This article was originally featured in the August 2017 print edition of Dirt Rider
These boots require very little break-in; the ankle was great right out of the box, while it took about one ride for the foot area to break in. They have a hinged ankle that offers the right amount of flexibility along with the right amount of support. The updated hinge is called the “hyper extension block system.” I would say this new hinge is an upgrade over the Crossfire 2 version, as it seems to be much more durable as well as now having a more distinct hard-stop to its range.
These boots do have a high amount of plastic, but they also have a super-soft "Technomicro" (a high-tech leather replacement designed to be stronger, lighter and softer) in all of the right places for comfort and flexibility. A smart and fun feature about these boots is that several of the plastic pieces are modular. If you rip, tear, or melt one, they are replaceable—and with a variety of color choices.
These are a straight boot with no inner bootie to deal with; instead they have a Cambrelle material (which has a gel-like feel) that encompasses the ankle area. Once you wear them a few times, get the buckles set to your foot, and get them a little warm, the material kind of melts around your ankle, and they fit like a glove. The no-bootie and snap-into-place buckle straps make these boots easy and quick to put on.
I have ridden several different motorcycles over the past few months and have had no issues with the boots snagging on any of the bodywork. I do wear knee braces, and the buckles offer an almost infinite amount of adjustability, making the boots fit well over my braces. And I really like the large rubber pads on the inside ankle and calf area; they make it easy to grip the bike.
The upgrades Sidi made to the replaceable sole are significant, and Sidi did a fantastic job in this area. The replaceable part of the sole is now smaller and uses only four fasteners to hold it on, compared to 17 on the Crossfire 2 SRS. Even though the Crossfire 3 SRS uses fewer fasteners, it is much more secure and prevents dirt from getting under it (such as from kicking the dirt during starting line prep). Moving my feet around on the pegs with this new sole was good. It provided just the right amount of grip. Even when my heels would sometimes drag in the ruts, I didn’t feel like my feet were going to come off the pegs.
I have worn these boots exclusively for five months, riding two, sometimes three times a week, raced several GNCC events, and have not had one issue. Extreme rocks, mud, sand, and a few run-ins with other motorcycles and I haven’t lost a buckle from the top or a fastener from the sole. Note: The Crossfire 2 SRS would lose a fastener or two once in a while.
Certainly these boots are not perfect. The sole on the SRS is incredibly stiff. It took me some time to adjust to the lack of feel of the rear brake pedal, and it took almost two months to seriously break in the sole. The rubber pads on the ankle do wear out, and if you are not careful, their screws can scratch your frame. Because of the stiff sole I felt more comfortable wearing a thin sock. So keep that in mind when you are picking out your size. —Allan Brown
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