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Sidi cycling shoes

Sidi 2011 Dominator 5 Mesh Men’s Mountain Bike Shoes

Like every Sidi cycling shoe I’ve ever bought, the Sidi Dominator 5 Mountain Bike Shoe is both a work of art and a superb shoe. This shoe offers true Italian craftsmanship and you can see it in every stitch. When you read most reviews for cycling shoes you will find a lot of talk about the “break-in time.” In my opinion the Sidi Dominator 5 does not have a break-in period—it is perfect straight out of the box. I have not experienced any hot spots or pressures points in this shoe at all.

Sidi 2011 Dominator 5 Mesh Men's Mountain Bike Shoes

Sidi 2011 Dominator 5 Mountain Bike Shoes

The upper on this shoe is made of a soft, breathable, hand-stitched Lorica synthetic leather microfiber that will keep your feet nice and cool due to its cooling mesh inserts (you will need a pair of toe covers in cool weather). Lorica is an incredibly strong, yet soft, material that stands up well to the abuse it takes on off-road trails and many hours spent riding in the rain.

This shoe has three closing straps. At the top there is a soft arch compression strap with an Ultra SL buckle that you can easily adjust as you ride. In addition, there are two high security Velcro straps that stay in place regardless of circumstances. This shoe is compatible with a variety of cleat and pedal combinations. I have used both SPD and Crank Brothers Egg Beater cleats on this shoe without any problem.

Sidi 2011 Dominator 5 Mesh Men's Mountain Bike Shoes

Sidi Dominator 5 Mountain Bike Shoes

Sidi offers this shoe in an amazing variety of sizes. Standard sizes go from 38–52 (EU), with half-sizes from 38.5 to 46.5. Mega (wide) width shoes go from 40–52, with half-sizes from 40.5 to 46.5. Narrow widths from 40–50 are also available, with half-sizes from 40.5 to 46.5. If you have wide feet these are the shoes for you! The Mega (wide) shoes are very comfortable and have a very wide toe box. I have found these shoes to be true to size.

My only complaint about this shoe is that toe spikes (mud studs) were not included in the box. Toe spikes are available, but they are going to cost you another $15. I like riding with toe spikes even when the trails are dry—the spikes can really take a beating and then be replaced a few years later at very little cost.

The Sidi Dominator 5 Mountain Bike Shoes are not cheap—the retail price is $260, but you can usually find them online for around $230. If you are on a tight budget you might want to consider the Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe.

 

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Sidi 2011 Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

One of the most popular articles on this blog has been my review of the Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoes. For cyclists with wide feet the Lake CX165 is one of the few wide road shoes available. If your average ride is fairly short or if you are on a tight budget then the Lake CX165 will work out fine for you. However, if you spend a lot of time on your bike (and can afford it) the Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Shoe will rock your world!

Sidi 2011 Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

For the past few years I’ve ridden with the Sidi Genius 5 Pro Carbon Mega road shoe. Unfortunately, the heel cushion on these shoes wore out and made them unwearable. When it came time to buy another pair of road shoes I didn’t hesitate for a moment to order another pair from Sidi. I don’t even know where to begin extolling the virtues of the Sidi Genius 6.6. This shoe is incredibly well-made and is truly a thing of beauty.

Unlike most cycling shoes, none of the Sidi shoes I’ve owned have required a “break-in” period—they fit perfectly from the very first moment I tried them on. The Sidi Genius 6.6 is both lighter and stiffer than the Sidi Genius 5 Pro I used to wear. The sole on the Genius 6.6 is handmade from sheets of T700 carbon fiber. While this material is unbelievably stiff, it is also very lightweight. Lighter shoes mean that less effort is required when you pedal and this makes a big difference on long rides. The stiffer sole on the Genius 6.6 means that more power is transferred to the pedal than with typical cycling shoes.

The upper on the Genius 6.6 is made from Lorica microfiber and I have found this material to be extremely breathable. Lorica is a synthetic leather that is water-repellent, breathable and quick drying. Even on days when the heat index was over 110 degrees I never felt like my feet were overheating. The shoes also have excellent cooling mesh panels to provide additional ventilation. The shoe closes with three straps (two high security Velcro straps and one caliper buckle). The caliper buckle on the top is so easy to adjust that you can change the tension as you are riding without any problems.

Sidi 2011 Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

Sole of the Sidi Genius 6.6

My only complaint with the older Genius 5 Pro was that the front of the sole got scuffed up a lot because the shoe did not have any protection there except for the carbon fiber sole. The new Genius 6.6 has a red pad at the front of the sole and this is a great addition. The abuse at this end of the shoe comes from having to take your foot off the pedal at stoplights and then resting the tip of the shoe on the pavement. In case you are wondering, I actually do stop at stoplights (most of the time).

I have used Look Keo 2 Max pedals and cleats for several years on my main road bike and the Sidi road shoes have worked very well with them. I know they also work with many other pedal and cleat combinations, but I have not tested them myself. In the area where you attach the cleats on this shoe you will find a printed alignment guide which makes getting your cleats in the same spot on both shoes a snap.

When I first got my new Sidi Genius 6.6 road shoes I decided to try them out on a short 30 mile ride. Unfortunately, when I was 15 miles away from home I got caught in the worst thunderstorm I’ve ever ridden in. For nearly an hour my new shoes were filled with water (not a great feeling). I ride a lot in the rain, but I had never been in anything like this before. All the way home I was thinking that the new shoes would be ruined. Incredibly, once the shoes dried out I put them on again and they still felt great!

The Sidi Genius 6.6 road shoe is available in standard sizes (and half-sizes) from 39.5 to 46.5. It is also available in wide (Mega) sizes (and half sizes) from 40.5 to 46.5. This shoe is available is several color combinations in the standard sizes, but it is only available in the Black w/ Yellow in the Mega sizes.

The Sidi Genius 6.6 road shoe was designed for the high-mileage cyclist. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that in 2010 the winner of both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia was wearing these shoes. The only downside to this wonderful road shoe is the price—it retails for $400, but you can probably find it for around $330 if you shop around online. Is the Sidi 6.6 worth the price? Yes, but only if you are a high-mileage cyclist. If your typical ride is under 30 miles then you would be just as well served with a lower priced road shoe.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Cycling Footwear, Product Reviews

 

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