Summary: The Sidi Doha boots are
very comfortable and good-looking.
While they may not be equipped with the ultimate
in protective features and they're not waterproof, they are a good choice
for casual motorcycling.
Editor's Note: These boots
were purchased from New
Enough through their matching donations program by webBikeWorld
I was asked to do the evaluation of the Sidi Vertigo Lei boots, which will
be coming soon, I promise!
But in the meantime, I had this nearly finished article on the
Sidi Doha boots almost ready to go, so I talked to the Editor and we decided
to insert it into this 3-part series and make it a foursome.
I'm a little embarrassed about this, because I
was asked to review the Sidi Doha boots several months ago, in the Fall of
2008. I was so busy wearing them that I never did get around to
writing the evaluation, and then the winter set in and put a halt to any
But now it's Spring again, and I pulled the Doha
boots out of the closet and I'm reminded of two things again: how
nice these boots are and that I definitely have to finish this
Many of you may already know
about the Doha boots because they have been around for probably over a year
as of this date. During that time, they have become very popular and with good
The Doha boots are very comfortable and very good-looking
and while they certainly are made for motorcycle riding, they really don't
look like it. So you can wear them into a store or casual dining and
no one will ever know their true secret.
Also, I have read the comments in several of the
webBikeWorld motorcycle boot reviews, and some riders are interested in
motorcycle boots that are also comfortable for walking. Most
motorcycle boots are simply not designed for walking -- the emphasis is on
protection, which means stiff leather and armor.
But the Sidi Doha boots are sort of tilted the
other way I think; they are comfortable and fairly easy to use for walking
(although remember that they are motorcycle boots, not hiking boots!).
But while they do have some protective features,
they're obviously not in the same league as the Sidi Vertigo Lei, for
he end result though is a boot that is probably better
suited for motorcycling than any street boot you can buy, and surely better
Sidi Doha Boots Sizing
I realize that many webBikeWorld readers are men, and I bet you didn't know
that the Doha boots are, well, "unisex"!
That word probably frightens many males, I think
-- but don't worry, because Sidi probably did not have the word in mind when
they designed the Doha boot and I've never seen them use that word in any of
I am using it though because if you look at the
Sidi sizing chart for the Doha boots (and many of their other boots), you'll
see that they come in a very extended size range. By "extended", I
mean that the Doha boots start
at size 38 Euro, which is a tiny 5.5 U.S. size equivalent, and they go all
the way up to size 48, which is a size 13 U.S.!
Having a motorcycle boot style
available in all those sizes means that the Doha boots can just as easily be
worn by women as men, and I think they are a good choice either way.
They work for riding or or as a passenger.
This size range should fit just about the
majority of the motorcycle riding population, male or female, and even
children. I recently read
article about shoe sizes that said that both men's and women's shoe
sizes were continuously increasing; believe it or not, it says that in the
early 1900's, the average women's an unbelievably tiny 3.5 to 4.0!
And men's shoe sizes have increased from an
average of 6.0 at the time of the American Revolutionary War to a current
9.5, according to the U.S. Army, who has been keeping records for that long.
So the size 41's (7.5) shown here are actually
considered small from a woman's point of view. But when I looked at all of the Doha boots in the store, they are
otherwise identical. There is no specific women's version, so don't
worry guys -- just keep thinking it's a man's boot that coincidentally fits
The sizing based on my pair seems to be fine, I
have no problems although my feet are a bit narrow so I'm not sure about
sizing for those with wider than normal feet.
Styling and Features
I think the photo above most nearly demonstrates the color of the Sidi Doha
boots. They are what I would call charcoal black on top -- not quite
pure black, that is -- and the soles are dark gray. The reason I
mention this is that we noticed in the photos that depending upon the
lighting, the boots seem to change color, or shade, to be more correct.
As you can see in the other photos, the boots really do look like something
hybrid between "cross terrain" hiking boots and motorcycle boots. But I
think most non-riders will not know they are made for motorcycling.
I'm not sure whether that is important to you or not, but I thought I'd
Everyone who has seen these -- both men and women -- really like the looks
of them. They're not too futuristic looking, as some boots can be, but
they have enough style to make them look modern.
leather is suede on top, which, I have to admit, can be hard to keep tidy.
