Date reviewed: December 2020 | Tested by: Steve Lamb | Price: £164.99 | www.sidiselect.co.uk
I've been wearing these Sidi Denver boots for around six months on a wide variety of bikes from cruisers including the Harley-Davidson FatBoy, retro middleweights including the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and my own Ducati Scrambler and scooters including the Honda SH125i and my recently purchased Mash City Cruise 125.
In that time, I've notched up nearly a thousand miles in a variety of conditions.
The Sidi Denver boots follow the trusted retro-boot recipe – brushed, brown leather, laces up the front, and a chunky rubber sole, but with the added twist of a secondary fastening method in the form of zip-up sides.
The uppers are made of top grain leather – the best and most durable part of the hide – and strengthened in the areas that see the most use (toe pad and heel). Combined with a non-slip, rubber sole, they could be mistaken for a standard pair of fashion boots - only the toe pad giving away their biking background.
Internally, the Denver boots are fully lined with padding in the top of the shoe box, and come with a removeable for added comfort. Finally a leather loop tab at the rear of the ankle make pulling them a bit easier.
With seven-hole lacing the front, putting these boots on couldn't be easier, but if even that seems like too much work, there's a YKK branded zip up the inside and, to be honest, I still haven’t quite worked out why you'd need both. The zip opens far enough to allow easy use of the boot and, if like me, you prefer using the zip, the laces soon become redundant and serve as an aesthetic feature only.
Once zipped (or tied if you prefer), a leather tab with a hook-and-loop fastening covers the zip tab to prevent any damage to the bike, though this is unlikely as the zip is well recessed in the placket.
As you would expect the Sidi Denver boots are fully certified to EN13634-2017, achieving level 2 for both abrasion and cut resistance and level 1 for height and transverse rigidity. This is achieved through the inclusion of armour to the ankle and toe-box and an inner shank to protect the foot in the event of a crushing or twisting force.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the new laws, click here.
The soft leather construction, along with internal padding, make the Denver boots extremely comfortable - on the bike as well as off – though they do take some bedding in if you intend to walk any decent distances. The soles can feel a bit 'clumpy' for the first few uses but with a bit of wear and once the sharp corners of the sole round off, the comfort increases, and the feel becomes more natural.
Despite having little ventilation other than the lace holes, the boots have stayed comfortable in a range of temperatures and conditions. While they are never going to be the coolest of boots in the high summer, they are more than usable for all day rides and no more sweaty or clammy than any other ankle height boot.
Besides the initial bulky feel mentioned above, the chunky rubber non-slip soles give massive of amounts of confidence right from the off, no matter the conditions. Grip, both on the bike, and when walking, is excellent thanks to the lug design and deeply profiled tread.
The Denver boots is not certified, nor marketed, as being waterproof and as with any low ankle boot, even if they were, most water ingress comes from the top of the boot, wicking down the lining. While they would provide some protection from the elements in short showers, or on we roads, the nature of the leather construction would mean that they would soon wet out.
Despite their rugged looks and chunky sole, the Denver boots weight in at around 850g each, meaning that even after a long day of riding and walking (think of a trip to a bike show), you won't be dragging your heels by the end of the day.
I'm a big fan of casual bike boots – they are easy wearing, look great and are super versatile for days out when you may have a decent walk ahead of you, and the Sidi Denver boots don't disappoint.
I maintain that the double fastening is more marketing gimmick than truly useful feature, but I guess that no matter which method you prefer – laces or zips – the Sidi Denver has you covered.