Before I begin this review of the Dainese Giro ST boots, let it be said that Dainese make some great gear, of that there is no doubt. Safety is usually amongst the best available and yet style doesn’t take a back seat. So one would expect then that I would be writing a glowing review of the Giro ST boots. And these boots are both safe and stylish. The trouble is, I don’t really see the point of them.
You see, the Dainese Giro ST boots are what would be described as the top offering of Dainese’s sports boot range. But for an extra $30 or so, you can move up to a track boot (such as the Dainese TR Course), which offers more protection with no real drawbacks. While walking around the local shopping centre with the track boot may look a bit weird, the Dainese Giro ST is hardly inconspicuous to begin with.
But let’s focus on the Dainese Giro ST first. It provides plenty of protection around the foot, with plenty of hardened plastic on the toes, ankle and heel. On the shin, which is very prone to impacts and injuries, there’s further reinforced plastic (or thermoplastic polyurethane). It’s all wrapped in synthetic leather around the foot, with nylon going up the back of the calf.
A big plus for this boot is feel. It protects your feet well, but you don’t lose any feeling through the boot – a big plus in my opinion. There’s nothing worse than wearing big bulky boots that offer no feedback from the bike. Using the rear brake and shifting feels natural and comfortable.
I also found the ‘break-in’ period with the boots to be minimal. The initial tightness only lasted for a week before I hardly even noticed them. While I wouldn’t recommend walking around in them for extended periods, they didn’t hurt for shorter walks to and from my bike.
Egress in and out of the boot is great, with a zip down the back, but additionally, Velcro bellows that allow you to adjust the size of the boot around the calf as required. This is a great addition and is just another example of Dainese’s attention to detail.
They do look great, too. They make the Alpinestars SMX-6 boots look cheap and outdated, while the SIDI Cobra’s look ostentatious in comparison. Dainese always seem to be able make gear that is understated yet extremely stylish. Just don’t try wearing them to work – they still looks like a motorcycle boot.
So, back to what I said earlier – the fact that I don’t understand the point of this boot. If you’re on a track, a crash is likely to be high speed but without hitting any stationary objects. On the road, it’s likely to be lower speed but with greater risk of hitting something. Either way, you need quality foot protection. So if it only costs an extra $30 for the TR Course, why not just go for a boot you can quite easily wear both on the street and at the track?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Dainese Giro ST boots. It’s just that for the cost, I’d rather have more protection from a boot that looks very similar.