Veneto Italy - a quiet, manufacturing region of north-east Italy and the place it seems for cycling footwear. Sidi, the shoe of choice if you're looking to take out a grand tour, started up here in the 1960s with just a small workshop making ski boots (among other things.) But by 1970, this innovation powerhouse, began to turn its cogs.
1970, and founder Dino Signori realises making mountaineering footwear has quite a bit of crossover to his other favoured pastime - on and off-road cycling. In 1973, Dino took to the drawing board and redesigned the sole plate of the cycling shoe - the outcome? Adjustable screws! So while this might not persuade you in the age of carbon and NASA grade fabric, by replacing the common nails, screws began a series of changes in cycling footwear that enhanced comfort, performance and fit. Nylon soles followed, as did the wonder material, Velcro, and by the early 90s Sidi had some of the most popular shoes out there. The MTB specific Dominator and Challenge were pinned up on bedroom walls, ‘one day I’ll save up for a pair of those,’ fans would say, as their heroes took out another off road title wearing these colourful kicks.
On the road, the Genius 2 (the Sidi Genius is still in the range) added in aerodynamic data to redesign the sole and used updated versions of earlier technologies for full adjustability and compatibility with new pedal systems. In the late 1990s, Carbon burst onto the scene and the Spider Buckle replaced the three strap velcro of the 80s. The Ergo 1 (the Ergo is also still in the range) blended Carbon inserts with a nylon base and by 2006 Sidi were making shoes that wouldn’t look too out of place today. Full carbon soles, the Heel Cup System and ratcheting dials have subsequently seen Sidi power to the top steps of podiums worldwide.