Tested for six months and 15,000km, for day-to-day riding, researching new routes and leading adventure tours in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho come rain or shine. These Sidi Adventure Gore-Tex boots have waded rivers, crossed scorching, 45-degree deserts, tackled rocky mountain trails and been subjected the several downpours.
THE GOOD: My feet, being flat as pancakes and rich in odour are a trial for any boot and the Sidi Adventure boots stepped up to the cheesy challenge with aplomb. The first surprise was how comfortable the boots were from new, requiring almost no breaking-in.
The next how light, flexible and comfortable to walk in they are, considering they look like they could kick down a nuclear bunker and have all the protective features of a full-blown enduro boot. Although thankfully not tested in any major impacts, the shin and ankle protection looks well up to the job. With the ankle support being articulated, there’s no restriction to movement.
Having two buckle clasps and a large Velcro patch for closure, getting in and out of the things takes seconds.
A thick, “commando-style” sole gives all the grip you could ask for and is nice and hard, so no tired in steps when standing on the foot pegs for long periods. All round comfort is a high point for the Sidi Adventure boots, with a first rate foot bed, good arch support and a wide enough fit to accommodate even my flippers.
The heel is high and pronounced – another thing I like as at five-foot-eight they help me reach the floor on high-ride bikes and keep the foot in position on the ‘peg, making it easier to find the foot controls when standing.
Although I haven’t been sub-zero in these, the lowest temperature being around 5ºC in the mountains of Lesotho, they have been tested from there up to over 40ºC and never felt particularly hot or cold.
With the higher grade Gore-Tex as a lining material the boots can breathe easy, meaning no nasty pongs build up and they are fully waterproof, whether standing in water, splashing through it, or enduring hours of brutal rain.
THE BAD: As with most top quality gear, the price is steep. Apart from that, I can’t fault these. I have tried my hardest, but cannot find a thing to criticise.
THE VERDICT: ” Over £300 is a lot to spend on a pair of boots, but I if were going to set out from the African Cape to London tomorrow, it would be in these. Over the past decade I have gone through a pair of Sidi Dakars and adventure footwear from Hein Gericke and Forma. These are the best so far, by quite a margin..” – Damon I’Anson; Blazing Trails Tours
THE TESTER: Damon I’Anson has been riding and working with bikes for 30 years. An ex-magazine editor, mechanic and despatch rider, the poor thing now travels between India and Africa as an adventure tour leader with Blazing Trails and puts some of the GetGeared touring gear through its paces for some hard-hitting, real-life feedback.