The shoe of cycling champions, we road test the Sidi Wire Carbon
The Wire Carbon is Sidi's top-end road shoe and the culmination of over 40 years of cycling shoe innovation. Like many Sidi range-toppers of decades past, the Wire Carbon is the choice of the peloton's greatest riders including Adam Yates, Romain Bardet, Purito Rodriguez, Marcel Kittel and Richie Porte as well as Chris Froome, who used both this and its airier brother, the aptly named Wire Carbon Air, to win the 2015 Tour de France.
Sidi's incomparable history of pro feedback and development is evident in every facet of the Wire Carbon's design, which includes a selection of exclusive features.
The brand's Vent Carbon Sole is handmade from 3k carbon and laid-up to maximise pedalling stiffness while retaining a small degree of flex around the toebox to aid comfort and relieve stress on the plantar tendon. The sole also features the titular vent, which can be opened and closed as conditions dictate to tailor airflow.
The Microfibre TechPro upper is constructed to be comfortable and supportive as well as look fantastic, and it does indeed give a uniquely classy feel. The beautifully stitched finish speaks to Sidi's renowned manufacturing and attention to detail. Perforations across the upper aid ventilation along with mesh in the centre of the comfy, foam-backed tongue. A pair of Tecno-3 dials pull their wire closures taught in tiny increments for a secure, customisable fit.
The Soft Instep 3 is an iconic element of Sidi's shoes, but it's more than a gimmick for looks. The strap spreads the load over the top of the foot to avoid pinching and hot spots no matter how hard you're working up the climbs. As feet swell over long rides, the ability to relax the wires a little via the buttons on either side of the dials comes in really handy. Then there's the push button in the centre, that opens up the dial's lever for quick tightening should the need arise.
Fit is aided by the structured heel cup, which is designed to help stabilise the heel, and the adjustable heel retention device, which allows you to independently tweak arms that hug the base of the Achilles. This completely eliminates heel slippage – a revelation for this long-time slippy heel sufferer!
The last is designed around a slim Italian foot that gives a close, slipper-esque feel. So close and comfortable in fact, that it renders the heat mouldable technology of some other brands utterly redundant. Sidi's long-time expertise ensures that everything snuggles up with great support and oodles of comfort. If you've got wider, higher volume feet, you may find a better fit in the Mega sized options in the Sidi range.
Out on the road, this myriad of features comes together in an almost alchemical way to create a feeling of connection with the bike unlike any other shoe. The longer the ride, the better they feel, remaining utterly comfortable while enhancing pedalling feel. With hundreds of miles in them, the shoes still look beautiful. Adding to the shoes' legendary longevity is the added bonus that dials, instep strap, heel retention device, vent and heel pads are all replaceable.
With Tour-winning pedigree, incredible looks and unmatched performance, it's no wonder so many pros choose to wear Wire Carbons. This is another aspect that brings joy with the Italian brand's shoes – that almost tangible association with the world's most prestigious footwear brand. You just feel special in Sidi shoes and the Wire Carbons are the most special of all.