The SIDI Rex boots not only provide what is arguably the best protection available to a rider but they also offer a level of comfort that is astounding. With this design, SIDI was able to seamlessly merge superior comfort and function when creating the Rex without creating a cumbersome feel.
In all honesty, I was wondering if I had requested something that was going to be far beyond my level of appreciation for riding footwear. I had researched the SIDI line for a best-of article and was super impressed by the Tecno-3 Push Closure System and the ability to replace many parts of the boot that could get damaged in its intended use case. But I wondered if I was going to end up riding around in a very rigid and restrictive boot.
I thought that might just be the price that professional riders were willing to pay; sort of a privilege tax for the opportunity to go screaming around a Moto-GP track. But that level of protection would suck the joy out of my mundane rides on speed-controlled roads. I could not have been more wrong. These boots even make a ride in rush hour traffic more enjoyable and safer.
Though the boots look intimidating, they are amazingly intuitive. I was prepared to open up a few documents that were emailed to me in the privacy of my own office so that no one would know that I needed instructions on how to put on my new Italian boots.
But within five minutes of tearing open the box, I had looked them over and eagerly put them on just for a test fit. I was really, really happy that the size 8.5 US was a perfect fit and that the boots felt great.
Walking in the Rex is a little different than other riding boots due to the protection around the ankle and lower leg as well as the unique shape of the heel. But it all made sense when I got the rest of my gear on and took off for my first ride wearing the SIDI Rex boots.
The rear portion of the heel is angled. It allows you to hit the ground and roll your foot forward onto your toes when coming to a stop or if you are doing some crazy aggressive cornering.
The ankle support system also comes into play to provide a feeling of security and stability that you just don’t get in a lesser boot. The final piece of that stability comes from the dual compound sole that offers great grip but also a refined touch on the pegs.
I have the habit of riding with my feet hanging on the pegs by the heels and then popping them back up on the pegs if I need to drastically change my riding position or elevate slightly for a big bump in the road.
In the past, I have had to pay attention to how my feet hit the pegs and sometimes reposition before continuing on with the rest of my intended movement. But that never happened with the Rex boots.
The shape of the boot and the upper kept my foot and ankle in the perfect position and the sole provided a great sense of touch as it came into contact with the pegs. I was really blown away by how well designed these boots are and how quickly I could jump into them and feel an improvement in my riding and in my level of enjoyment of the ride.
The SIDI Rex boots sell for $545 USD on Revzilla. That does put them at the top of the price range for the track and race boots that Revzilla sells. But riders need to understand that a top quality boot is going to carry a higher price tag. Even with a price of over $500 USD, the SIDI Rex boots are priced fairly for the comfort and protection that they provide.
Fit & Comfort
I would be happy to never wear anything but sneakers and flip flops for the rest of my life when I am not on a bike. So the hard structure of most riding boots was not going to work for me. They reminded me of old time ice skates.
But I was always under the impression that a riding boot needed to be hard and somewhat unforgiving to really provide great foot and ankle protection. However, that was before I wore the SIDI Rex. I now have an entirely different view of what a great riding boot needs to do and offer riders.
Sliding the boots on, you feel the rigidity of upper thanks to the ankle support brace. But your foot slides on into the foot portion and you feel the entire boot conform to your foot and lower leg. The footbed is very comfortable and the sizing was right on the money for me. An 8.5 is what I always wear and the length and width are perfect.
What really shocked me was the level of comfort and plushness of these boots. But that was with the closures all loosened enough for my foot to slide in. I was sure that the honeymoon was going to end as soon as I began the process of tightening the three TECNO-3 rotors.
I started at the instep and was happy to find that the foot portion snugged down very well and was still comfortable with no tight or overly abrasive areas. However, I still thought that there was no way that I would tighten up the ankle and shin portion of the boot without feeling some discomfort and rigidity from the brace system. That pressure and discomfort of the brace digging into my ankle and leg are what would tell me that I had the ultimate support and protection.
As I tightened the ankle closure, I actually recall thinking to myself, “Hmmm, that fits great and is comfortable.” As I snugged it to an appropriate tension. And with the final click of the shin closure, I was ready to jump up and test the stability of the Rex boots.
I was certain that I had not gotten them snug enough to provide really sound support and stability. But only because they still felt as comfortable as my old favorite boots.
My first few steps were a bit timid, like a child just learning to walk as I wanted to take in the full experience. I tried to step just on the outer edge of the sole and twist my foot and ankle but there was just no way to take a “bad” step in these boots.
Even when I tried to misstep, the brace never cut into my foot or ankle in any way. The hinge at the ankle allows for relatively normal walking motions. I really was blown away by the comfort and protection that the Rex has to offer.
The Closure System
The SIDI TECNO-3 PUSH closure system looks a little complex at first glance and might appear to be taking a simple thing like a boot closure and making it more difficult than it needs to be. But appearances are not always correct. And to be honest, these closures were the first thing that I played with once I had a single boot out of the box.
What the most awesome thing about this system is that it is very, very intuitive. I am terminally old school with some things and bike gear can be one of those categories. I remember thinking that Velcro was not going to stick around in the gear world because we already had snaps and vipers. But clearly, and thankfully, better minds than mine saw the potential and refined these innovations.
