Having put all-out touring on hold for a while, I was left looking for a boot that was sportyish, waterproof, comfortable and protective, but without it looking like the previous owner was a gent called Robocop.
The new Sidi Performer Gore-Tex boot ticked these boxes quite nicely so I added them to my review stable.
The synthetic leather uppers are reinforced with a shaped and fixed shin plate, metatarsal protection and both internal and external ankle pads (with air channels) and plastic toe-sliders.
The boots have a smooth-finished heel cup, which allows you to sit with them tight to the bike’s heelplates, while a dual-compound sole and plastic shift pad look after other contact areas with the bike.
Air circulation is provided by air channels that sit low in the shin plate, with an exhaust exiting via a meshed outlet in the calf area.
Waterproofing and breathability are taken care of by the Gore-Tex membrane and the Performers rely on the time-honoured zip and Velcro closure system.
A mesh material looks after the comfort side of things on the inside, and a removable arch support is supplied with the boots (though this isn’t something I’ve required).
Photography: WILL BRODIE
A stretch accordion panel at the junction of ankle and foot works well at aiding flexibility on the bike, and the integrated gearchange protectors are both robust and properly located to stop the gearlever wearing the leather upper.
As with each pair of Sidi boots I’ve owned, I found that one size above my standard fit was the way to go with the Performers.
A revelation with these boots is that they appear to offer a slightly wider and more comfortable fit than is the norm for Sidi, which are historically on the narrow side.
The extended heatwave through the summer of 2018 has not given the boots much in the way of wet weather action (yet!), but the odd couple of heavy sessions I’ve ridden through have seen the boots remain dry and leak-free.
As with all Sidi boots, they provide excellent feel and manoeuvrability on the bike, with the almost shoe-like proportions of the toe box allowing great feel and movement around the brake and gear levers.
The Gore-Tex lining has been a particular eye-opener with these boots. Having been out on extended rides in temperatures up to 32°C, not once did I become uncomfortable in the heat, so it’s clear that works properly.
This was further emphasised one summer’s evening when I turned up for my local martial art class only to find I’d left my training shoes at home. Yup, I spent the evening wearing my Sidi boots and can honestly say they remained comfortable and not too hot. However, this did not prevent me from looking like a Cossack dancer’s dad (without the ability, sadly).
These boots look great, have an excellent standard of build quality and are surprisingly comfortable. I say it’s surprising as my previous experience with Sidi is that they feel lovely on the bike, but have quite a narrow fit and are not the best things to walk in for any distance.
These boots genuinely tick all my boxes, with my only gripe being that the zip/Velcro closure does not pull in tight enough for those of us with sparrow’s calves. For that you need something like Sidi’s Mag 1 boot instead.
However, for a Gore-Tex boot from a top brand, the Performers are light, comfortable and offer excellent value for money.
Fit & Comfort
I usually take a UK size 9 but had to go with a size 10 for a good fit in the Performers. They’re very comfortable from the word go, though they could do with offering a tad more adjustment at the calf for the skinnier peeps.
The boots offer a good level of protection without having excessive armour sticking out everywhere. They meet the highest level of approval in all three tests that constitute the CE standard.
The Sahara-liked conditions in the UK in summer 2018 robbed us of most of our fun in the rain, but they’ve handled all that’s been thrown at them so far.
Sidi build quality is based on decades of experience. Great looking, comfortable, top-end construction standard.
Apart from restrictive ankle bracing, the Performers make a clean sweep of potential features.