Sidi Motorcycle Boots Review
A month ago, no one could have convinced me that I would spend 500 bucks for a pair of motorcycle boots. Now, a month later, the price is long forgotten (almost).
When my Alpinestars bit the dust, I did a canvass of half a dozen motorcycle shops, comparing feature for feature. I read reviews, I talked to other riders, I hit the online forums, and I soul searched for my own balance point in the safety/comfort/hassle continuum.
By way of disclosure, as an attorney handling motorcycle accidents, I get regular exposure to the fact that 17.9% of motorcycle accident injuries involve the lower leg and foot.
Andy Goldfine was in town on a road trip, so I had to go over and try on a pair of his well respected Combat Boots, which are made by SIDI. These are a game changer in a lot of ways. Great quality leather always is a pleasure to wear, the soles were very cool looking and felt like they would work, and I liked the closure system a lot.
As much as I loved these boots, my little voice would not let me get a pair of boots that did not have solid shin protection. I now focused my search on which pair of SIDI motorcycle boots I would get. There is a reason SIDI owns the motorcycle boot segment.
I loved the look of the SIDI On Road boots. These are the longest running style, have a great traditional look, but are updated with GoreTex. However, they did not have the level of protection I was looking for.
I ended up getting the SIDI Adventure Gore boots. They have the all-important stiff sole, which happens to be a lug pattern that looks good for walking. They close with two buckles and a velcro flap. One buckle tightens the instep, one the shin, and the velcro closes around the shin. There is lots of stiffness and resistance to twisting an ankle, plenty of plastic nearly everywhere, but enough high quality leather to give them the feel and ambiance of a leather boot. The usual features, like protection from the shift lever, are all taken to high levels. The shift lever protection is plastic, and it is on both boots.
A really hard decision was to go with the height of these Sidi motorcycle boots, which is most of the way up the calf and shin. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make a huge difference in comfort, although it will be warm in the summer. They will also be a little less convenient to stuff in a bag.
The fit (I have a medium width, flat foot) is fantastic. Even as stiff as these were out of the box, they were immediately ingratiating. I felt like a little kid with new cowboy boots who wants to sleep in them. Now that they are wearing in, they are so very much the better.
Of course, the high level of protection just feels good when you are on the bike, but the comfort reinforces this sensation as well.
On the downside, there are many reports of squeaking, particularly when these are new. One online review said, “no, really” when describing how loud this was. I found that the remedy of mink oil slowly quieted them down. At least one person told me he used WD-40 successfully. The culprit here seems to be the plastic or the plastic against the rubber. I have mink oiled twice, and the squeaking is still there, but tolerable.
The other suggested adjustment I made was to put in orthotic footbeds. There isn’t anything wrong with the factory footbeds (nor should there be, at this price point), but the aftermarket orthotics “take it up a notch” as Emeril would say. With the orthotics, I often don’t take them off for several hours when I get to the office. I can easily see keeping them on at a motorcycle gathering, and maybe even wearing them for a day at the races.
They are warm, however. Choice of socks will be important on a warm summer day.
For those of you who watch Anthony’s video reviews at Revzilla, you know that he owns these Sidi motorcycle boots, has crashed in them twice, and loves them (maybe a little too much, as he describes them as “heirloom” quality).
I have no plans to leave my boots to my heirs, but these are by far the best motorcycle boots I have ever owned, and I can recommend them without hesitation.