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Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes



Idiosyncratic Italian kicks that aren't light, aren't entirely comfortable out of the box and don't have the best dials
Solidly made in Italy
Should last ages; replacement parts available
Easy to clean
Comfortable (once DIY'd a bit)
Sidi's dials are just not nearly as good as the competition
Tongue / strap combination can be uncomfortable
Quite heavy

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

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The Sidi Ergo 5 road shoes tick all the boxes the company's not inexpensive range generally does. They are stiff, made in Italy, and eschew any kind of focus on lightness in exchange for really solid construction and an extendable lifespan thanks to lots of replaceable parts. Some swear by the 'slipper-like' comfort of Sidi shoes, but I needed to go after these with some scissors before they were very comfortable for me. I'm really not a fan of Sidi's dial system, either.

The Ergo 5 isn't a brand new shoe, but this is the first time we've got our feet in some. Sidi has quite a wide range of shoes, ranging from the (ahem) upper mid-range to the seriously pricey. It's a well-established Italian brand with deep roots in the peloton (and favoured by Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, Adam Yates and Tao Geoghegan Hart, amongst many others).

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At £299, these matt-finished Ergo 5s are cheaper than the pros' ones, but it's still a lot of cash for a pair of kicks (though you can sometimes find them at under half price if you hunt around).

In the all-black colour we tested, the Ergo 5 has a pretty classy look – you could almost believe they were still fashioned from leather. It's actually a PU microfibre called Microfibra Techpro. It feels substantial but supple – the Sidi way is definitely to make durable shoes rather than flyweight ones that need replacing after a year.

We weighed our (admittedly large at EU48) pair at over 750g, which is some way from the lighter end of the market. You'd probably not choose them for a hill-climb then, but it doesn't seem like a deal-breaker to the pros; Sidi's pro-level road shoes not the lightest either.

The shoes we have here are also available in red and a gorgeous matt orange. Sidi offers replacement parts for its shoes – so if you break a wire or wear out a heel pad, you can simply buy new ones and fit them yourself. Given the price of high-end road shoes, it's surprising how few other manufacturers do this (shout out to Bont, though).

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - sole heel.jpg

The Ergo 5s are built on Sidi's Twelve Carbon Composite sole. Unlike a lot of shoe manufacturers, Sidi doesn't have its own stiffness scale, so don't misinterpret 'Twelve'. They are plenty stiff if that matters, and comparable to other high end road shoes.

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - sole detail.jpg

The sole is "injected Carbon Fiber in a matrix of Nylon," which is a little confusing, given that the middle section appears to be woven carbon fibre. The surrounding black part looks like an injected composite; I did wonder if the centre was just a sticker, but it seems like the real deal. It could be said that at £299, there are others whose full woven carbon soles do look a bit flashier.

Another Sidi hallmark is the use of its own Techno-3 Push wire closure system, rather than the widely used Boa seen elsewhere. The principle is the same – it's a neat ratcheting wire spool which can get the shoes tighter than you would ever want them. The Ergo 5 has a couple of these dials, plus a Velcro strap at the front.

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - dials.jpg

Unfortunately, both tightening and loosening are a faff with these dials. To tighten you press a tiny red button, a wing pops up across the top of the dial, and you turn that. To loosen, you have to squeeze together a couple of metal buttons either side of the dial, and pull the whole thing upwards. They are not handed either, so you have to do the opposite with your right hand to your left – unlike with Boa dials.

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - side.jpg

Frankly, the comparison with Boa does Sidi no favours at all. I'm used to being able to make fine adjustments while freewheeling even in winter gloves (and even through overshoes), but that is just not practical here.


Comfort is subjective, of course. I tend to get on well with Shimano and Scott shoes, and found the fit of these Sidis to be pretty good too. I'm a size 12, which would normally be a 47 in European sizing, but the received wisdom is to go up a size in Sidi, and these 48s were bang on for me. Got wider feet? Good news – Sidi makes a 'Mega Fit' version, even in half sizes. Mega Fit is a lot kinder than 'Fat Foot,' too...

At first these were generally pretty comfortable, with a good amount of cushioning under the tongue and around the opening. The one place they weren't comfortable was at the top of the tongue. Ironically, the Soft Instep Closure System – the strap across the top with the big Sidi logo on it – jammed the top of the tongue into my foot.

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - strap detail.jpg

Some Sidi tongues have open slots at the top, to conform to the shape of the foot, while others are simply slit lower down and not as far as the edge. I found that unless I had the wires set completely loose, this top edge dug into my foot and was pretty uncomfortable. This was the case at the start of every ride – after a while I stopped noticing it, but it would be there again at the start of the next ride.

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - heels.jpg

In the end, I got some scissors and snipped these slits open at the top end – an immediate improvement.

> 24 of the best performance road cycling shoes – get faster with light, stiff shoes

The Velcro strap is a little unusual too. Hidden underneath are two sets of serrated teeth, which really lock it into position. Given how little tension I usually require on the bottom strap of a cycling shoe, it seems like a solution in search of a problem to me.

