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The thermonuclear explosion of the gravel scene has riders training for longer days than ever before: 135 miles at the Belgian Waffle Ride, 150 miles at gravel worlds, 200 miles at Dirty Kanza! Typically, most of your training miles happen on the road, which is convenient; but it does mean that, come race day, you’re facing what will likely be the longest day of your season wearing shoes that have never gone that far. But choose the right manufacturer, and your road shoes and gravel shoes can have much in common.
For us, that means SIDI. Our love of these spare-no-expense, handmade-in-Italy shoes knows no bounds. Literally. In SIDIs, our feet have stayed comfy and ready for more after career-long days in the saddle. This year, as we prep for numerous long events, we’re training in the SIDI Wire 2 (white) on the road and racing in the SIDI Drako 2 (gray) in the gravel. While each is optimized for its preferred terrain, they share so much in common your feet won’t know the difference.
Let’s start with the closure set-up. Both shoes share a lower Tecno 3 Push Dial and a Soft Instep 4 at the mid-foot, also with a Tecno 3 Push Dial. Not only does this system create a stable and comfortable hold, but it also creates one of the fastest and easiest shoes to get on and off, and that’s easy to adjust in the saddle. The shoes even share the same upper made of microfiber tech pro and the same heel cup with an adjustable retention system. Perhaps even more importantly, both of these shoes share the exact same last—the foot form around which the shoe is created. A size 45 Drako 2 is identical to a size 45 Wire 2 Carbon in volume, width and length. SIDI also happens to have the best last in the business. In terms of upper, the only difference is some reinforcement on the toe of the Drako 2. But the similarities don’t end there. The carbon outsoles are laid up by hand, side by side, on the same production line. Other than the two-hole cleat slots and the extra recesses for the Drako 2’s lugs and toe spikes, the stiffness and feel under power is identical.
There are enough variables taking your game from the road to the gravel; the performance and comfort of your shoe should not be one of them. The SIDI Wire 2 Carbon and the Drako 2 provide not just incredible consistency, but also incredible consistency of incredible comfort and performance so you can worry about more important things come race day on gravel. $500 (Wire 2 Carbon), $500 (Drako 2); ciclista-america.com