Sidi Crossfire boots review: quality control problems?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by B1, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    My Sidi Crossfires bought six years ago copped huge amounts of abuse and were still functional (with intact original soles) when I retired them as a backup pair in 2018.

    But the replacement set have been steadily falling apart over just 18 months. I asked around and heaps of Sidi Crossfire users seem to be having similar issues. Their old boots were great but recent sets aren't what they used to be.

    One riding buddy had the entire bottom section of his brand new Crossfire fall off during the Sea to Sky race. Another said his last two pairs of Crossfires have been rubbish (the previous two were brilliant). A dealer told me his Sidi national distributor was shocked by the number of warranty claims and complaints in recent years.

    I emailed Sidi head office and two national distributors (UK and USA) with a list of questions about an apparent drop in quality but received no replies prior to making this vid. However, the USA distributor did eventually reply at a later point (see below).

    Some think it's all linked to Sidi moving most of the manufacturing from Italy to the Romanian factory since around 2012 (note: oddly the SRS model is still listed as made in Italy although they have more issues then the made in Romania TA model!).

    Other 'Italian' brands now made overseas?
    Alpinestar Tech 7 & 10 made in Croatia and Thailand
    Forma made in Romania
    TCX (formerly Oxtar) made in China
    Dainese made in Tunisia. :(

    Gaerne appears to be the only Italian brand still actually made in Italy.

    Some guys are having a good run with their Crossfires but there seem to be a lot who aren't. From what I can see much of it is linked to soles falling off prematurely, especially the SRS models... although the TA stitched soles do appear to have issues too.

    My concern is that the Sidi Crossfire is a premium-priced boot but that since the move to Romanian manufacture the quality does not appear to be at a premium level anymore. Contrast this with Gaerne boots which are still manufactured in Italy and appear to have remained at a premium quality level, judging by the lack of online complaints and numerous positive user reviews.

    If you are using Sidi Crossfires how are they working out for you?




    I should point out not everyone has issues with the later model Sidi Crossfires but there are many reports of long term users (like me) saying the quality just doesn't seem to be what it was on earlier boots.

    SIDI RESPONDS
    I contacted Sidi's head office and also the distributors in the UK and USA with a list of questions before creating this video.
    Answer from Sidi head office? None.
    Answer from the UK distributor? None.
    Answer from the USA distributor? Yes... but after they saw this video.

    Here is a brief summary of their response.

    WHEN DID MANUFACTURING MOVE TO ROMANIA?
    Crossfires have been made in Romania since 2004. Uppers are stitched and assembled there but the soles are not put on in Romania. The partially assembled boots are shipped back to Italy to for final quality control checks and assembly. The soles are assembled in Italy.

    WHAT IS THE RESPONSE TO AN APPARENT DROP IN QUALITY?
    Soles coming off could be due to Italy being forced to use an EU-approved glue. If application isn't perfect, the soles can peel off. Other parts? Crossfires come with replaceable parts for a reason. Motonation USA claim that warranty return rates are only 0.7%. Motonation feel we are using anecdotal evidence to make a case for increased failure rates that they believe have not changed.

    WILL SUPPORT BE PROVIDED OUT OF WARRANTY?
    SIDI's head office generally offers no warranty. The warranty is usually provided by the distributor, although in some cases SIDI is offering warranty and reimbursing the distributor. Every country distributor has to set their own warranty policies. In north America? Motonation’s policy is a one-year warranty with a judgment call.

    MOTONATION'S TIP FOR PREVENTING SOLES PEELING OFF
    Power washing boots severely reduces the lifespan of the boot and accelerates delamination.
    #1
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  2. Oldbear

    Oldbear Been here awhile

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    Yessir, have noticed the same decline in durability.

    Had the soles coming off from my last two pairs of Crossfire SRS boots. The pair before those held up way better.

