Few manufacturers are as synonymous with tradition as Sidi, so any time the venerable cobbler expands its line with a new model, we take notice. The men's Dragon 4 Shoes are one such example, and they fill out Sidi's menu, inhabiting the middle ground by combining elements of the Absalon-tier Drako and the recreational Cape Air models.
Instead of the tongue ventilation on the Drako or the all-over perforations of the Cape Air, the Dragon 4 features strategic mesh paneling to keep your foot cool. It also mimics the Drako by doing away with Sidi's traditional ratcheting buckle in favor of a pair of Tecno 3 wire buckles, but it further supplements the fit with a high-security hook-and-loop strap over the toe box. This enclosure system is outfitted with Sidi's Soft Instep 3 strap and adjustable heel retention device, which secure the heel and diffuse pressure to eliminate sloppy fit without unnecessary discomfort.
The shoes ride on Sidi's SRS Carbon Composite sole, a nylon platform that's reinforced with carbon fiber for additional stiffness that also incorporates a degree of engineered flex. The sole isn't as stiff as Sidi's top-end road shoes — but that's a good thing. It doesn't sacrifice mobility during hike-a-bike situations and it also won't spend several hours hammering you unforgivingly in the metatarsals across terrain that makes even the cobbliest of the Northern Classics seem like a pleasure cruise on pristine tarmac.
Of all the technologies that Sidi built into the Dragon 4 in order to help it weather the storm on the trial, the Sole Replacement System (the SRS in SRS Carbon Composite sole) may be our favorite. SRS is simply the ability to replace the lugs and guard plates on the outsole, refreshing the Dragon 4 by keeping its belly armor up to the job of subduing unruly terrain. The SRS system also accommodates two toe spikes and can be fitted with an additional toe guard for even more longevity.
- Premium cycling shoes for trail riding and racing
- Carbon-reinforced nylon sole optimizes power transfer
- Aggressive lugs are replaceable after being worn out
- Microfiber upper wraps your foot in supple support
- Soft Instep 3 strap and Tecno 3 buckles for fine-tuned fit
- Adjustable heel retention prevents lifting under acceleration
- Sidi blends Italian craftsmanship with industry-leading tech