The $500 question ... will it last?
Sidi Vortice

[ Tuesday - February 7, 2012 ]

Realizing that the Sidi Vertigo Tepor is falling short in terms of ankle protection...

Motorcycle boots should never do this!

... nor this!

I set out to find myself a replacement pair of road boots.  Why get another new set of boots when I just purchased the Alpinestars Tech-7 Supermoto boot?  Well, it's near impossible to shift on the R12R.  The 12R requires agility to shift and Supermoto boots are not the way to go.  After two week of research and reading endless reviews on the Internet, I ruled out a bunch of manufacturers.  Here are the two remaining contenders.  Every other manufacturers' boots look good/cool but are total garbage.

Sidi Vortice ($495) & Alpinestars Supertech R ($450)

It's a tough call.  They're on the level in terms of performance and protection.  These are the only two pro boots that more than satisfy the protection aspect.  The only real differences ... a booty and the price.  The Sidi doesn't have a booty but is +$50 compared to the Alpinestars.  What tipped me in favor of the Sidi is the non-booty aspect.  So I paid the extra $50 for the Vortice.  Was it worth it?  I don't really know.  I don't have another $450 to purchase the Supertech R to compare against the Vortice.

However, what I can tell you about the Vortice is there is no break in period.  You slip the boots on, fidget with the click straps/rotational adjusters, and then you hop on the bike and take off.  The boots' adjustment mechanism was initially a pain to use until I finally figured it out.  Once the light bulb went on in my head, it no longer takes effort to put the boots on and take them off.  They're super comfy and feel like Sidi built these boots just for me.  If you think you can't run in these boot, guess again.  I made a mad dash to push my 8GS out of an intersection when the battery died (The batter has gone ghost).  The boots are as noisy as heck with the creaking of plastic against plastic, but a little silicone lube here and there seems to have quieted the beast.

What is the negative with these boots?  The only thing I can think of (its a very minor issue) is that Sidi doesn't cleanup some of the flash with the hard plastic components that were manufactured.  In some instances the plastic appear to be quite sharp.  It's nothing a little sand paper or a nail file can't fix.  However, you do have to spend a little time to do it.  For me I spent about an hour inspecting and round out all of the sharp edges I can find on both boots.  Yes I shouldn't have to do this, but it needs to be done.

Venturing ahead... here is proof of the protection with these boots.  This is how boots are suppose to behave when there is nothing inside and forces are applied.

Even though you can hardly tell, I'm actually applying downward and upward force on the boot.  This is as far as it goes.

Lateral force...

...the other lateral force.

The Vortice holds shape.  You get what you pay for.  Go figure.

Bottom line, these are race boots.  The protection is obvious and a massive boon.  The only remaining doubt in my little heads is the $500 question (cost of the Vortice) ... "Will it last?"  Will the race boots survive the rigors of daily put on and take off commuting use?  Will the race boots survive the torrential down pour of a monsoon like rain and the long duration of 116F heat?  I can't tell.  Only time will, but so far so good.  After two months of use and having been through a couple of down pours, everything appears to be OK.  Surprisingly, the boot never got wet inside even though it rained hard.  That's quite alright in my book.  I was thinking about getting plastic boot covers for when it rains but I never went through with it.

Despite the manufacturer recommendation to clean the boots with a clean damp cloth (only), I discarded these rules.  Instead I wipe down the boot with a damp cloth, let it dry, and then rub in some petroleum jelly.  This keeps the boots' genuine artificial leather supple in addition to make them water resistant.  I used this trick with the very first set of Sidi Vertigo Tepor and the boot still looks smashing to this day.  The reason why I don't use those boots any more is because of the lack of protection and there is a hole in the heal.

For those of you out there that think touring boots don't need the level of protection needed for racing, think about this.  Ask yourself, "Are your ankles and Achilles tendons expendable?"  For this buckaroo my two sets of ankles and Achilles tendons are absolutely priceless.  $500 is nothing compared to the whoppin' hospital bill and convalescence time needed to literally get back on two feet.

Written on: February 7, 2012
Last modified: February 7, 2012