Thursday, March 22

Sidi Boot Update

For those wanting more info on the Sidi On Road Gor-Tex boot, check out the 31 reviews on Motorcycle Gear Review. Overall, the reviews are quite impressive and provide lots of firsthand experiences testing the waterproofness of the boots. Then there is the review Cruiser Magazine did on the top 12 waterproof boots--it's worth reading too. The boots examined in the article refer to a Sidi On Road Sympatex boot, which is an older version of the Sidi On Road Gor-Tex. The only difference I see between the two is a $30 price increase on the "Gor-Tex" version and the name switch. The review is thorough and well-done.

Sidi On Road Gor-Tex Boots

Now that I have over 130 miles on my new, waterproof Sidi boots ($260), I think it’s time for a serious review. I love these boots! They fit perfectly! From the moment I slipped my foot inside, they felt comfortable—no stress points to annoy you after a few miles. On the second day, I wore the boots to work to begin the break-in process. Only thing is, these boots need no break-in. I walked several miles in them that day and at all times, I felt as if I were wearing my favorite cross-trainers.

These stylish, tall boots extend above mid-leg. A wide, rigid panel that runs along the front of the boot is enough to make the rider feel that the leg is well protected. This would prevent the “ouch” I utter when backing up the bike and smacking my shin on the foot pegs. The boots fasten by four belt-like straps that are pulled through a plastic eye and adhered to four Velcro positions on the side of the boots. Consequently, the boots allow for considerable adjustment through a simple buckle mechanism.

The Sidi On-Road boots have extra padding on the inside ankle (the outer ankle is protected underneath one of the fasteners). When the boots are unfastened they reveal a loose waterproof inner panel that when tucked in provides extra waterproofing along the buckles that are used to fasten and adjust the fit of the boot.
I also like that each boot sports the extra layer of leather near the toe where ordinarily only one exists on the shift boot.

In my relatively short riding experience, I’ve had four pairs of boots. A pair of tall, leather, smokin’ Frye boots from the 70s. These stylish and sweaty boots took months to break in and feel totally comfortable in. From last season, a pair of HD leather boots with hard toe, sole and heel. I like them but they offer minimal ankle and shin protection and didn’t have the bend around the sole area needed for good foot position on a sporty bike. The other pair, an inexpensive touring boot, was fine but the online purchase without benefit of trying them on rendered them ill-fitting, forcing me wear thick, hot socks to take up the slack; still, them always felt too loose and unsafe. Yet, I bought the Sidi’s online too but they perfect like gloves, which I think proves that the Sidi sizing is truer than the cheap pair.

I love 99.5% of everything about the Sidi boot. However, there is one little thing that I hope is correcting itself. The sole of the Sidi boot has a textured, knobby appearance. My foot is flexed on the pegs, that is, I am on the balls of my feet. When it is time to shift, the knobby surface is caught by the pegs, which are also textured. Without a smooth, flat sole, foot movement is an issue. I can’t just slide my foot forward and underneath and shift gears. I consciously have to lift my foot slightly—as oppose to simply scooch it forward—and then aim it underneath to shift the gear. When I first wore the boots, this inability to move my foot easily was hugely annoying. My former boots all had a flat, less deeply textured, surface that made foot movement smooth and automatic. I must say that either now I’ve learned to compensate for this or the surface is dulling some to allow easier foot gliding. In any case, it’s not enough to diminish the beauty and functionality of this boot. Although pricey, they are among the best investments I’ve made!