Sidi Adventure 2 Boots - Review and Problems

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Lansraad, May 13, 2020.

  1. Lansraad

    Lansraad Refugee from the land of over-policed bitumen

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    I got into ADV riding when I purchased my "new to me" 2013 BMW R1200GS LC about 18 months ago.

    As part of the move away from road riding into ADV riding I purchased equipment suited to that activity.

    One of the first items I invested in were a set of boots suitable for ADV riding. I talked to a lot of people in the ADV community, read loads of product reviews, watched loads of YouTube videos and eventually came to a decision: I purchased a pair of Sidi Adventure 2 Gore-Tex boots.

    18 months later I am starting the research for a good pair of boots again.

    A year and a half is a reasonable amount of time, but I don't do a huge amount of ADV riding so the boots are used, but not worn out. They certainly have not had extensive use or a hard life.

    The Good:
    • Having a waterproof boot was important to me and the Gore-Tex liner is fantastic. Completely waterproof right up to the top of the boot. Tested whilst walking numerous creek crossings prior to riding through them and they never permitted a drop of water to enter.
    • Warm in winter but, perhaps surprisingly, not too hot in summer. A good all year boot.
    • The ankle protection seems to very sturdy. This was a key factor in selecting this boot over other commonly seen ADV boots such as the Forma Adventure Boots.
    • Despite the presence of solid protective mechanisms the boots are comfortable all day and fine for around the campfire after a long day in the saddle.

    The bad:
    • Get used to "The Sidi Squeak". From the first day of ownership to the last these boots will squeak when you walk in them (or indeed when you simply flex them). Personally it doesn't worry me, but other people I talked to absolutely hated it.
    • Unexpected failure due to fairly trivial wear. This soured the whole experience.

    Summary:
    • A very comfortable and dry boot that I would never recommend or buy again.

    The problem:

    The boots are largely constructed from a "microfibre" material. The boots are reinforced at various points with other man-made materials, including generous amounts of plastic around the ankle and heel-cup.

    Where the microfibre material is not exposed to any direct wear, contact with other surfaces, or any form of abrasion it seems to perform adequately. The problem is, however, that once exposed to contact with other surfaces the material fails much more rapidly than expected.

    The cause of the failure in my case is the way I shift up gears when riding in the standing position.

    Despite watching the Chris Burch videos, setting my gear lever in what seems to be the right position and practicing "correct shifting technique" I still find that about 30% of the time I shift up gears not by engaging my foot solidly and completely underneath the lever, but with the inside edge of the toe-box of my boot.

    This hasn't been a problem with any other boots I have used however the result of doing this with the Sidi Adventure 2 boot is that the contact patch on the toe box of my boot has been scraped away by the end of the standard BMW gear lever in a similar way to scraping wet cardboard with the end of a woden dowel.

    In quite a short time, in terms of hours usage on the bike, this has abraded the microfibre away to the point where it will shortly wear completely through. There are photos (below) that show the damage, but unfortunately they don't convey how thin the remaining material feels and how close to complete failure it feels. It is possible to see the material near the welt where it has "balled up" as it was scraped away by contact with the end of the gear lever.

    In addition to that there are two other wear marks of concern. The first one is where, whilst walking a stream to check depth, I kicked an unseen rock with the toe of my right boot. Again, after just one contact, the material has peeled back like wet cardboard at the impact area. The second area is on the tongue of the boot where the ankle protection is secured by the clasp against the tongue. This area experiences flexion and extension during riding and walking. Like the other areas of direct wear this too has started to fail as the hard plastic edge of the ankle protector cuts into tongue material (microfibre) as a product of normal use.

    As good as this microfibre material may be for some applications it appears to have have very poor resistance to direct wear or contact with other surfaces. In such situations the strength of the material is well below what would be expected from a boot of this type.

    Naturally I raised a ticket with the supplier (mxstore.com.au), sent photos and descriptions of the problem to them and waited whilst they engaged with the Sidi distributor in Australia (McLeod Accessories). The end result was that the distributor did not feel it was a manufacturing defect and declined to take any action.

    I disagree with their view.

    From my experience with this material I do not believe it is adequate for reasonable use within the area of application for which it is sold. These boots are not sold as lounge slippers. From a design and manufacture point of view I believe that Sidi have selected a material that is insufficiently robust in areas where contact with other surfaces is likely - in this particular case the toe-box of an Adventure Motorcycle boot. Given the poor resistance to surface contact this material exhibits it would seem to be an unlikely choice for the toe of an "Adventure" boot. Material selection is a key part of the design process and I believe that the microfibre material selected is not strong enough for the environments where it is likely to be used. I do not believe that another material, such as leather for example, would fail in such a fashion.

