Italians have a special connection to cycling that can be sensed in the sport itself, but also in most products that they conceive, design, and bring to form. Sidi is one of Italy’s most famous brands, a lot of riders, professionals and amateurs alike, choosing the shoes that it manufactures. Strong tradition, high quality, and a lot of other such attributes define these items of footwear, but the best way to find out if they are as excellent as expected is by testing them, right?
Laser does not belong to the high-end level of Sidi’s road shoes range, being more of a passing model from mid-level to the next one. The carbon sole, reinforced heel cup, but lack of a more advanced closure system all come to support the statement. So let’s take them by turn.
The carbon sole is, probably, Laser’s strongest point. With no compromise in regard of stiffness, it wastes no time in transmitting the energy from your foot straight to the pedals. I also found it to be more scratch-resistant than I thought it would be, so that’s a further plus. However, if you’ve worn cycling shoes with softer soles before using Sidi Laser, you might have to adapt to the extra stiffness of them, but it won’t take you more than a handful of rides to do so. Please note that Sidi launched a newer version of the Laser that features a carbon composite sole, made by blending carbon with nylon, while the one of the tested model is fully made out of carbon.
Also adding to the high performance and comfort is the heel cup, reinforced and keeping the foot in place in a straight position, eliminating lateral and unnecessary movement. The uppers are manufactured using Sidi’s own Lorica Vernice, and also a touch of nylon, that ensure a regular amount of ventilation. Visual appearance further contributes to the charm and appealingness of the pair, but then again, we couldn’t have expected nothing less than beautiful from an Italian manufacturer. Style is omnipresent in their products.
As for what this pair lacks, the answer would probably be a more high-tech closure system. Still, being a more classical one does not imply that it’s outdated. The hook-and-loop and ratchet straps work efficiently holding your foot in the designated position, while also providing a light feel. You can close the strap one stroke at a time or several using the buckle’s different functions, and the same goes for releasing it. The only potential long-term risk that might occur is the wear of the Velcro straps, and that is likely to appear at one point, given the average lifetime of a Sidi pair of shoes. For prevention of timely wear-out, the straps include rubber teeth.
Sticking to product lifetime, Sidi reached out to its fans and clients, and fitted the Laser with a number of replaceable parts, such as the heel pad or caliper buckle.