Sidi’s Genius 6.6 Carbon road shoes are outstanding kicks, and the Italian firm have now brought out this wider ‘Mega’ version for those riders who found the standard fit a bit constrictive.
Aside from the extra room, nothing else has changed: wearers are treated to the usual buttery sock-like fit typical of high-end Sidi shoes, complete with a densely padded and adjustable-length ratcheting main strap, two locking Velcro forefoot straps, a cushy tongue and supple soft-touch materials throughout for a pressure point-free feel that is as comfortable in hour five as it is in hour one.
Gripes are few and far between as far as the uppers are concerned. A little more mesh would be nice to have in warmer conditions but the Lorica synthetic leather is quite breathable.
The heel cup gains a few small vents and is now augmented by Sidi’s novel Heel Security System reinforcement, which subtly improves heel hold relative to previous versions by pinching the top of the shoe down around the back of your foot.
However, the system used on the Genius 6.6 Carbon isn’t adjustable like on the top-end Ergo 2 so you’d better like how it feels straight out of the box (though the adjustable bits can be retrofitted).
The Caliper buckle is lower in profile than the previous edition for a cleaner look but we still miss the Ultra SL’s finer half-step adjustment and the smaller lever can be hard to grasp when wearing full finger gloves.
Sidi mate all of this to their top-end full-carbon outsole, which is just a touch softer than many other fibre composite plates on the market. Though the reduced stiffness could be seen as being less efficient, the faint amount of give does do an excellent job of keeping hot spots at bay, even on long days in the saddle and with the stock paper-thin insole.
Speaking of which, this is where the Genius 6.6 Carbon Mega can offer an advantage over the standard fit even if you don’t have particularly wide feet. Typically, adding more substantial and supportive aftermarket insoles – be they stock or custom – into Sidi shoes significantly reduces the total volume and makes them tighter. With the Mega, subbing in custom insoles yields roughly the same fit as the standard shoe without insoles.
True, the Genius 6.6 Carbon Mega is still at the heavier end of the spectrum (658g a pair for size 44) and very expensive. But long-term durability continues to be superb, as is the overall quality and finish, and Sidi’s amazing trademark fit is still unrivalled, making the painful price tag a little easier to swallow.