Sidi has got almost everything right with the Genius 10; good fit, performance and durability. Now the brand just needs to sort out it's Tecno-3 retention dials to make the Genius even better in the future.
By James Bracey
Sidi's reputation is not built upon making the most featherweight cycling shoes, or boasting about using the most technologically advanced materials. What the brand does best is produce incredibly well made and performance focussed cycling shoes that have almost unrivalled durability and, let's be honest, great looks. It's why so many of the pro peloton wear them. Case in point is this shoe, the Sidi Genius 10.
The Genius has gone through many changes over its tenure as a mainstay in the Sidi range. This new Genius 10 has a new sole and closure system compared to its previous version. It has all the hallmarks of a classic Sidi shoe with its clean looking, perforated upper, iconic heel cup and the longstanding Tecno-3 retention dials.
The stiff upper material is made from eco-friendly water-based products and really gives an impression of durability. Upper venting is kept to a minimum with just two areas at the toe and small perforations, making this a shoe that performs admirably in adverse conditions. Sadly I've yet to test the Sidi Genius 10 in really hot weather but a couple of particularly sweaty turbo sessions didn't leave me lamenting a lack of breathability.
Sidi has also tweaked the fit of the Genius 10 to take it even further away from the notorious narrow toe box of old. In fact the new Genius fit is the best of any Sidi shoe I have used to date. Nice and roomy in the toe area with plenty of wiggle room, side panels that don't bite into my weird bony bits and a heel cup that grips well even when sprinting hard.
One area that I still don't quite get on with, and where the BOA dials used by competitors still win out, is in the retention mechanism. The Tecno-3 dials flip up and tighten very well but it is all too easy to get over excited and tighten them too much. At which point you come across the next major flaw: you cannot incrementally release the mechanism, you have to push the fiddly side buttons and release quite a bit of tension before repeating the process. I could get the right fit eventually but found the process a little annoying. I do like the top strap for its ability to be adjusted at both sides to achieve comfort.
The Genius 10 is a very good shoe to spend a few hours on the bike with. Some riders will be put off that it doesn't have a 'full' carbon sole at this price point (it has a nylon sole injected with carbon) but the stiffness is comparable to that of shoes at a similar price point. It's also good to see that it doesn't suffer from being overly tall like cheaper nylon soles tend to be, so it keeps your foot closer to the pedal for better efficiency.
Where it wins out is in the flexibility around the outside edges of the sole. Often a very stiff shoe can become uncomfortable and create hot spots but I experienced no such issues with the Genius 10. It is a bit hefty compared to some and this can be noticeable on a really long day but the upside is that this weight equals durability.
It is most certainly a shoe I would choose to wear in the future. In fact I know I will as it is a shoe that will be working and looking as good as new in years to come. I love the understated looks as well but if this isn't for you the Sidi Genius 10 is available in multiple other colours.
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