BikeSocial Publisher. Has been riding since before Frankie said ‘Relax’, owned more than 100 bikes and has written for, edited or published most of the UK’s best known bike magazines. Strangely attracted to riding high miles in all weathers, finds track days ‘confusing’ and describes the secret to better riding as ‘being invincible’.
Date reviewed: July 2019 | Tested by: Steve Rose, BikeSocial publisher | Price: £239.99 | www.sidiselect.co.uk
As a working rider I need boots to be comfy when worn all day, waterproof, warm, easy to get on an off but not so bulky or close-fitting that I can’t get jeans or overtrousers over and under them easily.
I prefer my boots to be simple, subtle and work as well on a sports bike as a tourer. And, obviously, should I fall off I expect them to protect me completely. I wouldn’t spend more than £250 and need them to last at least two summers and two winters, which equals 40-50,000 miles. That’s a big ask.
You won’t see Luke Skywalker wearing them, but look closely and there’s a lot of smart thinking here.
The uppers are made of something called Technomicro Microfibre, which is a synthetic substance that looks and feels close enough to leather for you not to notice, but with built-in water-resistance and a lot more consistent than leather. Not so long ago synthetic leather looked good for a summer and then got tatty quickly, but the latest fibres seem more resilient. Careful design means that all the areas that will touch down in a crash have plastic armour to provide the abrasion resistance that synthetic fibres often lack. These boots also have Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing and breathability. And there’s a mesh exhaust panel in the calf.
Not leather, but it looks like it and, for man-made fibre it’s lasted well too.
Simple full-length zip and a short Velcro fastening at the top make them easy to get on and off. The stretch panels add extra flexibility and allow for different-sized calves.
That’s it. Simple. The opening is big enough to get feet in or out of easily and yet, snug and secure once fastened. They work as well done up tight with jeans over the top as they do a bit slacker with jeans tucked inside.
Lightweight plastic armour on all the impact and abrasion points feels reassuringly solid
CE certified for protection and water resistance. The ankles have plastic armour on both sides to protect against abrasion and crushing. The heels are also reinforced with plastic and the screw-on, replaceable toe slider and additional mid-foot slider plus heel protector mean that should you get a boot stuck under the bike while sliding, there’s enough protection to keep you safe.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.
The boots were very comfortable from day one, took about 100 miles to wear-in properly and have been as comfy as a favourite pair of shoes since then. I have fairly narrow feet and find that SIDI and TCX boots tend to fit me better than other brands (Spada, for example) where I struggle to get the sizing right.
Sole has a good balance of grip and flexibility without wearing out quickly.
The thin sole gives plenty of feel on sportier bikes and grips well when riding with the balls of my feet on the footpegs. So far it only got slippy on one bike (a 2019 Suzuki Katana) in some seriously wet conditions. The boots have a small heel, which adds grip and security on a bike’s footpegs when not riding with the balls of my feet on the pegs. The sole is strengthened for protection, but remains comfortable to walk around in.
Totally waterproof so far despite getting caught in some horrendous weather on too many occasions already. I often ride long days in the saddle and when it rains, if my kit has flaws, I soon know about it. The SIDI Performers have coped with everything so far.
As summer turns to winter, reflective panels come into their own
I’m a lucky man. My job allows me to test lots of kit from many manufacturers. In the last 24 years as a professional rider I’ve tried pretty much every boot manufacturer out there. I keep coming back to SIDI because they make boots that satisfy my need for simplicity, performance, quality-of-construction and reasonable pricing. I’ve only had one pair of their waterproof boots that leaked and that was after close-on 100,000 miles and never had a zip break, toe slider drop off or sole wear out. For the money, that’s really impressive.
These Performer boots are easy on the eye and easy to use, but well-designed with plenty of protection too. 10,000 miles is still (relatively) early days, but all the evidence so far is that they are as good as I expected. To put it in context, my last pair of SIDI boots lasted four years and 100,000 miles. They cost a similar amount to these which worked out at about 20p per day to have feet that were warm, dry, protected and comfy. So far these are doing just as good a job.