All waterproof boots are not created equal. For starters, these Sidi Gore-Tex Tour boots have a genuine Gore-Tex waterproof, breathable liner, which means they meet the tough standards of W.L. Gore and Associates as well as Sidi’s.
And mine, too, one of which is that I can stand in a tub of water with the boots on and look pretty foolish but have dry feet. Which I did, and they were. The full-length gaiter behind the zipper ensures no liquid shall pass through it to your feet, either.
The Gore-Tex Tours are also quite sturdy boots, constructed of top-grain leather and double-stitched in all of the high-stress areas. Internal toe, ankle and heel protection, a padded nylon shin plate and rigid nylon innersole make them feel quite substantial, too. Leather shift pads are on top of the toes of both boots, not just the left (in case you ride an old Brit bike, for example), and the pads are backed-up with padding on the inside to help keep your piggies cozy.
About medium in weight, they started out pretty stiff but broke in quickly, and the protection level reminds me of steel-toed work boots.
Reflective panels on the heel, side and front of the Gore-Tex Tours give them 270-degree visibility at night when light hits them. For comfort, the entry/closure uses a Velcro flap over the full-length zipper on the side, so my feet slip right in and out and the boots are true to size.
A removable arch support/insole allows you to adjust the fit somewhat if needed. I found these substantial boots to be a good compromise between protection on the bike and walking and wearing comfort. The latter is aided by the bonded non-slip sole, which provides good grip on the asphalt and trail but allows freedom of movement on the footpegs. Their solid construction makes them a bit warm for walking around in summer temperatures, but true to the Gore-Tex claim they breathe very well and never get clammy inside.
Sidi Gore-Tex Tour boots come in black only, and at this writing were available in men’s sizes 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5 and 13. Other sizes might be available by the time you’re reading this. They retail for $350, which seems like a good value for leather Gore-Tex boots that look good and are built this well.
For more information, call (619) 401-4100 or visit motonation.com
(This Gear Lab article was published in the October 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)