PRICE: $290
APPLICATION: Sizes 8 to 13, available in white/black, red/black, blue/black and black/grey [IMAGE 1] To be totally honest, the last time we really liked a pair of Sidi boots was back in the mid-90s before the company introduced its hinged-ankle design and hard-plastic construction. Though we could bring ourselves to ride in Sidis, they required a long break-in period and lots of getting used to. Even though the new Force boot maintains the same traits that we didn’t like about its predecessor, the new version is 100% improved and has quickly become a favorite of the TWMX staff. The comfort level of the Force boot is not as initially high as that of, say an Alpinestars Tech 8, but within a couple hours of break in the Sidis fit like your favorite pair of shoes. Putting the Sidi boots on is a little different than most. An internal gaiter must first be snugged up and fastened before the plastic shell can be buckled shut. The gaiter fits snugly at the top and keeps out water, dirt and debris, while offering plenty of protection with its sewn-in dense closed-cell foam padding. The buckle system is easily adjustable and a cinch to operate, and the closure system as a whole is easy to dial in. The most unique feature that the Force boot boasts is its adjustable calf system. Upon first inspection, the big, beefy plate on the inside of the calf looks like it might be bulky and cumbersome while riding, but we found that it is actually a bonus. The patented system is designed to allow the wearer to adjust the diameter of the boot at the calf. Ever seen a rider with big calves struggle to close the buckles on his boot? Instead of running the upper buckles at full extension, riders with thick lower legs can adjust the entire calf plate of the boot to offer more wraparound diameter. The same goes for riders with skinny legs¿if the buckles are still too loose at maximum retraction, the calf plate can be adjusted to a smaller wraparound diameter. Though bulkier than a traditional boot with a leather inner calf panel, the adjustable plate actually helps the rider grip the mid-section of his motorcycle better. In the past, we’ve felt that previous Sidi boots didn’t offer enough boot-to-bike traction with their plastic inner calf areas, but the adjustable calf panel on the Force boot lets you clamp on to your scooter like a pit bull! Some testers were concerned with the six phillips head screws that hold the panel on, but we never experienced a problem with them loosening up. Because the hinged ankle only allows the boot to flex forward and backwards¿and not side to side¿they actually offer more ankle protection than any boot made. This is, however, a feature that takes some getting used to, and the Force boot can feel a little restrictive at first. Once we got used to the pivoting ankle of the Sidi Force, other boots didn’t feel quite as safe and protective. The biggest bonus of the hinged system is its ability to maintain its shape in all positions. While other boots bow out in the ankle areas when bent forward, the Sidi stays narrow and streamlined. The Force is offered with two different soles. We prefer the standard, sewn-on version, which is plenty durable and offers tons of arch support thanks to an extra beefy steel shank. The Sidi exclusive SRS (Sole Replaceable System) sole is attached with a couple dozen phillips head screws and can we replaced over and over again. This system is excellent for riders who wear out their soles, or don’t like to break in new boots. We, however, have found that the SRS sole is even stiffer than the traditional version and prefer the extra feel of the standard sole. What are the Sidi Force boots’ downfalls? The toe box is much narrower than those found on other boots, and while this is fine for most riders, those with fat feet may feel a little restricted. The overall height of the Force boot is shorter than most, and for riders with long legs this may pose a problem. TThe hard plastic edge on the top of the boot can get snagged on the motorcycle’s body panels, especially on Kawasaki KXs, which are known for their offensive side panels. While the adjustable calf panels offer great boot-to-bike traction, they do take their toll on the appearance of your bike. Think about it: what is more abrasive¿leather or injection-molded plastic? Overall, this is the best Sidi motocross boot ever. The Force boot is not only innovative and good looking, it offers superb protection and long life as well.
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