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15th March 2018 / Comments (0)

Sidi Ergo 4 Road Shoe and Sidi Dragon 4 MTB ‘Mega’ Shoes

SIDI Ergo shoes

It is fair to say that these shoes from Sidi fall squarely into the disco slipper race shoe category. I would not chose either if I were on a multi day trip as neither are particularly good for walking in. If you are out for an all day ride with little chance of hike a bike sections, the Dragon will be ideal. The Ergo is a road shoe, so you wouldn’t expect to walk far in them anyway. They are however, equally up to long days in the saddle.

Mega?

The Side Mega in the name means that they are an extra wide fitting. The lasts are 4mm wider across the ball of the foot (EE to EEE fitting). The body of the shoe boasts more volume, a higher instep and a wider heel cup. In case the Mega isn’t for you, they do both shoes in normal fittings too.

Feet like flippers?

You don’t have to have feet like flippers for these to be the right shoe for you.

For me, tracking down cycling shoes that fit is a chore that would drive Sisyphus to despair. Too long, too narrow, too small a toe box, too tight across the top….ad infinitum.

Curiously, in my quest to find some new cycling shoes,  a visit to Cotswolds for walking boots put me on the right track. I was struggling to get any boots to fit so the assistant measured my feet,  I had always thought they were wide but it turns out they are quite narrow. The problem is my instep, which is particularly high. The recommendation was “look for  a higher volume shoe, maybe a touch wider than normal’.

Armed with this knowledge, my walking boot dilemma was quickly solved. Maybe I could apply this new knowledge to cycling shoes.

I would have to buy online as I have neither the time nor the inclination to traipse around bike shops only to be told  they don’t have larger sizes in stock, let alone extra wide options. Buying shoes online, unseen, is always a bit of a gamble. It isn’t as if the returns policies are an issue, it is just the almost inevitable disappointment when things don’t quite fit.

It isn’t as if I had a choice, so I sat down in front of the computer, with a large coffee. Before long, I had discovered the Mega range.

How much?

First off I ordered the Ergo road shoe which was slightly reduced in price. On impulse, I ticked the buy button on the Dragon 4 MTB shoe too. They had them in my size and I wasn’t going to take the risk that they’d sell out.

Merrily zipping through the ordering screens, I soon discovered that I had blown the thick end of £500! The Ergo 4 came in at £275 a pair and the Sidi Dragon 4 at £228.

All I could say to my incredulous spouse was….’I’m sure they’ll be worth it’ before running off to hide.

SIDI Ergo shoes

Sidi Dragon

The acid test: did they fit?

So futile had my search been until then, that when the boxes arrived I was fully expecting to be packing them back up in five minutes.

Astonishingly, they fitted. My feet slipped in without any trouble…always a good start!

The technical bits

From the listed features, it seems as though Sidi simply gathered up every technical innovation they could think of and threw them at these shoes.

Instead of a ratchet system, Sidi have used their Techno 3 retention system. Two dials and wires are complemented by a velcro strap across the toe box. (All the moving parts can be replaced if damaged or worn out).

Apparently there is something called the “Soft Instep Closure System” in the shoe itself, allowing you to adjust the instep support. I haven’t found it but I assume it is there somewhere.

The heel cup is adjustable, with a (supplied) allen key. I like this, as shoes with heel lift are the spawn of the devil.

The soles on the Ergo are made from “Twelve Carbon Composite”, while the soles on the Sidi Dragon 4 are MTB SRS Carbon Composite. All you really need to know is that they are super stiff!

Finally, for the Sidi Ergo, the heel pad is replaceable.

Significant sections of the sole inserts (on the Dragon) can be replaced. Mountain bike shoes are more likely to be used on rougher terrain (than a road shoe) and will therefore degrade more rapidly.

The ride

Super stiff, carbon shoes that are supremely comfortable. Long days in the saddle are free of hot spots and 50 miles or so in, my feet no longer feel as if they are in a vice.

To push the shoes to the limit, I have subjected them to what I consider to be the toughest test of all. The turbo trainer (Bkool). I have toiled up all of the classic road climbs and sprinted with the best of them.  I have only used thin, summer socks so I will soon notice if the shoes have any shortcomings. My legs usually pack up after an hour or so at ‘full gas’ but so far, not a squeak from my feet.

Not all is rosy in the garden however.

As my feet are not especially wide, I have to cinch the shoes up as tight as possible. Despite this, it still feels as if my toes are adrift, wafting around a seemingly cavernous toe box. A strange sensation but I have become accustomed to it.

When I put the hammer down, or try to catch James going up a hill (a pointless exercise), the ratchets seem to slip a bit. They never become loose and floppy, but they are less secure than I would like.

Conclusion

Both pairs of shoes are stiff and comfortable. If you are going to be in the saddle for twelve hours, I’d wager that the one part of you that won’t be crying out for rest are your feet.

They are eye wateringly expensive but boast replaceable parts to extend their life. The Sidi Dragon 4 for example, has four replaceable inserts on the sole. Seeing as how the soles on MTB shoes get destroyed quite easily, this is a good thing, I wish all shoes were made like this.

Despite the above, they aren’t quite perfect. If I could sort out the slipping retention system however…

Sidi 'wide fit' Mega Shoes

8.5

Comfortable, stiff, disco slipper

8.5/10

Pros

  • Well made
  • Super stiff
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Slipping ratchets

Last modified: 31st July 2020

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