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Old 03-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
workerant OP
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Gear Review: Sidi Mini Force Women's Boots

Why?
As some of you may know, I broke my left foot during the East Tennessee Neduro riding clinic on 12/29/2006. I fell down during a hillclimb exercise and my left foot rolled under my right knee (my legs looked like the number 4) as I slid down the hill on my arse. This resulted in a couple of torn ligaments and a small fracture. I was wearing BMW Savanna boots, which are twin to the Oxtar Infinity. A better pair of boots would have prevented the injury.

The Contestants
I wear a ladies’ 7, or 38 Euro, which rules out most men’s boots. One of my main concerns about selecting boots is that I have teddy bear legs. My calves are fairly big from a lifetime of running, riding and working out. I’ve had problems finding street boots that close over my calves, and I worried that this might be a problem with dirt boots too. I considered the following boots:

MSR MXT
Thor Quadrant
Alpinestars Stella Tech 6
Sidi Mini Force

I was underwhelmed with the quality of the MSR and Thor boots. They felt cheap, and finishing items like buckles didn’t seem trustworthy. I tried on the Alpinestars boots at my local Cycle Gear and was very impressed with the quality and fit, but a little taken aback at the price ($280). The Sidi Mini Force allegedly shares DNA with their men’s Crossfire boots and at $160 is substantially cheaper than the Alpinestars. In a leap of faith, I ordered the Sidis sight unseen from a local dealer. They seemed like a better bang for the buck, if I could close them.

The Winner – Sidi Mini Force
My Sidis arrived and I was delighted to find that they closed with a bit of room to spare. My initial impression was of typical Sidi quality – I feel that they didn’t skimp a bit on the women’s boot. They were stiff, as expected. The buckles are easily adjustable and stay closed. The Mini Force is made of a combination of plastic, real leather and synthetic leather. It has steel toe caps and lots of replacement parts are available from Sidi. I believed I’d found my boot.

I impatiently waited for the weekend. This past Sunday, some friends and I hit the hills outside Spring City, TN. We rode for about five hours, consisting of nasty, rutted, wet and rocky doubletrack and beautiful, twisting, thank-doG-I’ve-got-barkbusters singletrack.

I lost track of the water crossings and often we simply rode up creeks. The Mini Force is not a waterproof boot; as far as I can tell, no women’s dirt boot is. They are splashproof, though. My feet didn’t get wet until I had to put my feet down in a creek and the water came in over the inner bootie. My feet took a couple of hard whacks on rocks and stumps, and though I felt the impact, I never felt like my foot was in danger of injury. I also had to put my feet down in some very awkward spots, and the support was superb. The boots were also noticeably more flexible at the end of Sunday’s ride, and I expect them to continue to soften up a bit more.

The Pictures
The boots themselves: outside


inside


guts - I tried to hold the boot open so you can see the internal bootie. You're looking down into the boot here.


heart and sole


all shiny and new


what they're supposed to look like. And no comments on the fruity pants - I bought them cheep.




Conclusion
If you’re in the market for a women’s dirt boot, please have a look at the Sidi Mini Force. They’re only $20 - $30 more than the unimpressive offerings from MSR, Fox and Thor and are superb boots. I look forward to riding in these boots for many years to come. I see no reason to doubt Sidi’s claim that the Mini Force is the sister boot to the award-winning Crossfire men's boot, so this may be one of those rare times when women get off easier – the Crossfire costs about $400.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
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Very nice write-up. Glad you found a boot you like. I'm gonna pass this on to my SO.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:53 PM   #3
Bonnie Abbzug
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Thanks for the write up Megan!

I have the Fox (tracker - I think that's what it's called) and I haven't been all that impressed with them. I too have a small foot (usually 6.5-7) and a "muscular" calf. Unfortunately my feet have been falling asleep after about 45 minutes of wearing the boots and that makes for a very uncomfortable ride! I do think they offer good protection I just wish they fit better! I may have to try out the Sidi's next time we are in the city! Thanks again!
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:13 PM   #4
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The soles on the Mini Force don't appear to offer much traction. Am I wrong? Can you walk around in them at all w/o discomfort, or are they strictly for riding? I don't have girly feet, but my GF does.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the review. How is the width of the boot? I have wondered how other manufacturers gauge the width of the boot. I ask because I've got a pair of IXS Track lace ups that are just too narrow. I've got a B width foot but the boots are marked as Medium width but fit more like an A width.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:11 AM   #6
workerant OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounce
The soles on the Mini Force don't appear to offer much traction. Am I wrong? Can you walk around in them at all w/o discomfort, or are they strictly for riding? I don't have girly feet, but my GF does.
They are definitely riding boots; I would want to keep the walking to a minimum as they are stiff and heavy. I expect the stiffness to soften up a bit as I wear then but they'll always be heavy. If the soles were any grippier, they'd be too grippy to put a foot down in a turn like a flat-tracker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanMoe
Thanks for the review. How is the width of the boot? I have wondered how other manufacturers gauge the width of the boot. I ask because I've got a pair of IXS Track lace ups that are just too narrow. I've got a B width foot but the boots are marked as Medium width but fit more like an A width.
I dunno... I suppose I'm a B width because I've never had to think about it. I'd call them a B or B+ in width. I'd rather have extensive dental work than wear tight shoes.
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:07 AM   #7
johnwesley
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I'm looking for a boot for the wife and was considering these as well. I have a pair of the flex force and love them. So I thought these would work well for her.

What is your view of them now that you have had them for almost 9 months?

Also if you don't mind, what does your claf measure? My wife has large calf muscles as well.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:43 PM   #8
Johnny_5
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I wore A-star kids boots for about 6 months before the boots were suffering significantly from use. So I do caution you about that, could be Sidi builds to last kids. Also the boots don't come up as high resulting in an exposed upper shin area. I'm not deriding your purchase just providing cautionary advise. Keep an eye out for men's boots that are made is smaller sizes such as Gaerne SG-10's.
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:36 PM   #9
workerant OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwesley
I'm looking for a boot for the wife and was considering these as well. I have a pair of the flex force and love them. So I thought these would work well for her.

What is your view of them now that you have had them for almost 9 months?

Also if you don't mind, what does your claf measure? My wife has large calf muscles as well.
Sorry - I just saw this.

I've really acid-tested my Mini Forces. This summer, I wore them to ride the Continental Divide: roughly 2500 miles offroad and 1500 onroad. I've also got who-knows-how-many dualsport and woods miles on them.

I love them more than ever. They're much more comfortable than I expected them to be, and still super-supportive.

I changed into Crocs while fixing a flat in Colorado, left a stack of clothes:


Don't have many pictures of my feet while riding () so here's one posing with GapRunr:


My calves are roughly 15" at boot-top height.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:44 PM   #10
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Thanks,

I went ahead and got the same boots for my wife. Hope she likes them as much as you do
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #11
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Two years later...any update?
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