Sidi's newly updated Wire 2 Carbon Matt shoes follow in the footsteps of the Shots, launched a couple of years ago. Like those, these Wire 2 shoes are very stiff for excellent power transfer, whether racing or just smashing along the road, with good comfort and an easy-to-adjust closure system, but they're darn expensive and they're not that light either. But ooh, that matt grey is lurvely.
Before the Shot was launched, with an all-new closure system locating both rotary dials atop the tongue, the Wire was the top dog in Sidi's range. The new Wire 2 continues the legacy of a shoe hugely popular with many cyclists, with a number of updates. They're not massive changes, more minor revisions.
Let me give you some more detail... First off, the all-new microfibre upper with these textured areas that give it an interesting look. There's function under the beauty, with the angled lines placed to support the closure system.
Ventilation has been a key part of the design. The Wire 2 shoes have perforations in the upper and the carbon sole has generous vents too. The front vent can be closed if it's a bit too chilly for maximum airflow.
If you're reading this review in a warm part of the world (lucky you) I'd say the ventilation isn't quite on a par with other shoes. For UK cyclists it's less of a concern; it rarely gets warm enough for hot feet to impair a bicycle ride.
The closure system has been refined. No Boa dials here, these are Sidi's own Techno dials which were first introduced in 1988. I'd argue they aren't really as easy to use as the more popular Boa dials, but Sidi is sticking with them. You push the red button and the lever pops up, and you can loosen or tighten the dial to customise the fit.
The lower dial has moved to the tongue just like the Shot, to improve comfort, while the top one remains in the same place. They work together to fine-tune volume in the front of the shoe and overall retention. It works well; it's easy to get the fit just how you want it.
The top strap has been made a bit smaller and it's more flexible with padded edges, to improve comfort. It's a good improvement over the Shot and suggests Sidi is taking feedback on board. The strap on the old shoes could tend to dig in a little, so that's a nice improvement.
One annoyance I found, but which doesn't adversely impact comfort, is that the tongue tends to slide to the outside of the shoe. Really tickles my OCD, but might just be this particular pair.
To help prevent heel lift, something no cyclist wants, the heel cup is reinforced and it's adjustable as well if you can find a screwdriver small enough. I didn't detect any heel lift, even stamping and pulling as hard as I could on the pedals up a 25%+ climb near where I live.
The sole is full carbon fibre, as you'd expect at this price, so very stiff and very light, with three-bolt cleat drillings (there is also a dedicated Speedplay version) and useful markings for cleat alignment. The front and rear red bumpers are replaceable. It's actually the same sole as used on the Shot.
The other thing to talk about is this new matt grey colour. Apparently, it's fashionable right now. In my eyes, it wasn't an instant hit but I have to admit it has really grown on me and now I really like it. Other colours are available if you're not digging the grey.
I've been testing these shoes for the last couple of months and thus far durability has been very good. When the shoes have got dirty the upper has cleaned up very well – they don't mark easily or hold onto dirt stubbornly. It would seem to be quite a practical colour for this time of year.
The same issue about weight affects the new Wire 2 shoes as it did with the Shots I tested last year. At 646g for a pair of 44.5 shoes, they are considerably heavier than Giro's £200 Empire E70 Knit shoes (570g, size 45), Specialized's £330 S-Works 7 (claimed 448g, size 42) or even the £180 Bontrager Velocis shoes (486g, size 46). How important is weight in a shoe? That depends, but if you're racing or spending this sort of money, it's reasonable to expect a weight that is more competitive against its rivals.
The Wire 2s are £20 cheaper than the Shots but just as stiff and comfortable, and with a Shot on one foot and a Wire 2 on the other (yes, I really did do this, admittedly on the indoor trainer) it's nigh-on impossible to detect any difference. I expected to feel more difference in comfort considering the different closure locations but was surprised that once you get pedalling there's nothing in it really.
They're not cheap then, but top-end Sidi shoes never will be so there's no point complaining about the cost, especially since the company does offer more affordable shoes down the range.
What I can't help feeling is that rivals such as Specialized, Shimano, Pearl Izumi, Fizik and Giro are pushing ahead more in technology and performance terms than Sidi, but I guess it has a solid design language and is keen to remain true to it. If it ain't broke etc...
Lovely shoes with good comfort and performance, but too heavy for the high price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sidi Wire 2 Carbon Matt shoes
Size tested: 44.5
Tell us what the product is for
Sidi says, "The Sidi Wire 2 Matt Carbon is an all-new cycling shoe from Sidi Sport. Featuring top of the line Carbon Vent sole, with a matt finish Microfibre Tech-Pro upper fabric.
