MO Tested: Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots Review - UPDATED
This time we were able to test them
Updated 8/30/2022: Our initial negative review of the Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots in January prompted a response from the manufacturer, Comoto, and led to several in-depth conversations about the boots. After an examination of our test boots (which we returned) and several others on hand at their facilities, the designers at Comoto determined that there was an issue which allowed for too large a gap through which the adjustable strap slid.
A few months later we received a notice that they had “updated the durometer on the plastic used, changed the angles at which the teeth interlock, and…added a guide lock to snap the strap into position once you’ve got it set to the desired length.” Naturally, we agreed to test the updated product, and the boot arrived just in time for Video Producer, Sean Matic, to wear them on our Six-Day, 2,000-mile adventure tour last month. On that trip, we put the boots through all of the duties you’d expect from an adventure-focused boot.
So, we have revised the review. With the exception of the scorecard (which is updated), all changes in the previous review have been formatted with a strikethrough, and new text is in italics. As you can see, a change to a small part can make a huge difference in the experience of the rider. We applaud Comoto for being so positive in its response to the review and appreciate being involved (in our own small way) in the revision process. – EB
One of the criticisms occasionally lobbed at us is that being given gear by the manufacturers for review makes us biased towards the more expensive, top-of-the-line gear because we don’t pay for it. While nothing I can say is likely to dissuade you from that belief, I’ll try anyway. My experience over 25 years of testing motorcycle gear is that well-made products can last for many years, but poorly constructed items quickly become paperweights. Motorcycle gear is purpose-built to protect the rider’s body in a mishap, and if a product gets the job done at a reasonable price, I’m all for it. So, when shopping online for a new pair of adventure touring boots, the Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots looked to be an ideal example of wallet-friendly, full-featured riding gear. Consequently, I ordered a set.
Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots
Editor Score: 78%
- Full-grain leather construction
- Waterproof, breathable Hipora liner
- Sturdy sole
- Buckles refuse to stay closed
- Plastic covers for rivets fall off
- Product needed revision
When you read the description, they offer the same components as adventure boots costing hundreds of dollars more, yet they retail for just $200. For example, the boots’ outer is full-grain leather construction, and when you get them in your hands, the leather feels quite sturdy, to the point that you might expect the boots to take a while to break in comfortably, which is something I’d expect from a stiff, protective ADV boot. Inside that beefy leather, a waterproof, breathable Hipora membrane promises to keep the elements out when the going gets wet – all the way to the top of the boot.
For protection, TPU is used throughout. The heel cup wraps completely around the heel with the sturdy plastic and offers Achilles protection. A hinged TPU heel and ankle cuff to protect against both hyperextension (and crushing forces, should your bike end up lying on top of you) while still allowing you enough flex in your ankle to manipulate the foot controls. An accordion panel on the front of the ankle assists in this flexibility. TPU shin plates keep rocks and other debris from spoiling your off-road fun. When it comes time to put your feet down, the heavy, lugged, waffle sole provides plenty of grip while giving you a supportive platform to stand on your pegs.
To adjust the boot to fit different leg shapes, the wide leather pull on the outside of the boot top offers a good range of adjustability via hook-and-loop fasteners. Around the ankle two adjustable straps are designed to keep the boot snug around the rider’s ankles.
These features read as what one would want from ADV boots which encounter all kinds of weather in a wide variety of terrain. The look and feel of the boots when they first come out of the box does nothing to dissuade that impression. When sliding the boots on, the immediate impression is that they run about a half size small, but otherwise, they feel the part of an adventure boot
…until you close the straps. Our experience with the updated version of the boots proves them to be a solid product in their new form. The straps get their adjustability from a plastic toothed slider. To make them shorter, you slide the hard plastic inside the ankle cuff, and in theory, the teeth catch when the clasp on the outside of the boot is closed, wrapping your foot in a snug, protective layer of TPU. Unfortunately, on my boots, neither of the straps on one boot would stay locked in position when the clasp was closed. On the other boot, the lower of the two straps had the same issue. Since this essentially rendered the Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots useless for protection, I reached out to the manufacturer and exchanged them for a new pair. Annoying, but it happens occasionally. When the replacement boots arrived, I immediately made sure the adjusters would stay in the teeth when I snapped the clasps closed. They did. So, I thought the problem was resolved. Unfortunately, the first time I rode with them off road, the teeth in the adjustable straps on both boots disengaged and allowed the snaps to open shortly thereafter, and I was left with all four buckles flapping in the wind in less than five miles of moderate dirt. At this point, I went back to my truck and swapped the Sedici boots for a pair that would do their primary job. My testing of the boots ended there, with less than 20 miles of use. If a pair of ADV boots won’t provide even the most basic support and protection of my ankles, they’ve failed in their primary mission, making further field investigation pointless. In summary, if you’re looking for a pair of inexpensive ADV boots and are considering the Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots, don’t. One bad pair could be a manufacturing mistake. Two non-functional pairs point to design flaws. If you’re still not convinced and want to throw your $200 away, they are available in US men’s sizes 8-14.
During our six-day, 2,000-mile adventure ride, the Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots stayed snapped in all but one brief instance, which we are certain was rider error. When closing the cam-lock buckles, you need to make sure they are completely snapped. (A rider with a different set of boots also had a buckle open once during the trip, pointing out how dependent cam-lock buckles are on being fully closed.) However, you do need to be cautious when adjusting the size of the strap, as our tester accidentally pulled the strap completely out of the boot while adjusting the size in the new fixture. It went back in and stayed buckled for the rest of the trip.
When it comes to comfort, the Garda’s were great for all day in the saddle. Still, we need to note that if you have extremely narrow ankles if the boots are a bit large on you, the tightness with which you need to clamp down on the adjustable straps can create a slight fold in the accordion leather in the outer. Still, it was not uncomfortable, and it didn’t cause blisters or any other issues. We consider this a sizing issue rather than a design flaw, and had we had more time to swap the boots for a smaller size before the trip, we might have.
The Garda’s waterproofing was not subjected to riding in the rain, but they did go through several water crossings and even some standing in the stream to film the other riders riding through the water. The interior stayed dry in all cases. Additionally, the grip from the waffle soles was good both on the pegs and in mud, as you would expect from such an aggressive tread design.
We don’t have the opportunity to review an updated product that we have been so critical of in the past, and we applaud Comoto for stepping up and making the necessary changes to allow the Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots to live up to the potential of its feature list. The Gardas are available in US men’s sizes 8-14 at an MSRP of $200. Riders on a budget should consider taking a look at these full-featured adventure boots.
Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots FAQ
What is an adventure boot?
Adventure boots are the athletic love child of a touring boot and an off-road boot, combining features of both in a form that is suitable for the hybrid sport of adventure riding. Like touring boots, they will offer waterproofing and a nod towards the fact that riders will actually walk in them. Adventure boots get their beefy good looks from the off-road sector, providing more crash protection than is typically available in your average street boot, because, well, ADV bikes fall over more often and can leave their weight on our delicate human ankles.
Can you walk in adventure boots?
Adventure boots are heavy and fairly stiff to provide crushing protection, but one of the key ways they differ from true off-road boots is that they usually offer a modicum of flexibility to enable the rider to walk in them. You won’t want to go on any long hikes in adventure boots, though.
Where are Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots made?
Sedici Garda Waterproof Boots are made in Pakistan.
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