When it debuted in 2015, the Kaos platform took two tech flavors that we had simply assumed were mutually exclusive — ratcheting buckles and wire dials — and combined them in one entree. It turns out the combination is a bit like chocolate and peanut butter: apparently illogical but impossible to live without once you've sampled it. For 2016, Sidi adds yet another confectionary wrinkle to the new men's Kaos Air Carbon Shoes by replacing the brand's standard, glossy upper with the well-perforated Air upper.
We're struggling to extend the food metaphor with a third ingredient to complement chocolate and peanut butter — pretzels, maybe? — but in actual, on-road experience, the Air upper's multitude of perforations increases the Kaos' ventilation points and decreases foot temperature on long days under the hot sun. As with the its Tecno 3 wire dial, the Kaos is the first shoe to feature the Air upper below the $400 point, bringing Sidi's highest level of ventilation to a more affordable price point.
The Kaos Air incorporates both a traditional ratcheting buckle at the top and the Tecno-3 wire dial for the mid- and forefoot. The Tecno-3 buckle operates like a quick-release hub: flip the lever up to open it, turn to tighten, and flip it down to lock your fit in place. The wire itself is both non-binding and non-stretch, so it adjusts smoothly without loosening over the course of your ride. Of course, one of the joys of owning Sidi shoes is mid-ride fiddling, so rest assured that both buckles are easily adjustable while in the saddle. The shoes also have the same amount of instep padding as Basso's own favorites, the Genius 6.6, so you can ratchet these puppies down with impunity.
The outsole is 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 century. It also resists warping caused by humidity, heat, and age, so you'll be wearing the Kaos Air long after you've worn out and replaced the bolt-on heel pad. If you've ever lost a buckle to a crash, then you'll also be happy to know that all of the shoes' fastening hardware is also replaceable.
- Millenium 4 Carbon Composite outsole
- 1 Tecno-3 wire dial and 1 ratcheting buckle closure
- Air upper