa preaches.