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The ultimate "daily wear" protective moto boot

melensdad

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Well I know I’ve spammed this area a lot but the Sidi Armada boots finally arrived. Pretty sure they are keepers! Fit a little loose in the heel, but length and toe box fit are good.

Right out of the box they are a bit stiff, but in a secure and comforting way. Doing squats in the boots and they squeak a little, the sole flexed just enough.

The sole is fairly stiff, but certainly ‘walkable’ when off the bike. If my Forma boots have a sole stiffness of a 5 out of 10, these are a 7 out of 10. I’ve tried Euro style touring boots that were closer to a 3. Ski boots & serious dual sport boots are pushing a 10. So these have moderately rigid soles, which is something I wanted. Soles look like a knock off of Vibram hiking boots, but perhaps a little thinner.

Wearing straight leg, thin cut Wrangler blue jeans while trying them on, there is no way to get the jeans over the top of the boot. The shaft of the boot is not terribly bulky but the straight leg jeans are just too narrow. Not a big deal, my moto pants are not straight leg! Perhaps with the wrap around cuff removed they might fit under straight leg jeans.

As for protection, these are pretty amazing compared to anything that I’d call a touring boot. In addition to the fairly stiff sole, the heel is pretty much crush proof and very rigid. Toe feels crushproof, I could not compress it. Shin protection is interesting, thick and padded, especially with the cuff. There is a smallish hard rubber impact panel on the cuff in addition to the thick semi rigid padding.

Zipper entry is easy, there is an elastic expansion panel next to the zipper to allow the ankle shaft to expand while inserting your foot. Not an issue for a skinny leg like mine, but the zipper allows you to stop short of the top, and lock it in place, if you have a thick calf. There is also elastic on the top back for comfort.

Ankle protection includes foam pads in addition to the rigid exo-skeleton that extends up several inches.

I’m very favorably impressed so far. Looking for a first ride tomorrow evening or maybe Thursday? I have to be at Notre Dame all day tomorrow and back in time to get to the fencing club to teach a class in the evening so not sure, but I might ride to the club on the bike to test these out. 8175455D-6EB9-4408-826F-847482EB3CCF.jpegDA2A3E28-5546-4059-B99E-C73CC79D4AFB.jpegC7F30841-3C3C-467C-9757-3A89E6D17830.jpeg55017F15-F082-405A-A0D2-96EEF4728EC4.jpeg
 
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bigbird

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I like the look and colour scheme of the Alpinestars Campeche.

But then again, what do I know about boots?
I really like my Sidi Canyons.
 

melensdad

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I’ve been wearing these in the house, just to make sure I want to keep them. I want them to prove their comfort for daily wear.

These boots are NOT for people with WIDE feet. I’m not saying they run narrow but I am saying they don’t run wide.

As for for initial comfort, I vote yes. They are comfortable enough out of the box to make my delicate feet happy. The left boot seems a bit more roomy than the right, I presume that is a foot issues rather than a boot issue. Walking around is actually pretty comfortable, granted most of my walking is on carpeted floors. But while walking my heels stemmed to settle into the heel cups and that increased the comfort. Squeaking seems to have calmed down a bit. There is still some but it has quieted down significantly in the 30 minutes I’ve been wearing them.

I did manage to get my straight leg Wranglers down over the boots, but it was a challenge. I tightened the cuffs as much as possible and, after tugging and swearing, the jeans finally fit. Once I got over the top of the boot cuff they slipped down to the ankle easily. A wider Boot Cut or a Relaxed Fit would have no issue. Again, as I wear protective moto pants the cuff is not an issue but it might be for jeans wearers.
95B567F1-922C-460D-B6B9-51E4B2EEF0DE.jpeg
 

melensdad

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I like the look and colour scheme of the Alpinestars Campeche.

But then again, what do I know about boots?
I really like my Sidi Canyons.
These use the same sole as the Sidi Canyon. I’d presume the fit would be nearly identical, as would be the comfort. The Armada adds about 1” of height and some additional shin & ankle protection.
 

melensdad

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Raining today so I figured it would be a good day to find out a few things about the Sidi Armada boots.

Started the ride and it was drizzling before I left the house. 72, overcast, very high humidity. Glasses fogged up just standing out there.

With rain slicked roads I set out to find out if the soles of the boots would be slippy or grippy and round out they were pretty grippy. So that is a bonus.

The GoreTex claims to be totally waterproof and there was no sign today that these boots leak. I rode through moderate rain most of the time, but I'd never say the boots were really tested too hard for their waterproof capabilities. I did notice they were warm while I was stopped at the TasteeTop Drive Inn waiting for my sandwich. But then again, my back was sweating due to the high humidity so I'd guess any protective boot, short of an air boot, would probably be warm.

