So I've been having the proper shits for a while now, about Italian brands (A*, Dainese in particular) charging me Italian made prices for boots made in Romania. I did some research and found a few other Italian companies - gaerne, forma, sidi, and went about trying to find a boot I liked the look of before narrowing my search regarding fit and features. I am normally a function over form kind of bloke, but since owning and riding motorbikes my sensibilities seem to have flown out the window, but I flat out refuse to pay $400+ for a pair of boots that the sight of makes me cringe. Anyway, I tried on some A* boots just because they were in the store. The fit was okay but considering the quality (which I felt was inferior), I could not justify the price they asked, particularly when the manufacture stamp was not Italian, but Romanian. There was something about the smx boots I didn't like, the buckle at the top looked really cheap next to what was otherwise, in my opinion, quite a nice looking boot. The supertech r's were about the most comfortable race boot I've tried on, but there were threads hanging out everywhere, the Velcro looked cheap, I thought the suede type inner side of the boot that faces the bike looked tacky next to the blingy race looking outer side that everyone can see, and I felt like I was a walking/riding advertisement for alpine stars. Next was gaerne. Whats with that massive G! I wish they spent as much money on designing the boot as they did on plugging themselves on the shin of it. I swallowed my pride, let function take precedence over form, and tried it on anyway, and (thankfully haha) they were too narrow at the toe. The formas are now unfortunately made in Romania as well (even though their website still states they are proudly made in Italy...), and the sidi's are made in Romania now too. I'm pretty disgusted about this, it's not that I don't believe the workers in the Romanian factory won't make the boot to the same quality as the workers in the Italian factory. They might even make it better. I have no idea. But the reason I don't like paki leather is because it's stitched by paki children, in an appalling paki sweat shop, then stamped with an Australian brand (Ray's for example) and sold here at a premium. Well, Ray's is pretty budget but work out the cost of making that jacket and tell me it's not a premium price on the tag. So I'd prefer it if my boots came from a country with stricter regulations. Actually while I'm on this rant I should look up the regulations in Romania. I'll report back when I've done this... I just got a new pair of sidi vertigos, luckily from last year's stock - still made in Italy. Or at least, branding a made in Italy tag. A few things annoyed me about this boot purchase. I researched made in Italy boots. I was told on official websites of the companies that the boots are still made in Italy. I found "made in Romania" tags on MOST" brands of boots. It must be their thing now. There was a pair of new 2016 model forma boots I picked up, and the tag didn't say anything about Romania, but it was elegantly lettered with "made with pride in the European community". What the fcuk does that mean? "We've manufactured this somewhere heaps cheaper than its Italian brand would suggest, and instead of passing the savings, or at least SOME of the savings, on to you, were continuing to charge the Italian prices"? Wankers. The lot of em. Slow day at work today as you can tell. Anyway I just want people to check their boots, I always thought sidi was one of the last brands made in Italy, but not anymore, so apparently you don't always get what you pay for. I think I got lucky with old stock, but I guess we'll see how they last. I commute to work in them every day so they cop a flogging, interested to see the time I get from them.