I’ve owned several pairs of Sidi’s long-running On Road Gore-Tex Boots. I was excited and nervous when I heard there was a replacement in the works. Excited, because Sidi makes killer boots (I own five pairs) and nervous, because replacement products don’t always keep the mojo and awesomeness of the original. I’ll admit that I was a bit crestfallen when I heard the replacement, the All Road Gore-Tex, was a textile-based boot. This wasn’t based on any particularly thoughtful examination of leather versus textile / synthetic boot construction; in fact, my daily commuter boots (one of the five pairs of Sidis mentioned above) are synthetic, and they’ve served me well. But I’ve always really liked the simple, classic leather boot that the On Road was.
I shouldn’t have worried. Right out of the box, it’s clear that the All Road boot is made for serious riding (and that’s just what they’ll do).
In many ways, these boots are an interpretation of the On Road, in modern materials: a simple and straightforward, mid-calf boot without much flash. Like the On Road, there are two straps on the lower part of the boot, and a bigger closure on the calf—all Velcro or hook and loop or whatever the kids are calling it these days. The lower straps feature an ingenuously toothy, red addition to the lower straps, designed to keep the straps from loosening up. For some reason, I’m predisposed to distrust such innovation, but it works quite well—in my experience with the All Roads, those toothy little dealies keep the straps exactly where I put them. And they’re easier to tighten up than the double loop system on the On Roads. I prefer simple boots that are easy to put on—my Sidi Adventures push the limits of my patience with all those buckles. No such issue with the All Roads.
Soles are the same workboot-esque lug affairs found on the On Roads. Upper construction is textile (Cordura?) and Sidi’s own leathery looking synthetic Techmicro. These materials achieve a magical balance of stiffness and comfort, and are substantially lighter than the On Roads they replaced. My size 48 All Roads (size 13 for you Real Americans) weigh in at 2.43 pounds each, versus 2.97 pounds for the same size On Roads. That half pound difference has gotta get me another MPH or so at the top end, right?
There’s Gore-Tex for breathable waterproofiness. If you haven’t worn a Gore-Tex boot in a downpour, well, I’m sorry for you, son. I like my feet to stay dry, and Gore-Tex makes that happen. They stand behind their “keep you dry” guarantee, too. My last pair of On Roads had been abused worse than our “justice system”—they had over 40,000 miles on them, and looked like relics from World War II when they started leaking after about 5 years. Gore-Tex sent me a new set, with nary a protest of “Seriously? What have you done to these things?!?” Nice.
I mentioned comfort—I put them on for a photo shoot, and within an hour was confident I could wear them all day with zero issues. They’re basically ready to go, right out of the box—no break-in period required.
I almost always wear my boots inside my pants, so I appreciate that the All Roads are quite svelte. They fit nicely inside even snug, Euro-style riding pants.
Sounds all good, even great, right? It is, with two caveats. First, if you’re a closed-minded, increasingly grumpy old silverback like me, you’re likely to have a hard time with the space age materials. They’re not crazy-looking like the neon MX boots Sidi also makes, but they don’t look like classic moto boots to my eyes. They’re so damn comfy, though, that I’m coming to terms with that “issue.”
Second, and more importantly, the All Roads are light on protection, just as the On Roads were. This didn’t stop me from piling the miles on the On Roads, and it won’t stop me from doing the same in the All Roads, but if your idea of “safe boots” includes Terminator-looking joints and armor everywhere, the All Roads will disappoint you. These are basically touring boots—the toe box is nice and stiff, there’s a bit of ankle armor and some padding in the shin, but nothing that’ll stop your ankle from being turned into a boot full of meaty pudding if you put your leg between a rock and a hard place. Or a bumper and a bike.
That said, Sidi’s new All Roads are really great for utility and touring riders looking for a waterproof boot. And get this—at just $325, they’re actually less than the On Roads they replace. I found them easy to get on my tootsies, flawlessly waterproof, thanks good old Gore-Tex, and crazy-comfy from the git-go. Hell of a deal.
$325. Get a pair or find your local dealer at motonation.com.