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!
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.
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.