    I will be raising this with Sidi directly in the near future.

    Having an expensive pair of boots from a high level manufacturer fail, as these have done, is very disappointing. If the boots had been sourced from a cheap no-name brand and made out of chinesium then I probably would have shrugged and chalked it up to "You get what you pay for..." and moved on. But these weren't cheap and they were from a top quality name in the field.

    It is very unlikely that I will consider buying other Sidi products in the future. For me there is a significant question mark over their material selection and product quality as a result of this experience. Overall this has been a very disappointing purchasing experience.

    I will, sadly, need another pair of ADV boots - somewhat sooner than expected!

    Anyone have any good recommendations?

    Photo 1: Overview of boot and wear patch on toe box
    Photo 1.jpg

    Photo 2: Closeup of damage to the toe-box
    Photo 2.jpg

    Photo 3: Closeup of damage to the toe-box
    Photo 3.jpg
    #1
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  2. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    your abuse, your misuse, your fault.
    I have had these boot for about 50000km, and no issue.

    about the squeak: silicone grease on a thin shoe lace, then get behind these plates.
    #2
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  3. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Supporter

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    That’s not the boot’s fault. :fpalm
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  4. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    Why are you shifting with your toes and not your foot? That big rubber pad is for the shifter.
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  5. Hogges

    Hogges Been here awhile

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    BMW offroad instructors suggested using the edge of the soles to shift up with big adventure or offroad boots, so this is not something unheard of. I would have to agree with the OP’s conclusion that this synthetic material is surprisingly inferior. Fortunately there are still plenty of manufacturers offering real leather boots, including BMW.
    #5
  6. Fallacy

    Fallacy FFE inc. Super Supporter

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  7. Hogges

    Hogges Been here awhile

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    Sorry, should have said “BMW branded boots”. I recently bought new BMW leather boots because I didn’t trust the synthetic material now used by some renowned manufacturers such as Sidi. My old BMW AllRound boots have been going strong for a decade, and are only just now starting to break some threads. The OP’s experience validates this concern.
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  8. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    I have these boots and like them for what they are. Very comfortable just not as protective as my Sidi Crossfires (but probably more protective than my Sidi Canyon GoreTex).

    Like others have mentioned, you’re using the wrong part of your foot to shift (toe vs. the shift pad made for that reason). You can address this by swapping in a different shift lever if you can’t adjust the current one.

    And just fix that toe with some ShoeGoo or have a cobbler repair it.
    #8
  9. rexbro

    rexbro Been here awhile

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    30k miles on mine. Your problem looks like operator error.
    upload_2020-5-13_8-58-20.jpeg

    Bit of wear on bottom
    upload_2020-5-13_8-58-53.jpeg
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  10. 177in70s

    177in70s Adventurer

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    If your Sidi's were mine I'd paint the toe with Shoe Goo lightly, a few coats (for running/jogging shoe soles and many other uses like glueing flapping soles back onto shoes etc, I've painted the sewn seams on my leather Russell Day Long so the seams don't wear through the threads, 130,000 miles plus on it.) from time to time and that area would last forever along with what looks like the rest of a good pair of boots. Pic shoes: my BMW road boots and my trail boots, Alpinestar Tech 6. Baseball pitchers can use on top of their dragging foot toebox too..


    1B86BDD4-0732-40DB-97F8-790A1E9E0333.jpeg
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  11. rexbro

    rexbro Been here awhile

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  12. Tall Man

    Tall Man 129% of people exaggerate.

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    My v1.0 Sidi ADV GTX boots have been the bee's knees since Day One. They don't seem to be encumbered with as much (if any) perceived synthetic material in, e.g., the toe box area as does the current generation of the boot.

    I do endeavor to position my left foot correctly for shifting whilst seated and standing. That said, I have occasionally used the edge of the sole to complete an upshift, and I do understand the utility of having to do so when truly needed.

