Review by Olaf Wolff
[This Sidi Strada Tepor Evo Motorcycle Boots Review was originally published in the December 2006 issue of Rider magazine]
I own an old pair of Sidi touring boots, and over the years and miles we’ve bonded. They’ve been with me on rides halfway around the world-through the brutal conditions of the sahara desert, flash-floods and washed-out roads, and up and down hundreds of stairs in the ancient Greek and Roman ruins of Turkey.
Regrettably, after all these years they’re now a couple of notches south of broken-in-perfect, but when I began shopping for new boots, Sidi was my first choice.
My first impression of the Strada Tepor Evo motorcycle boots fresh out of the box was: very cool. The Tepor boots take some of the key features from other Sidi sport boots and packages them in a more subtle matte and gloss black with gray accents. I would prefer that the three silver Philips-head screws securing the removable, replaceable shin-guards were blacked-out, but these boots fit and function far too well for that to be anything but a hiccup.
The boots are lined with Sidi’s exclusive Tepor, a water repellant and breathable membrane that is specially made to work with Lorica, the synthetic leather Sidi uses in its waterproof boots. As it’s combined with split-grain leather panels in the high wear areas, I suspect these boots will give me as many years as my last pair. The boots are lined with a cushy knitted liner that’s comfortable and should hold up well, too.
The Strada Evo Tepor also offers the aforementioned and all-new preformed replaceable shin protector with internal Thousand-Air closed-cell memory foam padding to protect the tibia from impact shocks. The boot heel cup is molded from two different density plastics to allow improved sliding on the road while taking nothing away from the boots’ overall protection qualities. Deep inside the boot you get a fully padded ankle protection system and a plastic innersole with a removable arch support. The arch supports are a bit cheesy, but don’t negatively affect comfort. Replacing them with some sport insoles is certainly an option that can be easily exercised.
Visible external details include a dual-compound sole for comfort, and safety and shifter pads molded of Dupont Techno-Polymers, which remain unfazed in high or low temperatures. There’s also reflective material positioned just above the heel cup. The hook-and-loop closure on the Strada just about outsmarts itself. The new design incorporates a fin-shaped flap along the top and a plastic ankle guard along the bottom portion. When opening the closure to put the boot on, often either the top flap or the bottom ankle guard turn in and grab the hook-and-loop. Fairly insignificant in the overall big picture, but worth mentioning.
I’m not convinced the Tepor and Lorica combination breathes any better than the earlier Gore-Tex and all-leather design, but damn if they aren’t waterproof. On my last ride I waded through a stream and not a drop of water touched my socks. For hotter weather I’d look into Sidi’s new Strada Evo Air boots. These swap out the waterproof Tepor lining for a pair of intake vents, called Kent Vents. For comfort on the bike or off, the Sidi Strada Tepor Evo Boots are incomparable. I find myself coming up with excuses to ride just so I can wear them.