For 2015, Sidi's old standbys, the Genius Fit Carbon Shoes, return virtually unchanged from their previous iteration. The predecessors of these shoes have been with us throughout our entire cycling careers and, with the option of replacing all the hardware — from the heel pad to the buckle — the latest bearers of the Genius standard are sure to enjoy the same longevity.
The Genius Fits use Sidi's beloved ratcheting buckle for retention. Is "beloved" to strong of a word to describe fastening devices on cycling shoes? Maybe. But after tens or even hundreds of thousands of miles together, we suggest that the average cyclist's bond with Sidi's buckle system is more than simply utilitarian. With wire dials (originally a Sidi innovation in the early 80s) and laces enjoying a fashionable renaissance in the peloton, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that virtually any cyclist pedaling in anger during the past three decades relied almost exclusively on this buckle—or a buckle largely based on it—to fasten their cycling shoes. So "beloved"? Yeah, we're comfortable with it.
Given the buckle's history, you're no doubt familiar with its micro-adjustment operation, which lets you vary strap pressure to nail the perfect fit, every time. The Soft Arch Compression Strap evenly spreads the upward stroke pedaling forces across the top of your foot while also alleviating the discomfort of over-tightening. The mid- and forefoot fit is managed by a pair of standard Sidi hook-and-loop straps that feature an additional strip of polymer teeth to ensure secure locking that persists long after the hook-and-loop filaments have been blunted down to wilted, apparently useless shadows of their former selves.
The uppers' mesh-ventilated Technomicro material is water-repellent, quick-drying, and breathable as well as abrasion- and mildew-resistant for comfort that lasts throughout your ride. It also resists stretching, so the precise fit of the fastening buckle won't be compromised during long days and hard efforts. If you've ever lost a buckle to a crash, then you'll also be happy to know that all of the upper's hardware is also replaceable.
The Millennium 4 Carbon Composite outsole isn't of the current crop of full-carbon that now defines the $200 shoe range. Instead, it's a nylon matrix shot through with carbon fiber, blending weight, stiffness, and price in a sole that's as ready to race as it is to spin through a charity ride century. It also resists warping due to humidity, heat, and age, so you'll be wearing the these long after you've worn out and replaced the heel pad. The important takeaway here is that, for all those years we've been relying on Sidi's buckle to keep our feet strapped to our shoes' soles, this has been the sole we've been strapped to. Comfort, stiffness, durability: it's all there. We know because we've tested it for years on end, so all of the above isn't just catalogue palaver, it's a reflection of our experience.
- The classic cycling shoes we've all raced and trained on
- Proven stiffness and durability of the Millenium 4 outsole
- Synthetic uppers conform to your foot without getting sloppy
- Traditional buckle and strap fastening system
- Sidi's Genius line largely defined the course of cycling shoe innovation for the past few decades