Sidi Mag-1, £279.99
Time tested: 1400 miles / two months
What’s good? The fit on Sidi’s new Mag-1 is fantastic. The micrometric fasteners allow you to ratchet the three key fitting points to perfection for every ride, regardless of how thick your socks are, or whether you’re wearing them inside jeans, or outside leathers. It takes a few journeys to get a feel for how tight you should wind them in for comfort on the bike, but once you’re dialed in it becomes second nature to get it right every ride. The quick-release mechanism makes getting them off again effortless, too. I’ve not crashed in these boots, thankfully, but the protection offered appears as extensive, well designed and integrated as other top-level race boots.
What really stands out though is how light, compact, and simple they are. With no zips, Velcro, internal boot, or other paraphernalia, you just slide your foot in, ratchet the three fasteners, and go. The simplicity aids the lack of mass, but even so, they feel like the thinnest of exoskeletons for your feet. Pretty much everything is replaceable in case of damage, and the venting is superb. Personally, I love the technical, sophisticated, and understated styling, too.
What’s not? They lack comfort when you’ve been in them for a whole day of riding, or mixing time on and off the bike. They don’t come close to the Alpinestars Supertech R for all-day comfort. The sole is adequate, but the hard, thin upper eventually begins to rub like a cheap plastic ice skate. If you’ve got wide feet, or big calves, you might also struggle. I have no problem with them under jeans, but in leathers there’s simply not enough adjustment in the calf, and I can only just get the upper micrometric band to hook in. The alloy/plastic toe sliders appear to wear well, but be careful not to run them too low, as the screw heads will grind away, making replacement a very tricky process.
Quality rating: 4/5
Value rating: 4/5