There was a time when all of my favorite clipless shoes were Sidi. Then mountain biking went through some major evolution, and it took Sidi a while to adopt to changing tastes in footwear. While all the classics are still there with updated constructions and tech, we’ve also been seeing some interesting new takes from the iconic brand like the new Dimaro for DH, Enduro, and all mountain riding. Now, Sidi is entering another new category for the brand – gravel.
What does a gravel specific shoe look like? For Sidi, it starts with their MTB Competition sole for efficient pedaling during long days in the saddle, but also confident traction when you have to hoof it. The sole is also toe spike compatible which will be helpful for horrendously muddy gravel events that run rain or shine. A traditional two bolt cleat interface allows you to use your favorite SPD style pedals.
The distinctive look of the Gravel is partially due to the Politex Suede upper which is available in dark green or brown. According to Sidi, “The “politex” material is constructed of several overlapping layers with different physical-mechanical properties, the compacted PVC is then coupled to two fabrics (knitted fabric + felt) that is then is film dyed for long-lasting color retention. ‘Politex’ offers strong resistance to ripping, laceration, stretching and fading. “Politex” is made in strict compliance with European regulations and is a totally “green” product.”
Since the material doesn’t seem particularly breathable, ventilation holes completely cover the inside of the shoe, and they’re used sparingly on the outside where abrasion with foreign objects will be more common. The shoe also uses mesh in key places for additional ventilation.
A shock absorbing heel cup also helps to keep your foot in place with reduced heel slip to transfer as much power to the pedals as possible, and the external reinforcement joins a polyurethane shock absorber on the outside of the ankle to help protect your ankle from large chunks of flying gravel. Further protection is offered through an abrasion resistant toe cap at the front.
A single Sidi Tecno-3 dial cinched down the shoe on your feet, and is serviceable and replaceable. Available in 38-48 with half sizes offered from 39.5-46.5, both colors will sell for $239.99.