If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Friday, 14 January 2011

Kit Report - Sidi Black Rain Evo boots, update

I posted about these boots a little while ago, and was full of praise for everything about them except the zips. I should have kept my mouth shut.

Yesterday the right-hand zip got jammed and I was five minutes wrestling it free before I could go home from work. Now I am only zipping that boot up half-way in case the zip fails completely. As the boots are now four years old getting fairly tatty and (let's be honest here) rank, I think I am going to replace them.

Any suggestions for a good replacement would be welcome. I would prefer to look neither like a oil-rig worker nor a MotoGP refugee, and waterproof is a must. Over to you ...


  1. Well these are waterproof; and, I'm certain you wouldn't be mistaken for either an oil-rig worker or a MotoGP refugee.


  2. Pink Hunter wellies? Not sure about crashability, but my profile at the Gay Boyz Niterie and Wine Bar would improve no end.

  3. Fluorescent Pink is a safety feature & will improve your visibility (in more ways than one).

    It's also a security feature - no chance of them getting nicked.

  4. The last two pairs I've used ae Bullsons and Gaerne. Sorry can't give a model.

    Of the two the Gaerne were probably the best, they survived two crashes anyway.

    I never wore a pair longer than a year anyhow, they all seem to deteriorate after twelve months.

    On balance, after having practically every make there is, I'd go with Gaerne. Italian styling with waterproofing and survivability.

    Caveat: I havn't put on a pair in five years due to a serious accident but if I was going back to motorcycling tomorow I'd haul the Gaerne out of the cupboard.

  5. Thanks for that, Xen. I've liked the look of the Gaerne stuff I have seen, although I'm not sure if my local guy stocks them or not. I'll have a look.

  6. Bloody zips!

    I have lost count of the various pieces of clothing I have had to throw away in nearly new condition because of the bloody zip.

    Can they not invent something like....BUTTONS. At least you, or a tailor, can....WILL sew them back on. Try gettint them to put a new zip in a bike leather.

  7. Two answers to this: firstly, agreed that zips are a royal pain in the arse. If they are not jamming like my boots (on examination, teeth damaged where the boot has developed a crease through use), then they are getting snagged on a bit of liner material. But buttons, on bike gear? How do you make a button wind- or waterproof? Gore-Tex seem to have an answer with the new (2009) Lockout closures, which seem to offer the convenience of a zip with 100% waterproofing and fewer snags. Details here. Never used one, so can't comment.

    Secondly, I have a traditional cobbler working nearby, who looks after my 'proper' shoes, and he has replaced zips in my leather jacket very successfully. The machine he uses is like somthing out of a Victorian factory, but it works. I have no doubt that he could do something with this boot, but I would have doubts about the waterproof qualities afterwards, and also how easy it would be to work with the Lorica material they are made of. Plus, I wouldn't expect anyone to worrk with their nose close to the boot, until I have thoroughly sanitised them. They are horrific.

  8. "Money no object" approach - another pair of the Sidis (always bought them by preference myself, until the latest designs seemed to stop fitting my feet!), or the Alpinestars Tech Touring (I had a pair of their predecessors once, and they were very nice). Although, actually, I rather like the look of the Alpinestars Scout "adventure" boots.

    I have the same issue as Xen - mine never seem to last longer than a year, regardless of price or theoretical quality. They do get worn all the time, though, which may be why...

    As a result, I'm currently experimenting with a selection of cheap pairs picked up on eBay. Nitro are cheap and absolute rubbish. Oxtar (now TCX) are okay, but the TCX offerings are quite expensive without offering any benefit over the more established brands. Surprise winners are Oxford Bone Dry, which, despite being cheap and cheerful and having some poor reviews on Amazon, are surprisingly comfortable and have stayed dry for me. Plus, they've survived three months so far without any real signs of wear and tear.

  9. Thanks for the info. Good to hear an opinion on the Nitros, and I'll avoid them, thanks. I always thought the Oxtar stuff looked good (my local dealer stocked them, and stocks TCX) and the Infinity boots got rave reviews from Ride magazine. I think they might be beyond my wallet at the moment, though. I might well have to stick with the Sidis on half-zip for the time being - just had an unexpected tax demand which has knocked me sideways a bit.

    Looks my four years with the Sidis has been exceptionally good, then. I like 'em, I have to say. Except for the zips.

  10. Altbergs. Don't waste your time with anything else.

    You can get lace up ones if you are bothered but mine (with zips that have not failed in 8-odd years use) are perfect. They are still 'stand in a stream' waterproof. Comfortable as slippers and don't even cost a fortune - which is astonishing considering they are handmade in Yorkshire. Although that is a problem - you almost certainly will not get a pair without a wait.

    A review - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/motorbikes/2750410/Alt-berg-boots-were-made-for-riding.html

  11. Thanks for this, and an interesting article. I like the idea of a proper hand-made product, although without checking I bet they aren't cheap. There was a bootmaker in the Yorkshire Dales (can't remember the name) who kept a fishtank in his shop window with a boot floating in it, still resisting water after, I think, 30+ years. Shall add Altberg to the list, thanks.


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