It's been said that every nerve in your body has a terminus in your feet, which is why a good, thorough foot massage can make your eyes roll back into your skull, your jaw go slack, and cause strange, gurgling noises to involuntarily ooze out from your drooling maw. Given that your tootsies can be the source of so much pleasure, you will want to make sure that you take extra special care of them, especially when checking off those long, long miles on your multi-state sport touring adventure. However, if your track boots are the comfort equivalent of medieval plate armor, the Sidi On Road Sympatex boots are your ticket.
The Sympatex boots feature top grain leather outer construction, with several key areas reinforced with added leather 'pads'. Plastic toe and heel cups contribute additional strength and protection in those areas, and the lug sole of the boot is supported with an arched steel shank. The top of the boot comes just above mid-calf. The whole boot is fastened via four broad leather bands threaded through durable plastic fasteners and then bent back and secured by Velcro-type strips. At first look, those leather bands were a bit stiff and the whole system was regarded with some suspicion. But after the boots broke in and the bands loosened, tightening up was easier and faster than laces. Very nice.
...really heavy precipitation was simulated by running in place while a friend pointed a water hose full blast for fifteen minutes at a tester's feet.
The interior is lined with Sympatex, a solid waterproof/breathable membrane that permits body heat to push out water vapor from your feet, but allows no liquid water in. Sympatex is a 100% polyester fabric that is used in a wide variety of outdoor clothing applications, and in this instance works perfectly to keep your feet warm and dry, even in torrential downpours. Truth to be told, road testing was performed only in mild downpour situations, so really heavy precipitation was simulated by running in place while a friend pointed a water hose full blast for fifteen minutes at a tester's feet. In any case, no water made it through the Sympatex liner.
Given the durable construction, these boots are very light and very comfortable. They were worn daily as walk-around shoes and proved to be not only a pleasure to break in, but stylish as well, at least for big black boots. On the bike, long miles were effortless and the well-defined heel kept this all-weather footwear perched nicely on the footpegs. They performed as designed, without flaw. Finally and unfortunately, these boots were crash-tested. The pictures in this review were taken after the tester was pitched off at 45 mph and propelled almost 25 yards through the gravel and dirt run-off. A few weeks later the boots were cleaned and polished and the results are, well, impressive: The left boot sustained some very minor, hard-to-find scratches. That's it.
At $230.00, these boots aren't economy footwear. Compared to some boots, the price might be a little rich. But if you trek the kind of mileage that make boots like these important enough to own, then rest assured that the bit over two bills you shell out to claim ownership of these boots will be spent on quality leather that will serve for years to come, keep your feet well protected from the elements, and will keep those pleasure centers at the end of your legs your willing slaves. Five stars, no problem.
Motorcycle Online Rating: *****
Sidi Sympatex Boots are available at http://www.motorcycle.com/cgi-bin/redirector?www.motonation.com.
The Sidi Sympatex Touring Boot is priced at $230.