Apparently I have skinny little chicken legs because while the reviews of this boot talk about the expansion/stretch areas of the calf of this boot, my legs have room to spare (photos on my fansonly page, sorry, no freebies of my good parts ;) )

Rode today with a pair of Rev'it Tornado (2) pants. I mention that only because I was a bit worried about the cuff of the boot being too bulky for the pants. NOT A PROBLEM.

As for comfort, the more I ride with these the more I believe these are a very comfortable, all day, very protective touring boot. Probably the most protective touring boots I found and probably very good for light off-road/dual sport riding with the more rigid sole and the ankle protection.
 

melensdad

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A couple weeks and a whole bunch of relatively short rides (50 to 100 miles per ride) in the new Sidi Armada boots. Time for an update.

PROTECTION - best touring boot protection I could find. Happy with this.

COMFORT -
- pretty darn comfortable to wear on the bike, happy feet. Seriously I think these could easily fill my all day every day long distance touring needs. But I wish they had a little more flex for greater comfort off the bike.
- many boots are really hot, especially waterproof boots. These have a vent panel that seems to do something, not sure hoe much, but 90 degrees + high humidity did not make me want to shed the boots

WALKABILITY - meh, very stiff sole (7 out of 10 on my informal stiffness scale) so walking is awkward but not terrible. Hoping they break in a bit with more time. Bonus is the still sole will protect in some crush type falls. Glad they are not stiffer, but it would be nice if they had a slight bit more flex. I will say they are not uncomfortable to walk in, but the fairly rigid sole is semi-ski-boot feeling. They are actually comfortable off the bike too, but they are not hiking boots.

GORE TEX - probably worth the extra money. I have lots of other Gore Tex gear, both hiking and moto gear. Carries a premium price tag, guaranteed to work, and from my experience it actually does work better than other breathable fabrics. This was not one of my requirements, but it is a nice feature.

ENTRY & EXIT -
- The velcro collar with rigid ankle hinge seems like it would be awkward and make getting the boots on an off difficult, but that does not seem to be an issue at all. It is easy enough to simply step down into the boots to put them on.
- The wrap around collar does NOT have to be rotated down to enter the boot, it just has to be opened, which is velcro, so easy and quick.
- A minor issue is the 2 step zipper, which tends to stop at the mid-point, whether zipping them up or zipping them down; supposedly a comfort feature for thick legged men, but as I have skinny chicken legs it a non-issue for me. Still, the zipper is much quicker than laces or multiple buckles.

LOOKS - meh, I like think the Forma ADV Tourer, Sidi Canyon and Forma Cape Horn all look much better. This shiny black leather & plastic look is very "Italian" and I'm just a slow Indiana guy who is used to work boots. Honestly I'm happy that all my moto pants slide down over the shaft of the boots and cover most of the fancy Italian style bits.

NIT PICKS -
- I cannot tighten the calf tight enough on my leg. Again, please stop asking, but photos of my legs are available only on my FansOnly website. But apparently there are either a lot of huge legged bikers wearing Italian moto-boots, or I have abnormally skinny legs?
- The 2 stage zipper, again its for the fat leg bikers, for me it is just an annoying 1/2 second pause that slows down the zipping/unzipping of the boot
- squeak, squeak, squeak ... while it is not as bad as other boots, the hinge and collar, which add much to the desired safety of the boot, tend to create a minor squeak when I walk
- I'd prefer a larger hard plate for the shin. There is a hard external rubber(?) protector and lots of thick padding, all of which should be pretty darn good, but I would simply prefer a larger external (or internal) hard protector. That said, this boot probably offers more shin protection than any other I could find in the under $375 price category that is NOT an off-road boot.
 

melensdad

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2 months later and nearly daily riding I have a few more observations, or perhaps maybe some reiterations of prior observations.

  • This is still the most protective touring boot I've ever seen but it is not an off-road boot, it is not a motocross boot, it is clearly a touring boot. Don't mistake it for anything other than a very protective touring boot.
  • It is heavy. While it is comfortable it is not light. So off the bike it is a bit cumbersome while walking around. It would be nicer if it was a bit lighter weight.
  • Even on 85 degree (F) days it is not too hot to wear.
  • The calf is wide, I'm 6' tall and 200# and the calf diameter is simply very loose fitting, I can't tighten it enough. Maybe I have really skinny legs?
  • The sole is stiff but still comfortable enough for walking around. Not all day walking, not hiking, but if you get off the bike for lunch or to walk around the grocery store it is good enough, even if just barely so.
  • It still squeaks when I walk
  • Occasionally I wear my old Forma boots, they feel like tennis shoes in comparison to the Armada. On those days I realize just how protective the Armada boots are, but I also realize how heavy they are too.
Would I buy them again? Simply put, if protection is what you are looking for in a comfortable touring boot, then YES, the answer is YES. Would I like them to be a bit lighter? YES. Would I like the sole to be a bit more flexible? YES.

