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Review: Sidi Vertigo Corsa Boots


Originally Posted by Motonation
The Vertigo Corsa was developed for ultimate feel and support. It must be good, since so many of the features Sidi pioneered on the Vertigo Corsa are incorporated into our competitor's boots! Don't settle for a cheap imitation, step up to the finest race boot in the world, the Motorcyclist Magazine MOTY winning Vertigo Corsa. Now available in a spectacular all white version as well as a fully vented version the Sidi Vertigo Corsa and Vertigo Corsa Air have the features and look that professional racers demand. The choice of Moto GP heroes such as Loris Capirossi, Colin Edwards, Anthony West, Chris Vermuelen as well as AMA studs such as Aaron Yates, Geoff May, Steve Rapp, Ben Attard, Matt Lynn and all the boys at Corona Honda. More Details…

3 years ago I started riding wearing Timberland styled work boots. That’s right, not even brand name – Timberland knock-offs that were conservatively 5 years old already when they were put to their new use as motorcycle boots. They were alright and certainly better than athletic shoes or flip-flops as the squids by me like to wear, but were by no means the best tool for the job.

When I transitioned from an old 250 to sportbikes I began catching the laces on the footpegs and shifter (due to the more extreme forward angle) which was not only scary but also dangerous. After this began and I realized that tucking in the laces was only going to end up in me hurting myself (the laces always came out / got stuck regardless) I figured it was time to buy some real motorcycle boots. I talked to a friend of mine who recommended the Sidi Vertigo Corsas, which he referred to as “there are these boots by an S company that have ankle protection.”


With an MSRP of $425 for the pair, I did plenty of reading and question asking before I pulled the trigger and made the purchase. It seemed like everyone I talked to agreed that this was the way to go, including a sponsored rider I know who has had his share of downs. In the end I narrowed my search down to the Sidi Vertigo Corsas and the brand new (at the time) Sidi Streetburners which resemble high-tops built for bikes as opposed to the VCs which are a full race boot.

Sidi Streetburners:

Since the Streetburners were brand new to the market, there were no comparisons or reviews available and most dealers couldn’t even get them for stock. They seemed appealing because they too feature an ankle brace, and I figured they would be more comfortable since most of my riding is from A to B: home to the store, work to the club, girl’s house back to mine, you get the idea ;) not on the track. So I wanted something covert and comfortable.

I ended up talking with someone who hooked me up, getting me the boots for only $360 which was awesome because they are a price-fixed item, selling for $425 everywhere except for the used/crashed stuff on eBay. So I basically figured at that price, I would try the Vertigo Corsas which in my opinion offer more protection because of the increased height and if I found them to be too uncomfortable for my purposes I could review them sell them on ebay and at least break even then buy the streetburners.

So here I am about a year later, with countless miles on the boots. They’re substantially more comfortable than they look. I generally wear a size 13 US shoe which I believe is a 47.5 in European sizes, putting me right between sizes in Sidi boots. I tried both on for a while and ended up going with the boots in size 48. Although they look a bit like ski boots, they are substantially more flexible, allowing for an appropriate range of motion both on and off the bike. The only time I notice that I’m wearing them is if I start running…but most sane people don’t run in boots, so this shouldn’t be a big concern. An additional advantage of the full length boot is that i always seemed to catch my calf on the pegs when walking the bike with shorter boots...not a huge deal but an added bonus.

I put the boots on, tuck my pants in (important) then zip the zipper (on the inside of the boot) which then secures behind a Velcro closure.

I then use the dial on the back of the boot (which Sidi calls the Techno VR system) to ratchet the calf opening as tight as is comfortable before fastening and ratcheting the strap over my foot.

Then finally I adjust the air vents depending on the weather / riding conditions. Unlike a lot of other moto stuff I’ve used, the air vents on these are fully functional.

For those who only ride during the summer, or ride on the track a lot, Sidi also makes a perforated version of these boots – the Vertigo Corsa Air, which provides even more ventilation however for my riding the regular Vertigo Corsas are just fine.

When I get to my destination at a restaurant or something along those lines, I untuck my pants, and loosen the strap across the top of my foot. With the pants untucked, the boots typically go unnoticed by my friends and even the ever critical downtown doormen/bouncers. However, my boots are black; if I had purchased the blue, white, or red version I believe the results would be different.

There is very little padding on the bottom of the boot, so standing in them for hours on end can get irritating, but that’s true of most of the shoes I would wear out anyways. Here's a shot down into the boots to show the liner / insole, there's a pretty impressive demo on the Motoation website showing the sidi insole alongside a competitors insole in a vice, the side remains flat while the other bends:

The other interesting thing about these boots is the sole, which is much narrower than many other boots. The only time this was actually noticeable is in putting down my kick stand, something I used to do with the side of the sole must now be done using the inlet in the heel shown below, not a big deal, just took some getting used to:

The three things I can fault on these boots are the lack of any reflective piping / surfaces, irreplaceabale sole (to be fixed on the next version, see note in the "verict" section below), and the plastic/nylon/whatever strap that torques down over the top of the foot strap. Although I’m sure it’s been tested and holds up fine, it still leaves me feeling a bit uneasy every time I fasten the strap. Some sort of coated metal wire would have left me feeling better, especially for $425.

Ups: Flexible, comfortable to walk in and wear, well ventilated, the only full race boot (to my knowledge) with a built in ankle brace to protect against impacts / tortional twists.

Downs: Pretty much nothing, except for a nylon/plastic loop that I think could be made out of a more substantial material. Soles cannot be replaced. No reflective piping or striping on this model.

Verdict: Save your workboots for work and pick up a pair of these at any price, throw some reflective tape on if it suits you, however keep in mind that the new Sidi Vortice boot is coming out in December and should be considered before you pull the trigger. (I may pick up a pair next spring and if so will post a full review of the Vortice boots here on GearEval)

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