Motocross boots have changed dramatically over the last 50 years, but there was one boot innova- tion that was never fully developed or accepted by the racing public. In 1986, several boot companies intro- duced air-cooled boots at the exact same time. The idea to reduce the heat inside the boot never caught on.
AIR-COOLED MOTOCROSS BOOTS
The Alpinestars Ventil-Action boot
was a standard-issue leather motocross boot with a plastic-clad upper.
It featured three ventilation grills
(with six slots in them) and multiple
slots molded into the boot’s upper.
Theoretically, air would enter through
the toe box and two ankle grills and
exit through the upper slots. To help
this happen, the liner of the boot
was made from a mesh material that
allowed for some air movement.
More refined and complex was the
AXO Air System boot, which in 1986
looked very much like a modern-day
boot. Its most unique feature was a
molded scoop on the boot’s upper
that drew air into the boot, where it
was designed to migrate down and
exit via vents in the rear of the boot.
The idea of cooling the rider’s feet
was appealing enough for these two
powerhouse boot manufacturers to
invest in it, but if air could come in,
then so could water and dirt. In an
MXA airflow test, it was discovered
that air did not circulate from the
intake ducts to the outlet vents but
instead just went in the vicinity of
the intake duct and no further. ❏