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Old 01-10-2014, 06:02 PM   #1
Brtp4 OP
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Alpinestars Toucan Boots Video Review

Alpinestars Toucan GTX Boots

Fellow ADV Riders,

We are very hands-on with products, especially boots, and the Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex has been on our radar since we spotted in in European release back in July 2012. The Toucan Gore-Tex is an outstanding product and now a key part of our line. They released back in spring 2013, and we got and sent out two pair for testing. Initially I wanted to take our time to review them, to be sure that we did not say anything we would later regret. Anyway, we have lots of time in them, and lots of customers using them, so, here is our very late review:

Basics




The Toucan details are similar to most other Adventure Touring boots. They currently retail for $449.95, weigh 2.9 lbs per side for a size 10/44.5, and come in US sizes 7 - 13. Toucans are made in Alpinestars European production system, as opposed to their Scout which is made in Thailand. They are a full Gore-Tex waterproof design, with a welt-style sole attachment.

A note about boot types: We put Toucans in the Adventure Touring / Touring category. By our definition, these are boots that are waterproof, walkable, less than 3.5 lbs, and lower than 14" shaft height. We also feel the closest competitor models are the Sidi Adventure Rain, Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex, and TCX X-Desert, both below. (note that we categorize boots like the Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS, Gaerne SG-12, Alps Tech 7, etc as motocross boots).



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Brtp4 screwed with this post 01-10-2014 at 06:55 PM
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:46 PM   #2
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Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex Boots

Design



Toucans are a very technical design. If you are a true product geek, you can spend hours looking at the mold design and assembly. There are TEN (!!!) plastic pieces on the Toucan, covering more than half of the exterior of the boot. More importantly, these are not small plastic pieces that can just "float" on the leather like a shift protector. Many are large, and ALL connect, interact, or overlap with each other. Developing a design like this is much more complicated, because you are not just adding plastic, you are creating a system.


Gore-Tex Waterproof Construction



Toucans are waterproof, more specifically Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is not just a different membrane, they are involved in every aspect of how their co-branded products are brought to market. Gore controls how the boots are designed, what (other) materials are used, what factories build them, and how the production quality is managed. This tighter control is why GTX boots generally have a higher level of waterproof integrity.

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Old 01-10-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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Alpinestars Toucan Boots

Fit




In simple terms, the fit of the Toucans is excellent. Not "outstanding", but close. They are great for wide feet, have a great shape to the foot chamber, with nice contours and no odd characteristics. While the toebox has plenty of width, the heel area is slim and holds the foot in place, so even if you do NOT have a wide foot, you do not end up with slop. It is not just the volume of the boot that is good, but the SHAPE that is well-executed. After years of working with boots, our feeling is that Gaerne is the clear benchmark for fit, and the Toucan seems to be on par. Also, this is one of the better boots for large calves. The upper closure is velcro, it can be cinched down on skinny calves and also go way out for large calves, easily up to 18.5" or more.

Speaking to shape: here are a few photos of the Toucan, along with our test samples of its most direct competitors, the Sidi Adventure Rain and the TCX X-Desert. We sell both those brands, and like them. However, we felt the Toucan was a better fitting boot overall, especially those with wide feet.

Check out these pictures:

Toucan (left), Sidi Adventure Rain (center), TCX X-Desert (right)


Toucan (left) and Sidi Adventure Rain.


By the way, both the Sidi Adventure and TCX X-Desert are NOT welt sole designs (the soles are identical, BTW). When you look closely, the stitching is part of the sole mold, so they look like a welt sole.

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Old 01-10-2014, 06:53 PM   #4
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Protection and Details

Alpinestars Toucan Boots Review


Protection




The Toucan have LOTS of protection, perhaps the most of any ADV boot currently sold. There are 4 subsystems of protection in a boot: midsole stiffness, ankle reinforcement, shaft height/stiffness/clamping, and impact zones. The Toucan has more exterior plastic, more of those pieces are connected, and they are all well-executed. The Toucan has lots of midsole stiffness, extensive support around the ankle, excellent shaft function and support, and because it is covered more by plastic, more impact zone protection. Yet, it is still super comfortable.


