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The Sidi Shot shoes are the newest premium offering from the Italian shoemaker and feature a new closure system that brings a small improvement in comfort over the Wire Air models I reviewed two years ago. The Shots also have a super-stiff vented carbon sole that is ideal for racing, and a reassuringly hefty price tag that ensures Sidi shoes are highly covetable.
We first saw them on the feet of Chris Froome at the 2016 Tour de France, a race he duly won, and I've been riding with them for the last couple of months.
The big change from the previous Wire model is the relocation of Sidi's proprietary Techno-3 Push dials from the side of the shoe to the tongue, and they've also done away with the strap over the top of the foot.
Part of the reason for the redesign is apparently to improve aerodynamics, but the company offers no aero data and with no wind tunnel at our disposal, making any meaningful area comparison is impossible.
The redesign provides a small but noticeable improvement in comfort over the offset dials of the previous shoes. The two dials pull the sides of the shoe together, rather than pulling the upper and strap over the top of the foot. Despite the loss of the top strap, the closure system provides a very secure fit and your feet are very well locked into the shoes.
Pressure is distributed evenly across the top of the foot with no pinch points. Another small benefit is that the shoes feel less restrictive through the full range of pedalling. An adjustable heel retention device ensures there's no discernible heel lift even during the most earnest bouts of pedalling.
Dialling the fit of shoes in is a little easier with the new system, and they are quicker to get on and off now – ideal if you're in a hurry. The rotary dials aren't as intuitive or quick to use as other dials like those from Boa, especially on the move, but I never really found much adjustment was needed once going.
I've always found the fit of Sidi shoes excellent, and these new ones are no different. There's a nice amount of space in the toe box and they are extremely comfortable on long or strenuous rides. The shape is a bit roomier than high-end shoes from Mavic and Specialized that I've been testing alongside the Sidis.
The redesign saves a bit of weight over the previous Wires, but at 640g for a pair of size 45 shoes, they're significantly heavier than similarly priced rival shoes, such as the Specialized S-Works which come in at just 476g. Having said that, you do notice the weight at first but not so much after a few miles.
A nice little addition is a reflector on the back of the shoe, ideal for training rides when you are racing the sunset home. There's even a fluoro reflective yellow model if you really want to stand out.
The full carbon fibre sole is essentially carried over from the previous model, and back-to-back testing reveals the same high level of stiffness. If they are stiff enough for Chris Froome, they're probably stiff enough for you. They're noticeably not as stiff as some other high-end shoes, but more to the benefit of pedalling comfort – they perform well in all-out sprints and are superbly comfortable on 6+hour rides.
The carbon soles are drilled for three-bolt cleats with plenty of white lines for positioning the cleat accurately. The soles are vented though it's hard to really notice the effect they have in hot weather, and the front vent can be closed for riding in cooler temperatures. Anti-slip heel pads are replaceable should you wear them out.
Overall, the performance of the shoes is very good, but they're simply not as light as most other high-end shoes and the dials aren't as easy to use as they could be. Granted they are very nice shoes to ride and race in, and Sidi fans will find in the new Shot a familiarly comfortable shoe, but if you have a pair of Wires there's no huge reason to upgrade. It's a shame the Italian company didn't take the opportunity to push the design forward a bit more.
Sidi shoes have many fans – I'm one of them – but while these are a great top-end model, I just don't feel there's enough to really justify the £350 price tag against such fierce competition as Bont's Vaypor S, Shimano's RC9 S-Phyre or Specialized's S-Works 6.
Comfortable and stiff shoes but they're not the lightest
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sidi Shot
Size tested: 45
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Sidi says: "Sidi has specialised in cycling footwear since the 1970s. That's a wealth of experience and research to pour into the Shot Carbon Road shoe. Sidi's flagship road shoe is the weapon of choice for many in the pro peloton including three-time Tour de France champion, Chris Froome. Riders who want a lightweight, aerodynamic, and stiff road shoe choose the Shot Carbon to ensure they perform at the highest level."
Sidi distributor Saddleback says:
"The Shot is the latest in the road cycling shoe offering from Sidi and is like nothing else in the range. Whilst it does contain all of the features you'd expect to find on any top end Sidi product, there are a few features which set this ahead of the others.
Firstly, the new Double Tecno-3 Push retention system sits along the centre of the shoe, rather than on the outside. Not only does this offer improved aerodynamics, but a symmetrical closure means an even better custom fit.
The Shot also has a nice little sliding vent on the Vent Carbon sole which allows the rider to tailor the airflow depending on their personal preference and riding conditions. The incredibly stiff 3k carbon sole balances performance and ergonomics perfectly by offering a slight give in the toe area for extra comfort. The heel pad and toe guard are easily replaceable if they become worn following any Froome/Mont Ventoux style running up climbs!
The microfibre Techpro upper is very similar to that of the incredibly popular Sidi Wire Carbon road shoe, however it has embossed graphics which allow for better internal airflow."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sidi lists these features:
Double Techno-3 Push System for a customized fit
Adjustable heel retention device
Supportive and stabilizing heel cup
Replaceable heel pad
Vent carbon sole for efficient power-transfer and all-weather comfort
Upper: Microfibre Techpro and Mesh
Sole: Vent Carbon
They certainly feel like an expensive shoe in the quality of the construction.
Performance is very impressive, with just the right amount of stiffness, but the high weight is a factor that is hard to ignore.
They are tough and durable shoes.
Fit is first class.
Sizing is spot on.
They're heavier than other similarly priced shoes.
They're certainly very comfortable to wear for long rides.
Performance is good but the high weight is hard to ignore at this price, when most rivals are much lighter.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to look after; the white microfibre upper cleans up well and doesn't scuff too easily.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perform well for racing and high-intensity riding, but also comfortable for more relaxed sportives.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Look fantastic, nice and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
On the heavy side.
Did you enjoy using the product? Maybe
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
A comfortable and reasonably stiff shoe but I'm not sure they do enough to justify the high price tag when compared with other high-end shoes, which are generally lighter and stiffer (if that's important to you), and most have easier-to-use dials and closure systems with more micro-adjustment.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.