Product Reviews: Sidi Wire, vent carbon road shoes

Whoops, I dropped the ball on the other two written reviews, so here is the review on the Sidi Wire Vent Carbon shoe, Sidi’s new flagship in what else, a laser-like neon yellow. Out of the box these shoes live up to the pictures, and nearly blinded me! I have never been a fan of white shoes, but alternate colors have made there way into my arsenal over the years. These shoes are far and away my favorite because they look hot and fast. They’re also a big step up functionally from previous ratchet and turn style buckle shoes with a lighter sole and plush cradle for your foot.

As indicated above and the photos show, the shoes are NEON yellow vernice (shiny) finish. The finish improve visibility and the ability to clean the exterior; my MTB TRI shoes are white vernice and clean up nicely, but black vernice shoes scuffs more readily. The new shoe “leather” is stiffer than prior Sidi shoes, but the lack of lorica doesn’t minimize the comfort. One work of advice, be sure to remove the internal cardboard that helps hold the shape of the shoe and actually isnt immediately noticeable, but does diminish the comfort of the shoe (yes, I didnt discover this until the third ride).

Now, you can take my opinion with a grain of salt, but having worn numerous shoes over more than two decades, including Sidi, these shoes are by far the best fitting and most comfortable shoe I have ever worn. The heel cup is deeper and the shoe feels secure but roomy. The insoles are improved and compared to most shoes, including my old Sidi Ergo 2’s that never seemed to rival my G 5s in comfort, I have no hot spots. The lack of mesh, doesn’t seem to influence the ventilation, and air flow has been improved with the use of a mesh tongue and a venting system that can be closed and opened in the sole (pictured). Need a more custom fit? The heel cup retention system is more adjustable than the previous Ergo versions, though I can’t say I’ve used it much.

These shoes are called the Wire because of the new Techno 3 wire buckle. I have always liked the idea of this buckle all the way back to Techno model, but lets face it, it never worked as well as the hype it delivered. It worked, but loosening the buckle was an issue. The new Techno 3 is like moving from an IPhone to IPhone 4. Seriously, the effort to use the buckle is minimal, the two buckle retention system mo even, and the ability to adjust and loosen the buckle simple and effective. Sidi got this set right. And while you can easily cut off all blood supply with the retention, the odds of that happening is much less than the older system; eg, the Ergo 2s seemed to have larger tension increments. The release on the buckle is simple and fast, even on the saddle.

Finally, the carbon sole was put on a diet and shoes are nearly 100 g lighter than my old Ergo 2s and reportedly 60 g lighter than the Ergo 3. The thinner sole is sleeker, and more refined, but gives up nothing in stiffness. The venting system is easy to use, but having not needed it yet, I cannot speak to how effective it is. Practically speaking, closing off air flow in the winter is a good idea, but cannot replace booties. However, I never had to drop out of race because my feel were too hot.

What’s the downside? These shoes are severely financially challenged. I seriously wish someone could explain to me why some of this stuff costs so much, because at more than $400 these are a tough sell, but in fairness to the product, are a worthy buy. First, they are a fantastic shoe, and second, cycling shoes truly are “durable goods”; my last three pairs of Sidi’s lasted me 5 years, and resale is possible even with the most beat up shoe – my Sidi Dominators recently sold for $30. In fact, I only buy new shoes to update my look.

So my final assessment is buy for the shoe, not the price, but plan to keep them a while to get your money’s worth. I’ll rate these shoes as an A- only because of the price, but an A+ for overall function. By the way, I had purchased a pair of Dragon 2’s a year earlier and this shoe was a clear step up from those. I’ll post up pics of those too. My only disappointment is that I didn’t wait to go with the full Techno 3 Drakos leased this year. Still, the shoe was a vast upgrade to the Dominator.

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