I have a little brush I use to keep off the dirt and dust.
I have also noticed that the shift pad has gotten worn since these photos
were taken last fall. What happens is that the suede starts to get a
shiny look to it as the "nap" wears down.
This doesn't affect the boots at all, just something to realize.
The boots are double-stitched around most of the leather sections, and there
is a mesh panel along the inside that does allow fresh air to enter.
This can be felt especially when riding in cooler weather, so the Doha boots
I think are actually a good summer or hot weather boot and not really
designed for winter use.
They are also not waterproof at all but I thought I should mention it.
The suede can be brushed
after it gets wet to bring it back to normal, which the nature of suede.
Now that I think of it, I should have bought a can of that special spray
that is designed for suede. I should have used it
back when the boots were new, it coats the suede and helps make it both
waterproof and more resistant to dirt. So if you buy
a pair of Doha boots, I'd suggest that you pay a visit to your local shoe
store and buy a can.
The Doha boots have a hard-feeling reinforced toe and heel cup. The boots also have the special Sidi inner sole that
resists side-to-side compression. Both the heel and toe caps and the
reinforced sole are an important part of the protective or safety features,
and they are what "makes a motorcycle boot a motorcycle boot" and not a
But these protective heel and toe caps are not as big or obvious
as they are on pure motorcycle racing boots like the Sidi Vertigo Lei.
The less obvious design helps make the Doha boots look good on the
street, and surely not everyone wants to wear big clunky (and hard to walk
in) race boots on every ride.
The Doha boots do not have hard ankle cups under the leather on either side,
which was a bit of a surprise to me, because other riding boots I have that
are similar do have ankle protectors.
The only ankle protection in the Doha boots is the
extra leather patch on the inside, and the rubber Sidi logo on the outside.
I kind of wish they would have put a hard plastic ankle protector at least
under the outside ankle.
The boots are hiking-boot tall, and a leather strap across the top helps
protect the laces where they are tied so that they don't get caught on the
shifter or brake. The tops of the boots are cut downwards in the rear,
which helps make them comfortable for walking.
Sidi Doha Boots - Studio Photos Slide Show (Flash)
Soles, Riding and Walking
The soles provide a good amount of grip, and the big heel in the back that turns
upwards that you can see in the photos may also provide some
The bottom of the soles does not have a cutout or a heel, which makes it
easy to slide my feet around on the pegs if I need to, which is good.
But although I said the Doha boots are good for walking, remember that the
are motorcycle boots and not hiking boots. The sole does feel stiff
and although the boots are comfortable, there isn't a lot of padding inside.
So they are much better for walking than big racing style boots but not like
One thing I must mention is that this pair of boots is made very well and
everything looks good except for one feature. The leather around the
top of the laces on either side looks like it wasn't long enough to cover
the padding in between the layers of suede and the lining.
So you can see in the photos above that the foam liner material is sticking
out. This doesn't seem to have any affect on the performance, and it
is mostly hidden with the strap is placed over the top, but it does seem
like something is missing and the quality on this pair isn't quite what it
should be -- these boots have a retail price of $170.00, which is a bit on
the expensive side.
So I'm not sure if it is just this pair or not -- I didn't look for this on
other Doha boots in the store when I was there. Sidi normally has a
very good reputation for quality, so it is surprising that this pair passed
through the inspection!
The Doha boots have a very thin strip of reflective material in the rear,
just about at ankle height. I'm not sure this will do very much, as it
becomes mostly hidden under the pants.
Also, one feature I forgot to mention is that the lower laces on these boots
have leather covers over the holes. You can see this in the photos,
this helps keep the laces from catching on anything on the bike. The
design of the boots and the strap across the front also makes it easy to
slip on a pair of over-pants when wearing the boots.
The Sidi Doha boots are nice looking, comfortable and are perfect for anyone
not wanting the big "moon boot" look. They're comfortable also for
casual riding and for riding a scooter or even touring.
They're also good in warmer weather, or at least
better than a heavy pair of all leather boots. The mesh on the side
does help give some ventilation to the Doha boots. I wear mine often
and I really like them and I can highly recommend these boots for just about
any type of riding.
