Sidi Crossfire Boots
January 01, 2013
By James Holter
As an off-road racer, some parts of your body are more exposed than others: your head, your hands and your feet. Sure, it’s vital to wear quality stuff all over, but if you can spare the hard-earned cash to really protect these three critical areas, do it.
But protection is just part of the story. It’s easy to add panels of injection-molded plastic. What’s hard is offering rock-solid protection while preserving flexibility and comfort. This is where the $475 Sidi Crossfire Boots positively shine.
The key to the comfort is Sidi’s Dual Flex system. Forward and backward movement is fairly uninhibited, while side-to-side motion—the type that can really screw up your ankle—is restricted. Fit also benefits from the four floating independent straps that not only allow custom sizing at each point but flex just enough to provide additional give when needed.
That flex contributes a lot to the Sidi’s comfort, which is exceptional for a non-bootie design. Personally, I’m a huge fan of booties. (These are the thick-sock-like inserts that you slip over your feet before you put them in the boot.) However, the Sidi’s are one of the rare non-bootie boots that get a pass on my admittedly sensitive feet.
The Crossfire outers are made from Lorica, a woven microfiber injected with resins. It’s not just tough, but relatively soft and pretty much waterproof. I’ve had the Sidis under water several times—yes, including times I’ve been pushing the bike—and they haven’t leaked a noticeable drop.
Another nice feature on the Sidis is the cam-lock buckle system. They cinch quickly and stay cinched. They’re also easy to adjust if you need to accommodate different knee guards or go from an over- to inside-the-boot riding pant.
Despite all the other elements that go into a good boot, one feature can make or break any design: the sole. This is a major balancing act. Too soft for feel, and your feet get hammered. Too stiff, and you don’t feel the bike. Sidi is somewhere in the middle, which is right where you want it—decent feel but enough protection to keep your feet happy for days of back-to-back riding. The jury’s still out on long-term durability, but wear is typical through about 750 miles of hard off-road riding.
Sizing is close, if not spot on. I typically wear a size 10.5-11 shoe. The Euro 45s do the job, but 44s aren’t out of the question. The boots are trim width-wise. If you have wide feet, the Sidis may be a bit snug. Of course, as with anything as critical as boots, you want to try them on before you buy.
The Sidis are on the high end of the pricing spectrum, but they also are arguably the best boot you can buy. If you put a premium on comfort and control, you owe it to yourself to give them a serious look.
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