Posted by Gomoto Media


Every great brand has a beginning, some travelled a straight path to greatness some had to go down a winding road. This week, let's take a look at the world's giant in motorcycling gear, Alpinestars.

Leather craftsman Sante Mazzarolo found Alpinestars in 1963 in Asolo, Italy, making hiking and skiing boots. The company was named after the direct translation of of an Italian mountain flower, Stella Alpine (Eleweiss) which grows around the area of the company.

One day in 1965, Mazzarolo was approached by an enduro rider who told him that he needed a special boot for off-road riding. The only boots during that time were fully laced up from just below the knee all the way down the front of the foot, and they provided no extra protection. So, this rider required boots which have buckles and shin protectors.

Mazzarolo responded to the request and the rest was history. Legendary riders such as 5-time World Motocross Champion Roger Decoster, and 4-time World Motocross Champion Heikki Mikkola wore Alpinestars boots on their way to glory.

In fact, Alpinestars' design was so successful that its buckle closure system and shin protectors is now adopted on virtually every riding boot.

Soon, in the late '70s, Alpinestars expanded into making boots for road racing, too, equipping one particular Kenny Roberts, Sr. who went on to win three 500cc World Championships on the trot. Those boots included advances such as toe sliders and new levels of protection.

Alpinestars soon saw a meteoric rise in road racing with riders such as Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan.

The brand became so well-known that they are involved in every motorcycle sporting category.

The company then turned their attention to auto racing in the 90s, beginning with Formula 1, sponsoring drivers such as Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya Fernando Alonso, et al. Alpinestars is also prevalent in NASCAR, winning with Kurt Busch.

But safety is never a second thought for Alpinestars. In 2009, they introduced the first generation of airbag suits to MotoGP, followed by a full-body protection system in 2013. The Tech Air Street range was also offered to road riders in the same year. Some non-Alpinestars suit makers actually use Alpinestars' Tech Air airbag and sensors in their suits.

A testament on the importance of the Tech Air technology was when Marc Marquez crashed at 337km/h and walking away without serious injuries.

Alpinestars will continue to drive innovations in safety gear and we look forward to them with glee!