The SIDI TECHNO-3 system is very self-explanatory. There is a single red push button on the center of each dial, and SIDI knows that we are prewired to just push a red button first, no matter what else we see.
This instinct is rewarded with an arm that pops up to allow the rider to tighten the closure and the boot. The ankle and shin closures are designed to pull the steel cable from the center so that the Res will tighten in perfect balance on the inner and outer sides.
This is a great feature that I never even really thought about until I put the Rex boots on. It was just so easy to not have to think about pulling in a nice smooth uniform manner on laces or being willing to accept the almost custom fit that comes from a ratcheting strap closure.
Again, I didn’t know what I didn’t know until SIDI showed me.
Now I am pretty sure that I have become a boot snob and I will have a level of expectation that very few boots, riding or otherwise, are going to be able to live up to. The closure at the instep pulls from one side as you would expect and again allows the rider to get a totally custom fit each time, regardless of sock thickness or the shape of the foot. I really feel somewhat spoiled wearing these boots.
The ankle support/stabilizer brace looks massive when you first examine the Rex boots. The internal and external pivot points not only provide great support and range of motion but they also serve as some added impact protection on the very delicate bones of the ankle, lower leg, and foot.
The integrated vents in the brace add to the comfort in hot conditions. The lush padding at the rear of the leg covers the Achilles protection and provides a soft but very rigid surface.
The heel and toe also have impeccable protection from the nylon reinforced external armor. Just from looking at the SIDI Rex boots, I was sure that I could kick a cinder block wall and never cause any injury to my feet.
A huge part of that confidence comes from the Cambrelle lining and the added padding inside the boots, as well as the nylon inner sole and removable arch support pad. Your foot and lower leg are really wrapped or encased in multiple layers to provide both unbeatable protection and comfort.
I will admit that the SIDI Rex boots are a bit of an investment for some riders, but they are definitely going to reward your investment with unequaled safety and comfort. Knowing that these boots are designed to that the beating that your feet and legs cannot survive, it makes sense to think that there could be some serious damage to the boots if you are involved in a crash.
Being purpose-built to take abuse, SIDI has designed the majority of the protective gear and the closure systems to be replaceable.
You will notice well over a dozen screws on each SIDI Rex boot. This allows riders to replace the bolt on protection and closures as needed, making it far easier to justify the cost of the Rex boots.
SIDI provides a 30 plus page document online that takes riders through a step by step process to replace any damaged bolt-ons with nothing more than a screwdriver and a replacement part needed.
I have logged several hundred miles on the Side Rex boots now and am discovering more that I like about the boots each time that I wear them.
I have been out on a couple of longer rides in warm weather, about 90 degrees, and found them to be super comfortable from a temperature perspective. The toe and ankle vents allow for enough airflow to complement the wicking property of the Cambrelle lining. My feet were actually less moist wearing these boots than in years past wearing other boots in 90ish temps.
The proprietary Technomicro material used to construct the upper feels somewhat rigid when you touch it but has conformed nicely to my foot and the motion of my gate and riding position. My boots are developing an ever so slight crease and I can only imagine that they will continue to become even a bit more flexible when I walk in them. But from day one, these boots have been amazingly comfortable to ride in and even to walk in.
With a certain level of comfort and confidence built up after some great rides, I decided that it was time to try to beat the ankle brace if I could. I tried odd foot placement on steps going up and down and was not able to twist or roll my ankle at all. I also stood with my foot sideways on a rolling curb and was unable to twist or roll my ankle. Between the support of the ankle brace and the grip of the sole, my foot remained planted even at an odd 30 to 40-degree angle.
My conclusion is that there is certain to be a point of failure for these boots as nothing is impervious, but that point is far beyond the point of failure for other riding boots. I am convinced that anything short of a catastrophic wreck will not cause a failure of the SIDI Rex boots or allow for an injury to a riders foot, ankle or lower leg when wearing the Rex boots.
To date, these are my favorite piece of gear that I have tested and also the one piece of gear that most shocked and impressed me with the unbelievable blend of comfort and protection.
I had great expectations for my first pair of SIDI boots, and I was never disappointed. To be honest, the SIDI Rex boots taught me a great many unexpected lessons. I never believed that such comfort would be possible in a boot that offered amazing protection, but SIDI proved that it can be done.
Also, you get what you pay for. If you want the best track and racing style boot, then you gladly pay the price and purchase the SIDI Rex boots. It is an investment in your own safety and protection.
In addition, when this quality piece of gear does its job and fends of impact, almost any damaged part can easily be replaced. This is just another value that SIDI provides to its loyal customers.
The SIDI Rex boots are now the bar that I will use to measure most riding boots. The value of a quality piece of gear should not be determined by its price but by its functionality. And it is that functionality that will then justify the cost of the item.
Prior to my hands-on test of the SIDI Rex boots, I thought that the price might be a little bit too high. But after just a few hundred miles in the Rex boots, I know that I would be willing to pay quite a bit more if I had to, in order to get this quality and comfort.
Don’t forget to check out the other great gear worn in this picture: