Sidi Discovery Boots
Sidi Discovery Rain Boots
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Owner Comments (Below)
In This Series: Part 1:
Sidi Discovery Boots |
Sidi B2 Boots | Part 3:
Sidi Doha Boots |
Sidi Vertigo Lei
Summary: Classified as an off-road
boot by Sidi, the Discovery is perfect for budding Adventure Tourers.
These are surprisingly comfortable; very sturdy;
great-looking and built like a tank.
Bonus: They're claimed to be the only water
resistant off-road boots of this type available.
Part 1 of 3: Sidi Discovery Rain
Boots | Sidi B2 Street Boots (coming) | Sidi Vertigo
Lei Women's Race Boots (coming)
Dual Sport motorcycle sales have skyrocketed in
the last few years, with sales up nearly 23% in 2008 from the previous year
This category includes (in reality it constitutes) the so-called "Adventure
Touring" class, with bikes like the
BMW F800GS, the Kawasaki
KLR650, Suzuki DR650SE and more leading the way.
The Adventure Touring sector is a world-wide
phenomenon and although some Sportbike and Cruiser owners may scoff, the
rest of us know that once you've ridden one of those beasts, you're hooked!
Modern technologies, including tires,
suspension, brakes and, of course, engines, have helped make Adventure
Touring or dual-sport bikes hands-down the most versatile motorcycles on the
planet. With so many riders catching the fever, it's no wonder that
"ruggedized" clothing has also become popular. And you just don't get
any more rugged than the Sidi Discover Rain boots.
I was a skeptic at first, having tried other
types of off-road or motocross boots that were too focused for poseur
World Trekkers like me. Let's face it: you have to look the part, but
I'm certainly not about to compromise the fun with a boot that feels like it
was made for Frank N. Stein!
I actually first visited the "Touring On Road"
section of the Motonation website (the U.S. Sidi distributor) to find some
info on the Discovery boots. But the Discovery is listed in the "Off
Road" section, which was an instant warning flag. "Must mean these
things are going to be as stiff as wood", I thought.
The surprise though was to find that the
Discovery boots actually feel more comfy than many of the more touring boots
I've tried, and certainly more comfy than most of the sport/race boots.
Now of course comfort is relative with 2.8 kilos
of boots hanging on my legs, but I have an entire herd of boots here of all
different types to use for my comfort comparison (each of these Discovery
boots in size 44 weighs 1371 grams, or 3.0 lbs.).
Sure, it does take some break-in time to get the
Discovery boots to flex with the lower extremities, but the soft padding,
the easy-to-use buckle system (no zippers!) and the big, wide toes, along
with the surprisingly soft and grippy soles, make these a winner.
Sidi Discovery Rain Boots.
large image of the Discovery Rain boots.
Sidi Discovery Rain Boots
It doesn't matter which model; crack open the box holding any Sidi boot and
the first impression is one of quality.
Sidi pretty much owns the international motorcycle boot market and many
distributors and retailers have told me that one of the reasons is that they
can count on selling a high-quality product without having to worry about
returns and warranty issues.
Sidi boots may cost a bit more, but in the end, it's worth it for a product
that literally takes a pounding. As I think about it, there hasn't
been a single webBikeWorld visitor that I can recall who has ever complained
about a Sidi product, and that's saying something.
The Discovery Rain boots are indicative of that philosophy, and you know you
got your money's worth when you pull these babies out of the box for the
first time. Heavy leather, solid buckles and great styling look the
The Discovery Rain boots are one of 8 different off-road boots in the 2009
Sidi lineup. The Discovery boots are closely related to the Sidi Trial
Zero boots, which are not imported into the U.S.A.. In fact, the
Discovery Rain boots use some of the technologies and features first
developed for Sidi's trials boots, such as the grippy and relatively (for a
motorcycle boot) sole.
In the U.S., the Discovery boot is closely related to the Sidi Charger,
along with the other boots in the Sidi motocross and off-road boot line,
such as the Sidi Crossfire family of three boots and the Sidi Stinger youth
The Discovery doesn't need the fourth buckle it doesn't have because it's
biased slightly towards street or dual-purpose riding, although it
definitely does not compromise the safety and protection offered by this
type of boot.
Adjustable buckle straps are available in different lengths.
Partially open Cam Lock buckle system.
Sidi Discovery Rain Features
It can sometimes be difficult to work into a pair of motocross or off-road
boots, but I'm surprised at how easy it is to climb into these. The
design of the Sidi "Cam Lock" buckles really helps in this regard.
The strap that holds the metal part of the buckle has teeth that allow it to
be adjusted in and out for different calf diameters.
The metal catch on the end of the buckle slides into a heavy rotating
plastic cam on the body of the boot; the plastic material has a natural
lubricity that allows it to rotate around the metal rods on the strap and
pulls everything tight. Different size straps are also available to
accommodate pretty much all calf diameters.
The top of the front flap is secured with Velcro and the boots do not have a
zipper, so all it takes to put on the Discovery boots is to open the
buckles, slide the foot in, tuck in the internal waterproof liner behind the
front leather tongue and snap the buckles shut.
This forms a snug seal while the placement of the three buckles also
provides more flexibility for walking or street riding than would be the
case with the extra buckle on the Sidi dedicated motocross versions of this
The top of the boot has a thick elastic apron to hold off the water and
dirt, and overall the Discovery boots have a healthy shape and generous
footbed, so they should fit a wide variety of calf and leg sizes. The
Discovery boots are available in sizes ranging from 40 (7 US) to 48 (13 US).
