vintage articles: Sidi Vertigo Te-por boots

A man dismounts a 2007 GSXR 1000 and walks purposefully up to me. “What did
you get a sponsor or something? Last time you were racing in combat boots!” says the
stranger who apparently knows me. I chuckle and instead of exchanging introductions,
I turn on the heels of Italian road racing boots, and walk away. There is a lot of bench
racing going on at tracks around the country, but how will a proper pair of motorcycling
boots make your commute safer, drier, and more fashionable? Who knows, maybe even
a little faster at the track. The Sidi Vertigo Te-Por boots were judged on: break in time,
bathtub, track, urban, and endurance.

Breaking in the boots meant wearing them a lot, both riding and walking. From the get
go, the boots always felt sturdy on the bike. A unique feature on the Vertigo Te-por is the
Tecno VR system that allows for 5 cm of adjustment around the boot’s ankle, allowing
most people are going to get a better fitting boot. The rigid boot made urban, obstacle
avoidance a bit precarious. The boots come equipped with a rubber, tennis shoe-like sole
that provides excellent grip even in low traction conditions. A zipper runs up the inside
of the boot and makes for quick entry and exiting. A soft, leather-like synthetic material
is used for the boots construction and molded to my foot much quicker than conventional
leather boots. After a week on continuous wear, the Vertigo Te-por felt as comfortable
and supple as my old “combat boots.”

The bathtub tests the boots ability to stay waterproof. Standing in a filled bathtub
wearing only the boots, there was no leakage even after five minutes. Other than a few
air bubbles, there was never even a hit that I was standing in a foot of water. During a
few wet riding session, I also had the pleasure of experiencing no leakage. While many
companies are quick to advertise their products are waterproof, the Vertigo Te-por boots
are made for walking the walk.

The Vertigo Te-por boot is marketed as a touring boot but the boot definitely has a track
background, and so, the boots were tested at over 180 high-speed miles at Portland
International Raceway (P.I.R.). The natural curvature of the Vertigo Te-por hugs foot
controls, and required no straining or searching for controls. The slight upturned toes
assist in quick shifting, while the toe of the boot comes to a point, aiding in greater
ground clearance. The plastic toe slider quickly made good friends with the ground along
some of P.I.R.’s faster turns. Luckily, the plastic slider can be replaced, as can any other
piece that bolts on to the boot. My right heel kept touching the exhaust header on my high
mount pipe, effectively cooking Sidi sole onto my pipe.

Safety belongs as much on the street as it does on the track. The urban element explores
how fashionable and functional the boot is in the city setting. The Vertigo Te-por boot
comes equipped with a rubber sole that grips the ground as well as most sport shoes.
There is a distinct, cowboy boot heel, which allowed for ergonomic placement of
one’s heels on the rearsets. The padding felt generous, but never so much that feel was

Once broken in, the boot is surprisingly easy to walk around in and the biggest obstacle
is getting used to a 16 inch boot running up your calves. The heel is beveled in the back,
which allows users to roll off their heel towards their toes; making an ergonomic and low
impact way to walk on concrete. Wanting a woman’s perspective on the boot, I asked
one. “The back part looks like some fancy basketball shoes that makes you jump higher,”
explains local Portlander Rachel Bondor. While the boot might not be your footwear
of choice for the clubs, the Sidi Vertigo Tepor is made for riding not dancing. Equally
important, the Vertigo Te-por boots combines the safety urban riders need with the
functionality of a shoe we must walk in daily.

The endurance portion tests how well the boot holds up long rides. After riding 1600
miles in five days, my feet felt nearly flawless. I have a wider foot and expereinced
some discomfort near the slender tip of the toes. I have run into this problem with
many different boots and realized that my foot is simply outside the footwear industries
standard deviations.

Overall, the Sidi Vertigo Te-por is an amazing boot that combines the protection and
padding of a track boot, along with the comfort and waterproof-ness of a touring boot.
I have been looking boot to replace my “combat boots,” and finally I have a boot that
caters to my wide-toe needs.

The Water-resistance Vertigo Te-por
MSRP: $295.00

Thanks to Bill Berroth of for making this review possible, and
for those interested in the Sidi Vertigo Te-por, the boot is available for purchase at