Sidi X-3 Lei Boots Review | Off-Road Motorcycle Boots
If you ride a dirt bike you’re going to fall. It’s as simple as that. That leaves your feet, ankles, and shins vulnerable to all kinds of unforgiving elements, including rocks, roots, the ground itself, not to mention perhaps trapping your leg under that 250+ pound dirt bike.I’ve had my fair share of these falls, including a broken foot, and this is when you want the best protection you can afford.
The Sidi X-3 Lei is a heavy duty (though not particularly heavy), no-nonsense off-road motorcycle boot for women. While the X-3 Lei may look like it’s constructed from leather and plastic, it is in fact, a vegan-friendly boot.The chassis is made from Technomicro, a synthetic material that is claimed to be lighter, stronger, and softer than leather. These are all appealing features, and now my vegan sister has no excuse to not come join me in the dirt!Plastic pieces abound on the Sidi X-3 Lei, providing more protection in high impact areas. From the sturdy shin guard, to the reinforced toe box, molded shock-resistant heel, and special plastic guard at the inner ankle, your feet are well guarded without giving up mobility and feel (more on this, shortly).I like that the X-3 Lei has a full-height shaft—tall boots offer more coverage so will always be preferable over a shorter model. The boots utilize Sidi’s Single Flex upper, a pivoting mechanism that allows ease of movement right out of the box, while also adding stability and some additional impact protection for your ankle. I was able to easily operate both foot controls from a seated or standing position on the motorcycle.With regular motocross socks on, my feet sit snuggly in the X-3 Lei boots; there’s enough room for my toes to move about, but the shape of the foot bed fits closely, providing a secure foundation. While I do not have small feet (I’m a women’s 8.5/42), they are still narrower than men’s feet, and the design of the X-3 Lei is modeled around a women’s proportions. Sizing choices are limited, ranging from 39-43 Euro, which is 7-10.5 US, per Sidi.The X-3 Lei does not have an inner booty, but the foam padding does a fine job keeping my overly sensitive feet happy. There is a removable arch support that I did not remove.The X-3 Lei boots are secured with the excellent cam lock buckles found on Sidi’s Crossfire 2 boots. The buckles have outstanding action and are easy to operate with gloved hands.Personal fit comes via old school sawtooth straps. I’m not a fan of sawtooth straps in general as I find them fiddly, but once you wrangle them to the right length you won’t have to deal with them again. While there’s plenty of length in the straps to adjust for larger calves—a welcome feature in women’s boots as this dimension varies widely—clearly I need to get to the gym and add some muscle. The two upper straps are almost at their shortest length when I don’t have my knee braces on.Being right on the closest edge of this dimension isn’t a problem, though, as I don’t ride in the dirt without knee braces. I set the sawtooth straps a bit longer to make room for my Pod K4 knee braces, and they sit comfortably tucked into the boots, just under the rigid plastic shin plate.Off-road boots have more than just impact protection responsibility. The Sidi X-3 Lei has a heat shield built into the inner shaft of the boot to protect your leg from a hot exhaust header.The sole of the X-3 Lei is reinforced with a nylon shank, providing a solid foundation when landing off jumps. It is reassuringly stiff, but the boots are not clunky; I had enough feel on the pegs to shift and brake intuitively.Should you put a lot of miles on your boots, the stitched-on rubber sole is replaceable by your local cobbler, and all bolted on parts can be swapped if necessary.As comfortable as the Sidi X-3 Lei boots are when properly adjusted for riding—I don’t give them a millisecond of a thought while on the pegs—I am well aware of them when walking as they create a pressure point just above my ankle. Of course, dirt bike boots are not made for walking, so it is a minor annoyance and just a reminder to get back in the saddle.There is no venting on the X-3 Lei, but the Teflon mesh liner is comfortable and claims to resist molding as it will not absorb sweat or water. I rode in temperatures in the 90s without feeling undue heat in my feet.Good dirt boots are an indispensable part of my riding uniform when I go off pavement, and the Sidi X-3 Lei boots are an outstanding pair of boots that are purpose built for a woman’s feet. Whether on technical single track, riding through rock-strewn sand washes, or fast riding across the desert, the Sidi X-3 Lei boots provide the rugged security and peace of mind for my feet and legs that I need.Photography by Don WilliamsSidi X-3 Lei Fast Facts
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends, the weekly podcast brought to you by Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by Yamaha. You can check out the amazing YZF-R7 at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com. The YZF-R7 is an amazing supersport machine that is comfortable too!
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams takes the smallest BMW ADV bike on an urban adventure in Los Angeles. The BMW G 310 GS is a full size motorcycle with a modest engine, so of course we wonder if it is a little too underpowered and might struggle. Don put it through its paces and gives us his take.
In the second segment, Neale Bayly and Kiran Ridley have returned from the Ukraine to Paris where Kiran is based.
Kiran is an award winning photojournalist, and as an accomplished documentarian, he has covered stories as diverse as drug smuggling around the Mexican border, to the devastation of the Australian Bush Fires, to the tragedy of the Mediterranean migration crisis. Neale and Kiran reminisce about their motorcycle adventure in the Ukraine, and their observations and experiences with the incredibly resilient people of Ukraine, who have been put through such brutal hardship.