Product Test: Sidi Dominator 7 SR

Sidi Dominator 7 SR

Sidi is synonymous with fine Italian footwear in the cycling industry. It is common knowledge that the Italians have always been the industry leaders in fashion footwear, so it is no surprise that their reputation carries over to mountain biking. Sidi was founded in Montebelluna, Italy, which is known as the shoe capital of the world, by Dino Signori, the man who invented so many current features we take for granted, including ratcheting buckles and adjustable straps, nylon soles and the adjustable cleat position system, just to name a few. Sidi shoes are all handmade, and Sidi is one of the most iconic brands in the sport of mountain biking. Sidi takes pride in its brand being the Porsche of the industry rather than the Toyota, and the prices reflect that. The Sidi mountain shoe line runs from $120 to $550. We chose the intermediate-level Dominator 7 SR with an MSRP of $260 for our review. Here is a rundown of our experience.

Tech features: The Sidi Dominator 7 features an all-new RS17 sole made of nylon with polyurethane replaceable inserts. The soles are lighter than the previous model and have a more aggressive tread pattern, removable toe spikes and replaceable toe insert. The RS17 has a great balance of walking flexion and pedaling stiffness. The shoe’s upper is made with Sidi’s Technomicro, a durable and vented microfiber, and features a padded tongue and caliper buckle with two-way ratcheting for loosening and tightening. The toe box uses high-security Velcro straps with integrated locking polymer teeth that give additional traction to the straps, keeping them secure.

Field test results: The Sidi Dominators are extremely comfortable the moment you slip them on your feet. There is, however, a distinct break-in period. The tongue is stiff and rides a little high. The feel improves once the shoes are broken in, but for the first half-dozen rides, it is very noticeable. We would suggest breaking these shoes in on shorter rides. The hard polyurethane inserts are slippery on rock faces during hike-a-bike sections but work really well on soil. The soles are very comfortable and capable of marathon rides but are noticeably more flexible than carbon race soles. Racers will probably prefer a stiffer sole for power transfer. The Dominator 7 SR doesn’t provide a lot of arch support, but an aftermarket insert specific to your foot will add comfort. We used our test Dominator 7s for this month’s pedal review and changed out different brand cleats over 20 times. The soles have very clear indicators for cleat adjustment and hold up remarkably well to abrasion. The durability and resistance to scuffs are impressive. The uppers of the shoe provide a good, snug fit, keeping dirt, rocks and organics from getting inside the shoes, even on hike-a-bike and trail-maintenance sections. We cleaned our test shoes with Windex after every session with amazing results. Overall, we had a great experience with Sidi’s mid-level shoes after they were properly broken in. If you’re in the market for a quality set of clip-in shoes that won’t break the bank, look no further than Sidi’s Dominator 7s.


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