Sidi Wire Carbon Vernice cycling shoes – review - Road Cycling UK

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Sidi Wire Carbon Vernice cycling shoes – review

A wonderful set of shoes from a brand that are true masters of their craft

If you like your cycling gear tried and tested by the pros, then you’re going to love Sidi. Chris Froome wore a pair of these while winning the Tour de France last year, and frankly there’s no better endorsement than that of a Tour winner.

Sidi shoes have been favourites of the pros for years, with the likes of Ivan Basso, Paolo Bettini and Alberto Contador all wearers of the iconic shoes at points in their careers. Plus, you can grab these in a special Chris Froome edition now, if you like that sort of thing.

If you want to talk about quality of construction, you can’t knock the Wire Carbons on any front. The stitching of the uppers is excellent, and closure system wonderfully executed. The dials look like they’ll last a long time as should the sole seeing as the rubber bumpers are both replaceable – not a feature you’ll find with many manufacturers. The solid heel cup might add a little weight, but it’s fantastically durable and even the large strap on the top of the shoe is replaceable should you manage to break it.

The Tecno-3 ratchets on Sidi’s shoes are some of the very best around, and the red button pops up half of the upper surface to make it easier to turn

One of the big plusses with Sidi shoes is the range of adjustability. It’s most obvious in the closure system on the front of the shoe, which is one of Sidi’s patented Tecno-3 dials to tighten the lower half of the foot, and another that tightens a thick pad at the top. The dials themselves are wonderfully designed with a small red button that you push to flip up half of the face, which then gives you a much better surface to turn. To release, there are two small surfaces to push in on either side of the dial and it’ll release the wires as you move your foot out or pull the shoe.

The large strap at the top is particularly good. Being big means it spreads the closure tension out across the top of your foot which means things remain comfortable even if you like your shoes very tight. It’s also adjustable from both ends so you can make sure that it fastens across the top of the foot rather than slipping down to the side.

On top of that, though, the shoes also have an adjustable heel retention device so you can achieve the perfect fit in the heel cup. It tightens and loosens using a small flathead screwdriver, and tightens the heel cup around the top of the ankle, which is particularly useful if you find that your feet move around when you’re out of the saddle.

While how well these shoes fit you will still depend on the shape of your feet versus the shape of the shoe, the Wire Carbons are certainly one of the most adjustable shoes on the market, which means a lot of rider should be able to fit an acceptable fit. The other big plus is that Sidi offer the shoes in half sizes all the way from Euro 39 up to 48 so you have a greater opportunity to get things right in the first place.

The heel retention device means you can adjust how tight the heel of the shoe fits. It’s a smart system and perfect if you offer suffer from heel lift in your shoes

The sole is Sidi’s Vent carbon, and only has the one smallish vent under the arch of the foot which is definitely the most effective place for it. As you can imagine, Sidi say that the sole offers superior stiffness for power transfer and although I can’t offer you any data to back that up, it’s certainly more than stiff enough for any rides I did or terrain I tackled while testing the shoes. Our shoes are three-bolt cleat compatible, but Sidi do a Speedplay-specific version if you don’t want to have to use their cleat adapters.

Ventilation is good on the uppers as well, even though they might look a little lacking in that department. They’re definitely cool enough that you may want overshoes even on mild days, and I barely rode without them during testing bodes well for summer riding. Those uppers are made from a polyurethane microfibre made in Italy. It’s nice and tough, with the requisite stiffness you need in a shoe so that when you’re pulling against the fabric it won’t give.

They’re not the lightest shoes around – although I wouldn’t call them heavy by any means – but I’ve never put a huge amount of stock in shoe weight, anyway, and the quality all over the build means it’s hard to care if they’re a few grams heavier than something else.

Conclusion

There’s a reason Sidi are a benchmark for quality: they make great bike shoes. And these certainly fit into that category. I honestly can’t fault them for anything and they’re as close as any shoe comes to justifying a £300 price tag.

Pros

– Highly adjustable which means very comfortable
– Superb quality throughout the shoe

Cons

– Expensive

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