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "B" (4/09): "I would think that using the term,
"Casual Motorcyclist" kinda defeats the purpose of educating the riding
public the importance of wearing proper gear... ALL THE TIME.
It's the casual motorcyclist who usually ends up in a
mangled wreck under or along side his ride. The weekend warrior is the
one who should examine their riding patterns and gear up to the fullest
extent possible. One, on the weekend the roads are more crowded.
Two, a person who only rides occasionally, as opposed to one
who rides year around, will probably be less experienced and more prone to
tip-overs and accidents. Proper boots along with a helmet should be
the very minimum protection. Ankles don't always heal back properly,
and very slowly.
We have a saying around the shop... "If it's too much of a
hassle to gear up then it's too short to ride." That kinda reminds us,
that taking a jaunt down the to corner store could be handled with other
means of transportation. I've seen it over and over again... "I always
wear my gear/jacket (etc.) but I was just going down the street to get
milk..." BAM. ATGATT = 'All The Gear, All The Time'"
Editor's Reply: Thanks for the feedback.
While I agree in theory, the reality is that way too many weekend riders
wear nothing but T-shirts and sneakers, so in the spirit of "anything is
100% better than nothing", many would probably be better off with the Sidi
Doha boots because they look more like "normal" boots.
Many riders and I'd bet many "casual" riders don't like the
looks of, and won't spend money on more protective boots or race boots.
You and I (and most webBikeWorlders) are experienced riders
and never leave home without full kit. Unfortunately, we're in the
From "A.R." (4/09): "I love these shoes. While I
have other boots from Sidi (Vertigo, Strada), I wear these as my everyday
shoe to have at least some protection on my feet for those "I am just
running to the store" rides that tempt many of us to push our luck on the
I have managed a low-speed "gear test" with these on in
which a fair bit of the bike's weight ended up on my foot. The result
was a very happy foot with no damage to to the Doha. I don't know how
they would come out in a high- speed crash.
I also like them for jumping on my wife's Vespa without
looking like a complete tool wearing Vertigos."
From "G.M." (4/09): "We have two firsts
with this review: This is the first time you have reviewed an item I already
"own", and this is the first review with which I completely disagree.
Living in Hot-lanta, I am always looking for cooler options
for my protective gear. I have been looking for a summer boot that
would be cooler than my Alpinestars Ridge Waterproof boots, which I really
like, but these boots ain't made for walking.
About a year ago, I purchased a pair of the Dohas. I
did not realize that the Doha's are unisex boots, "not that there's anything
WRONG with that". Sure, after wearing them I got a little irritable
every 28 days, but that alone would not have stopped me (credit of blame for
that joke goes to Bill Cosby and his "Midol" routine of 100 years ago).
First off, the boot did not appear to be sized properly.
I wear a 10.5 "American" sizing, and the Doha 10.5 was either the wrong
size, or just very, very uncomfortable. I returned them for a pair of
11's, but the problems were not solved.
They Dohas were sold with the claim they had "ankle
protection", which they certainly do not. The round swirly looking
disc shaped items on the outside of the shoe is located an inch or more
below the projection we call our "ankle bone" [The 14 ankle bones are the
talus, calcaneus (heel bone), navicular, cuboid, internal cuneiform, middle
cuneiform, and external cuneiform on each side - who knew?].
Those circular patches are for looks, not for protection.
In addition, since I wanted these shoe style boots so I
could walk around when I arrived at my destination, the shoes needed to be
comfortable, and they were not. In fact, these were the most
uncomfortable shoes I ever put on my feet. As the author pointed out,
they have no cushioning inside, the inside of the shoe is a cavern waiting
to abrade your tootsies. My feet moved around inside the shoes, both
pair, and a little bit of walking went a long way toward foot abrasion and
In addition, the leather of the shoe exterior was the most
unyielding material I have ever encountered in a pair of shoes. It
felt like I has put on a pair of hard plastic shoes. They gave me no
hint that they would ever break in, without first shearing off my ankle
bones (ibid), and foot flesh.
I returned the shoes, received a full refund, and my search
for dual purpose riding shoes continues. Just today, in fact, New
Enough (a GREAT retailer with SUPER service) sent me an ad for Icon Tarmac
vented boots, and it looks like they might be the end of my quest."