The size 44 shown here is labeled as a US size 10, but I almost always take
a 44 motorcycle boot even though I wear 10.5 US street boots. This
Discovery in size 44 fits me perfectly and I very much like the wide and
The size 44 is also labeled as a UK 9.5 and Japanese size 27.5, but all of
the Sidi boots are manufactured to the European size confirmation.
Toe cap, shift pad and replaceable metal toe protector.
Heel protector and reflective material with closed Cam Lock buckle.
The thick leather is slightly stiff but has been breaking in over the last
several uses. It's all double-stitched and the boots also feature a
very rigid heel cup and toe. I believe the toe has a steel cap (the
Sidi website calls it "iron", which I very much doubt!) but I'm not sure; in
any case, the toe and heel are extremely tough, so the Discovery boots also
make a good "Mad Max", post-apocalyptic statement!
The stiffness of the leather is mitigated by a padded and articulated
section in back of the ankle that adds the necessary flexibility for
walking, and indeed the Discovery boots are much more comfortable for doing
so than I imagined.
Granted, these are not the boots I'd choose for a Sunday outing along the
ley lines, but they are more comfortable -- surprisingly so -- than many
other street/race boots I've worn.
Above the articulated section in back of the ankle is some type of vinyl
protector sewn on with double rows. This adds a modicum of protection
and a bit of rigidity also to the back of the calf. The boots also
have a section of reflective material about ankle height that does light up
quite brightly when illuminated.
Around the front, in addition to the folding leather tongue is a heavy
plastic-like flap that holds the top buckle. This acts also as a hard
protector for the shins. It's a very hefty piece, so I can't imagine
much that would get through or wear through it, and it covers a wide area of
Lorica synthetic leather on the outside of the boot that acts as both a wear
point and provides more abrasion protection.
The toe area on each boot includes a thick piece of leather sewn with three
levels of stitching. These sections are the wear protectors for
shifting. The tip of each toe is also protected with a metal section
that folds over the sole and is screwed on in the bottom and nailed to the
sole in the front. These are replaceable wear protectors; indeed, most
of the parts for any Sidi boot are available for sale in case they're
One main difference between the Discovery boots and the Sidi street or race
boots is the lack of an internal ankle protector in the former; the thick
leather must suffice for that task.
Sidi Discovery Rain boot soles.
Close-up of an open Cam Lock buckle.
Front plastic shin protectors hold the top buckle.
Discovery Rain Boots Liner
The liner of the Discovery boots is made from
world's leading footwear lining". Cambrelle was specifically designed
as a lining for boots and shoes of all types, and it's claimed to have
moisture wicking and odor reducing properties.
While the Discovery boots do not have the opening vents of some other Sidi
boots, so far I have been comfortable wearing them in temperatures up to 13
C (55 F) or so.
The footbed is slightly padded and relatively flat, although Motonation says
the Discovery boots have a removable arch support. If it is removable,
I'm not sure how and I haven't found it necessary to try.
The Discovery Rain boots are so named because Sidi says they have a
full-length water resistant and breathable liner. Note that some of
the Sidi marketing material uses the phrases "waterproof" and "water
resistant" interchangeably, and we did not evaluate this claim, so we'll
have to take them on their word.
Sidi also says that the Discovery Rain boots are the only waterproof (or
water resistant) off-road, Adventure Touring type of boots available.
We think that at the very least, some level of water resistance is an
important feature in this type of boot which is designed to be used
off-road, with the possibility of fording rivers or stepping off into the
mud and muck.
I'm a believer -- I didn't think the Discovery Rain boots would be anywhere
near as comfortable as this, but the easy to use buckling system, the
relatively wide and flat footbed and roun-ish toe, along with the Cambrelle
lining have made these a favorite. The soles also help to make these
boots easier to walk in than I'd imagined was possible in an off-road
The thick leather and the height of the
Discovery boots, along with the very robust heel and toe protectors, give a
very protective feeling without being too confining.
The price may seem a bit high but these are
worth every penny and I feel certain that they will provide a lifetime of
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From "G.A." (5/09): "Last week, after reading the review of
these great sounding boots, I went down to my local dealer and took a look.
The Discovery Rain Boots looked great with the quality appearing to be first
rate, but my size was not in stock.
The parts manager agreed to order me a pair with the verbal
agreement that if they did not fit right I could return them in "NEW" condition.
I received the boots a few days later and after taking them home and trying them
on was very disappointed.
For the record, I have very narrow feet, size 13B, with skinny
ankles and calves. The review described the toe box as roomy. I
found the toe box to be confining and had trouble getting the boots past my
ankles as they were that tight. The opening at the base of the buckle area
does not open wide enough for even my B width feet and ankles.
Once on and buckled up, the boots warmed up inside quickly and
this was wearing them indoors. To take the boots off, I had to enlist some
help pulling them back off. And, yes the buckle straps were completely
disconnected so they did not interfere. Suffice to say I was glad the
dealership where I purchased the boots took them back without a restocking fee.
Editor's Reply: Thanks for the feedback, not
sure why you had the problems, mine fit perfectly. Yes, they're hot, but
without vents and with such large boots, I wouldn't expect them to be anything
less. Also, I would think the size 13B would be a problem fitting into
this type of boot and many others, so I guess I'm not surprised they didn't fit