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Tools of the trade: Are you ready boots?

Tools of the trade: Are you ready boots?

Tools of the trade: Are you ready boots?

Comfort and protection are of optimum importance for MotoGP riders, a rule that applies in everything down to their choice of footwear. Half of the riders on the premier class grid this season place their feet in the capable hands of the Alpinestars Supertech boot, one of the most highly developed items in its field.

The Supertech is the boot of choice for, amongst others, MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, former title holder Kenny Roberts Jr, Australian star Casey Stoner and recent Alpinestars convert Dani Pedrosa. Not only do the riders wear the boots, they also provide valuable feedback for the manufacturer to continue development of what has been a 5 year project. The Supertech undergoes rigorous redesign at the company's Research and Development laboratory before hitting the track, utilising the very latest computer aided resources.

Often boots take a great deal of punishment over the course of a MotoGP race, particularly if a rider is involved in a crash. The balance between supporting the ankle, shin and foot and not reducing the feeling and mobility of a rider is difficult to find. In the case of the Supertech, an internal brace is used to cover all three parts of the ankle joint, with an inner brace consisting of two twisting bars used to prevent over-extension of the joints.

Riders often drag their foot on the ground when on-track, and you only have to look at Sete Gibernau's misfortune at last year's Italian Grand Prix to how protection affects riding style. The Spaniard damaged his toe slider early on, and dropped down the field as his unprotected toe got more and more battered and bloody. The Supertech uses sliders on all parts of the boot for the times when foot touches asphalt.

MotoGP, 2007

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