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I have been riding with Sidi shoes for many years. Never found anything that came close in quality, fit and comfort. I was very impressed with the Gauge right out of the box. Lighter and stiffer than my dominators. Many reviews sized these shoes bigger than Sidis. To me they are very similar. I went from 46 1/2 Mega and 47 Mega Dominators to a 47 Gauge HV. Perfect !!! Great carbon sole (Easton) and great customizable insole (Aegis). These shoes are a solid package. No need to buy new insole with these. Hike a bike sections are not an issue with this stiffer shoe. Heel cup did it's job. So far ,( 500 milesish) no cons at all. Sidi who ??? :)
I bought this shoe after using a Vittoria MTB carbon fiber sole for a number of years. While I liked the shoe, it was narrow and my foot isn't, as well as the ratchet release mechanism was difficult to release.
I have a spinal cord injury which has left me with a number of challenges, among then is my right foot drops. I've dealt with it for 25 years which includes riding a recumbent trike instead of a road bike. Recently, I was able to get an ankle-foot orthotic (AFO) to address this condition, even when cycling as it takes up almost no room in a bike shoe or any shoe, for that matter. I use a MTB shoe as they're easier to walk in. My Vittoria's top strap is not long enough to comfortably get around my wide, high instep foot as well as the support going up from the AFO.
This shoe works perfectly. The support which goes across the outside of my foot does not bind and there is room for it and still close the top buckle, though it is close. Also the ratcheting mechanism is easy to release. My left foot is normal and this shoe is the best fitting shoe I've ever worn on it, even before the injury.
I've not given the shoe five stars as the cleat plate is nearly impossible to adjust for and aft or on an angle. That is my only complaint.
For those with wide feet, high insteps or both, this shoe is ideal. THe sole is quite stiff, as I'd expect it to be. The other review mentioned some possible lack of grip in the sole. I've not noticed that myself.
I've been wearing these for about 4 months now, and put on quite a few miles on both road and dirt. I decided, rather than buy a mediocre pair of both road and mountain shoes, that I'd just get a nice pair of mountain shoes and use them for road, since the difference anymore is primarily the tread and bolt pattern. I get a few funny looks on the road bike, but the shoes are well worth it.
The carbon sole-perfectly stiff, but still walkable. If you're familiar with Sidi shoes, you'll know that while the bulk of the soles are incredibly stiff, the toe area, particularly in their mountain shoes, flexes nicely to allow you to walk/hike if necessary. Gir emulated this, and did it very well.
The tread - Passable, but not ideal. Shimano typically uses a soft durometer rubber on their mountain soles, and Sidi uses a harder plastic on their Dominator 5 shoes, and a softer compound on their replaceable SRS soles. The soles of the Gauge resemble the Dominator 5s pretty closely, but a bit firmer. This makes walking and hiking in them tough until you start to shred the plastic and it gets grippier. About that shredding. It's probably the only real knock I have on these shoes, and the bulk of the reason they get 4 out of 5 stars. The tread and soles look absolutely beat after half a season. I've hiked on some rocky terrain with them, but the wear seems faster than I would like. A replaceable sole would be an awesome option, and would definitely take these into 5 star land. The toe spike compatibility is a big plus in the early season when the snow's still melting.
Fit - Perfect. Game, set, match. Giro found the perfect blend of European and American shoe fits. For reference, I wear a 48 in this shoe. I find a Sidi 49 Mega much too large, a 48 Mega a touch too wide, and a touch too short, and Sidi's standard sizes too narrow. I wear a Shimano 49 fairly comfortably, but it's a bit long. I like that these shoes are not a 'wide' but a 'high-volume.' For my feet, this is perfect. I initially thought they were going to be too short, but they stretched just a bit, and now fit so perfectly that I'll buy another pair regardless of my issue with the sole, when I finally wear these out.
The Supernatural Fit Kit comes standard with these shoes. It's pretty slick. Giro includes three different arch support pieces; low, regular, and high arch support. They attach with Velcro to the footbed so you don't have anything moving around or causing problems. I started with the low because it most closely matched the stock insoles in my Shimano shoes, which I was wearing just prior to picking these up. I then stepped up to the medium after a week or so, and finally to the high, which gives a really nice amount of support without adding bulk to y already bulky feet. They're comfortable for hours on end, in both road and mountain style riding (long, steady grinds, and punchier, quicker, higher-intensity efforts).
I definitely recommend these shoes to anyone who has found themselves just between a regular and a wide shoe, or at the upper end of a given size.