Sidi Mag-1: Review

The Mag-1 is Sidi’s latest iteration of pro-level boots. The evolution from the Vortice to the Mag-1 has come by way of rider input, producing a sleeker, more responsive boot that still provides ample protection. Integrating technology and out-of-box thinking, Sidi has created a boot that is chock-full of new ideas and simplifications that result in a design that is sure to be a step toward the future of race-level footwear.

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The technology that Sidi has incorporated comes through in a few proprietary features. First off is Technomicro, which replaces all parts that one would assume to be made out of leather. Why the switch? Apparently (according to Sidi), Technomicro is better in every way. It’s stronger, lighter, has better abrasion resistance, and is engineered to be free of any imperfections.

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Second in the proprietary string is the Tecno 3 Magnetic Closure System, which is a ratchet system that lets you tighten the boot down to exactly the right level of ‘snug.’ Then there’s the little magnet that keeps the coated steel line from flopping all over the place. This seems minor, but it actually works really well and ensures proper latching of the ratcheting system every time.

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While the rest of the features worth mentioning may not be proprietary, they are no less ingenious. The support beam system that uses carbon fiber struts running up both sides of your calf, which are hinged on the foot bed encasement, are a revolution. By not using plastic struts located on the exterior of the boot, like the Vortice, the Mag-1 gets a far more narrow profile. This narrower profile allows much closer contact to the bike and, ultimately, more feedback.

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The heel guard also lends itself to greater feedback. With an asymmetrical design, the Mag-1 once again lets you get closer to the bike while still providing protection where you’re most likely to encounter an impact. Damage from impacts, which in most riders’ cases are an eventuality, are easily remedied with replaceable parts. There is nothing worse than spending 500 of your hard-earned dollars, just to have to scrap your new kicks after your first time putting them to the test. With replaceable toe sliders, shin guard, heel guard, Tecno 3 magnetic enclosures, and ankle sliders, the Mag-1 is an investment that will hopefully last multiple tests.

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When I first threw the Mag-1s on, I was struck by the simplicity. When I look at other full race boots, the complexity is almost intimidating. Take a boot like the Alpinestars Supertech R, with its inner bootie and myriad of snaps, closures and hard parts—the first thing I’m looking for is a manual. Not so with the Mag-1—with the magnets sorting out the difficult part, you just step in and cinch it down.

On the inside of the boot, your leg is greeted with 3D Teflon. 3D fabric has always let me down and never rises to the claim of “superior wicking abilities.” While I’ve only used these at four track days, I can report that whatever frying pan magic the Teflon has conjured, it works. Also helping with ventilation is the toe vent.

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The toe vent is a pretty simple solution to hot feet, and one I’m not sure why all race boots don’t have as an option. Obviously the pitfall here would be a puddle that could ruin your day, but puddle aside, feeling air rushing over your poor sweaty toes is pretty awesome.

The benefits to the Mag-1 are numerous. The boot is lightweight at 4.4 pounds, has great feel, and is very protective. The long-term usability with replacement parts lets you feel a little less guilty about spending the money, and with the added benefit of fitting under a pair of jeans, the boots become far more functional—practical, even. With the advent of this convenience, you may be drawn to think this can be your track and street boot, but you would be wrong. While you may not feel the boots at all while on the bike, it becomes apparent after approximately 5-10 minutes of walking that the Mag-1s are purpose-built, and that purpose is not walking.

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Don’t get me wrong, they are more comfortable than most race boots, and they don’t squeak (due to the comfort panels on the front and back), but the Mag-1s were built for the track, even if they do have heel reflectors. My advice is to make sure you bring a pair shoes with you and you’ll have the best of both worlds. The fit for the Mag-1 was dead on for me. I followed the chart that Sidi supplied, measured my foot, and found that their chart wasn’t lying.

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If I had to complain about one thing, it would be the creasing. The Technomicro wonder fabric is creasing because there isn’t a good place for the boot to bend and the Technomicro to naturally fold. My hope is that since it’s such an amazing fabric it won’t get worse and eventually crack.

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If you’re on the fence about a track boot I wouldn’t hesitate to make the purchase. The Mag-1 is well-made and, for all the reasons I’ve listed above, a worthwhile investment. If you’re looking for a do-it-all boot, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for one of the highest quality race-oriented pieces of footwear out there, look no further.

Photos Via: Essential Moto

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