Sidi Canyon Boots

Editor Score: 88.0%
Aesthetics 8.25/10
Protection 9.0/10
Value 8.75/10
Comfort/Fit 9.5/10
Quality/Design 9.5/10
Weight 8.5/10
Options/Selection 8.0/10
Innovation 9.0/10
Weather Suitability 9.5/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 8.0/10
Overall Score88/100

Reviews of things like motorcycle gear can be tough to do the right way, because it’s really the test of time that reveals how good something like a boot is – and fashion being what it is, by the time you figure out that, yes, this is a great boot and worth $350 – that boot’s been replaced by something snazzier. I don’t remember when I got these Sidi Canyons, but I’m pretty certain it was during the Clinton administration. Bumping around the Motonation website a couple weeks ago whilst picking its owner’s brain about Baja, imagine my surprise to see the Sidi Canyon still right there for sale. I guess it’s time to review them, then.

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I can’t say I’ve worn them constantly for 20 years, but I have worn them consistently on just about every adventure-bike assignment I’ve drawn in that time, and that’s been a bunch of them – and I also pull the Sidis off the shelf for a wide range of other motorcycle rides where you need that hipster look, like thick soles and a buckle or two (even though the Sidis have but one).

Here’s the Sidis going for that “Ogri” look on the new Street Twin.

To be honest I didn’t like the Canyons all that much at first, because it was the sportbike era still, and because I was still emotionally attached to my Fryes, which had no Velcro and no buckles and are still in my closet. I predate Velcro and mostly scorn the stuff much like the Backstreet Boys and Madonna, and the Canyons have about nine square yards of it.

That’s a lot of Velcro. It’s a good thing, though, since it lets you blouse your trousers when you want to and not when you don’t – and also doesn’t kill your fatted calf as you age.

When the boots were new, prying all that hook-and-loop apart required a lot of upper body strength applied down low, but it’s easier now. You could never make a late-night entry, either, without waking everybody up just taking your boots off. RIIIIIIIP! Also, that little ratcheting buckle atop each instep needs to be lined up just right each time, and I always worried it would break and I’d never get the boot off again. But that’s never happened – and over the years I’ve gotten past the peccadilloes and learned to love how comfortable these are, and how rugged.

The Canyons almost predate the ADV-bike craze, but that’s what they really seem to be designed for; they’re kind of a cross between a normal street boot and a motocross one, but with way less clunkiness and much more flexibility and comfort than a full-on MX boot. Still, it feels like there’s pretty good protection in there, with a padded nylon plate up there to protect your shin – also plastic protectors inside the toes and heels, and a big circular chunk of padded armor on that inner ankle bone – your medial malleolus (thank you Google). I’ve tried to blot from my memory how many big ADV bikes have fallen over on me wearing these; my feet and ankles are so far unscathed, knock on wood.

They’re a bit bevelled, which isn’t the boots fault – but apart from that, very little serious wear and not a single loose thread or anything to complain about.

For 20 years old, I just stuck my nose in there and they’re remarkably sanitary smelling, too. Probably due to the “anti-abrasion Cambrelle in the foot area,” and because “the upper is lined with Teflon mesh which prevents complete absorption of water and sweat. These materials will not retain water or sweat on the inside of the boot. The boot will dry quickly and the treatment also prevents the onset of mould,” according to Motonation. There’s good arch support in there, too, and a removable footpad.

Here they are a few weeks ago after splashing around in the mud and having gotten very little love in the last 20 years…

I’ve definitely been doused in these a time or two, but the Gore-Tex liner, invented by Al Gore, has always kept my dogs dry and happy.

With some gear it’s love at first sight, other things grow on you over time. The Canyons are the latter, but they’ve also become the footwear I go to first for a wide range of somewhat serious motorcycle riding. What would you expect? They make very nice stuff in Italy.




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