Bruno Valeri


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Product Review


Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon Boots
with references to
Sidi Vertigo Corsa Boots
Motorcycle boots review


Our ankles and feet are vulnerable to injuries when riding and probably more so when riding at a racetrack. These injuries can result from abrasion, impact (including crush), and excessive range of motion. So it stands to reason that a good sport motorcycle riding boot should address these areas.

Whereas most motorcycle boots offer good protection against abrasion, finding a pair that offered protection that addressed impact and range of motion injuries for feet and ankles was more difficult.

It’s with this perspective that I set out to find a pair of motorcycle boots for track use. I was looking for motorcycle boots that offered maximum protection for the ankle and foot.

And this is where the Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon boots shine. They offer a rigid exo-skeleton protection that protects the back of the lower leg, the shin, the ankle, and the foot. In addition, the Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon boots offer protection against injuries caused by excessive range of motion.


The Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon motorcycle boot is constructed using Lorica instead of leather. Though less known in North America, Lorica is a high tech synthetic fiber that is widely used in Europe for footwear ranging from regular streetwear to tough hiking boots.

Among its properties:

  • microporous surface that offers both good breathing and water resistance.
  • light and very durable and claimed to offer more abrasion resistance than leather.
  • does not easily scuff

The inner liner is fully perforated.

The interior of the boot surrounding the ankle cavity is padded and the inner shank strengthened.


The rear of the Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon boot features overlapping hard plastic plates (hence the vertebra name) that protect the region from the lower calf down the Achilles tendon to the heel from impact while allowing forward and backward flexing.

Likewise, hard, dual density plastic armor wraps around the heel cup.

The upper front of the boot (shin area) offers a hard carbon fiber armor plate to protect the shin from impacts.

But the most visible part of the Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon motorcycle boot is the rigid articulated brace that protects from the base of the foot up to the mid calf area where it connects with the upper vertebra plate.

This brace provides the following:

  • protects the ankle from impacts
  • protects the vulnerable mid-foot area from impacts
  • articulation at the ankle allows for easy movement frontward and backward
  • limits excessive pronation of the ankle (ie rolling in) to prevent ankle injuries caused by excessive range of motion
  • along with the very stiff sole, it minimizes injuries from crush-type forces by spreading the point load along its length
  • adds protection against twisting forces

The brace also integrates with an adjustable toe flex mechanism designed to prevent excessive backward bending of the forefoot.

Other features:

All serviceable parts (skid plates for toes, upper calf, as well as the shin plating) are bolted on rather than velcro'd on for increased stability and durability. This allows to re-build the boots should parts be damaged or worn from use.

The Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon motorcycle boots come with a handy tool to perform all adjustments.

What I found:

The Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon boots provide a substantial level of protection and offer strong lateral rigidity. And yet, with all of this protection, the Sidi Vertebra Race Carbon boots are lightweight and remain comfortable to wear. The fully perforated inner liner combines well with the breathability of Lorica, providing good comfort for riding in hot temperatures.

Evolution of a concept: Sidi Vertigo Corsa

The Sidi Vertigo Corsa boots represent a further evolution of Sidi’s focus to provide maximum safety for track riding and have won Motorcyclist Magazine "Best New Product" Award for 2004.

Some highlights of the Sidi Vertigo Corsa Boots:

  • an improved lateral brace system
  • a patented adjustable calf closure system that will accommodate a greater variety of calf sizes
  • a forefoot closure system: to stabilize the foot and help prevent injuries resulting from the foot sliding forward in a crash
  • snap-lock vent panel: allow adjustable airflow
  • a three stage, shock absorbing heel cup: this cup is molded using three different densities of plastic.

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