The sizing for these Alpinestars SP-1 V2 shoes in both the vented and non-vented models runs big. I’ll repeat what I said above: if you’re looking at the US sizing on Alpinestars’ size chart, you need to go down a size from what you regularly wear. I’m a 10.5 in my Nike Pegasus or Adidas Ultraboost shoes and had to order the US size 9.5 since the 10.5 were much too roomy. Even with the US size 9.5, I still have wiggle room in the toe box. The upside is that the SP-1’s will accommodate our wider-foot riders easily.
On the comfort end of the spectrum, the cutout in the rear of the boot gives a level of front-to-back mobility that full boots can’t match. On the bike, the shoes feel comfortable. The support shank provides a solid riding platform to help when moving your body, while the sole provides good riding feedback through the footpegs. The boots feel supportive and comfortable both on and off the bike, but keep in mind they still feel like wearing boots—they are not what I would call sneaker-like.
Like full race boots, however, they do take time to break in. Around 500 miles is where my pair felt more natural—or that might have been my foot getting used to the SP-1 instead. Even after breaking it in, the SP-1 is only slightly less stuff around the ankle and heel than when new.
Throughout the mileage I’ve put into the SP-1 V2 shoes, even though they are the vented version, the Alpinestars SP-1 V2 just does not breathe as well as the Alpinestars Faster 3 RideKnit shoes. They do breathe and vent when compared with others of its kind, but I may have been spoiled by the RideKnit technology from their Faster 3 line. Living in a state with virtually one season, ventilation and breathability are extremely important, so your requirements may vary.
The speed lace system derived from Alpinestars MOTOGP technology gives simple wearability and support. As seen on their Supertech R’s, you simply slip your foot in, pull up on the laces, cinch the slide lock down, apply the top velcro strip, and off you go. This holds your foot well, and there are no loose laces to worry about.
Alpinestars SP-1 V2 Vented Shoes Materials
Exterior & Inner Lining
The SP-1 V2 shoes material is a bit traditional and underwhelming, but hey, if it works, why change it? The upper is constructed from superbly lightweight, durable, and abrasion resistance microfiber. The 3D mesh liner is breathable and keeps your feet dry while providing comfort like in the helmet liners.
The medial (inside) of the SP-1 V2 shoe has changed to the advanced microfiber compound instead of the fake carbon fiber found on the V1. This includes a small amount of padding comfort for when your foot is pressed against the bike.
Along the top of the toe box, a symmetrical toe design gives TPR protection around the shift area. The toe box is reinforced, but only about 1” back from the tip. The toe sliders have been reduced in surface area compared to the SP-1 V1, designed to provide more comfort while walking without the materials in that area bunching up creating pressure points.
The outsole has been updated to the outsole that is found on the popular SMX 6 full boot. The pattern is bigger and separated by region to provide better peg grips when on the bike in different foot positions (toe, ball, and mid area). The outsole gives a great feel of the controls. All of this improves the riding experience, which I appreciate.
The insoles are lush and comfortable. Not something you see every day are air channels like in the EPS of a helmet on the bottom of an insole. With the airflow of the SP-1 V2, the air channels on the insoles will add a couple of points to the breathability category.
Lastly, there are a multitude of TPR sliders and protectors, which we will get into in the Protection section of this review.
Alpinestars SP-1 V2 Vented Shoes Protection
CE Level 2 Rating
The SP-1 v2 shoe is Category 2 CE certified to 89/686/ECC EU directive. I do not see the newest CE EN 13643:2017 required marking on the shoes—therefore, this tells me that Alpinestars SP-1 falls under the old EU directive of 89/686/ECC. The testing is similar, but it is following the Technical Norm EN 13634:2010 instead of the 2017 version.
Working in the industry, part of my job as a Product Developer is to see through the testing of our PPE to certain standards as regulated by the European Union. The SP-1 series from Alpinestars is grandfathered into the older standard, which saved a ton of R&D costs. We can see that the savings were passed on to the consumer by keeping the MSRP the same.
However, don’t be turned away from this older standard, because there were no fundamental changes to the main test principles (resistances to impact abrasion, impact cut, and sole rigidity). The rating for the Alpinestars SP-1 V2 shoe is as follows:
- Impact Abrasion: Level 2
- Impact Cut: Level 2
- Sole Rigidity: Level 1
- Additional Tests: None conducted
We are going to get a little technical here, so if you’re not interested, you can feel safe knowing that these Category 2 CE certified SP-1 V2’s will protect your feet when you go down (not if).
