SIDI Drako Carbon SRS Shoes
Upper: Lorica Vernice Microfibre, ballistic mesh
Sole: SRS Carbon Ground Sole
Size Tested: 47
Blister’s Measured Weight: One shoe (size 47) no cleat or footbed – 274g
Pedals: Time XC8 and MX4
Reviewer: 6’2’’ 200 lbs
Days Tested: 90 days, 1000+ miles
Test Location: the Wasatch, Utah; around Nevada
My favorite shoes ever are a pair of SIDI SRS that I bought back in 1999 and used every day for 7 years. I finally threw them away in 2008 after at least 700 rides in the shoes. I have used a number of shoes since then, most recently a pair of Giro Terraduros for when I needed to do a bit of hike-a-bike, and a pair of carbon DMT shoes for normal XC riding.
Neither of these shoes lasted more than a season, and the longest lasting and most comfortable shoes I have otherwise been in since moving away from those ancient SIDI’s were a pair of Shimano AM41’s. Those lasted 3-4 seasons before falling apart at the seams.
This frustration led me back to SIDI, hoping that I would find the durability and long term comfort of my last pair.
The Drako Carbon SRS sits at the top of SIDI’s food chain, and has the features to match: all its parts are replaceable, including the carbon sole and adjustment dials, and it is the lightest shoe in SIDI’s mountain bike lineup.
The rest of this review is going to focus a lot on price vs. performance vs. durability. By the end, you’ll hopefully have the information to decide whether these shoes are, for you, worth the price tag. The Drako Carbon SRS retails for $499. The good news is that a quick internet search yields prices ranging from $200 to $350, depending on size and color. I purchased the pair for this review brand new for $200 in the middle of the winter (the off-season), in a neon yellow color I would never otherwise choose.
SIDI also makes similar shoes at lower price points, like the Spider ($399) and Dominator ($299) with similar, though less robust features: plastic instead of carbon soles, straps instead of the ratcheting dial, and fewer replaceable parts.
Out of the box, the SIDI Drako Carbon SRS is a bit narrow, with a long pointed toe. My feet are quite wide and fairly square, so I upsized to a 47 compared to my typical 46-46.5. The ball of my foot lines up nicely with the wide points of the shoe, and the pointy toebox extends a bit past my toes.
The shoes include a very thin footbed. Since the volume of the shoe was a little too high for me out of the box, I substituted the thin stock footbed for a thicker, more contoured footbed from an old pair of running shoes. This helped take up some volume and support my foot, and improved the fit substantially.
The shoe is a little narrow for my foot, but a quick trip to my local ski boot fitter, and they easily punched the SIDI shoes slightly wider at the met heads. The Lorica upper material expanded and held its shape very nicely with the punch. This is not something I have ever done before, but it seemed like a good idea and worked very well with the Drako, since there is not a bunch of extra rubber or outsole wrapped around the upper, just the Lorica (synthetic leather) material, which is sort of plasticy and punched well.
The SIDI Drako shoes have 2 dials that tension cables to adjust the pressure across your instep. The shoes are comfortable and fit well enough that I only tension the upper instep strap. It is very nice to leave the lower buckle just tight enough to not flap around while riding, since this helps my feet expand and contract in very hot weather (lots of mid-day riding in 97+ degree temperatures this summer).
There is a volume adjustment for the heel pocket over the calcaneus. I have a very low volume heel and ankle, so I am running it fully closed. If this adjustment is open at all, I get heel lift both pedaling and walking around. Historically, I have gravitated to sizing shoes one size too small in order to prevent heel lift, so being in a shoe that fits and eliminates heel lift is a nice change.
NEXT: Sole, Comfort, Etc.