2021 Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes - instep.jpg

After my DIY efforts, I found these shoes comfortable and easy to live with. The lack of mesh does mean they won't be the coolest in the summer, but it also makes them very easy to clean.


Unfortunately, these aren't an entirely convincing proposition. At this price you expect perfection, or something very close to it, but these fall a little short. For similar money, I'd look at competition such as Scott's RC Ultimates (now £319.99), the Rapha Pro Team shoes at £260, the Quoc Mono IIs at £270 or the Shimano S-Phyre RC9s at £319. All of these scored 9/10.


These are nicely made and should last for ages, but at this price you can also reasonably expect a best-in-class closure system and flawless comfort – and ideally a couple of hundred grams less. Although I've scored these shoes highly across several categories, overall I definitely feel there are better options elsewhere.


Idiosyncratic Italian kicks that aren't light, aren't entirely comfortable out of the box and don't have the best dials test report

Make and model: Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoes

Size tested: 48

Tell us what the product is for

Sidi says: "The Sidi Ergo 5 Road Shoe combining great comfort and classy good looks, Techno 3-push fastening and light and stiff carbon fibre soles make this is a road shoe ideal for racers or long distance cyclists."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?











Rate the product for quality of construction:

Sidi makes its shoes in Italy and does a lovely job - finish and overall quality is high here.

Rate the product for performance:

These are stiff shoes, thanks to the Twelve Carbon sole, and power transfer is pretty effective.

Rate the product for durability:

Designed to allow parts which can wear or fail to be replaced, including the Techno-3 wire closure system, the heel pad and more. It's nice to know you can extend their life like this.

Rate the product for fit:

I have average-width feet and the standard shoe fits me well. For those with wider feet, Sidi offers its Mega Fit sizing.

Rate the product for sizing:

They size up slightly small - going up one size worked perfectly for me.

Rate the product for weight:

There are notably lighter cycling shoes, so if that is a factor you'll want to look elsewhere.

Rate the product for comfort:

The tongue dug into the top of my foot.

Rate the product for value:

I really don't think these represent good value for money unless you really prize the 'made in Italy' cachet. There are some amazing shoes available for the same money and - more to the point - you can get really good shoes for half this price.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Very easy to wipe clean.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Generally okay, although various niggles which I wouldn't expect at this price.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

They're stiff, mostly comfortable and easy to keep clean.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The tongue dug into my foot, and I think that Sidi's dials are inferior in almost every way to widely-used competition.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

An RRP of £300 sets these shoes against high-end opposition from all the big brands. Most are lighter than these and most use the superior Boa dial system. Few, if it matters to you, will be made in Italy, however.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, once I'd wielded the scissors, although the dials annoyed me

Would you consider buying the product? Unlikely - for this money I'd want something close to perfection and these are not that

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Doubtful

Use this box to explain your overall score

They are nicely made and should last for ages. Those are good things at this price, but you can also reasonably expect a best-in-class closure system and flawless comfort – and ideally a couple of hundred grams less. Although I've scored these shoes highly across several categories, overall I definitely feel there are better options at this price.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 188cm  Weight: 83kg

I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh  My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels.  His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding. 

Add new comment


Xenophon2 | 2 years ago

I own 2 pair of Sidi shoes and have also in the past owned a couple of the other brands that were mentioned.  If you value durability then imo nothing comes close. Typically, summer shoes used to last one full season, two tops.  My Sidi draco's are 3 years old, I wear them daily -during summer- and they're still in fine shape.  Need to change a part, simply order it online.  Try that with Shimano or the others.  Is that factured into the 'value' rating?

With this review, the idea I get is that it's more about personal preferences of the reviewer than about objective defaults, e.g. the closing system.  No beef with personal preferences, but withdrawing 2.5 stars for that seems overly harsh, certainly considering some of the -in my and a tidy bit of other cyclists' opinion- stuff that gets pushed here and gets 4 or 4.5/5.

And yeah, I'm in the EU but the fact that they actually are made in Italy and not in some Chinese slave camp also is worth something to me, ymmv.


Prosper0 | 2 years ago
1 like

I like and have owned Sidis. But they just aren't competitive anymore with old school features throughout.

Nothing wrong with them, but not good enough for £300 anymore. 

Dingaling replied to Prosper0 | 2 years ago

I agree that prices are pretty eye watering but I have used Sidis for over 25 years and never had a problem. My way around those  high prices is to wait until late in the season or the next year and get the old model. I get them between 25 and 50% below list. 

San Remo | 2 years ago

Given the stated durability, discounts, and replaceability of wear elements I thought this review lacked a little. I have the previous version of the shoes and have found them to be very hardwearing. Sidi do not make light shoes, as they beleive that they are a compromise. I have never had any problems with the closures, it strikes me that it is just another system. The reviewers reference to his "DIY" scissor solution apears to show he did not read the instructions which come with the shoes. This is part of the normal set up, but allows the individual to customise. I am not suggesting that as I have a pair of Sidis they must be a "10"; we are spoilt for good choices in different shoes, and like saddles, we all have preferences. But...

Freddy56 | 2 years ago

Hea Sidi...1998 called and they want their shoes back

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