For testing, the boot is divided into two areas: Area A covers the sole, front and back of the boot and everything else is Area B.
For basic Level 1 approval, materials tested on area A must last 1.5 seconds, and samples from area B need to last 5 seconds on the abrasive belt. To reach the higher Level 2, area A samples need to last 2.5 seconds or longer, while area B must survive at least 12 seconds without wearing through.
Next, the boots are tested to see how they’d hold up if they came up against a sharp object. For this, a blade attached to a mounting block is dropped onto a sample of the boot, and apparatus measures how far the blade goes through the boot. The tests use the same areas A and area B as the abrasion test above.
When testing area A, the knife will be dropped at two meters per second (m/s). For a Level 1 and a Level 2 rating, the knife can’t protrude through the material by more than 25mm.
Area B is tested by dropping the blade at 2.8m/s. For Level 1 approval, the blade can’t go through the sample by more than 25mm. To pass Level 2, the maximum it can go through is 15mm.
The transverse rigidity test determines how strongly the boot can resist your foot being crushed if a bike’s weight falls on it. This is extremely important when you lowside. I had a lowside last year where my leg was stuck under my Suzuki GSXS-750. The boot I was wearing at the time saved my ankle from being crushed as well as keeping my toes from burning on the exhaust pipes. Thank goodness!
The boot is laid down with the widest part of the foot positioned between two plates, which compresses at a rate of 30mm per min. The apparatus records the force required to compress the sole at that rate. If it took less than 1kN of force to compress the sole to 20mm, the test failed. If it took 1kN-1.4kN the boot takes a Level 1 pass and if it needed 1.5kN or more to compress the sole it achieves a Level 2 pass.
Alpinestars SP-1 V2 Vented Shoes Design & Appearance
Truth be told, the styling of Alpinestars SP-1 V2 shoes is not my cup of tea. They remind me of my first riding shoe back 15 years ago. The overprotected nature and bulky bulbous look turn me off to it in general.
However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and with the knowledge of the CE certification of the SP-1 series, I won’t ding too many points off my rating for it. Alpinestars can’t proceed with a complete design overhaul without retesting to the new CE directive and therefore adjusting the MSRP.
There are only three colorways with traditional graphics to choose from. Black/Black, Black/White and Black/Silver/Yellow Fluorescent.
Alpinestars SP-1 V2 Vented Shoes Build Quality
Like all Alpinestars products, these SP-1 V2 Vented shoes are well-made. The construction, stitching, bonding, and materials are all neat and tidy without major defects.
Heel & Toe Areas
The anti-slide reinforcement construction of the heel area helps keep the foot in place while riding. If there is one minor gripe, it is that the toe box is built a bit bulbous. The bulkiness does not facilitate fluid movement between upshifting and downshifting. This is, however, the characteristic of a traditional motorcycle boot design. With a bit of riding, your foot will get used to it and adjust accordingly.
Bonding & Stitching
The outsole bonding looks great, glue is applied cleanly. Stitch work is flawless, and the TPR/screen print implementation is executed pretty well. Overall, the SP-1 V2 shoes did not disappoint in this category.
The reflective strip on the back welded in the achilles area might not be as functional if your pants are covering that are in the riding position. This is an issue you’ll encounter with many riding boots and shoes though, and since many pants also feature reflective elements on the cuffs, it’s hardly a deal-breaker. You can get away with reflectors on one or the other (pants or footwear)—both are kind of redundant.
Alpinestars SP-1 V2 Vented Shoes Value for Money
These are available for men only and come in two versions: vented and non-vented. Both are priced at $199.95 for CE-level protection with three graphics to choose from.
Although the price remained unchanged from the previous edition, we’re not sure these are the best buy out there. At the $200 mark, there are other short sport boots in Alpinestars’ own lineup that look better, are designed with newer material technologies, and cost less. Something to consider when comparison shopping.
Final Thoughts on the Alpinestars SP-1 V2 Vented Shoes
Alpinestars offers a good product here, if not a truly great one. While these shoes provide adequate protection and the vented versions breathe easily, they’re also a bit bulky, a little outdated in terms of their materials, and tend to run annoyingly large.
That said, they’re solid shoes for what they do—and while they might not be the single best product Alpinestars offers for this niche, we’d never tell you not to buy these if you like them. Just pay attention to our sizing notes when you order them and you should be fine.
- Manufacturer: Alpinestars
- Price: $199.95 USD
- Made In: Vietnam
- Colors: Black/Black, Black/White, and Black/Silver/Yellow Fluorescent
- Sizes Available: Men’s size 6-14
- Review Period: July to Sept 2022
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