That said I'd probably be happy with the Forma Cape Horn or ADV Tourer boots too. I'm glad I didn't go with one of the Euro-style touring boots, I don't think I'd have actually got any additional protection and that is what I was looking to get verses my old Formas. I didn't want a lateral move, I wanted to move up in protection.

I'm also glad I didn't go with something that has an even stiffer sole, like the Rev'it Trail H2O boots or maybe even the Alpinestar Campeche. Both offer similar protection, but I'm under the impression both are a bit stiffer soled boots with the Rev'it Trail H20 being very stiff.
 

Rapturee

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I got really lucky, a friend had told me about the Alpi 2 ROAMs. So the first pair i bought were those and they are the most comfortable MC boots i have ever worn and though i have not had any others to compare these with, i do not feel i am missing out... Yes, they are that comfortable! I liked them so much i bought their DryStars for inclimate weather and had not been disappointed one bit. They too are equally comfortable and i walk a lot with each of them. ...just my $.02 :{)
 

potter0o

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I got really lucky, a friend had told me about the Alpi 2 ROAMs. So the first pair i bought were those and they are the most comfortable MC boots i have ever worn and though i have not had any others to compare these with, i do not feel i am missing out... Yes, they are that comfortable! I liked them so much i bought their DryStars for inclimate weather and had not been disappointed one bit. They too are equally comfortable and i walk a lot with each of them. ...just my $.02 :{)
I have these boots and would totally agree on their comfort. For waterproofing they lasted about two years. They are now my summer boot as upped to Gortex for the Wet Coast.
 

melensdad

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I got really lucky, a friend had told me about the Alpi 2 ROAMs. So the first pair i bought were those and they are the most comfortable MC boots i have ever worn and though i have not had any others to compare these with, i do not feel i am missing out... Yes, they are that comfortable! I liked them so much i bought their DryStars for inclimate weather and had not been disappointed one bit. They too are equally comfortable and i walk a lot with each of them. ...just my $.02 :{)
The ROAM 2 boots from Alpinestars didn't meet my safety criteria lacking some of the features I was looking for.

I don't doubt they are more comfortable for daily wear than my Sidi Armada but as I said in the onset, when searching for a new boot I was looking for something that was more protective. The ROAM offers similar protection to what I already owned in my older boots.
 

Hank

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Sounds as if you made a good choice.
It seems a little odd to me that you would spend so much time on boots and then wear blue jeans. Get some pants with abrasion resistance and armor.
 

melensdad

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Sounds as if you made a good choice.
It seems a little odd to me that you would spend so much time on boots and then wear blue jeans. Get some pants with abrasion resistance and armor.
I have 3 pairs of KLIM moto pants, 1 pair of Rev'it moto pants and 1 pair of Bull-it moto pants (which I think are junk and i never wear them). I never, and I mean I seriously never ever ride in blue jeans.

The blue jeans in the photo, worn with the boots, were there just to show that I could get the slim fit/straight leg jeans down over the cuff of the boot. For people who don't wear moto pants, I wanted to show that they could wear a pair of blue jeans with the boots and not have to tuck them into the boot. Not everyone here is an ATGATT guy. And even among ATGATT people there are folks who practice/tolerate different levels of protection in their gear.

The boots I chose may not be right for many others. For example the ROAM 2 boots mentioned a couple posts above this one have a similarly crush protective sole which is fairly stiff, but don't offer much shin protection and minimal ankle protection compared to some of the others I considered. Still it is a fairly protective touring boot. But as I made clear in the onset, I wanted the most protective touring boot. Not an adventure or dual sport boot. But a touring boot that offered some of the protection offered by those more protective styles.
 
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Hank

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I have 3 pairs of KLIM moto pants, 1 pair of Rev'it moto pants and 1 pair of Bull-it moto pants (which I think are junk and i never wear them). I never, and I mean I seriously never ever ride in blue jeans.

The blue jeans in the photo, worn with the boots, were there just to show that I could get the slim fit/straight leg jeans down over the cuff of the boot. For people who don't wear moto pants, I wanted to show that they could wear a pair of blue jeans with the boots and not have to tuck them into the boot. Not everyone here is an ATGATT guy. And even among ATGATT people there are folks who practice/tolerate different levels of protection in their gear.

