Sidi Cobra Boots Review: Touring Comfort; Sport Protection
At the track, only the most protective motorcycle boots will do; we all understand and acknowledge that reality, and readily put our feet in footwear that has a premium on shielding those extremities from injury in the case of a fall.
However, street riding is done in the slower confines of the real world—a place where a little extra comfort is welcome while riding, and we would like to be able to confidently stride into a restaurant.
Sidi’s Cobra boots give us a significant amount of armor for street riding, without the drawbacks of boots designed for 200 mph outings. These Italian-designed/Romanian-made, boots manage expectations of comfort and protection nicely, making them a favorite choice for both sport riders and sport-touring aficionados who trend toward sport.
Starting at the bottom, the Sidi Cobra’s heeled sole is flexible from the ball of your foot forward, making it easy to walk, as well as change gears and brake. Backwards from there, the sole is stiff to keep your foot intact in unforeseen circumstances. Inside, the thin boot floor is reasonably comfortable, and enhanced by the removable arch support. On the road, the dual-compound sole is sticky enough that the odd slick patch at a stoplight will not result in loss of footing.
A DuPont polymer shift toe protector (on both boots) means that after a day of rowing the gearbox, our big toes were no worse for wear. On the outside of the boot is a replaceable, screwed-on toe scuff pad for those times when cornering clearance runs out. The Cobra boots have two slick nylon feelers that give good feedback on the road, and the entire pad can be replaced in a few moments. At the back, there’s a large, racing-style shock absorbing heel cup that also is secured by screws for easy replacement.
Ankle protection is a place where the street influence is seen over racing. Flexible plastic resin slabs diminish impact and provide plenty of abrasion protection. Farther up the back of the boot is Sidi’s race-sourced Vertebra System that surrounds the rider’s Achilles tendon with flexible plastic. A flexible nylon shin deflector plate contributes comfortable protection up front. All of this is built around a Lorica and leather frame.
To make it easy to get into the boot, an elastic panel supplements the full-length zipper. Once open, slipping your feet into (and out of) the Cobras is facilitated by a slippery Teflon-treated perforated nylon lining. Finally, no special effort is required to zip the boots up and close the deal with a large Velcro tab.
As with many Sidi street boots, fit is a bit small, though pulling out the footbed gives you about a half-size of extra room without a significant comfort sacrifice.
All told, Sidi Cobra boots defy criticism by those who appreciate, require, and desire the qualities they bring to the table.
Photography by Kelly Callan, Adam Campbell, and Shaun Lang
Sidi Cobra Boots Fast Facts
- Sizes: US 7.5 -13; Euro 41-48
- Color: Black
- Made in Romania
- Sidi Cobra Boots Price: $250 MSRP