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Updating your best-selling product requires striking a careful balance. Stray too far from a beloved design, or lose the essence of what made it so popular, and it very likely won’t continue to sell nearly as well. But fail to keep up with advancements from competitors and you’re equally in trouble. The Sidi Genius 10, a $300 pair of shoes occupying the middle of the venerable Italian brand’s range, walks this tightrope expertly.
The most noticeable overhauls to the Genius are to the closure system. Gone are the two Velcro straps across the foot, replaced instead by a single dial. While most shoe brands opt for Boa dials and call it a day, Sidi has created its own dials, called the Tecno-3 system. The system works wonderfully, ratcheting down with confident, audible clicks and releasing easily after rides. This dial system also incorporates the second major change to the closure system: the Soft Instep Closure System 4. Essentially a wide strap that secures the instep, the latest version is adjustable from both sides, softer and is less bulky thanks to a Tecno dial that replaces a dated ratchetingbuckle system. Mid-ride adjustments aren’t as easy with these dials compared to others, but they feel built to last. And if they do break—accidents happen—the dials, as well as the new Soft Instep closure and the heel pad, are fully replaceable.
We’ve long loved Sidi shoes for their comfort, and this update to the Genius delivers another winner for us. From the very first time you wear these shoes you’ll appreciate the supple upper and tongue, which look like they’re made from leather but are actually made from Technomicro. Lighter and stronger than natural leather, this material also has the added bonus of being easy to clean. And indeed, after some rainyday riding, we were able to wipe off road gunk no problem. Offering ample arch support, these shoes also provide a supportive fit. And the durable, reinforced heel cups keep your feet noticeably stable through the entire pedal stroke, helping deliver more power through the Carbon Composite 20 soles with each turn of the crank.
The Genius 10 shoes weigh in at 576 grams for a pair (size 42.5) and they stand out from their competitors in comfort, durability and serviceability. We love the price point at $300 for the Genius 10 from one of the most respected brands in cycling.
$300; 576g/pair (size 42.5); ciclista-america.com