Sidi recently unveiled its new top-shelf racing boot-designated the "Vortice" (pronounced "VOR-tee-chay")-at the Indianapolis MotoGP event. The Vortice takes all of the same innovations pioneered by the company's Vertigo Corsa boot, and builds upon them with additional protective features that were developed not only through feedback from racers, but also from consultation with orthopedic doctors.
Like the Vertigo Corsa, the Vortice is mainly constructed from Lorica, but big changes are readily apparent on the outside, with an interlocking plastic upper protective section that completely encases the rider's calf/shin area. The same style "Tecno Tensioner" system first seen on the Vertigo Corsa is now used to tighten both sides of the top portion of the new upper, with another tensioner adjusting the lower shin area. In order to cope with the tighter fit, the side entry zipper features an expansion joint that assists in getting the zipper over the ball of ankle. This setup helps fasten the upper portion of the boot more securely with the rider's calf, which, when combined with the external lateral and lower braces on each side of the ankle/foot (redesigned with a slimmer and tighter profile and reinforced with fiberglass), provide improved support to the ankle joint. The same instep Tecno Tensioner secures the rider's foot from forward movement that could cause toe injuries.
The heel cup protection has been revamped, with a shock-absorbing insert covered by a shell that can move 3mm in its attachment points in case of impact. The Racing SRS sole is also all-new, with a polyurethane/rubber blend of two compounds. The sole features a replaceable insert on the ball area of the rider's foot, where a lot of wear occurs from the footpeg digging into the sole when the rider hangs off and puts his inside foot on the edge of the footpeg. The composite inner sole is also said to resist side compression better than common leather inner soles, and features a removable arch support; the water-resistant inner sole is also claimed to retain its cushioning characteristics even after months of intense use.
Even the toe slider didn't escape design scrutiny. Made from fiberglass-reinforced nylon, the new toe slider features a replaceable alloy (for no sparks and less noise/vibration) insert in the highest wear area, plus an adjustable vent in front. The lower adjustable side vents remain, although they appear to be redesigned to function as an exhaust rather than intake vent as they were before. The upper portion of the boot is lined with a Teflon vented mesh (with a couple of exhaust vents on the inside portion of the calf area), while the toe area is lined with Cambrelle, a soft synthetic fabric that combines excellent sweat absorption and breathability with good resistance to abrasion and piling.
Motonation states that the new CE-certified Vortice boot will be available in December '08 for $475. Metric sizes 39-48 (American sizes 6-13) can be had in black, red, white, or blue versions, with fully perforated models available in all black or white. Contact Motonation at (619) 401-4106 or log onto www.motonation.com for more info.
By the way, SR was given an exclusive first test on the Vortice, and we'll be posting our results in the next issue. Stay tuned.