    Switched to TA this spring and so far they've been solid but once they deteriorate I've been tempted to try Gaerne next.
    #2
  3. Oldsport79

    Oldsport79 Adventurer

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    I haven't had the Sidi Crossfire 3 TA's for very long so I cannot speak to longevity. However, during my recent trip my poor riding skills lead me to fall over often. I am convinced that I would have broken an ankle a few times with Adventure boots. However, my trip was cut short when I feel over on some rocks (again due to my poor skills) and the pointy end of the the rear brake lever came down on my 5th metatarsal. It was a good clean brake and now I am rocking a medical boot for the next several weeks. However, I don't know if anything short of a steel toe would have protected my foot.
    #3
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  4. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    been experiencing alot of quality issues, seems a switch to some tree hugger freindly adhesive may be the main culprit.
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  5. BIG-E

    BIG-E AKA; Mongo-E, Sexy Grande Supporter

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    I had bad luck with the SRS sole, it peeled right off in a matter of hours in DV. But I am a SIDI guy and have had outstanding luck with the Crossfire's, gen 1 and gen 2. I tried to wear Garne, but they are way to wide. In fact, I have a brand new pair of 12's that I just don't like the fit.

    I have broken my Fib/Tib 2 different times in Crossfire 2's and I really think anything lessor, I would be crippled right now.

    I will stick with SIDI until the end. JM.02..
    #5
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  6. yumdumpster

    yumdumpster Adventurer

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    I have had the Crossfire 2 SRS's for close to 2 years now without any issues, seem to be incredibly sturdy and have held up really well with some of the abuse I have been subjecting them too, I use them for Street, Dirt, and adventure riding. I tend to ride somewhat... aggressively.. and I am constantly whacking my feet on shit so I feel I have put them through a decent amount of punishment.

    It is possible though that QC has just gone through the poop chute since I acquired mine. Would be interested to know when the people who have been having problems purchased theirs and what their MFR date was.
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  7. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    SRS or the stitched TA soles, 2 SPOT? And have you had issues other than soles peeling off?
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  8. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

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    Are there similar reports on Forma, also manufactured in Romania?
    Also, I think the top of the line Tech 10 from Alpinestars is also made in Italy, the rest of their stuff in Asia.
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  9. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    B1, i only own the TA but ive seen and read many failures on the srs also.

    keep in mind the stitching is only to a midsole, that thin 2-3mm layer if you look at it. the thick tread outsole is held on by glue alone.

    dragos,,, i have Forma boots as well, dominator and predator, they are constructed just like SIDI with a stitched midsole and glued outer,,, the dominators separated a couple months ago, the predators are holding up so far.

    in both manufactureres i've only had issues with the outsole peeling off, i re-glued myself and they are doing well. the rest of the boot has been very durable.
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  10. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

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    The Gaernes are the same, one of the reasons for the metal piece at the front is to prevent delamination of the glued outer sole.
    #10
  11. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    Yes Forma are definitely made in Romania too. I did a quick google around and couldn't find much in the way of online complaints. But if you check through the comments on my vid you can find a few guys saying they've had issues with Forma boots.

    Hard to say how significant the number of failures is though... and they are a mid-priced boot, at least here in Australia.
    #11
  12. striped tomato

    striped tomato Been here awhile

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    I'm on my second pair of crossfires, the first pair were great but I have snapped a buckle off the boot on the second pair and its a non replaceable part so I'm a bit peeved. No dramas with the sole though.
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  13. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    As per the video, we contacted Sidi's head office and also the distributors in the UK and USA with a list of questions before creating this video.

    Answer from Sidi head office? None.
    Answer from the UK distributor? None.
    Answer from the USA distributor? Yes... but after this video was released.

    Thanks to Motonation USA for their response. I have noticed that when we ask questions about quality issues, head offices never reply and the only distributors who appear to answer are the USA ones - not surprising given the focus on customer service in the USA compared to other countries. Please note this is our summary of a lengthy phone conversation.

    When did manufacturing move to Romania?
    Crossfires have been made in Romania since 2004. Uppers are stitched and assembled there but the soles are not put on in Romania. The partially assembled boots are shipped back to Italy to for final quality control checks and assembly. The soles are assembled in Italy.

    What is your response to an apparent drop in quality in recent years?
    In Italy, there are fewer and fewer young people that want to handcraft boots and shoes. With fewer and fewer skilled craftsman available, Sidi established a Romanian factory in 2001. There is a long history of handcrafted boots and shoes in Romania so there are many skilled workers available.

    The sole delamination issue could be due to Italy being forced to use a EU approved glue - a healthier, greener glue for the workers, but if the application isn’t done perfectly it can lead to delamination problems. The glue is not forgiving during the installation process. Motonation doesn’t think quality control is the problem.

