Sole Renewal, Sidi

My Sidi Dragon 2 shoes have been my summer footwear for several years now. The carbon sole is on the stiff side, especially compared to the less expensive mtb shoes, but would you expect anything less from $400 cycling boots? Considering their cost and the fact that I don’t work for a Sidi retailer anymore, daily commuter usage might seem like a fast way to ruin good shoes. And indeed the lugs of the sole have worn to such an extent that I’m basically balancing on the tiny metal bits of the cleat whenever I wear them to the supermarket, a situation begging for an eventual cleanup on Aisle 10. But my investment in Sidi shoes was calculated on the Dragon 2’s Sole Replacement System (SRS). Sidi sells SRS kits to replace the rubber of on the sole, extending the life of the shoe.

I had squirreled away an SRS kit a couple years ago, and now that the Pacific NW summer is hot enough to make the Dragons my go-to shoe, I have been meaning to freshen up their traction…

… and yesterday I finally got tired of walking like a figure skater with a drinking problem.

(more pix and details after the jump)

One really annoying thing I discovered is that the SRS kit I received contained two right side toe pieces, but luckily the toe pieces are not heavily asymmetrical. I managed to make it fit for the most part. I doubt I could convince the current Sidi distributor to provide me with a replacement. However, all the pieces are right or left specific. Don’t look for the pieces to be marked with “R” or “L”. As an Italian product, it follows the conventions of “D” for right and “S” for left…which is something like “dexter” and “sinister”.

The whole process took about 20 minutes, a little slow for me but I had to remove and later reinstall the pedal cleats…and then there was the toe piece issue.

Today’s Sidi Dragon is the “Dragon 4” with twist ratchet fasteners replacing the buckle and one of the velcro straps of the earlier Dragons. There is actually a new flagship shoe above the Dragon called the “Drako” ($500) with two twist ratchets and a laminated carbon sole (not the injected carbon composite of the Dragon). The Drako also has its own SRS tread, but it’s very minimal. I wouldn’t plan on walking much in that shoe.

I’ve worn these Dragon 2s for a few years now, and before that I had a pair of the original Dragons. I replaced the originals because that model had an injected nylon sole that softened up over time. Even though they are mtb shoes, I wear them mainly for riding road and fixed gear bikes, so I prefer a stiffer shoe. Also, the original Dragons were black, and the Dragon 2s are RED. But even though I’ve seen a lot of good times with these Dragon 2s, I’m not sure if my feet are all that happy anymore. I work standing all day, and I’m not 25 anymore (or 35 for that matter). Perhaps my feet have changed; regardless my feet are sore during both cycling and civilian life. I’ve had decent luck with some Giro shoes, but I’m not totally convinced that I could love them as I did Sidis for decades.

Someday when I wear out my Dragons’ new sole, I’ll have need to decide whether to acquire new Sidis, new shoes from someone else, or try to replace the sole once more.

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