Motorcycle boot purveyor, Sidi, continues to expand its product lineup and now offers no less than five half-boot options. The collection ranges from roadrace-inspired footwear to sneaker-esque riding shoes that are adorned with just enough support to provide some peace of mind during around-town jaunts. The New York falls on the latter, less-armored side of the collection, but looks to offer multiple benefits for riders eager to avoid shoe swaps once they reach their destination.
The New York’s simple design is what initially caught our attention; many manufacturers supplant functional features with unique patterns and wild hues when designing a multipurpose riding shoe, but Sidi has taken a more tasteful approach with its new Sidi Design Series shoe. The New York makes minimal compromises in terms of safety too, and offers ankle ball protection in addition to double stitching in high stress areas. There’s a significant amount of padding around the ankle, as well mesh panels for increased airflow across the wearer’s foot. What’s more, the non-slip rubber sole feels tauter than the sole of other riding shoes we’ve recently had our hands on. Surprisingly, the torsional strength comes despite the shoe being devoid of reinforcement pieces down low. The attention to detail doesn’t end there, as Sidi’s incorporated both a Velcro strap and reflective heel panel into the design. Small Sidi logos adorn the leather chassis but aren’t thrown in your face, and the toe beds are reinforced to provide some protection during shifts.
As the name suggests, the New York riding shoe is intended for use in the city, where apex carving succumbs to stoplight-to-stoplight riding. Point in mind, we primarily used Sidi’s riding shoe for our supermarket runs and quick trips around town. Fortunately, the riding shoe is easy get in to and lace up, meaning they can be slipped on in a hurry and without any headache. The only problem we could find when putting the New York on, in fact, was that the laces are extremely long. Tucking the elongated ties behind the shoe’s Velcro strap proved an easy fix for our concern.
Our borders eventually extended past city limits, and we’ve now worn the New York to and from the office, because while they don’t necessarily offer all the protection we’d want in the event of a highway-speed fall, they are extremely versatile. We can easily wear the shoe for a full day at the office without our feet feeling smothered, for instance, and their chic look allows us to fit in with the more formally dressed associates across the hall. The shoes offer a snug, secure feel that provides a certain amount of assurance at speed, plus the nylon mesh paneling provides ample airflow through the interior of the shoe. It’s this feature, in fact, that suggests the New York will make for the perfect summer shoe.
There are some downsides to the shoe’s less-is-more design, and we found the toe-box reinforcement to just barely shield our toes during shifts. A closer look suggests that the added internal layer of protection is just a bit too thin, and the external surface isn’t reinforced with anything more than a few rubber studs. Interestingly enough, long-in-the-foot Bradley had more trouble with the toe box than Kento, presumably because his larger feet were hitting the shift lever at a spot where the toe-box reinforcement had terminated.
Unique concern aside, we were extremely happy with Sidi’s latest half-boot option. Our size 11.5/46 fit true to size, and the shoes only required a few rides to break in. Ultimately, the New York provided the added bit of safety we were looking for during rides that we’d otherwise have chosen to wear tennis shoes for. On top of that, the Sidis proved extremely comfortable during all-day use and tasteful enough to sport around the office.
Forcefield Armor L2K back protector
How unique can a back protector be? Very, according to Forcefield Armor, who’s designed its L2K protector with a NitrexEvo shock absorbing material and Repeat Performance Technology (RPT) to provide utmost protection in the event of a fall.
Zero Gravity Draguns Tail Series seat
The 500-plus miles that we put on the Kawasaki ZX-6R as part of this issue’s feature story left our derriere excited to test Zero Gravity’s Draguns Tail Series sportbike seat. Highlights include a specially formulated foam and abrasion-resistant skin that offers more grip.