"The Techno 3 closure system one on the side of the shoe and one atop the tongue ensure a secure fit with no hot spots, while the adjustable heel eliminates heel lift.
"The full carbon Vent sole features an adjustable and replaceable front vent and a replaceable soft heel pad. The sole is 3 bolt fitting only."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
TECNO-3 PUSH SYSTEM
The Single TECNO 3 PUSH is inserted on a composite base, The central mechanism creates a perfect tension balance between the shoe's internal and external side. for the lower foot, The symmetrical mechanism guarantees an excellent closure adapting on every instep. An innovative button added to the monofilament buckle, if pushed, lifts the buckle to facilitate the adjustment.
The SOFT INSTEP CLOSURE SYSTEM is a wide, anatomically curved strap combined with a soft, thermo-formed EVA pad that distributes pressure evenly over the instep area. The SOFT INSTEP CLOSURE SYSTEM is adjustable from both sides, to perfectly centre the EVA pad over a high or low instep. The system eliminates the need for the High Instep Extender. The SOFT INSTEP CLOSURE SYSTEM is replaceable.
SIDI's TECHNO-3 PUSH dial in fit along the entire length of the shoe, adapting the upper to the shape of the foot for a customized fit. SIDI's famously reliable and replaceable closures are improved by an all-new proprietary SIDI Wire material that is completely non-binding for intuitive and effortless on-the-fly adjustments. Like most SIDI small parts, the TECHNO-3 PUSH buckle is serviceable and replaceable. It can be adjusted while riding, thanks to an innovative button which can be pushed to lift the buckle and facilitate the adjustment.
REFLEX ADJUSTABLE HEEL RETENTION DEVICE
The ADJUSTABLE HEEL RETENTION DEVICE reinforces the top of the heel cup and improves the fit by closing the back of the shoe securely around the rider's heel. The heel retention device tightens the top of the heel cup so that the heel doesn't slide out during steep climbs or sprints. Each side of the heel can be adjusted independently, for a perfect fit. For a custom, adjustment turn the screw towards the + sign to tighten the heel retention device and towards the – sign to open it. Lightweight, easy to use, and replaceable. For additional security, while pedalling, the new adjustable heel device is provided with reflex inserts for more visibility in dark conditions.
SIDI HEEL CUP
The reinforced cup that stabilises and supports the heel. Anatomically shaped plastic reduces heel slip and provides increased power transfer. Provides additional foot protection in the event of a crash.
VENT CARBON SOLE
The VENT CARBON Sole features a light and replaceable heel pad in polyurethane to improve walkability and a replaceable integrated toe pad/vent cover. The key benefits of the VENT CARBON Sole are not only superior power transfer, because of its light weight and stiffness, but also warm weather comfort. The VENT CARBON Sole is designed with an integrated vent and air channels for heat dissipation and air flow. The vent can be opened or closed for 4-season comfort. The VENT CARBON Sole is handmade exclusively of carbon fibre in a weave pattern oriented at opposing angles that maximise stiffness while allowing for a small degree of controlled flex in the toe area. This carefully designed flex biomechanically relieves stress on the plantar tendon and helps promote circulation. The VENT CARBON Sole features a standard 3-hole drilling pattern, printed 10 mm lateral and fore/aft cleat alignment scale as well as the Look Memory Eyelet for easy cleat alignment and replacement. For triathlon, the vent also serves as a water drain, dramatically improving foot comfort after a wet transition.
First class build quality as usual from Sidi.
For demanding cyclists and racers, the stiffness and comfort is very good.
The matt grey is a practical colour and the upper hasn't scuffed or marked.
Shoe fit is a very personal thing but I did find the Sidi fit works for me, and the adjustability is high.
Woo! They do half sizes, which not all brands do.
If weight is a concern, these are heavy for the money and compared to rivals at or below this price.
Yup, it's very good.
They are on par with lots of shoes with similar levels of features and performance – but you can get lighter and just as comfortable shoes for less. There's more to Sidi than just the price, though: the company has a strong heritage, with multiple race victories at the highest level and that is something I know will appeal to some, though equally it's of no concern to those who just want the best value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy: the upper cleans up nicely after a dirty ride.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Provide stiffness for fast pedalling and good comfort for longer rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good fit, comfort, adjustability and looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit heavy, Boa dials are easier to use, not the most ventilated sole.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are many £300-350 shoes, but you can get lighter and just as comfortable shoes for less.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Just focusing on comfort, fit and performance, these live up to Sidi standards, which are very high, but at this price they are just too heavy compared to key rivals.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.