Sidi’s continuing commitment to form, fit and function is well represented in the Sidi Gas Shoe. The Sidi Gas shoes are light and comfortable while providing basic protection for light weight riding activities and as a casual supportive shoe for walking or hiking. Part of the Sidi Design Serie, the Gas Shoes are grouped under the Urban – Free Time market segment. As such they provide, and we quote, “the proper shoe for both urban and suburban motorcycling use, (with a) matching sporty and casual look”.
The Gas shoes in size 46 fit me to the proverbial ‘T’ regarding length, width and overall comfort; which is Sidi products make up a large percentage of my footwear collection. Designed and built to combine features of a larger paddock style boot and a casual walking or hiking shoe, the Sidi Gas shoes are a very good balance between the two styles, although with a bit of a bias towards the lighter side.
Nevertheless, the Sidi Gas shoes do just what they are identified for and do it well, although fitting a new insole seems to make the shoes even better for dismounted use. The Sidi Gas Shoes reflect another aspect of the Sidi brand that is worth exploring.
In owning far too many pairs of on and off-road footwear and in realizing that an aging pair of Ducati paddock boots and an equally aging and well-worn original pair of BMW Sneaker shoes comprised the ‘other’ category, it was time to find something…
But finding something at the height of riding season – locally or on-line, especially in a size 46 became a more prolonged search and somewhat frustrating.
When the search didn’t find me anything in a mid-height vented or paddock-style boot readily available, the decision was made to try something totally different; admittedly that something different was a Sidi product, but not of my usual choosing.
In looking at the lighter weight Sidi offerings, a good look was taken at one of the newer Sidi Design Series or S.D.S. collection products – the Gas Shoe.
S.D.S. is a collection of products designed by Sidi engineering and design teams but produced by ‘outside’ suppliers.
Sidi makes it very clear as to which products are manufactured in its own factories and which products are sourced to the outside suppliers.
This approach is key in making sure the integrity and value of the Sidi brand is maintained while at the same time providing new and interesting products.
And between the S.D.S. collection and Sidi’s statement about what the Gas footwear is meant to be (and by extension not to be) it got my attention and interest and, the shoe was available in the needed size 46.
The main Sidi site identifies three colour schemes – Black and Fluorescent Yellow, Black and Grey with Pink, although most NA resellers only list the first two.
Of the first two, the eye-catching scheme was selected; the keys pushed; and, the order made.
In first pulling the Gas shoes out of the box and slipping them on there is no mistaking these are Sidi products no matter where they are made; Sidi style, Sidi quality and Sidi fit.
Uppers are formed of black suede leather along with breathable nylon mesh sections for decreased weight and overall comfort.
Fluorescent yellow inserts towards the rear, along the sides and for the logos provide high visibility inserts and lots of contrast – they are eye-catching.
The top or upper collar area is cut high with reinforced padded sections over the sensitive side areas while the cutout shaping at the rear allows flexing and arching of the foot; this is one of the biggest differences between the Gas shoes and higher cut paddock footwear.
Lacing loops or tapes with their reflective insert pieces are stitched inside the uppers so that only the laces show once the shoes are done up. A thick padded floating tongue protects the instep and isolates it from the hidden lacing.
Thin rubber coating sections protect the (usual) gear shift areas on both shoes and other potential rub areas on the uppers.
The standard thin but supportive insole is removable while on the outside a dual-coloured rubber outer or outsole features black and grey patterned sections and a special Italian flag detail insert.
Acknowledging my bias towards function over form I admit that the Sidi Gas shoes are a good looking and attention getting pair of shoes on a lightweight frame that provides more support than initially assessed.
They are a balanced cross between a heavier paddock boot and lighter weight walking shoe; something I am sure was intentional.
As part of the Sidi Design Series, the Gas shoes reflect their Italian design heritage and made in China construct.
Overall the shoes are well made, although there are some rough finishing points – like excess bond between the upper and sole and uneven stitching on the uppers.
The mesh inserts and overall use of light-weight materials provides very good breathability (air flow) for the foot; they aren’t meant to be and won’t be water resistant, or very warm in cooler temperatures.
Despite being designed as a light weight shoe for both riding and walking, Sidi made sure key requirements were addressed.
The sides extend to just above the ankle and enhanced support inserts make sure these sensitive areas are well protected without overly restriction motion; good for both commuting or short ride excursions and dismounted activities.
Long round uncoated laces in fluorescent yellow and a sturdy cross strap with Velcro fasteners keep the foot secure and offer further ankle support.
And speaking of securing the shoes, the biggest detraction of the Gas shoes are the cross straps that fit through narrow wire buckles on the inner sides then loop back to secure with the Velcro tabs.
The cross straps do provide more ankle support and keep the laces from flopping around, but the brushed and Velcro-fitted straps stick to everything, especially the unfinished (non-waxed or coated) laces.
One needs to arrive at a reasonable process for doing everything up and out of the way; getting the shoes secured can be far more onerous than it should be…
A solution for the laces was found in using an equally long round waxed lace which serves to minimize the contention between laces and strap identified above; getting the shoes secured is far easier…little things can count.
With the shoes done up and the laces neatly tucked under the in-place cross straps the Gas shoes provide a clean, comfortable and distinctive appearance.
For on motorcycle use the thin rubber layers over the shift pad areas on both shoes serve to minimize wear and protect the suede finish, although the rubber inserts could be a bit wider to accommodate foot-peg positioning and shifters.
The shaped rubber soles provide good support and grip on and off the motorcycle and are attractively styled with two-tone detailing and a special outer edge insert showing the three colours of the Italian flag – nice.
Lightweight design and construction can sometimes intrude on overall support though and this is pretty much the case for the Sidi Gas shoes…
After replacing the thin Sidi inserts with an equally thin pair of Gel-based inserts (which is about the only change I make in wearing any of the newer Sidi footwear), my confidence and ability to wear the shoes for most of a day is restored.
Changing the insoles can improve foot comfort and increase their wear-ability, but I’ve had to accept that the Gas shoes don’t (can’t) provide the overall support and protection needed for day-in, day-out prolonged use on or off the motorcycle; they are what they are.
Lightweight, well made, durable
Not optimal footwear for riding
Excellent fit and feel from day one
Piping could be distractive to some
Svelte finish and bright piping accents
Cross strap & laces are finicky to use
Great shoes for pack n travel purposes
Great value for the investment
The Sidi Gas shoes look and function like a good pair of stylish, lightweight casual footwear and fit the bill for light duty riding activities.
And in being a great shoe for short term commuting, they also make great secondary pack-and-travel footwear, just right for pulling on at the end of the travel day or when walking excursions are planned.
They will undoubtedly get used for extended riding activities by some riders…so just remember that they aren’t meant to provide the same support and protection found in sturdier riding footgear.
No matter what they get used for, the user will know they are wearing Sidi footwear, with great styling, good highlights and very good quality.
With the thin stock insoles swapped out for an equally thin set of gel-based or even a thicker sports insole, prolonged walking and hiking activities should be comfortably accomplished with the Gas shoes.
The Gas shoes aren’t the lightest, or the heaviest footwear marketed under Sidi’s Urban – Free Time category, but they do make for an interesting product from the Sidi Design Series activity.
If looking for an attractive well-made lightweight casual walking-style shoe that can handle some riding duties, the Gas shoes are worth a look. More wBW Motorcycle Boot Reviews