Product Test: Sidi Epic Shoes

As advancements in technology allow trail riders to conquer increasingly aggressive terrain, they often find themselves hiking alongside their bikes to reach the top of steep and technical slopes that even the most talented rider would find impossible to climb. Additionally, adventurous riders are continually seeking the most remote trails for their weekend bikepacking escapes where it’s essential to have a shoe that performs as well around camp as it does on the bike. Cycling shoe companies are now catching onto these demands and aiming to develop the shoe equivalent of a quiver-killer. With the Mountain Bike Action crew being notorious aficionados of Sidi shoes, we wondered how their new Epics would fit in on our shelf of flashy, quality-crafted Italian shoes.


Tech features:

The Epic is Sidi’s new warm-weather shoe, designed to be comfortable both on and off the bike. Sidi’s outdoor sole provides traction and durability when the trail gets too steep or a stream is too hefty to ride across. The large heel loop on the rear of the shoe resembles that of a hiking shoe and is designed for easy entry. The shoes utilize a lace-up design with a Velcro strap closure. The last of the Epic is a synthetic upper that increases breathability using mesh panels around the ankle and lace areas. Sidi’s prominent heel cup is molded to prevent heel lift and reinforced to stand up to the demands of adventurous riders. While half sizes are not offered, the gray model is available in full sizes ranging from 42 to 48, and the black model is available in sizes 38 to 48. Our pair of size-44 shoes came in at 31.1 ounces (883 grams) and retails for $225.

Field test results:

As soon as we pulled on the Epics, it was clear they were among the most comfortable cycling shoes we had ever walked in. Both the loop on the heel and the lace-up design reminded us that we were going out to explore on our bikes, not chase a podium. Not only did the Velcro strap help secure our foot and prevent our heel from lifting, but it also doubled as a way of keeping our shoelace loops from flapping around. The cleat is recessed far enough into the sole to eliminate any tapping or instability.
With our cleats installed in the typical starting placement, we set out on our first ride and found our feet aching as the arch of our feet would bend around the pedal. While we originally considered the outdoor sole to be too soft, each small cleat adjustment got us closer to achieving optimal comfort. While dialing in the cleat placement, even the minutest adjustments had a significant impact on the performance of the shoe. The most forward position of the cleat prevented any unwanted flex from occurring.
The Sidi’s outdoor sole still looked fresh after countless rides over abrasive Southern California terrain. While the last material of the Epics may not be as tough as that of other Sidi models, it gives the shoe a more casual appearance that matches its focus on exploration rather than competition. We were able to put a rip in the side of one shoe, but it took full-speed interaction with a point of sandstone to make it happen. We don’t foresee durability issues for the average bikepacker or afternoon trail explorer.
The Sidi Epics may not be designed for playful riders who require the responsiveness needed to flick their bikes around the trail, but they’re excellent for riders who love not knowing exactly where the trail will take them. Their exceptional off-the-bike capabilities, paired with satisfactory performance on the bike, have made them our go-to shoe for bikepacking, as well as any day in search of a long-lost trail.

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