LIKE A FINE wine, for my feet to be at their best, they need to breathe for and with summer here (sort of), they’ve been doing just that with Sidi’s lightweight Mag-1 Air race boots.
If you’re familiar with Sidi’s range, you’ll know that the Mag-1 is one of its many race boots. The Mag-1 Air is simply a Mag-1 made to handle the heat thanks to its perforated technomicro microfibre exterior. Those little holes work superbly, providing a constant cooling stream of air to the top of the foot and front of the ankle when on the move. I can feel the air getting my feet each and every time I slip these on and go for a ride – the airflow is superb and is aided by a closable vent at the front of the toe slider, which gulps in plenty of air and helps give these boots superlative cooling credentials - they're the coolest, best vented boot's I've ever worn.
Getting the Mag-1 Airs on and done up is initially a confusing affair but it’s easy to get used to the system of ratchet mechanisms, steel wires and magnetic clips, although no less fussy once you are. However, they payoff is a boot that can be closed and adjusted precisely to your liking.
When it comes to protection, are MAG-1 Airs are some of the safest and most solid feeling boots I’ve ever worn. The replaceable heel shin and heel plates are chunky and solid - both look like they could take a bash in a crash, which is reassuring. The internal structure of the boot is made from carbon-fibre beams so lateral stiffness is high and ankles are protected but thanks to flexible areas at the front of the foot and back of the boot, there’s still plenty of movement on offer.
But although stiffness is good, it’s also one of the reasons I don’t rate how comfortable these are; whenever I wear my Mag-1 Airs for more than a few hours at a time, it’s inevitable that they begin to feel uncomfortable. Even after being broken in, like fake boobs, they're a little too firm for my liking.
Both boots often end up putting pressure on the bottom of my Achilles tendon, making it feel hot and tight. Unless the adjuster on the top of the foot is done up perfectly, they can constrict the top of my foot, meaning I usually spend time faffing with the adjusters and making sure the flap is perfectly placed to ensure the right fit. They’re also not comfortable under jeans because the top of the boot ends up digging in to my calf and shin, regardless of how much I’ve opened the calf adjuster. You won’t be surprised to know that the Mag-1 Airs aren’t the boots I favour when I know I’ve got a long day ahead of me – instead, their solid feel means I immediately reach for them when it’s time for the weekend blast or a track day.
And when that time comes around, they’re excellent for riding in. Aside from the great airflow, the sole is grippy and gives decent feel, but in my opinion, a slightly thinner sole would make things even better. When moving around on the bike, they’re never restrictive, they don’t catch on the bike and the front of the boots feel offer precise shifting.
The Mag-1 Air’s portfolio is topped off by the fact that they look great and ooze quality – close inspection reveals them to be superbly well-made and after several months of use, they show no signs of degradation, tiring out or other undue wear. Good job they too, because at just under £300, they can’t be anything less.
Tested: Sidi Mag-1 Air boots
Colours: White & red