Sidi Performer Lei Boots Review: Women’s Italian Motorcycle Footwear
For those not quite ready to throw down three Benjamins on Sidi’s top of the line women’s Vertigo 2 Lei boots, but are looking for high-end style and protection, the Sidi Performer Lei boots await. This lightweight sport motorcycle boot—designed and manufactured in Italy for women—looks and feels great, allowing me to hit the canyons, knowing I am appropriately outfitted for a fast romp. The Lei in the name tells me it’s part of Sidi’s line of women’s boots, from street to dirt.Protection is the first criteria I’m looking for when I’m going out for a fast ride. While I’m not a knee down, toe-scuffing sport rider, I do like to twist the throttle and feel the adrenaline rush when I give chase to my riding buddies. If I don’t have on full length, reinforced boots, I find myself holding back. I need the confidence that comes from knowing I’ve minimized the risk to the body parts closest to the ground, and most likely to end up under the several hundred pounds of motorcycle should I go down.
Like all Sidi boots, the Performer Lei boot is vegan-friendly. They are constructed using Technomicro, Sidi’s proprietary material that is claimed to be superior to leather. Stronger, while also being softer, the composite material is water repellant, breathable, abrasion-resistant, and stretchy. While it is hard for me to quantify these declarations, the Performer certainly appears to take its duties seriously.It is reassuring to know the most vulnerable parts of my feet are well defended, with replaceable toe sliders, a reinforced hard plastic heel cup, and embedded protection for my inner and outer ankles. Tough plastic stands guard across the top of my shins, and the requisite toe shift-pad (mirrored on the right boot) keeps my big toe from getting abused when I upshift.In addition to the rigid materials enlisted to shield my feet and legs, the Performer boots have some softer elements contributing to comfort both on and off the motorcycle. The accordion-style front and rear shin panels add flexibility, so my legs and ankles move naturally. This aids the micro-movements I make on the motorcycle as I operate the shift lever and rear brake. These flexible parts contribute to the Sidi Performer Lei being a good walking boot once I arrive at my destination.The boots are lined with a Teflon mesh designed to resist water and sweat. They have a light, airy feel and, in conjunction with the air vents on the shin and back shaft of the boots, keep my legs from getting sweaty on summer rides.There’s nothing plush about the interior footbed—just a basic removable insole and enough room in the toebox not to cramp my less-than-dainty digits. The smooth firm foundation does a stellar job of keeping my feet happy.Sidi Performer Lei boots are cut narrow in the ankle, so the long zipper that allows them to open wide for entry is crucial. So, too, is the narrow elastic panel that provides a little give as I zip the boots past the form-fitting ankle area. Unless you’re wearing very skinny-legged jeans, you’ll have to take some care to lay flat the extra fabric on your pants leg. Despite the snug fit, once I am zipped into the Performer boots, I do not think about them again. They are supremely comfortable. The usual Velcro panel closes across the upper third of the boot, securing the zipper. The panel is wide enough for personalization, to a degree. The Sidi Performer Lei boots need to be tried on in person if your calves or ankles are large.One of the nice things about the Performer Lei is its light weight and slim profile. Designed for women’s feet, there is nothing clunky about these boots. They have good feel on the pegs and controls, plus it is easy to get my toe under the shift lever.The Sidi Ladies Performer Lei Boots are well focused, have appealingly understated Italian style, and are a perfect lightweight sport riding boot for women.Photography by Don WilliamsSidi Performer Lei Boots Fast Facts Sizes: US 5.5 – 10.5 Color: Black/White Sidi Performer Lei Boots: $225 MSRP
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!