Sidi Shot shoes - review - Road Cycling UK

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Sidi Shot shoes – review

Sidi's top-of-the-range shoes are made from the pros but provide superb performance for everyone - as long as you can afford them

Sidi’s Shot shoes are the Italian firm’s top-of-the-range offering worn by the pros, including Chris Froome, so stiffness and race-ready performance is an absolute must to justify the eye-watering £350 asking price. For that money, we’d expect plenty of comfort, too… and in truth, that’s exactly what we got in these outstanding shoes.

Shoe choice is very much a personal thing. Not only do each of us have unique foot shapes, those shapes can vary according to length, width, height, arch shape and so on; all contributing to the suitability of a shoe. Lest we mention how shoes and insole choice can influence your overall bike fit – in the end, your shoes form a vital part of your connection with your bike, so getting the choice right is paramount.

So, in an ill-judged move, I chose to break the rules of acclimatising to shoes and slipped the Shots on for their first ride in the Somerset 100 sportive.

The Shots are Sidi’s flagship road shoes

That’s 100 miles (102, actually) in shoes that are box fresh, unworn except to see if my feet would actually fit into them (shoe shop style) and with cleats fitted in the same position as the Fizik R4Bs I’ve mostly stuck with ever since I tested them a year ago.

My club mates couldn’t believe my foolishness, and when I lined up on the start line, neither could I if I’m honest. But here’s the kicker: the Shots proved to be the most comfortable shoes I’d ever ridden, with zero exceptions. No rubbing, no tightness or looseness, just a super-stiff carbon sole married to a narrow-medium body with plenty of heel cushioning, and hint of arch support in the supplied soles.

Fastening comes via two centrally-located dials

Going back to my point about shoe choice and foot shape, it’s possible that I got incredibly lucky, but looking at the spec sheet of the Shots, there’s no expense spared. Power transfer is taken cared of by the 3k carbon sole that maximises efficiency through the pedals while allowing a little flex at the toes (ideal for toe-clenchers like me), while there’s a sliding vent that can be unscrewed for customisation of airflow.

Sidi say that the integrated vent and air channels improve airflow, while the entire design was chosen to maximise circulation in all areas of the foot – so if you struggle with numb toes or painful plantar tendons, you’re well catered for.

The heel features plentiful cushioning around the Achilles, while you can also tighten the bolts on the external adjuster to allow the Shots to wrap around your heel more securely, should you be planning on any sprinting or explosive climbing. Still, there’s plenty of room here if you don’t want to feel restricted in that area.

The upper is distinctive in that it features a tongue which has two dials for even tension adjustment. They’re not BOAs, though – this is a double ‘Tecno-3’ system that features a red button in the middle to release the spring-loaded clasps, which then become handles that tightens the mechanism. They then snap back down when you’ve got it set just so.

There’s practically no flex in the heel at all – all the better for retention – so to escape the cocooning shell you press the red release buttons, then squeeze together the two push-in buttons at the top and bottom of the tongue. The mechanisms then release when you try to lift your foot out, allowing an escape.

I’d criticise this system for its complexity, except when you consider how often you need to use it versus the time spent benefiting from the excellently even tension distribution across the top of the foot it affords.

The heel cup offers a range of adjustability, contributing to the superb fit

Around the outer of the shoe, there are also mesh vents for additional cooling, which is very effective and means the Shot is particularly breathable, aided by laser cut holes in the microfibre body panels. They look like they may be a touch warm to wear, but in truth they’re not. Now I see why so many pros favour these even when the big races hit the mountains.

There’s a great sense of quality with the Shots too – since the 102 mile debut, they’ve been away with me on a trip with Lapierre to see the new Pulsium and Aircode bikes, and taken on numerous club rides and they still look practically new. Yes, there’s a little scuffing as you may expect on the underside, but the presence of the removable heel and toe pads in tandem with my LOOK cleats means that the sole is well-protected when walking around and most of the cosmetic damage is limited to these extremities. Swap those out, and you’d have to look hard to tell that they’ve been worn at all.

That’s just as well, because in the black and blue Team Sky-esque colourway they’re real stunners to behold, while they’re also available in high-viz yellow, full white, black and white, and red and white colourways too.

The super-stiff carbon sole balances power transfer and comfort

And, all the while I’ve remained as comfortable in them as I was from that first ride. Given the super-stiff sole which maximises power transfer without fatiguing your foot, the good ventilation and very customisable fit (should you need it), it goes a long way to explaining the almost crazy price tag.

In fact the only real criticism I’d make of them is that they’re a touch heavy on the scales, coming in at 644g for the pair (322g each) in a size EU46.

The Team Sky-esque blue colourway looks great, but there are also yellow, white, black/white and red/white options (Pic: Jean-Luc Armand)

Conclusion

The Sidi Shots are the highest of high-level performance road shoes. There are performance features everywhere, from the excellent carbon sole to the even tension distribution of the double fastening system, with heel fit and ventilation customisation also easily made.

But the best thing is, as long as you don’t have very wide feet, they’re super comfortable to wear right from the get go – and you can’t say that every day when it comes to shoes.

Pros

  • Great fit
  • Easily adjustable fastening
  • Super-stiff sole
  • Smart design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A little heavy

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