The boots I chose may not be right for many others. For example the ROAM 2 boots mentioned a couple posts above this one have a similarly crush protective sole which is fairly stiff, but don't offer much shin protection and minimal ankle protection compared to some of the others I considered. Still it is a fairly protective touring boot. But as I made clear in the onset, I wanted the most protective touring boot. Not an adventure or dual sport boot. But a touring boot that offered some of the protection offered by those more protective styles.
Oh, great! I guess I jumped to a conclusion.
I have been studying foot injuries and boots, as I have been trying to convince my riding buddies to get real boots. You made a good choice.
I noticed the YouTuber “ itchy boots“ (currently in Namibia) has ditched the Rev’it Discovery for the Expedition, but she gets them free. Talk about pricey!
 

melensdad

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Oh, great! I guess I jumped to a conclusion.
I have been studying foot injuries and boots, as I have been trying to convince my riding buddies to get real boots. You made a good choice.
I noticed the YouTuber “ itchy boots“ (currently in Namibia) has ditched the Rev’it Discovery for the Expedition, but she gets them free. Talk about pricey!
A perk that us common folk don't enjoy.

I set a $375 price limit.

I also focused on TOURING boots, and while there are some lighter duty OFF-ROAD boots that fit the category (like the Rev-it Gravel, Forma Cape Horn, etc) can can also do double duty as touring boots.

Most of the Euro-Style touring boots seem to have very flexible soles, minimal toe protection, essentially zero shin protection, minimal ankle protection. Many do have some sort of heel cup and light ankle pads.

The Sidi Armada has serious heel protection, pretty darn good ankle protection, a good stiff sole, fairly good toe protection and much better shin protection than 90% of the touring boots I could find. Many of the touring boots off 1 or 2 of those safety features. Some offer most of those feature, but usually less of each of them.
 

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I want full armor protection that will protect me from a 100 MPH crash into an oncoming semi, be light and breathable as linen, hard enough to survive a steam roller, and flexible enough to do Olympic level gymnastics, all for under 50 bucks please.

Let's face it, many of the things we want are mutually exclusive. My solution is to have two sets of protective gear.

  • Set 1: Barely sufficient protection but wearable when I get to my destination. This includes my helmet (Nolan N70-GT2), Jacket (Joe Rocket Pheonix Ion), and Gloves (Shima Caliber), and then I pair it with jeans and hiking boots.
  • Set 2: All of set 1, with the addition of Bulllit mesh riding pants, and Forma riding boots. I can then change these out when I get to my destinations.
Let's be honest, I'm not going to kit up like I do on a long mountain ride or tour just to go to work. It's a risk, and it's an informed calculated risk. Eventually, when the stock gets back in, I'm going to add the Helite Turtle 2 airbag to set 1.
 

melensdad

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I want full armor protection that will protect me from a 100 MPH crash into an oncoming semi, be light and breathable as linen, hard enough to survive a steam roller, and flexible enough to do Olympic level gymnastics, all for under 50 bucks please.

Let's face it, many of the things we want are mutually exclusive. My solution is to have two sets of protective gear.

  • Set 1: Barely sufficient protection but wearable when I get to my destination. This includes my helmet (Nolan N70-GT2), Jacket (Joe Rocket Pheonix Ion), and Gloves (Shima Caliber), and then I pair it with jeans and hiking boots.
  • Set 2: All of set 1, with the addition of Bulllit mesh riding pants, and Forma riding boots. I can then change these out when I get to my destinations.
Let's be honest, I'm not going to kit up like I do on a long mountain ride or tour just to go to work. It's a risk, and it's an informed calculated risk. Eventually, when the stock gets back in, I'm going to add the Helite Turtle 2 airbag to set 1.
Well if anyone looks at my initial criteria and my explanations, you will notice that I was trying to get the most protection combined with the most comfort. It is a balance. Most touring boots, riding shoes, etc are comfortable but also, most offer only very-minimal real protection.

Kitting up for riding to work, if someone works in an area where they ride through city/suburban traffic, is probably far more important than when riding on rural roads. A mountain road, rural highways, etc typically don't offer the risks associated with traffic and cars turning left into us at intersections. Crashes from lane changers who pull into bikes as they change lanes without looking. I coach at a fencing club that requires me to ride into busy suburban traffic from my very rural starting point, I kit up in full gear to get to the club. A pair of armored gore-tex over-pants slip right over whatever type of pants I wear underneath, vents keep me cool in summer and gore-tex keep me dry in wet weather. I look for CE 'AA' clothing or will minimally upgrade my 'A' rated gear with CE level 2 back, elbow, hip, knee & shoulder armor.

Sure there are the lone riders who take corners too fast and ride into barriers or off cliffs in rural areas.


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