But then I found what looked like a worthy replacement: Forma’s Simo. Designed for women, this handsome, Italian-styled touring boot features a waterproof, breathable membrane, ankle and shin armor, antislip vulcanized rubber sole, light weight (1.4 pounds), and reflective material on the heel. The Simo includes flexible panels on the top and rear of the ankle, and a dual-flex, nylon midsole that offers flexibility in the front while maintaining stiffness in the heel. If you’ve ever had to walk around in a stiff racing boot, you’ll appreciate this flexi-feature.
I measured 1-1/4″ taller with the boots on, while the heel itself is only about 5/8″. So if you don’t like walking or riding with high heels but want the extra height, you’ll enjoy this cool “reach heel”
feature, too. What Forma calls its APS (air pump system) is really just a thin footbed insert. Shaped with a bump in the middle of the foot, near the arch, the APS acts like a plunger as you walk. When you step, your foot pushes down on this bump, forcing the hot air out. When pressure is released, new air fills the bump. Whether this air comes in from a cooler place, well, I’m not sure about that. But I do know that the shape is ergonomically comfortable, and even after hours of walking in this boot, my feet were none the worse for wear.
What did plague my overall comfort level, though, was the rough Velcro on the closure tabs. You’ve got to make sure the tab doesn’t touch your skin, or it will scratch you all day long. Wearing long socks helped, too. CIMA International, the US importer of Forma
boots, also carries SOKz that are high enough to meet the Simo’s 12″ boot top. I also noted that the leather in the shifter toe wore down quickly. I’m not too worried about the integrity of the boot, though, since the stiff inner toe is well-supported. RB
By Tricia Szulewski
Sources: CIMA International, FORMA Simo Boots, $249, 630/701-1601, www.Real-Rider.com
Originally published in RoadBike, August 2011