SiDi Shoes: the Laser and Spider review
Italian quality and flair: we take a look at two pair of SiDi shoes – real world, mid-range offerings.
Posted 17 September 2012
Words by Tim Granshaw
Quick. Name the most stylish man in cycling. If you didn’t say Mario Cipollini, then you either weren’t born when he retired or you prefer to ride in board shorts. How many times did Mario Cipollini wear black shoes? After some careful research (I checked Google images for 5 minutes), it’s safe to say never. Why? Black shoes look like two burnt loaves on your feet. If you want to be the coffee shop hero, don’t buy black shoes to match your blinged, black carbon super bike.
Time for me to fess up: My last pair of shoes were black. No day was too warm for shoe covers. The shame. Lesson learned though. I just picked up new Sidi shoes: a pair of Vernice Red Sidi Lasers and Vernice White Sidi Spiders. No shoe covers for me in the summer any more.
The Laser and the Spider are very similar road and off-road versions of the same kick. The two shoes share the same dimensions; in fact they seem to share the same last. The only difference when viewing the top of the shoes is a bash guard on the toe of the mountain shoe. Both use a two Velcro strap, one buckle fastening system. The design is a tried and true one for Sidi, I’ve relied on the setup for a decade. The shoes both feature a deep heel cup, which ensures your foot stays well in place even with a relatively slack buckle tension. The shoes are both relatively narrow around the middle of the foot, but share a nice open toe box.
The Sidi Spider is a double duty shoe for me; as well as racing the road, I race mountain bikes and cyclocross. After racing and riding in both disciplines with these shoes, they perform well in both. Off-road shoes are often annoyingly flexy with weak uppers; the Spiders are a welcome change. The carbon sole and the Vernice and mesh upper are both quite stiff, yet running in the shoe is pleasant thanks to the replaceable rubber grips placed strategically around the sole. The upper is also quite tall, wrapping securely just below the ankle. Nice. The shoes also include threads for a pair of toe spikes. I may rue buying white shoes while sloshing through deep mud puddles in the middle of winter, but they do seem to wash off really well.
The off-road Spiders are really nice shoes, but the road racing Laser demonstrates why the Italians are unparalleled in building pure style into a utility item. Shiny red shoe? Check. Complementing white buckle? Check. Sweet red straps with white accents? Check. Flat black carbon weave sole? Absolutely. I’d take the cleats off and wear these to work if I had a shirt that did them justice! They are that pimp. Are they good cycling shoes? They are wonderful. In fact, they feel a lot like the Spider, except they feature a slightly stiffer sole.
I’m no Mario Cipollini, but I’m sure he’d approve of these two shoe’s stylish design. Even more important, these shoes will ensure many miles of comfortable riding on the road and off.
Price: Laser £199, Spider £191.99
Sizes: 38 – 48
Colours: Red or white.
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