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Garage Finds | James Stewart’s Nike 6.0 MX Boots


Garage Finds | James Stewart’s Nike 6.0 MX Boots

Presented by Backyard Design

One of the rarest items I’ve ever managed to procure for my personal collection of motocross memorabilia is a pair of James Stewart’s Nike 6.0 MX Boots. I remember when Stew and Ryan Dungey first busted these bad boys out…it seemed like the entire motocross world went nuts and couldn’t wait to buy a pair. Sadly, they were never scheduled to go into production at all, and they were more of a marketing experiment than anything. I never got the story straight from James himself, but I’ve been told that Dungey was originally slated to be the only athlete in the boot, but when word of the project reached James – already a Nike-sponsored racer himself – he insisted on getting to wear the boot, too. In one of the final issues of TransWorld Motocross, I wrote a short piece on the Nike boot after chatting with Dungey about the experience…

In the grand scheme of things, our beloved sport of motocross is tiny in comparison to mainstream sports like baseball, basketball, football, or golf. And that’s why it was so exciting when performance footwear giant Nike got involved for a brief four-year stint in motocross and Supercross. Though they were never scheduled to go into production, the Nike MX boot was worn by two of the biggest names in the sport—Ryan Dungey and James Stewart—and the custom kicks certainly drew a lot of attention. We caught up with 12-time champ Dungey and asked him to reflect on the Nike MX boot that he wore from 2010 to 2014.

“After the 2009 season my existing boot contract was up and my agent at the time, Tony Gardea, suggested to some people that he knew at Nike 6.0 that they should make a motocross boot, since the brand was so innovative in action sports. When we were in town for the Seattle Supercross, we visited the Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and the idea really took off.

“The boots themselves were awesome and it was incredible to work with the team at Nike. The resources they had were seemingly unlimited and their main objective was to make the best-performing boot possible. The idea was never to put them into production, so things like durability for the consumer weren’t a huge concern. They weren’t made to last a long time, and I’d say that I went through around 300 pairs during the time I wore them. My feet were laser scanned for a perfect fit, and the boot was really molded around my foot. They were super-comfortable and lightweight, and I’d say they were designed to be as simple and light as possible while still being safe. There was an external carbon fiber hinge for support, but the inside of the boot was completely smooth and it felt great against the bike. You could really grip the bike.

“At first, when I first started wearing them in 2010, we did a lot of testing with different sole compounds. At first, they were far too soft and they would chunk out from the footpegs. After the first year, we got them dialed, and a pair would last me about two weeks of riding before the soles were ruined. Again, they were designed to perform, not necessarily to last.

“One thing you don’t really realize when you wear motocross boots is how heavy they are and how much they weigh you down on the footpegs. I actually had to start holding on a little more with my knees because I found myself floating off the pegs when I would jump!

“Reflecting back on it, it was really special to be a part of the Nike MX project. It was very exclusive and the boot was sure something to behold. In the end, the powers that be at Nike decided that fund could be better spent elsewhere, especially since it was never really intended to be a product that Nike produced for sale. And that’s a shame…I really wish people could have experienced what it was like to wear such a high-end product.” 

Backyard Design Graphic Kit of the Week

Custom Graphic Kits Starting At $179.99

Backyard Design was founded in 2010 by two privateer Supercross racers: Jared Hicks from Alabama and Philipp Klakow from Germany. What started off as a project to fund their Supercross racing efforts has now grown into a worldwide graphics manufacturer, with dual headquarters in the United States and Germany. Backyard Design is known for being one of the first custom graphics makers to have a completely interactive website, where customers can design their own kits with a few clicks on a computer mouse.

Backyard Design has been creating rad custom graphic kits for our buddy Travis Fant – videographer extraordinaire at High Torque – for several years now, and we’ve always admired the fit and finish of his kits. Fant is such a baller that he keeps bikes on both sides of the United States so that he can moto down wherever he might be, and this is his Yamaha YZ250 that he keeps in Florida, along with a healthy supply of sweet tea and baby wipes. We all know that sweet tea is delicious and refreshing, but what are the baby wipes for? For Fantman to clean up with after he’s done distributing nuts across the country, of course! Fant says that the DM portion of the Instagram app is critical in his game with the ladies, but we know better…it’s his great-looking BYD bike in the back of his shaggin’ wagon.

Don’t need something this wild? Backyard Design USA’s web site has a wide selection of baseline designs to start with for all brands, which can be customized with your sponsor logos, etc.

Visit www.backyarddesignusa.com to see more!

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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