I've never owned riding boots before, preferring the shifter feel and ankle flexibility I got from leather sneakers. Some recent foot scraping incidents got me thinking more about better foot protection. I liked the look of these low-cut, A-stars and picked up a pair about 2 months ago. I've logged about 700 miles with them and couldn't be more impressed. Right out of the box, the Alpinestars quality was evident. The materials, stitching and workmanship are outstanding. The heel, ankle and toe protection is as solid as you'll get short of a true racing boot. I don't know what the sole material is but I do know that they don't slip off my bike's round, aluminum pegs. They feel great on my feet, don't make them sweat, and give me the great shifter feel and ankle flexibility that I wanted. Pretty comfortable for walking too. Another great feature is that these don't use laces. They secure with a side zipper that's covered with a velcroed flap and can be tightened with a top strap on an adjustable buckle. Very easy to get them on & off quickly and feel very secure. Overall, a great boot that won't disappoint. The service and best price I got from Motosport.com was an added bonus!