Much of this was achieved through the extensive use of carbon fiber and Kevlar in areas where heavier rubber had been employed previously. Special shock absorbing shin and ankle plates feature the carbon/Kevlar armor, with the ankle areas also protected by an underlying shock absorbing gel filler pad.
Significant improvements are found in the zipper closure on the 597 boot. A major complaint with the 596's was that its small zippers were extremely hard to pull -- even without gloves on -- making it difficult to open and close the boots. Prexport took these complaints to heart and equipped the new 597 boots with much larger, easier to grasp zippers, along with providing a larger velcro-closed leather flap that extends further back.
Other features carried across from the 596 boots include Prexport's exclusive adjustable ventilation system, strong toe-box area, full-grain leather uppers, soft fabric lining, dual density shock absorbing soles, and further protection provided by molded plastic heel plates, gear shift pad, and replaceable toe and calf sliders.
As a testament to the 597's protection and strength, we witnessed Prexport-sponsored World Superbike privateer James Haydon high-side his Gio.Ca.Moto Ducati in Turn 2 during a recent WSB event at Laguna Seca. Although his helmet and leathers were worse for the wear, Haydon was able to walk away from the wicked crash without injury to his feet or ankles.
As you would expect, this extra high-tech protection does not come cheaply. Prexport is offering the new 597 boot at a retail of $249 U.S., fully $84 more than the 596 boot (which is still available). When considered alongside of other top-of-the-line roadrace boots like Alpinestar's GP Tech, the 597's price falls right in line, and offers what we feel is exceptional protection for the money. If you're serious about roadracing you need superior equipment, and Prexport's Model 597 boot is our clear choice, with features and improvements that make it a true five-star product.
Motorcycle Online Rating: *****
Prexport 597 Boots are available in black only, and retail for $249 (U.S.) plus $32 handling and shipping costs to the U.S. You can direct order any Prexport products through their website at www.prexport.com. The website also features Euro to U.S. size conversion tables.