    Other parts? Crossfires come with replaceable parts for a reason. Things will wear out or fail quicker than others, these boots (and their components) have a finite lifespan.

    Motonation USA is seeing warranty return rates in North America of 0.7%, which they believe is close to a global warranty rate. They say this is very low and no manufacturing process is perfect. Motonation suggests that it is easy to share tales of woe on internet. Unhappy people post, happy people don’t. They believe we are seeing statistically skewed information. E.g. If we have uncovered 50 failures of Crossfire boots then this is not even scratching the surface of 1% of global sales. Motonation feel we are using anecdotal evidence to make a case for increased failure rates that they believe have not changed.

    Will any support be provided to Sidi owners with problems just outside of warranty period?
    SIDI's head office generally offers no warranty. The warranty is usually provided by the distributor, although in some cases SIDI is offering warranty and reimbursing the distributor. Every country distributor has to set their own warranty policies.

    In the USA? Motonation’s policy is a one-year warranty with a judgment call. If the boot has seen reasonable use and has been reasonable taken care of they will warranty it, possibly over the one-year mark depending on circumstance and condition of the boot. Motonation recognizes that everyone uses and cares for their equipment in a different way. The use and care have a direct effect on lifespan. E.g. dirt bike with 50 hours can look completely different depending on use and abuse.

    Motonation's tip on preventing soles from coming off
    Power washing boots severely reduces the lifespan of the boot and accelerates delamination. Lots of guys pressure wash boots after every ride to keep them “clean” but not realizing that they are shorting the lifespan.

    Interesting note about 'grey' sales through internet stores etc
    Motonation say their ability to warranty is heavily affected by "grey' market sales in North America e.g. European websites FC Moto, Chromeburner. These stores sell at a 10% profit margin all over the world. The problem? These boots wind up in north America but Motonation pays to fix them under warranty... not the internet store! The European internet-based stores are selling under the recommended price and destabilizing the distributors' ability to offer after sale customer care. SIDI has been trying to get this to stop but there are EU laws that are making it difficult.

    What about Gaerne boots?
    Motonation says Garne is small enough that they can still find in country craftsman to build boots on Italian soil. If they grow, they will be forced to leave Italy simply because the Italian workforce won’t be able to support scaled growth.
    As per the video, we contacted Sidi's head office and also the distributors in the UK and USA with a list of questions before creating this video.
    #13
  14. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I've been a passionate user of Sidi boots for a very long time.
    My first pair of moto boots was a pair of Interstates, that I still wear from time to time.
    I bought them in 1991.
    My crossfire TA's are 10 years old now and still going strong, but I've noticed after the switch away from real leather first to "Lorica" then whatever they call it now. that the quality and most importantly the durability has decreased.
    With a couple of pairs of their road racing boots only lasting a couple of years or so before they started to break down, with brittle plastic and the outer getting all fuzzy and soft feeling.

    Motonation is right, it's hard to get a real world report on how extensive a problem can be, since the folks who don't have a problem, they don't say anything about it.
    #14
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  15. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Just watched your clip on the Sidi Crossfire boots.
    Sidi just told me to bugger off and will not help with support on the Adv Goretex boots. I tried without success to convince them after 4 months of back and forth emails that it is their quality not the use of the boots.
    This was our 5 pair in the last 8 years. We look after our gear as we know we can't just buy new stuff everywhere.

    So the same happened to me, tried to get hold of Sidi which is basically impossible or they just don't give a hoot. In the end, I will never buy Sidi's again. I tried my best to talk to them and beg for some form of assistance but they just said it is not their problem and not a manufacturing fault. Which it clearly is.
    You can see the two videos here:
    https://youtu.be/cmlYRh3QjYw
    #15
  16. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    I've had regular reports from guys saying they are having similar problems with their Sidi boots. Unfortunately it seems the quality control problem may extend to Sidi's adventure boots too. This guy has long been a fan of Sidi, these were his fifth pair but after 18 months of use both soles came off within a few days of each other. He was not happy with the customer service response which basically it wasn't Sidi's problem. He said there appeared to be very little glue applied to the soles....

    Attached Files:

    #16