I bought these boots so long ago I’ve forgotten the exact year but it must be around 4 years ago now. My only pair of Sidi dominators didn’t stand up well to winter riding and the choice of decent boots was slim.
First impressions were good. Buying from a local shop, I got them a tad bigger than I would normally wear so I could wear thicker socks and I hate tight shoes. The velcro straps and neoprene cuff make them easy to get a snug fit. The soles have a decent grip with an aggressive tread and the Goretex lining meant they should be waterproof. They seemed perfect.
They are comfortable to ride in, so much so that I often choose them when the weather is nice, but they are the only ones I wear when it gets wet and cold.
I’ve had mixed experiences in the wet. I did find that water got into the boots and I ended up with freezing feet, to the point of almost throwing them away. I originally put this down to water running down my leg, soaking into the neoprene cuff and entering the boot. More recently though this hasn’t been much of an issue and it’s certainly been very wet the past few months but paired with a decent pair of On-one merino socks my feet have stayed dry and warm on every ride.
After spending over £100 on boots you want them to last, and last they have. They have been abused a fair bit and often get left full of mud. When they do get cleaned it’s usually with a jetwash from my Nomad, filled with newspaper and left to dry naturally. I had concerns about the velcro wearing but it’s still OK after all this time and it only has problems if it gets full of mud.
Talking of mud, I wore the boots for all 3 of my laps at Mayhem in 2012. 6.5 hours of riding and walking in ankle deep mud is as good a test of a boot as you’ll get and they were pretty good. They had decent grip for most of the course and where they struggled everyone else was struggling. By the third lap the velcro had become clogged and was barely working but I didn’t lose a boot and my feet ended up warm and dry.
A quick hose down and they look almost as good as new.
I suppose the ultimate test for kit is if you would replace it with the same when it wears out. As things stand at the moment I probably would, but then Shimano might nit make them any more when they need replacing.