SIDI Vertebra II Boots
After thoroughly trashing my AlpineStars GP-PRO boots within 1.5 years of use, I found myself on the market for yet another pair of boots. Through the multitude of crashes, the Alps held up great, but I learned where I needed more protection. Specifically, I wore the outside of the Alps along the edge of my foot nearly completely through. I also lost 3/4 of the velcro attachments (calf sliders, toe sliders). With that in mind, I set out in search of new boots.
The fine folks at in Dallas, Texas were more than happy to answer all of my questions and make a recommendation based on my needs.
They had a lot of experience with selling boots including Sidi, Prexport, Bieffe, AGV and AlpineStars. Their recommendation based on my needs and the input from hundreds of sales, was the new Sidi Vertebra II race boot.
I ended up in Dallas a few weeks later on business and had a couple minutes to burn so I stopped by and said hello. Let me tell you... If you live anywhere near Dallas, or if you're just passing through, you have *no* excuse for not stopping by! The store is jam PACKED with gear. Everything you could POSSIBLY imagine, need or desire is right there. No ordering, no sending back after it doesn't fit, no B.S., it's all right in front of you.
Working directly with Audrey Menarik (owner), I tried on the boots and found a pair that fit. It's a good thing that I went in person as the boots are a little large. I ended up with a EUR 46, USA 11, when I where a USA 12 sz street shoe. The boots are a bit narrow, but I'm confident that they will break in and be just fine. The adjustable calf is a work of art. It will allow me to fit them perfectly to my leathers.
The only 'complaint' (if you can call it that) which I've ever heard about the Vertebra boot is that once they get a little dirt on the vertebra system, they squeak. This isn't a worry for me, and a small price to pay for such protection.
The boots have the look and feel of a downhill ski boot. However, they're not nearly as heavy. They look extremely rigid, and actually are, but they are articulated in all the right areas and flex like they're soft leather. They look and feel much more resilient than any street boots (doc martins, combat boots, etc) and again, look and feel much more resilient than my previous AlpineStars.
A HUGE selling point for me was that EVERY part on the boot SCREWS on. The toe sliders, calf sliders, ankle sliders and shin deflectors are all attached with small screws. The only velcro on the boot is the flap over the zipper, so I shouldn't be losing any of the small bits. Plus, after I wear them down, I can replace the worn parts which are in all the right spots. These boots could feasibly last me a lifetime! There is a key enclosed to remove all the screws. I went through them and used threadlocker to make sure nothing vibrates out.
Really, I can't say enough about these boots. They are built like nothing I've ever seen. They are actually engineered, and I'm extremely pleased with the results. Additionally, the folks at Moto-Liberty deserve another huge thanks. They were extremely informative, helpful and easy to work with. Their customer service is superior, as is their knowledge, prices and selection.
A few pics of my new boots. Click to expand
Here are the manufacturer's comments on the boots
• The patented Vertebra System is the basis of the support structure, making the boot a highly-articulated piece of technology. Each vertebra moves independently. Vertebra System allows enhanced performance and, at the same time, also forms a shield protecting the back part of the leg. Vertebra System has been specially modified to apply the new Ankle Support System
• The Ankle Support System (A.S.S.) is another high-tech riding protection developed and patented by SIDI. The A.S.S. has been designed to support the ankle during torsion or impact, without, however, reducing the boot's flexibility or comfort. It is produced in chrome-reinforced thermoplastic resin, also used in the helmet industry because of its resistance and protective qualities.
• The Sole Rigidity System, a special sole rigidity regulator, has been inserted between the Ankle Support System and the scuff pad. By adjusting the S.R.S. the rigidity of the sole increases when compressed and protects the area of the Metatarsus when falling or sliding. The Sole Rigidity System is yet another SIDI patent.
• The shin deflector is the only replaceable deflector available in racing today It is available in carbon or chrome-reinforced thermoplastic resin.