Those are either the tallest hi-tops in Nike history, or else the company is developing its very own motocross boot. According to Ryan Dungey, it’s the latter, and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider told us a little bit about the project that he’s been working with Nike on.

First off, it’s not all about James (at least not entirely). James Stewart unofficially debuted the all-new Nike 6.0 boot to media yesterday at the Red Bull media day on Catalina Island but the inspiration behind creating the boot can be attributed to Dungey, who has been a Nike 6.0-sponsored athlete for nearly five years.

We caught up with Dungey at the Anaheim I press conference where he talked about the elusive boot and the development leading up to its recent debut.

Tell us about the new Nike 6.0 boot.

First off, I’ll just say it’s been an amazing experience, and to bring Nike into the sport is quite amazing. But I think it all started about 18 months ago. I went to Nike and asked them if they’d like to make a boot. Obviously, they have all the research and development tools that they need to make the best [boot].It wasn’t until recently that we had a boot to ride and test in. It’s been quite an experience. They’ve been with me along the whole way, every step of the process. Through the development, through all the stages, we’ve checked in along the way to make the best boot possible. So it’s great to be a part of it.It’s pretty much a boot built for performance and light weight. I almost feel like I’m floating off the bike they’re so lightweight, which is really amazing. To shed weight on a bike or a rider is that little bit that could help in winning.

So this is something you initiated?

Yeah. I mean, we went to them and said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in making a boot?’ And it all really started on the phone, talking to a bunch of engineers and guys from Nike. It’s pretty cool because they built the whole boot around how I wanted it to fit, how it was supposed to work. As I said from the beginning, it’s been an amazing experience to work with people like that.

What inspired you to pursue this? Did you see current motocross boots lacking something?

No, not at all. I had been with Gaerne since I was an amateur. But I’ve been with Nike 6.0 since I was 15, so it was going on my fifth year when this all came about. We always thought it would be cool. Finally one day we said, ‘We need to at least try and pursue this.’ And I think it’s good for our sport, too. It’s good to bring people in and it’ll bring new people and new ideas and hopefully make the sport bigger. That’s the plan, but for me it’s a team that I’m really pumped to be a part of.Caption (photo right): The Nike 6.0 boot is hinged with three buckles, as you can see. The top buckle is unusually high, and extending from the hinge on the outter side of each boot is what appears to be a protective carbon-fiber piece. Look for the all-new Nike boots on Ryan Dungey and James Stewart this weekend, as well as what looks like the new Nike moto-wear logo (vaguely seen on the red toe piece of the boot).

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Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.

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