Review of the Sidi Fusion Lei Women's Motorcycle Boots
- MSRP $215.00
- Size Euro 37 (US 7)-42
- Color: Black
- Built around a women's specific foot mold.
- Features a unique graphic appliqué to set the boot apart from the men’s version.
- Lorica outer construction (synthetic leather, vegan!).
- Perforated Teflon treated nylon lining.
- Rear calf protection panel.
- Replaceable nylon toe scuff pad.
- Internal inner and outer ankle protective caps.
- Composite inner sole.
- Removable arch support.
- Double stitched in all high stress areas.
- An elastic panel adjacent to the entry zipper allows a bind free zip and improved fit.
- Nylon shin deflector plate.
- Fully encapsulated heel cup.
- Zipper and Velcro closure system.
- Dual compound sole.
- DuPont polymer toe shift pad.
- Sample provided by Motonation for review
- Review Date: January 2012
I was super excited to try these out when MotoNation offered to send me a pair. I've never worn Sidis, nor any street boot. I've always relied on my sport touring boots to get me through everyday riding, twisties, touring, even my first track day. Lucky for me I've never been in a serious accident, and have only been involved in 2 minor ones, and a few bike drops which my Daytonas have always saved me from. I was also curious as to what kind of impact they would have on my riding techniques.
I've often been told by customers how much they LOVE their Sidis; "they're the best boots I've ever worn", "I love my Sidis!" "they're awesome". The love for this brand is definitely out there. They came with a great reputation, so I was very hopeful they would live up to it.
These, like all of the boots Sidi makes are constructed of Lorica, a synthetic leather. Yep, that's right, a vegan motorcycle boot. I know what you're thinking, those two words rarely go together. But, there are motorcyclists out there that have issues with wearing animal based products. So if you're one of those people, you're in luck!
Unfortunately, these aren't a winter boot. They're perfect for spring/summer/fall when the temperatures are still nice enough to ride without having to gear up in your warmest winter textiles. They'd be fine in a light rain or sprinkle, but if you wear them in a downpour, don't be surprised if they start to leak as they're not built with a waterproof membrane. They were also a little too cold at low 50 degree temps and feel much lighter and thinner than my other boots and just don't have anything to help insulate.
As you can see, these are reinforced in a variety of places including the toes, heels, shins and ankles. This kind of protection isn't just for racing, but any possible accident where your feet are vulnerable to being crushed.The toe sliders are for protecting the boot during high lean angle situations, where the outer edge of the toe may drag along the pavement; wearing the slider down instead of wearing a hole in the front of the boot. Although they may also help in the event of a crash as well.
Yes, it's possible to slide going less than 50mph. You can't feel these reinforcements on the inside, except right above the toes. It just feels a bit rigid and flat. The stretch panels on the front of the ankle and above the back of the heel also allow for greater flexibility and movement.
The toe sliders are also replaceable (see the 2 screws). Luckily, I have not had to crash test these, so I'm not sure how well they'll hold up. Since they're screwed on, it's more than likely that you'd just wear down the slider in the event of an accident.
I must admit, I like the subtle girly design on the sides. They're not pink (THANK YOU MotoNation for telling Sidi) but they add a nice bit of detail so they stand out, but not too much. The reinforced toeshifters have a texture to them, which I've never noticed while shifting. This little pattern is featured on all of their street boots. They've also added some reflective dots on the back which are helpful especially for drivers behind you.
The soles also feel nice and grippy. Since I can only really use my left foot while wearing these, I rely heavily on the ball of my foot. (these photos are from the first day I got them, so soles aren't worn yet) I feel stable and confident and hardly worry about dropping my bike (well, far less than I normally do anyway). I was worried that since they feel so light and thin that they wouldn't be as grippy as my Daytonas, but I've had no problems with moving or parking, or maneuvering on different surfaces.
