If you’ve watched a professional cycling race in the last 40 years, you’ll no doubt (inadvertently or not) have cast your eyes on a pair of Sidi cycling shoes. Likewise, if you were watching Eurosport in the early 2010s then you would have seen Ivan Basso cooking up a Sidi shoe for compatriot Vincenzo Nibali in almost every TV advert break during the Tour de France coverage.
While Sidi’s ubiquity in the professional peloton may have waned slightly, it still professes to maintain the same values and passion for its craft as it had when it first started constructing shoes in Italy 60 years ago.
In years of testing cycling kit though, I have somehow failed to cross paths with Sidi, so my test of the Sidi Shot 2 shoes (RRP £410) was approached with very few preconceptions. These are the latest edition of Sidi’s top-end road shoe, constructed with a microfibre fabric upper on a ‘C-Boost SRS’ carbon sole. The shoes are tightened with two tongue-mounted Tecno-3 Push Flex dials as well as a heel retention unit at the rear which can be adjusted to fit.
The feel and look out of the box indicated a pure racing shoe, so I was intrigued to find out how they’d perform when used more as an everyday riding shoe.
The look of the Sidi Shot 2s are, well, very Sidi. Though their functionality may share some similarities with other shoes, there’s little questioning that these maintain the long-established aesthetic the Italian brand has created. I especially like the look of the white pair though, which I can’t attest is how I’ve felt looking at previous Sidi iterations. These aren’t overly logoed, and the red and black touches amidst the white keep them a fairly clean looking set.
Having predominantly used shoes with various Boa closure systems or laces over my time riding, using the Tecno-3 Push Flex Dials took some getting used to. To loosen the shoe, once you’ve pushed the red buttons to release the dials, you need to clasp the buttons above the top dial and below the bottom dial and lift your foot out. This really requires two hands and so is not as quick to release as some other closure systems. That being said, the dials cinched things up tight and securely, and I never felt like these would loosen during big efforts. Paired with the velcro on the side of the tongue, the dials ensure the shoe stays locked in the way you set it when you initially put it on. The major drawback of the Tecno-3 Push Flex Dials, however, is the inability to loosen the shoe by turning the dials the other way. This would allow for better micro-adjustment on the fly, and currently loosening the shoe while riding is trickier to get right. Having the two dials centrally over the tongue is something I liked as it felt the pressure was distributed evenly. The tongue itself is cushioned but the secure fit does mean this is pressed firmly against your foot. I struggled with that on initial rides, but have subsequently got used to it.
The toe-box is on the narrow side, and while I didn’t particularly experience issues with scrunched up toes, I can see why people with wide feet may avoid these. Sidi does provide half sizes, so there are certainly enough options available to find your ideal fit.
Something I really liked about the adjustability and fit of the shoe was the heel, which is fitted with a retention tool to tailor them to you. With a turn of the screw you can tighten them for a more secure fit, or slacken it off for extra comfort. It’s a thoughtful feature, and best of all it’s a replaceable part (along with the dials), giving these shoes extra lifespan.
The sole also features replaceable parts, with the Shot 2s featuring Sidi’s Sole Replacement System. These removable inserts feature at the toe and on the heel of the shoes to add some extra protection while walking, providing some longevity to these upmarket carbon soles.
The sole itself is extremely stiff, and you can immediately see why so many pros use these shoes considering the power transfer they seem to provide. For those who may not be used to such stiff shoes though I can imagine these needing a big adjustment period, particularly if you plan on doing long weekend rides. I started by doing some shorter rides with these shoes and didn’t feel any discomfort or hot points, but it did take my two long rides to really start feeling in tune with the Sidi Shot 2s, my right foot with some aches towards the end of a 100km ride.
If my racing days weren’t behind me I could absolutely see these as a go-to set of shoes for shorter races, or even on the turbo for some Zwift racing. The sole also features a generous number of vents so I never experienced any overheating from these during some unseasonably hot September days in the UK, but would avoid these for the winter rides unless the vents were well covered.
The Sidi Shot 2 shoes are undoubtedly a pure racing shoe. Paired with the quality Italian construction, they feel as high performance as anything I’ve ridden and an RRP of £410, that’s what you’d expect. It’s hard to imagine these would suit everyone, particularly anyone after an all-round shoe, and for some they could take some getting used to. Sidi has included some thoughtful touches to these shoes though, ensuring they last year after year.
See more at Sidi.com