by Gus Breiland
Part of the joy of living within the Midwest is experiencing the ever-changing weather. One joke is that Minnesota has four seasons: pre-winter, winter, post winter and road construction. The truth about the weather is that any given year there can be a swing from 30 below zero all the way up to around 110 with an average of minus 20 to 100 degrees.
What does that mean for motorcyclists? There seems to be 2 different camps. There are the folks who have one outfit to be “seen” in. This crowd is content on riding 15 days out of the year as weather permits. Then there are folks like me. I am slowly accumulating what looks like a small motorcycle supply shop of gear and aftermarket equipment in the never ending quest of 365 days of riding.
Our benevolent senior editor, Commandant Wanchena, asked me if I wanted to try out some perforated boots. “Gear! Sure, I’ll try new gear!”
Usually I wear hiking boots while riding. I have found them to be more comfortable with heavier leather and giving you the same protection as some of the “lighter”, non race spec boots.
After a spring of water water everywhere, the weather gods were kind enough to give me a sultry 90 plus degree day with equal humidity. The boots slide on with little effort due to their long side zipper. The zipper is then wrapped under a Velcro tab making the on and off process easy and quick. As I hopped on my bike and started down the street all I could feel was the cool air wrapping my feet.
The cool breeze is brought to your foot by 15 small holes on the top side of the boot and 2 mesh windows just above the ankle. The rest of the boot is double stitched leather with a no slip sole. Both boots have a toe shift reinforcement patch making them vintage British friendly and protect roughly 6 inches above the ankle.
The number one thing I like about the Sidi Champion Air is their subtlety. All black, no race graphics or hard plastic wear/grind points. Second was the lack of break in time. It took but a day or two of wearing them around my favorite coffee shop and riding to feel like they were part of my feet.
Honestly, I have only one complaint of the Champion Airs. Since the boot is designed to be cool with perforations and mesh they are not friendly to rain riding. Therefore they become a second purchase rather than a primary boot. The need to know the weather that day or the potential for ever-changing weather patterns as you cross borders also relegates the Sidi Champion Airs to a commuter boot and what I wear for an afternoon of riding rather than a weeks worth.
Sidi Champion Airs are available locally from Motoprimo 612-729-7200 or www.motonation.com 1-877-789-4940. Thank you to Motonation for our test pair.