Fit / Break In
The first time I put these on, I thought to myself, "How am I going to ride in these?. These are the most uncomfortable pair of boots I've ever worn on a motorcycle." Good thing I was wrong about that. I actually spent over 6 hours on my feet working in them (walking around on concrete floors) and didn't have trouble until hour 4-5. One trick that MotoNation told me about was unzipping the boot but leaving the velcro closed to allow for more freedom of movement. I tried that the next time I had to work and it definitely helped improve the level of comfort. Although the soles are thinner than a sport touring boot, it never felt uncomfortable. I was completely surprised by this, as they only have a thin, removable insole which could be swapped out for a better insert.
They are definitely designed and articulated for a forward / sportbike riding position. This was immediately noticeable as soon as I put them on. If you've ever worn a ski boot before, as soon as you put them on, your knees are bent forward for slope style! It was a similar fit and feel, as my knees bent slightly and I felt the urge to swoosh.
Ok, not swoosh but jump on my SV and hit the twisties. My knees were ready for a crouched riding position, up high and hugging the tank. Perfect for a nice long twisty road. But, I live in San Francisco. Lots of stop signs, traffic lights, more stop signs. Not that this is a bad thing, but since I ride around the city a lot, it made for a very uncomfortable break in.
When my feet are on the pegs, they feel grounded and stable. I typically ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs and my heels right up against the frame. The Fusions immediately put me in a trackday frame of mind and reminded me constantly where my foot position should be. I was worried my feet might slide around a bit on the pegs, but not at all. In fact, they felt right at home with the balls of my feet sitting perfectly on the footpeg.
My seat height is almost 31". What made these difficult initially, is how far over to the left I had to reach to put my foot down. I'm practically pointing my toes downward, like a ballerina and it was rather painful since they hadn't stretched out yet. I just had to remind myself to get all the way over to the left and slide my butt off the seat to get my foot as flat as possible. It probably took a good 100 miles before these loosened up in that respect. But my right foot does become essentially useless, as I can only point downward enough to get my tiptoe on the pavement. I typically park using my left foot, walk the bike or just tiptoe wherever needed.
It was also really snug trying to get my foot in and out of the boot, even with it zipped all the way down. I had to make a real effort to get my foot in there. I also have a fairly high arch, so this wasn't helping. But that eventually stretched out too. In fact, these boots stretched out even more than I thought they would. They not only made the in and out easier, but they also stretched enough for it to become easier to put my left foot down, to where I didn't have to slide off the seat as much. I'm also wearing rather thin microwool socks, since there's not a lot of room for a thicker sock.
I also felt noticeable pressure right onto my toes above the toeshifters. And I can still feel that a little bit when I wear them, but as soon as I start walking around, the boots open up a bit to make them more comfortable. I do wish they were a tad wider, even though my feet are of average width, according to the measuring guide below (I came out to be 3.1875 at a size 6.5, which is about right since I tend to wear 6.5 or 7 depending on the width of the shoe). As you can see, the box says that a Euro 37 is a US 4.5. In mens, but not women's! They're more like a 6.5.
They're borderline too narrow for me, but I feel like they're not done stretching out yet. I'd estimate that I've ridden at least 500 miles in these. My friend Brian assures me that they'll probably stretch out even more. Generally, boots will stretch in width but never in length.
What you'll also notice is the 3/4 length zipper which allows for plenty of room for different calf sizes. Boots that have a zipper that falls short of the top will give you more space to wear with different socks or skinny jeans. I can't quite get my Dainese pants in these (which are tapered at the bottom), so I've worn them over, which is typical for Dainese. I can easily wear my REV'IT Gear pants or a pair of jeans over them, which have a bootcut leg without a problem.
Overall, I think these are a great street boot, and I'd wear them everyday if I had a slightly lower bike. They're hard to beat in terms of comfort, over a sport touring boot, so if you're looking for maximum comfort for traveling, commuting or working, I couldn't recommend these.
But if you're looking for something that's perfect for weekend rides/twisties, a short ride here and there or even your first track day, these are a great option. If you're making the transition from a sport touring boot, remember that these will break in and become more comfortable as time goes on so don't give up on them too soon.
Note: These fit snugger overall than the Vertigo Leis