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Sidi Genius 10 road cycling shoes review

5 Mar 2020

Durable performance shoes but maybe a little pricey

Cyclist Rating: 
Lightweight • Secure • Classy look and feel • Good balance of stiffness
Adjustment not the easiest • Could be a little narrow for some

‘Handmade in Italy’ is an expression often used by marketing departments to imbue a product with a sense of almost mythical artisanal quality, but it’s no guarantee of quality. Unless we’re talking about the Sidi Genius 10 road cycling shoes I’ve been hammering the cranks with recently. They’re built not only with classy design values at heart (fluoro yellow colourscheme notwithstanding; what is this: 2008?) but also with durability in mind.

'One of the key focuses of our product development is to make a product which will take years of use to wear out,' says Sidi’s UK spokesman Richard Mardle. 'Handmaking the shoes in Italy means that we are in complete control of every point of the build process, using methods that have been around in quality production for many years.'

Buy the Sidi Genuis 10 now from Merlin Cycles

Indeed, some of the design elements have been around since the turn of century. I remember riding in Sidi motorcycle boots featuring the same external moulded plastic heels as the Genius 10 shoes use. In this cycling application, the heel holds firmly but not harshly, like a tube station ticket guard restraining a drunken hen party fare dodger.

Eco-friendly synthetic leather uppers are lightly vented; they’ll be perfect in hotter weather, but even in February they haven’t caused chilly feet. Grippy pads at the heel and toe facilitate fairly easy walking for short distances without me appearing to have soiled myself, while the Nylon/carbon composite sole – for all its stiffness – provides a suitable level of flex. The ideal recipe for long-distance comfort with a performance edge.

The fit of the Sidi Genius 10 is cossetting, although not easily adjusted on the fly. Where the Italian company’s proprietary dial closure system differs to the Boa dials more universally employed (such as on the Specialized Torch 2.0 shoes I rode through most of winter in) is that they can only be tightened incrementally, not loosened.

Go too tight with the dial and your only option is to release it fully and start again. Granted, it doesn’t take long to get used to, but it’s slightly counter-intuitive.

'Our dial system is developed to work in conjunction with our shoes, not our shoes around the dial system,' asserts Mardle. 'The logic of using our system doesn’t take long to pick up and with feedback from professional cyclists we are more than confident with the ease of use.'

Buy the Sidi Genuis 10 now from Merlin Cycles

Perhaps the only other niggle I have with the Genius 10 shoes is their slightly narrow fit. My size 42 plates of meat are a standard width, but still felt a little squished. Not so much that I couldn’t ride in comfort for an hour or so at a time; more that the closeness of the material to my toe joints was evident in use.

Mardle sheds some light on how you can avoid this: 'Sidi shoes have been developed around fairly standard European lasts, so we don’t consider them to be narrow by those standards, but our shoes have full and half sizes which can overcome this concern.

'A Euro size 45 is a traditional size whereas a 45.5 isn’t about length increase; we use the same size base and increase the volume in the shoe which allows for more width and/or a higher instep.

'As with all shoes, fit is very personal and every foot is different, so we would always recommend trying a few sizes at your local dealer before you buy.'

Do it; try some on, because they’re a very decent pair of shoes. Whether they’re a pair of shoes befitting their £200 price tag is a moot point, but I’ve no reason to dispute their performance or doubt their longevity.

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