Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

Sidi Vertigo Corsa

Old 03-07-2005, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: beaux arts, wa
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zakthor
Sidi Vertigo Corsa

I have very high arches, my instep span is that of a size 14 foot. Did a little internet research, learning basically nothing. Figuring I'd better hurry and get a pair while the locals stops are still suffering through winter. Figured there'd be an ugly pair of last years that could be had for cheap. Contraint was maximum protection, CE approval, and a price limit of $275.

Stomped into a local store to try on boots. Couldn't get my foot into any alpinestars, except for a low-end textile model that was way too stiff. I could get my feet into the Oxtars, but it was fairly abusive to the zipper base and I doubt they'd have lasted that kind of abuse. They had sidis, but none in my size (46).

At a different store I tried on a variety of sidi boots. They seemed much more comfortable than the oxtars. I have friends with Sidi bicycle racing shoes that have lasted 4+ years of mud and aged very gracefully, so I really respect their label.

I first tried the Sidi Vertebra 2 Air. The 46 was very difficult to get on my foot, and it was loose once it was on. Since these boots zip up the side, either they fit you or they don't, theres no way to take up the slack. My foot slid around, and my heel wouldn't stay down. Also, they didn't seem to offer much protection to the top of my foot.

I really liked the look of the Sidi Vertebra Race. These fit better than the Vertebra 2, and offered much better ankle support. Like the oxtars, the base of the zipper saw a lot of stress when I put the boot on, and the salesman had to help me get the boot off, so thats a no go.

The salesman brought out the Vertigo, wow. Nice boot, seemed to relax to fit my foot nicely. Padding and armor felt very substantial, the heel cup is very rigid. Not as much ankle support as the Vertebra Race, but the foot felt well protected. Salesman maintained he'd seen the vertebra race sustain punishment at the track, the chrome comes off the plastic, but he hasn't seen the plastic exoskeleton break.

I was bummed that the Vertebra Race didn't fit. I asked if they sold anything with more protection.

Out comes the Vertigo Corsa. Wow, what a nice looking boot. Has the big heel cup of the vertigo, but has a clasp like a ski boot to hold your heel down, the clasp needs to be unthreaded in order to work the zipper down, so its a bit more trouble to put on and off, but at least it went on easily. Once it is on you zip, fasten the buckle, then tighten the clasp by turning a ****. This way the boot is as tight as is comfortable, and the heel is held securely at the base of the boot, keeping my toes away from the armored boot tip. I'm skeptical of moving parts in a motorcycle boot, seems like the ratchet will get clogged with grit and stop working. I'm willing to give sidi credit here for their experience with mountain bike shoes, lets hope I'm right.

The outside of the boot is covered in plastic armor, the ankle support feels equivalent to the Vertebra Race, but the footbed fits me much better. The uppers of the boot are padded inside, and there is a large carbon fiber plate at the front face. The entire rear of the boot is covered in interlocking plastic plates.

Boot is very flexible forward/back, makes for easy and sensitive shifts.

Finally I ask how much the boots are. Vertigo was ~$240, Vertigo Corsa was ~$330. Considering a recent trip to the doctor to remove an infected wasp stinger from my sons foot cost $160 - the percieved difference in protection between these boots seemed to outweigh the cost. The Vertigo Corsa's are beautiful to my eyes, but I'm feeling pretty self conscious in them, some fancy boots for a novice rider.

Surprisingly, the sidis are not CE approved. While I am pleased with them in the context of what is available to me, I wish there were some CE approved boots that would fit on my feet.

Science-based safety labelling is in all our interests and we should go out of our way to support products that carry the ce label.

Eric
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