I wouldn’t call myself a boot fetishist. If that was the case I’d probably be writing for a totally different website. But I do appreciate a well-made product, and manufacturers that hand craft their products and then sell them for an affordable price deserve recognition. Behold, Sidi’s new Fusion roadrace/sport boot, made in Italy and priced at a mere $200.
Yep, that’s right. In a time when some importers will tell you there’s no way they could make a buck while also paying European or American workers a living wage , it’s refreshing to find a company like Sidi still making a very nice product, in its home country, for the same price or less than an offshore-sourced competitor.
What you get for two Benjamins is satisfying. The boots are nothing fancy: my pair are basic black, with just enough color in the Sidi logos to keep them visually interesting. But they are still laden with motorcycle-specific features you’ll find in much pricier footwear, like Sidi’s Vertebra-system armor on the upper part of the boot, replaceable toe sliders (screw-on, not those silly Velcro-attaching ones you’d find years ago), plastic heel cup, removable arch supports, and Sidi’s strong, supportive composite inner sole. The uppers are made of synthetic, water-and-scuff resistant Lorica, and the liner is a special Teflon-coated fabric that keeps your feet cool, dry, and hopefully, not too smelly. Quality is very nice, with double stitching almost everywhere and fabric stretch panels for a perfect fit. I was a little disappointed in the chintzy “arch supports” I found in the boots, but $8 and a trip to Wal-Mart will solve that.
Although I found the sizing a little loose on me, these boots felt right the second I tried them on; no break-in required. As sport boots, they’re tough to beat: the thin, strong sole gives good support and feel for the pegs at the same time, and the light, flexible Lorica made the boots feel like slippers when it was time to click up through the gears. Unlike a lot of boots that are so plastered with safety features that they make you clomp like a wounded duck around the pits, the Fusions felt like a well-worn pair of sneakers, although the thin, hard sole isn’t exactly amenable to long hikes.
The main disadvantage is a paucity of safety features. Even though there is armor covering the calf, heel cup, ankle bones and shin, there is little to keep the foot and ankle from hyperextending or to protect the rider’s feet and lower legs from hard impact. But I’m guessing there are a lot of riders out there who are wearing the same old boots from years ago, boots broken in, comfortable and much loved—and with far less impact protection than the Fusions. Maybe you’ve been holding off because you haven’t seen a boot on the market in that sweet spot of high quality, good comfort, decent protection and high value. These may be the ones.
Sidi Fusion boots are available in black in sizes 4.5-14.5 at your local Sidi dealer, or online through Motonation, Sidi’s USA distributor