    After a day in coal dust:

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Mumbles24

    Mumbles24 Been here awhile Supporter

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    What size? Still waterproof? Maybe you should sell them to me.
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  14. toecutta

    toecutta Been here awhile

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    over the last.. 7ish years i have had 3 pair of the original sidi adventure.. daily wear commuting and month plus trips on / off road... 70,00km ish per pair?
    End of last year i bought a pair of the new adv2 sidi boots... to me... the new ones dont have the quality of build the old ones had.. they also dont feel as robust.. the toe box is not as solid to rock strikes... the ancle hinge and protection feels less rigid. really disappointed as i was very happy with the ADV1's. yes they all squeak.. yer the new ones are "maybe" a little easier to walk in.. no i dont have a gear change patch on the toe like you do. maybe you need a longer shift lever? no idea? to each their own <shrugs> i will be watching to see what you go with to replace them
    #14
  15. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    This most likely means the boot is on the way out. At the end of a run quality goes down as profits go up. Then a completely new model will replace the ADV2 and it will be very appealing as we're always hoping for the next "better" boot and the cycle starts again.
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  16. Lansraad

    Lansraad Refugee from the land of over-policed bitumen

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    The first step will be to see if I can effect a repair. I was looking at either Shoe-Goo (as mentioned by others) or perhaps the appropriate member of the JB-Weld adhesive family. At this point I am undecided about whether to use the Shoe-Goo in multiple light layers to rebuild the wear patch or use either it or a JB-Weld product to glue on a piece of material to add strength and provide a replaceable "sacrificial" layer. The boots are too good in almost every other way to simply give up on them. I do wish, however, that Sidi had continued the protective panel over the toe-box as seen in the Alpinestars in the post from 177in70s above or that they had used a stronger material in that area.

    Since the original post I have removed the gear shift linkage from the spline, rotated it by one tooth (the maximum it can be rotated without the knuckle fouling the frame member when trying to reassemble), reassembled and maxed out the linkage adjuster again.

    I will be investigating after market gear shift systems, but as I am well aware that the reason the toe-box of the boot contacted the end of the lever is due to my poor technique I will be paying more attention to improving that technique and trying make every shift with the correct part of the boot: the reinforced strip across the top. I am hoping that practice and the final adjustment of the gear shift lever height will be enough to ensure I engage the reinforced part of the boot properly.

    The action of sliding so much of my boot under the shift lever is a little bit unnatural to me, possibly due to my road bike background where, when riding sport bikes as I mainly did, I was generally seated and tended to slide just the tip of boot under the shift lever to effect an upshift.

    The only bikes I really tend to use the reinforced area on the Sidi Adventure 2 boots is when I am riding something more agricultural like a Harley or an Indian where the position of the shift lever relative to the pegs, the length of the throw and "solid" nature of the gearbox mandates a heavier lift which is best achieved with that part of the boot. My R1200GS has a very nicely weighted gear shift and does not require a lot of force or lift to upshift.

    I will still be looking for another pair of boots and it won't be Sidi. The Alpinestar Tech 7 looks like an interesting boot as does the BMW branded boot which seems to be full grain leather construction. The Rev'It boot looks interesting but I am not a fan of the adjustment method.

    Then there is the question of getting the boot I like in waterproof model - an area where the Sidi Adventure 2's absolutely excel. <sigh> Round and around it goes...
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  17. Pch123

    Pch123 Bar Crossings

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    Can I make a suggestion. Pivot pegs works for me when standing or seat to ensure I get my boot right under the shift lever. I incidentally have Sidi ADV 2 and have no issues with a full shift lever action when standing but the pivot pegs id probably more responsible for that than any skill on my part. cheers
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  18. Tall Man

    Tall Man 129% of people exaggerate.

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    Very much so
    Nope :-)
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  19. Sonny S.

    Sonny S. Long timer

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    I don't keep up with Beemer stuff but I did see a while back where someone makes a shift lever with an adjustable toe. If you like where your feet are bring the toe of the shifter closer. On steel levers it's just a little cut and weld. The adjustable aluminum Beemer one was nice looking and very functional.
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  20. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    There is a reason the left boot has a reinforced place over the toe area. I have been wearing Adventures for years and found they basically wear like iron.

    I shift with the side of the boot on the pointy end of the shifter almost all the time when standing. But when I say the side, I mean on the side where the sole is stitched next to the reinforced area - not the end of the toe box that is only one layer.

    Doing that does chew up my boot a little. But it chews it up where Sidi designed the boot to get hard use. I would expect my odd shifting method to wear through an unreinforced part in only a few rides. No boot will stand up to doing that where it isn't reinforced.


    boot.jpg
    #20
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