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MO Tested: Sidi X-Power Boots Review
Off-road boots are typically quite stiff to offer maximum protection in the rough and tumble world of dirt riding. Generally, they are good for riding dirt bikes and little else – especially walking. Why, then, would I decide to wear a pair of off-road boots for a 2,000 mile six day adventure tour? The simple truth is that my Sidi X-Power Boots were so comfortable while I was breaking them in that I didn’t have a second thought about it.Sidi X-Power Boots
|Desirability||8/10||Editor Score: 85.25%|
|+ Highs Good ankle protection Slightly wider toe box from previous models Comfortable enough to be worn on a 2,000 mile adventure tour||– Sighs Can get pretty steamy on hot days Still too narrow for riders with wide feet I should have gotten these boots sooner|
Sidi’s X-Power Boots are the successors to the popular X-3 boots that debuted in 2015. The Italian manufacturer is known for producing high quality riding boots, and the X-Powers are no exception. For this review, we’ll start from the outside and work our way in.
First, the sole is constructed of high-grip rubber and can be replaced by a cobbler, extending the boots’ useful life for riders who log lots of miles. The sole pattern is the same as Sidi’s other TA boot models, which has a more aggressive tread pattern than the smoother SR models. Under the sole is a nylon insole for support during extended standing sessions out on the trail and without the potential dangers Sidi claims come with a steel shank. The boots’ outer is constructed of Sidi’s Techno Micro fabric, which the company claims is waterproof. Just for clarity, Sidi doesn’t say the boots are waterproof, just the fabric. Until I stuck my foot in a creek to catch my balance, the boots survived splashes and short showers without leaking. Unfortunately, waterproofing means nothing when the water splashes over the top of the boot. Surrounding that durable material is a fairly extensive amount of protective plastic, as one would expect from an off-road boot.
Each X-Power boot weighs in at 4 lb. 5.2 oz., which is slightly lighter than Sidi’s Crossfire 3 off-road boot. Note the single piece of plastic that comes from the ankle hinge and wraps around the toe box. The heel cup is a separate unit.
While the exterior is heavy, thick, and stiff, they don’t feel that way on your feet, thanks to Sidi’s Flex System that places a hinge over the ankle joint, allowing for relatively free movement. Within this hinge, a proprietary mechanism limits the flexion of the ankle to prevent hyperflexion while the Achilles area of the boot blocks hyperextension in a crash. Although the hinges were initially quiet, getting dirt and sand in them from riding quickly gave them the hinged boot squeak when walking, instead of spurs for the modern moto-cowboy when walking around town. The inner sides of the boots are smooth to allow for better grip and feel on the bike, and the inner plastic piece goes from the ankle all the way to become the protective toe box. On the outer edge of the boot, the ankle hinge comes to roughly the outside of the mid-arch. The heel cup is a separate piece stitched to the two hinge sections.
Four cam lock buckles wrap the boot snugly around the rider’s calf and foot, and adjustable straps accommodate different-sized lower legs and ankles. At first blush, the straps may seem a bit fussy when you adjust them, but it all makes sense when you lock the final settings into place and don’t have to adjust them again. Only once in the 2,000 mile tour did I have one come loose, and I suspect that I didn’t lock it in place completely. To protect the buckles, a plastic protrusion below each clasp keeps objects from hooking on them and opening or breaking them. Should the buckle ever fail, a replacement can be bolted on. Wrapping up the last of the exterior protection is the thick, plastic shin guard that is lined with padding to protect from rocks kicked up by the front tire.
The cam lock buckles are all easily replaceable, and they are protected from impacts by a plastic lip on the lower edge.
Moving to the interior of the boots, the non-bootie liner is anti-abrasion Cambrelle for moisture wicking and a modicum of breathability. The arch support is removable, allowing the rider to fit one that more suits their needs if they prefer. Around the ankles, thick, memory foam-like padding helps hold the rider’s foot in place without creating hot spots, and I particularly like this since I have a fairly narrow ankle and heel.
The Sidi X-Power Boots are available Euro sizes 41-50, and I chose mine in size 45, which roughly translates into a US 10.5. The sizing of the boot feels accurate, though a caveat is necessary. Sidi boots typically run on the narrow side, and while the X-Power toe box was made wider compared to other Sidi models (and fit my narrow feet quite well), riders with wider feet may want to look elsewhere.
The adjustable straps are difficult to move (which is a good thing) and stay put once set in position.
Although fairly stiff for the first couple of times I rode in them, the X-Powers were comfortable from the start, and as they broke in, I gained mobility on the bike. I never felt any hot spots on my feet. However, on one of the long days on our six day tour, the underside of my right pinkie toe was sore, but I was unable to ascertain what caused the soreness. As with most off-road boots, particularly waterproof ones, the X-Powers were quite warm on the hot days we were on the road, but that is just the nature of the beast, I’m afraid.
The X-Power Boots are the least expensive off-road boot in Sidi’s lineup, coming in at $450 (although any remaining X-3s you may be able to find will be less) with four color options: black, blue, gray, and red. For reference, the Sidi Crossfire 3 Boots start at $550, as do the Sidi Atojo Boots. Female riders will be happy to know that the $450 Sidi X-Power Lei Boots are a feature match to the men’s line, with the only difference being the women’s sizing (Euro 39-43) and white as the only color.
Are off-road boots good for adventure touring?
The honest answer is, that depends. Ultra-stiff motocross boots would likely be uncomfortable during long days in the saddle. Additionally, motocross boots aren’t the best boots for walking around in. Other off-road boots, like the Sidi X-Power Boots reviewed above, offer a good compromise between protection and off-motorcycle comfort, allowing the rider to walk around quite easily. Waterproofness is another factor to consider. Our advice would be to look at reviews of the off-road boots you are considering before taking an extended tour in them.
What is the difference between motocross boots and enduro boots?
We can understand your confusion because motocross and enduro boots share many of the same features. One of the primary differences are that motocross outers are typically stiffer than enduro boots to protect against the types of impacts that can be generated during the big jumps found on motocross tracks. On the other hand enduro boots tend to have a more aggressive pattern on the soles compared to the smoother motocross soles because enduro riders can encounter places where they may need to push their bikes to help them gain traction on slippery surfaces. Consequently, enduro boots are also more flexible to allow the rider to press on the ground better in those situations.
Can you wear off-road boots on a sportbike?
You can, but we have no idea why you would want to. Off road boots are typically bulkier and stiffer than their sporting cousins, and consequently, the finesse required to get the most out of a sportbike would be nearly impossible to achieve in off-road boots. Simply put, off-road boots are designed to a completely different set of needs.
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