Sidi is one of the most iconic, prestigious and legendary shoe brands in the cycling world, a familiar sight on the feet of Grand Tour winners over the years, most recently with Chris Froome in the 2018 Giro d'Italia.
The Italian company was founded in 1960 by Dino Signori, who even now in his 80s is still at the helm of the brand he built into a world leader. The company’s history is one of innovation, from the first adjustable cleat to the introduction of nylon soled shoes, and the first use of velcro straps.
All shoes are still designed, developed and manufactured in Italy. Building a shoe is a complex task and one that isn’t easily automated by robots and machines. Skills are passed down through the generations. Quality is paramount to the Italian company.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes this summer your eye might be drawn to the Sidi website, but where to start? To help you out here is an overview of the 2018/2019 range.
Sidi's latest shoes use a pair of Tecno 3 buckles, like the original Wires, but the second buckle has been moved from the side of the shoe to the top. Like other shoemakers' Boa closures, the Tecno 3 buckles use a thin wire to pull the shoe together, providing fine-tuning of the tension across the upper without the faff of laces.
The Wire 2 has Sidi's Vent carbon fibre sole, as you'd expect from a top-end shoe, with replaceable toe and heel pads and the adjustable vent that gives it its name. Like the Shot it has an adjustable heel cup so you can firmly secure your foot for big efforts on hills or sprints.
The Sidi Shot was the flagship shoe until recently, developed with help from Chris Froome who wore a prototype pair to victory in the Tour last year and production versions in his subsequent victories in the Vuelta and the Giro d'Italia.
Key to the design is a centrally positioned double Tecno-3 Push retention system to provide better aerodynamics and comfort. The full carbon fibre sole has a sliding vent, the heel retention system is adjustable and now features a reflector for added visibility, and the heel pad and toe guard are replaceable.
The Shot is available in a wide range of colours, including a Team Sky blue, Bahrain gold and white edition and a fluoro yellow for ultimate visibility.
The latest generation of the Ergo shoes also has a pair of Tecno 3 dials, with a Velcro strap at the front. Construction has been simplified compared to the previous version though: there's no more adjustable heel grip, and the upper is now one piece of microfibre instead of the previous mixture of microfibre and mech for a much tidier and more modern-looking shoe.
The Ergo 5 retains the previous generation's Twelve Carbon Composite sole.
The top-end shoe of a few years ago, the Sidi Wire uses the same carbon fibre sole as the Shot and essentially the same upper, but uses two Tecno 3 Push Buckle mounted on the side of the shoe, the upper one pulling a large strap over the top of the shoe.
For hot weather cycling, the Sidi Wire Carbon Air uses a perforated upper for extra ventilation when the temperature rises.
While all Sidi shoes come with a regular three-hole cleat setup, the Wire Carbon SP (£211) has a sole designed specifically for Speedplay cleats, avoiding the necessity for adapters.
The fourth generation of the Ergo 4 features a carbon composite sole and Lorica microfibre upper. The closure system comprises a pair of Techo 3 rotary dials with the addition of a short velcro strap at the front of the shoe. The heel security system also features on this shoe, allowing you to adjust the retention of the heel cup by adjusting two small Allen bolts.
The Ergo 4 Mega provides a wider fit than the regular version.
The most notable difference between the Kaos and the more expensive shoes in the Sidi range is the change of retention system employed. A single Tecno 3 rotary dial is positioned in the middle of the foot and it combines with a ratchet strap at the top of the foot. The sole, compatible with three-bolt cleats, uses a Millennium 4 Carbon Composite material to provide a good level of stiffness.
Zero Gore sounds like the most boring horror film ever, but it's actually Sidi's warm and waterproof winter road shoe. It has Sidi's Millennium 5 composite sole in carbon fibre-reinforced nylon with mounts for Look/SPD-SL three-bolt cleats and anti-slip pads at the heel and toe. The mesh and microfibre upper has a Gore-Tex liner to keep out the wet and Sidi's Tecno-3 dial closure along with Velcro straps to snug it round your feet.
The Genius uses the same Millennium 4 Carbon Composite sole as the more expensive Kaos but features a retention system comprising two velcro straps and an adjustable ratchet buckle at the top of the shoe. The upper is made with microtech mesh sections to improve ventilation and replaceable anti-slip heel pads are used on the sole.
The Genius 7 is also available in a Mega version, which is slightly wider than the standard shoe.
Sidi's latest entry-level shoe packs a Tecno-3 dial buckle to pull its Politex upper firmly closed around your foot, with a couple of Velcro straps to complete the task. It has the same Millennium 4 Carbon Composite sole as more expensive models, with mounts for three-bolt cleats and a replaceable polyurethane heel pad to make walking slightly less awkward.
The Level was Sidi's previous entry-level model; there are a still a few around in very limited sizes. A Millennium 4 Carbon Composite sole, an injected carbon fibre in a matrix of nylon, plus a reinforced heel, provides the necessary stiffness for optimum power transfer. The sole is compatible with Shimano and Look cleats and has replaceable toe and heel inserts, which make walking easier and safer. Two velcro straps and a ratchet buckle strap (or Leva Caliper as Sidi likes to call it) keep the feet firmly in place. The upper is made from a politex material, a compacted PVC that offers strong resistance to stretching.
There you go, the Sidi road shoe range in full. Hopefully, that guides you through the various options and price points helping you to make an informed buying decision. You can see the full range, including all the colour options, over at www.sidi.com
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David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.