Build Quality

There have been some web comments about the build quality of these. We mostly agree, we feel Toucans do not match the build quality of Gaerne and especially Sidi. They are close, still very good, but not on par. This is actually two separate considerations, one is the build quality, the other is the production consistency. For example, our initial pair had the uneven sole sewing that some have commented on, online. Two other pairs in the early orders also (this was yet another reason we waited to do a review). This is due to the way the plastic wraps the toe, it affects the way the boot is stretched as it is being lasted. Anyway, they seem to be aware and actively managing it, as it has mostly disappeared. There is really nothing about this problem model that affects the function or durability, just that you can see they are not quite at the level of Gaerne and Sidi.

As an example, note slight irregularity in Toucan sole stitching in his pic:




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Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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Summary

Alpinestars Toucan Gore-Tex Boots Review

Summary



Summary

Here is the most important comment we can make about Toocs....instead of making another mid-priced boot similar to everything else, Alpinestars have raised the bar in the category and sport. Quite a bit.

Toucans have tons of protection, perhaps best in category, yet fit, flex, and wear well enough to have tons of comfort. In other words, you gain a lot, and give up little, when you ride with these. The price is admittedly not cheap, but looking around the market at other Gore-Tex boots, which can carry a $100 - $150 premium, we feel Alpinestars seems to be holding the price of these down to compete more aggressively. They do EVERYTHING either very well, or superbly. They are a very complex design, but executed to a very high level, and brought in at a price that is aggressive.

Frankly, Alpinestars is not our 1st, or our 2nd, or even our 3rd favorite boot brand. We have lots of other models in the category that we like, and some we don't. But we love it when companies stick their necks out and do things BETTER. Alpinestars R+D team absolutely nailed it on this model, they deserve credit, and we will give it to them: this is currently the best boot in the category.



For more info go to www.atomic-moto.com/alpstoucan

Thanks,
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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New, Revised Toucan

Fellow ADVRiders,

This week, we had Alps whip a mid-season curveball at our heads: the spontaneous release of an UPDATED version of the Alpinestars Toucan GTX Boots:



We knew an updated version was coming in the FALL, but hey, Alps is not known for being organized...they are known for being product-centric. We're OK with that.

In the case of the newest Toucans, they improved one key feature: THE BUCKLES! The old buckles were not bad, but this latest version features the new design used on the Tech 7, which is probably the easiest to use buckle available:



If there is a downside, it is...guess what....a price increase. The new version is now $499.95, up $50 from the old ones. That will certainly not help sales, and we clearly expressed our thoughts on tinkering with what we feel is a winning formula. But, the but the revised buckles do greatly improve the product, and that is a good thing.

For more info, go to www.atomic-moto.com/alpinestars-toucan
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #7
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SALE - 2012 Version

We have quite a few pairs of the 2012 Toucans remaining, and are dropping them down to $399. Details here:

http://www.atomic-moto.com/Alpinesta...ut_p_1621.html

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Old 04-18-2014, 12:23 PM   #8
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Buckle design

Was really close to deciding on Toucans until I saw the new one, I really really like the design of the new buckle. Do you know if they would be compatible with the older toucan? I see some sites offering replacement buckles for both versions, but unsure if the new buckle design is backward compatible with the older design?
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy_rider_77 View Post
Was really close to deciding on Toucans until I saw the new one, I really really like the design of the new buckle. Do you know if they would be compatible with the older toucan? I see some sites offering replacement buckles for both versions, but unsure if the new buckle design is backward compatible with the older design?
Hello Easy Rider.

I was told no, but in looking at them I think it is possible, the mold the buckle base attaches to seems to be the same. I will try and get more info.

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Old 10-13-2014, 06:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brtp4 View Post
Hello Easy Rider.

I was told no, but in looking at them I think it is possible, the mold the buckle base attaches to seems to be the same. I will try and get more info.

BP

Any update on this?
I just broke one of the buckles on my "old" design Toucan's and I am trying to find a replacement buckle.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #11
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Hello Japanviking.

Yes, finally. I know they fit, as we swapped them out on a pair. Buckles themselves are $10 each, and straps are $9.95 per boot side (2 straps). You could also get the old style buckles themselves, probably more economical.

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Old 10-17-2014, 07:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brtp4 View Post
Yes, finally. I know they fit, as we swapped them out on a pair. Buckles themselves are $10 each, and straps are $9.95 per boot side (2 straps). You could also get the old style buckles themselves, probably more economical.

BP
Is there any stock of the buckles yet? I've been waiting to replace mine as well.

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