The debate about which boots are best for long-term adventure riding is endless, and different riders prefer different boots. For me personally, motocross/off-road type of boot works best. I love riding off-road as much as possible, and I appreciate the protection that off-road boots offer.
For the past few years, I’ve been traveling in Gaerne S12G boots. While they offered amazing protection, they weren’t the most comfortable boots out there. After spending 8+ hours riding, plus another couple hours walking around in them, my feet would feel like they were encased in hard cement, and my toes would go numb or even blister.
After chasing the Dakar and deciding to try racing in rallies myself, I knew I wanted different boots so I could spend long hours standing on the pegs without feeling like my feet were going to fall off once I’d taken the boots off. I also wanted boots that would still be comfortable for traveling and walking around, but offer as much protection as the Gaernes.
Enter Sidi Crossfire 3 TA. I got them for my first rally in Portugal and have ridden over 4,500 miles in them since in all weather and on all sorts of terrain, including racing the Hellas Rally in Greece. It took a while to fine tune the buckles, and each time I put them on, it takes a couple of minutes to get rid of the stiffness. It almost feels like, within a few short moments of wear, the boots go softer and adjust to the shape of my feet. Other than that, however, these boots are nothing short of amazing. They’re the most comfortable pair of boots I’ve ever owned, including adventure boots that are meant to be universal. I’ve spent hours and hours standing on the pegs in my Crossfires, crossing streams, crashing, walking (and running…last minute roadbook changes, anyone?), pushing my bike, wandering around the rally bivouac, and traveling. Even during the longest days, my feet felt comfy.
The level of protection is astonishing given how comfortable these boots are, and I especially love the dual flex ankle hinge system with hyperextension and hyperflexion stops because it allows for comfort while protecting your tendons. Another great feature of the Sidi Crossfire 3’s is that they have a large calf, so you can comfortably wear them with knee braces when needed. Finally, these boots aren’t waterproof, but they’re surprisingly water resistant and keep moisture out well. I’ve had a ridiculous amount of snow and rain crossing the Alps and the Balkans, and I’ve had several water crossings, but the Crossfires kept the wet out incredibly well.
These boots aren’t cheap, but given the amazingly high ratio of protection and comfort as well as durability, for me, they seem ideal for long distance travel and rally racing.
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